Panasonic Lumix DMC-L10 Review
The L10 utilizes the smaller and cube shaped DMW-BLA13PP which delivers 1320 mAh at 7.2V (9.5 Wh), down just 180 mAh on the L1's notably larger and heavier CGR-S603. The battery compartment is accessed from the base of the hand grip, with the door opened by turning a lever to the left (as with the L1). The battery is good for about 450 shots using the viewfinder, which isn't bad at all. Switching to live view makes a huge difference; Panasonic quotes 280 shots using the CIPA standard but in real world use we found that using live view exclusively you were lucky to get more than 100 shots from a single charge. A second - or even third - battery would be advisable if you want to spend a day out snapping using live view.
The new battery of course means a new charger, the DE-A38 can fully charge the battery in approximately 2.3 hours and can also act as an AC adapter for the camera using the optional dummy battery and cord.
The storage compartment is located on the right side of the camera (from the back) behind a small door which makes up part of the hand grip. The door hinge is spring loaded and opens on its own once pushed a little towards the rear. Inside you will find an SD card slot which supports both normal SD (up to 2 GB) and also the higher capacity SDHC cards (typically 4 GB and above).
All of the L10's connectors are found behind a rubber door on the right side of the body just above the storage compartment. The first connector provides for video-out and USB 2.0, the second provides wired remote control (optional). The rubber covers are slightly flimsy and let down the solid, robust nature of the rest of the body.
If you loved the L1's two position forward facing / upward bounce flash unit then I'm afraid you'll be a little disappointed to see a pretty standard pop-up flash on the L10. That aside, the flash has a manual release mechanism and does raise a fairly useful 66 mm above the top of the lens which should help to avoid red-eye.
The L10 has a flash hot-shoe (or 'accessory shoe') which is compatible with Panasonic's FL-50 and existing Olympus E-System flash lights (FL-50, FL-36, FL-20 and macro flashes) plus Panasonic's own branded versions.
The L10 has a Four Thirds System mount, which means that as well as the Leica-branded kit lens it can also take Olympus 4/3 lenses and those from other third party manufacturers (such as Sigma). Unlike the L1 the L10 has a 'normal' upward swinging mirror (which of course has to swing out of the way in Live View mode).
"Supersonic Wave Filter"
The L10 incorporates the same "Supersonic Wave Filter" as we have seen on Olympus Four Thirds digital SLRs. This is a method of cleaning the sensor which involves making a thin, circular transparent filter in front of the sensor vibrate at high frequency, this causes any dust or dirt to literally drop off the sensor surface and on to a sticky tape material (which apparently has been used in conventional SLR's for some time now). This built-in cleaning takes place every time you power up the camera.
Box Contents (Kit)
- Panasonic Lumix DMC-L10 digital SLR body
- LEICA D VARIO-ELMAR 14-50mm/F3.8-5.6 ASPH
- Lithium-Ion battery
- Magnifier eyecup
- Eyepiece Cap
- Battery charger
- Body cap
- Shoulder strap
- Video and USB cables
- CD-ROM (LUMIX Simple Viewer, PhotofunStudio, SILKYPIX DEVELOPER STUDIO)
- Manual, System chart, Warranty