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DCRP Review: Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ10
by Jeff Keller, DCRP Founder/Editor
Originally posted: March 17, 2008
Last Updated: December 7, 2008
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ10 ($249) is a fairly compact camera offering a 10 Megapixel CCD, a wide 5X, 30 - 150 mm lens, a gorgeous 2.5" LCD display, widescreen movie recording, and more. It, along with its little brother (the DMC-LZ8) are the replacements for the DMC-LZ6/LZ7, which were introduced a year earlier.
Here are the notable features on the LZ10:
There are some other new features that I'll describe in detail later in the review. And with that said, let's get started!
What's in the Box?
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ10 has an average bundle. Inside the box, you'll find:
Most cameras have built-in memory these days, and the DMC-LZ10 is no exception. Panasonic includes 20MB of memory, which holds just three photos at the highest quality setting. That means that you'll want to buy a large memory card, and fast. The LZ10 supports SD, SDHC, and MMC memory cards, and I'd suggest starting out with a 1GB or 2GB card. It's definitely worth spending a little more for a high speed card, though there's no need to go overboard.
Like its predecessors, the DMC-LZ10 uses two AA batteries for power. Panasonic includes two alkaline cells in the box, which will quickly end up the trash (or preferably, recycling bin). Thus, you'll want to buy a pair or two of NiMH rechargeables, which will cost you less in the long run, and they're better for the environment as well. Don't forget a fast charger, as well! Here's what kind of battery life you can expect out of the camera once you've got those installed:
You don't need a degree in math to see that the DMC-LZ10's battery life is best-in-class, and well above the group average. To top it off, the LZ10 uses AA batteries, which are my favorite.
I like AA-based cameras for two reasons. One, a pair of AA rechargeables is a heck of a lot cheaper than a proprietary li-ion battery. Second, if your batteries ever die, finding off-the-shelf batteries is a piece of cake. The LZ10 is the only camera in its class that uses AA batteries.
As is the case with most compact cameras, the LZ10 has a built-in lens cover, so there's no clunky lens cap to deal with.
There aren't many accessories available for the DMC-LZ10. There's an AC adapter, which requires you to purchase two parts: the DMW-AC6 AC adapter (priced from $40), and the DMW-DCC2 DC coupler (price not available). Panasonic also offers a leather case -- the DMW-CLZ10 -- which costs around $30.
PhotoFunStudio for Windows
Panasonic includes several software applications with the DMC-LZ10. First up, we have PhotoFunStudio 2.0, which is a Windows-only application (Mac users can use iPhoto instead). The first way in which you'll probably use this software is for transferring photos off of your camera. I didn't see a way to select which photos were transferred -- it was all or nothing.
Once on the main screen (pictured above), you'll find a familiar thumbnail view of your photos. Photos can be organized (by date, category, keyword, and scene mode), e-mailed, printed, and rotated from this screen.
Editing in PhotoFunStudio for Windows
Select "retouch" and you'll get the editing window you see above. Here you can adjust things like brightness, contrast, color, and sharpness. Images can be changed to sepia or black and white, and redeye can be removed with the click of your mouse.
ArcSoft MediaImpression for Mac
Also included is ArcSoft's MediaImpression software, for Mac and Windows. This appears to be a more modern version of the old PhotoImpression software that Panasonic used to give you. MediaImpression can be used to import photos from the camera, with the unique option of removing redeye during import. After that's done, you get the usual thumbnail view.
Easy-Fix Wizard in MediaImpression
The software doesn't appear to have as many editing features as PhotoImpression used to, but it does have a handy Easy Fix wizard, which helps you straighten, crop, remove redeye, add brightness/contrast, sharpen, adjust color, and "make the subject stand out", all with one click. You can also add text, borders, and special effects to your photos. Naturally, there are e-mailing, printing, and archiving options available as well.
ArcSoft PanoramaMaker for Mac
Another piece of the ArcSoft suite is PanoramaMaker, which helps you combine photos that you've taken side-by-side into a single panorama. It's easy to use, and the results can be really impressive.
The manual included with the DMC-LZ10 is just "okay". While it's quite detailed, its layout and user-friendliness leaves much to be desired. Expect lots of "notes" on each page, which makes finding what you're looking for more difficult than it should be.
Look and Feel
The Lumix DMC-LZ10 is a fairly compact (but certainly not tiny) camera made mostly of metal. Build quality was generally very good, with only the plastic tripod mount causing some concern. It would've been nice had Panasonic used actual rubber for the grip, instead of slippery plastic. The LZ10 can easily be operated with one hand, with the important controls within easy reach of your fingers.
The camera has also slimmed down a bit compared to earlier LZ-series cameras, which is fine by me.
|Images courtesy of Panasonic|
Like most of Panasonic's cameras these days, the LZ10 can be found in silver and black colors.
Alright, now let's see how the DMC-LZ10 compares against other cameras in its class in terms of size and weight:
(W x H x D, excluding protrusions)
Canon PowerShot SD870 IS
3.7 x 2.3 x 1.0 in.
8.5 cu in.
155 g Casio Exilim EX-Z200
3.7 x 2.2 x 0.9 in.
7.3 cu in.
119 g Fujifilm FinePix F100fd
3.8 x 2.3 x 0.9 in.
7.9 cu in.
170 g GE E1050
3.6 x 2.2 x 0.9 in.
7.1 cu in.
145 g Nikon Coolpix S600
3.5 x 2.1 x 0.9 in.
6.6 cu in.
130 g Olympus FE-350 Wide
3.8 x 2.2 x 1.0 in.
8.4 cu in.
138 g Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ10
3.8 x 2.4 x 1.3 in.
11.9 cu in.
141 g Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ7
3.9 x 2.5 x 1.3 in.
12.7 cu in.
184 g Ricoh R8
4.0 x 2.3 x 1.0 in.
9.2 cu in.
168 g Samsung NV24HD
3.9 x 2.4 x 0.7 in.
6.6 cu in.
146 g Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W170
3.7 x 2.3 x 0.9 in.
7.7 cu in.