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Panasonic Lumix L10

Ralf Jurrien
IFA Report
Thursday 30th, August 2007
Posted by: Ralf Jurrien

Panasonic is pleased to introduce its second digital single-lens reflex camera with an interchangeable lens, the Panasonic DMC-L10. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-L10 digital SLR camera features an advanced 2.5-inch free angle LCD monitor for full time live view that offers 270 degree rotation and a versatile shooting style. A 10.1 Megapixel Live MOS Sensor provides the beautiful images with delicate gradation and wide dynamic range. Dust reduction with a Supersonic Wave Filter system prevents dust from attaching to the sensor to degrade the pictures. The Panasonic L10 SLR camera’s superb image processor, Venus Engine III, boasts a high quality image rendering and high speed response.

Panasonic Lumix L10

Panasonic L10 - Open format
The Panasonic Lumix L10 adopts the open format of the Four Thirds system for its lens mount because it is developed exclusively for digital SLR. Drawing on leading technologies while defying any stereotype ideas in SLR cameras, Panasonic aims to provide an emotional excitement of true-to-life photographic images to be in line with the digital age. The L10 comes equipped with a LEICA D VARIO-ELMAR 14-50mm / F3.8-5.6 ASPH. / MEGA O.I.S. lens designed specifically for a digital SLR camera to be sold as a kit, the Panasonic DMC-L10K.

Panasonic Lumix L10 SLR - LCD monitor and Live view
The Panasonic DMC-L10 features an advanced free-angle 2.5-inch large LCD for full-time live view and it dramatically changes the digital SLR shooting style. You do not have to get down on bended knee, nor have to lie flat on the ground. You can see the subject even while holding the camera up high with your arms stretched. The full-time live view further gives users more shooting flexibility and greater convenience that have never been achieved by conventional digital SLR cameras without live view capability.

Panasonic Lumix L10 - Face detection and ISO control
The Panasonic Lumix L10 incorporates a Face Detection and Intelligent ISO Control function first in digital SLR cameras. The face detection system detects human faces and sets a focus and appropriate exposure to capture a face clearly and well exposed. The Intelligent ISO Control function detects and meters the movement of the subject and sets the suitable ISO setting and the shutter speed according to the amount of the movement to suppress the generation of motion-blur in the picture. The live view lets the users check the outcome image in advance after compensating the exposure or adjusting the white balance. Furthermore, the Panasonic L10 provides options of picture taste with the function called Film Mode and users can select the mode that takes the best advantage of the scene. All these settings can be confirmed before you take the picture and the result is always as you intended. Further options are given with the aspect ratio set alternatively to 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9 aspect ratios according to the situation. Taking the horizontal and vertical lines in the picture is facilitated by the guide line to be displayed on the LCD for deciding the composition of the image. It also allows extra magnification beyond the zoom power of the lens with Extra Optical Zoom which extends the zoom range utilizing the 10.1 Megapixel large Live MOS sensor when setting the recording resolution smaller and with the digital zoom.

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Panasonic L10 digital SLR - Auto focus and Light metering
Just putting a live view function into the digital SLR is not going to perfect the camera and that is why the Panasonic Lumix L10 adopts advanced hybrid-type AF system. A phase difference AF system works for shooting through a viewfinder while contrast AF system best supports the shooting using the live view. This is also the case with AE. A high speed, high precision TTL full aperture light metering by 49 zones multi-pattern sensing system is available for shooting through the viewfinder. On the other hand for the shooting with live view, exposure can be metered and set using the Live MOS sensor for light metering to take the whole picture information and evaluate it by 256 zones multi-pattern sensing system and gives a well-balanced exposure as a whole image.

Panasonic L10 D-SLR - Scene and Creative photography
The new Panasonic DMC-L10 incorporates a variety of functions that build a bridge for the potential user of digital SLR to take a first step in a world of real creative photography or for existing users who have not been able to take best advantage of their conventional digital SLR cameras. Spinning the Mode Dial on top of the camera directly points you to the frequently used settings including Auto mode, each P/A/S/M mode, and five frequently-used scene modes and one custom mode that you can pre-set for your own preference. The scene modes that can be directly activated by the mode dial includes Portrait, Scenery, Macro, Sports and Night Portrait mode and each of them further has options of finer settings to be called Advanced Scene Mode, which allows users easily take intended pictures according to the situation or specific photographic idea. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-L10 is especially designed for the consumer who is familiar with compact digital cameras and would like to experience the enjoyment of digital SLR photography, but also for the ambitious photographer who wishes to take more beautiful pictures.

Panasonic Lumix L10 digital SLR camera - Brightness and ISO control
The full-time live view function on the LCD proposes a dramatic change in the shooting style of digital SLR cameras. The Panasonic L10’s 2.5-inch large LCD offers 270 degree rotation and a versatile shooting style even in situations when looking into the viewfinder is not easy. This free angle LCD also features an Intelligent LCD function that offers an automatic brightness level control function according to the light condition, under the strong sunlight or in darkness, to secure clear view anytime. In addition to the above, full-time live view further gives users more shooting flexibility and greater convenience. The Panasonic Lumix L10 incorporates a Face Detection and Intelligent ISO Control function, first in any digital SLR camera. The face detection system detects human faces and sets a focus and appropriate exposure to capture a face clearly and beautifully lit. The Intelligent ISO Control function detects and meter the movement of the subject and sets the suitable ISO setting and the shutter speed according to the amount of the movement to suppress the generation of motion-blur in the picture.

Panasonic Lumix L10

Panasonic Lumix L10 - Digital effects and Compensation
The live view lets the users check the outcome image in advance after compensating the exposure or adjusting the white balance. The white balance can be adjusted in the area of two-axis of coordinates precisely. Furthermore, the Panasonic Lumix L10 provides options of picture taste with the function called Film Mode. Each analog film has its characteristics such as with colour, contrast, gradation and which affects on the outcome of the picture, in other words, it is one of the ways of expression. With the Panasonic L10, the Film Mode allows you to choose the one that takes the best advantage of the scene or the subject you take out of a total of nine film modes including Standard, Dynamic, Nature, Smooth, Nostalgic, Vibrant, Standard B/W, Dynamic B/W and Smooth B/W, with capability of fine adjustment of contrast, sharpness, saturation and noise reduction. All these settings can be confirmed before you take the picture and the result is always as you intended.

Panasonic Lumix L10 SLR camera - High Definition and Magnification
Further options are given with the aspect ratio set alternatively to 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9 aspect ratios according to the situation. As a leader in the flat panel display market, Panasonic has been proposing further enjoyment of photography, by viewing the dynamic photos you take in HD (high-definition) 1920 x 1080 resolution image size on 16:9 wide screens. Taking the horizontal and vertical lines in the picture is facilitated by guide lines to decide the composition of the picture and you can further choose to move the guide line to fit any patterns of composition. It also allows extra magnification beyond the zoom power of the lens with Max. 1.8x Extra Optical Zoom which extends the zoom range utilizing the 10.1-megapixel large Live MOS sensor when setting the recording resolution smaller and with the 2x to 4x digital zoom. In conventional digital SLR cameras, the live image could be seen only through the view finder and the LCD existed just for the playback of images once taken. But with the Panasonic Lumix DMC-L10, any trials of setting, adjustment and effect can be checked beforehand, thus the picture would not disappoint you due to the gap of photographers’ intention and its result.

Panasonic L10 camera - Hybrid AF system and Portrait photography
Conventionally, only phase difference AF is believed to be the method of AF for digital SLRs, but Panasonic dares to add the contrast AF method to make the Panasonic Lumix L10’s AF one of the most advanced hybrid AF system in industry. A TTL phase difference detection system works for shooting through a viewfinder while contrast AF system best supports the shooting using the live view. This is also the case with AE. A high speed, high precision TTL full aperture light metering by 49 zones multi-pattern sensing system is available for shooting through the viewfinder. On the other hand for the shooting with live view, exposure can be metered and set using the Live MOS sensor for light metering to take the whole picture information and evaluate it by 256 zones multi-pattern sensing system to give a well-balanced exposure as a whole image. Human faces are always picturesque and that’s why more compact digital cameras incorporate face detection function to capture them with more clarity and beauty. Panasonic applies this feature into a digital SLR for the first time in the world as the Face Detection AF/AE function. The newly added Face Detection system helps the camera to recognize a human face to capture it bright and clear. Up to 15 human faces can be detected simultaneously. The detection keeps working on the faces even if subjects are moving so that the time for AF is minimized before you click away the shutter.

Panasonic Lumix L10 - AF area and Framing
To match the shooting situation and subject's position, the user can select from six auto-focusing methods: Face Detection, 9-point, Multi, 3-point, 1-point and Spot. With the 1-point AF or spot AF method, the auto-focusing area can be chosen from as many as 11 points. Various group area patterns can also be selected in the new Multi method. In manual focus, you can enlarge the specific part of the subject on the LCD and also freely move the magnified area for easy framing, which is especially handy when using a tripod.

Panasonic Lumix L10

Panasonic L10 single lens reflex - Live MOS and Image processor
The Live MOS sensor used in the Panasonic DMC-L10 provides the beautiful images with delicate gradation and wide dynamic range that only a CCD image sensor can provide while achieving low energy consumption which is a feature of CMOS sensors. By incorporating the 2.2μm pixel technology, Panasonic succeed in the mass production of a miniaturized circuit that sustains the same light receiving area as the sensor of 7.5 Megapixel. In addition, the efficiency of light reception is raised at the same time, to keep the sensitivity as high as that of 7.5 Megapixel despite the decreased pixel area. Also, photodiodes embedded deeply in the silicon layer create a structure that suppresses noise generated on the substrate surface. As a result, the white-spot pixel defects and textual roughness that often characterize images captured in shooting at higher ISO are minimized thanks to the incorporation of newly developed noise reduction circuit, so the pictures are clear and beautiful. The Venus Engine III is an image processing LSI developed by Panasonic to maximize the performance of the Leica D lens and Live MOS sensor. This advanced LSI not only helps reproduce images with outstanding resolution, superior colour and detailed gradation, it also distinguishes chromatic noise from luminance noise and selectively reduces the chromatic noise, one of the chief sources of image quality problems. This helps the Panasonic Lumix DMC-L10 deliver the superb image rendering one expects from a quality SLR camera.

Panasonic Lumix L10 - Dust reduction system
One of the most critical issues with digital SLR cameras with interchangeable lenses is the possibility of dust entering the camera body during lens changes. This dust can adhere to the image sensor and show up as spots on photos taken. Panasonic has solved this problem by equipping the Panasonic Lumix DMC-L10 with a Supersonic Wave Filter system that uses supersonic vibration to shake off any dust clinging to the sensor. This simplifies camera maintenance and eliminates worries about dust entering the camera body when lenses are being changed outdoors or the dust that may be generated by the movement of mirror or shutter, so users can enjoy themselves and just concentrate on shooting.

Panasonic Lumix L10 SLR camera - Leica lens and Stabilization
Panasonic drew on its cutting-edge lens technology to invent Mega O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer), a system that prevents blurring from shaky hands and has been incorporated in all Lumix compact cameras. This high-precision image stabilizing lens system is now incorporated into the LEICA D VARIO-ELMAR 14-50mm/F3.8-5.6/MEGA O.I.S. With Mega O.I.S., it is easier than ever to capture clear, sharp, beautiful images when shooting indoor portraits, illuminated night scenes or even the scenery you see from a train window. Another problem is the motion blur that can occur when a subject moves as the shot is being snapped but the DMC-L10 detects whether or not the subject is moving with the Intelligent ISO Control function as mentioned above. Many useful and convenient features, such as AF and image stabilization system, have been transplanted from the compact camera development to that of digital SLR and Panasonic dares to integrate these ideas because they are sure to broaden the world of digital SLR photography. A total of nine scene modes also supports the pursuit of usability for any photographer to enjoy taking beautiful pictures with ease, while more advanced photographers can make finer adjustments with the Advanced Scene Mode and with frequently-used Portrait, Sports, Landscape and Night portrait being directly activated with the mode dial. Select the Portrait or Sports mode and you’ll have further options to define whether it is in outdoor or indoor. Selecting Landscape mode gives, you options to specify if you’re going to take nature or architecture. Thus more suitable compensation for the scene will be available on the picture to get the best results. On the other hand, you can simply select the original mode without any further adjustment or select Creative mode that even allows manual controls over an aperture or a shutter speed. Keeping its design as a sophisticated digital SLR, the exterior design of Panasonic DMC-L10 has ingenious touches - such as the ergonomic grip assure steady and comfortable hold in any shooting position. Two dials under the index finger and the thumb allows the photographer to adjust shutter speed and the aperture directly smoothly.

Panasonic Lumix L10

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