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Panasonic Lumix DMC L10 | Digital Camera Review | Adjustments
Panasonic considers the Lumix DMC-L10 as an entry-level camera but did not spare on settings. Central is the so-called film mode. It lets you adjust a picture to your own preferences. Like it is when choosing a film. Of course these film functions are only effective when working in JPEG or converting RAW images with the delivered software. Adobe Camera RAW for example does not recognize the film functions and you will get a normal standard picture as a base. You can compare the film functions to the image styles Canon is using.
Panasonic Lumix DMC L10 | Digital Camera Panasonic Lumix DMC L10 | Digital Camera
Panasonic Lumix L10 - Film mode
Film mode has four parameters: contrast, sharpness, saturation and noise reduction. Since I am used to photographing in RAW, I left the settings on standard. And it delivered great pictures. The contrast as well as the saturation are pleasant and appear very natural. Of course personal taste plays a role in this. I can imagine very well that you will select different settings for different pictures. In any case it is good to play with the settings and get some experience of what the settings do. If you cannot find a setting appealing to you, you can also make and save four film effects yourself.

Panasonic L10 camera - White balance
Contrast, saturation and sharpness set to standard delivered fine pictures providing I did not take pictures in artificial light circumstances. The film effects are not to blame but the automatic white balance is. It is incorrect when photographing in artificial light situations. Manual white balance offers the solution to effectively filter the artificial light or just activate the artificial light setting which is a great improvement. The advantage of RAW is that you can adjust white balance afterwards, but you do not always have the correct white reference. So be careful.

Panasonic DMC L10 - ISO values
Personally I am quite positive about the signal/noise ratio. Panasonic has found a reasonable balance as far as noise is concerned. From ISO 400 noise is visible, 800 ISO still lets you work with it, but ISO 1600 has a considerable amount of noise. Especially when viewing on 100%. You will notice the Panasonic Lumix L10 balancing between noise reduction and sharpness. And I must admit; it is a difficult dilemma. On top of that high ISO values come with colour noise and that is plain ugly. Besides fixed values the Panasonic DMC-L10 also offers intelligent ISO at Live View. When the camera detects a moving subject it is possible to adjust the sensitivity. And because the L10's performance is still great at high sensitivities, the function is well applicable in practice. Sometimes a bit of noise may be less important than a sharp picture.

Panasonic Lumix DMC L10 - Overexposure
My experience is that the Panasonic Lumix DMC-L10 tends to slightly overexposure a picture. Mind you, it is not that obvious but in combination with the limited dynamic range it might be annoying. Light areas in a picture will be bleached. Carefully and correctly light metering is my advice. What strikes me is that the light metering in Live View deviates from the results when using the viewfinder. Live View does give 1/10 stop more underexposure and seems to me more correct.
Panasonic L10 - Great standard lens
I can be brief about the standard lens; it is a top one. I would like more manufacturers to put a piece of glass of this class in the box. It might not be good for the price but that is not my concern. Not only mechanically also optically the Leica lens performs better than average. High sharpness, only some purple fringing if any at all and nice contrast. The MEGA O.I.S. (Optical image stabilization) works fine, as it always does. Mode 1, with the stabilization system continuously activated, is suitable for most situations. Only if you are tracking a subject you might want to swap to mode 2.

Panasonic Lumix L10 - JPEG & RAW formats
Besides RAW format the Panasonic Lumix DMC-L10 offers some three JPEG formats and some three compressions. Not a wide selection but I would suggest to everybody to use RAW for photographing. Not because the L10's JPEGs come out bad. On the contrary, they are hardly second to the RAW images. But RAW images do offer more correction possibilities and that is what matters to me. In JPEG you do have the advantage of being able to photograph in deviating image formats like 2:3 and 16:9. Anyway, a crop can be made just as easy afterwards.

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