EPZ Exclusive: 20% off ALL fotoVUE books (use code EPZ at checkout)!

Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ10 Review

Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ10 Review - We review the compact and wallet friendly Panasonic Lumix SZ10, with 12x optical zoom lens, a tilting 'selfie' screen and Wi-Fi.

 Add Comment

Panasonic Lumix SZ10 in Compact Cameras

Features
Handling
Performance
Verdict
Specification

Panasonic Lumix SZ10  (5)

The Panasonic Lumix SZ10 is Panasonic's latest version of their entry level pocket zoom camera, updating the SZ8 with a tilting selfie screen, whilst keeping the same 12x optical zoom lens and image stabilisation. 

Panasonic Lumix SZ10 Features

Panasonic Lumix SZ10  (1)

The Panasonic Lumix SZ10 features a 12x optical zoom lens equivalent to 24-288mm in 35mm terms and a 16-megapixel sensor with 720p video recording. The lens has optical image stabilisation to keep shots steady when using the camera in low light or when using the zoom. 

The camera design has changed with the introduction of a tilting selfie screen, and a slightly rubberised grip should give improved handling. Built-in Wi-Fi lets you remotely control the camera as well as transfer images to your smartphone. 

A number of shooting modes including intelligent Auto, Normal, Creative Control, Panorama, and Scene modes are available, making it an easy to use point and shoot camera. Available in white, black and silver (depending on your location).

Panasonic Lumix SZ10  (15)

Key Features

  • 16 megapixel CCD sensor
  • 12x optical zoom lens, 24-288mm equivalent
  • Optical image stabilisation
  • 2.7inch tilting screen, 460k dots
  • 720p video
  • ISO100 to ISO1600
  • 3cm macro focus
  • HDR / panoramic shooting
  • Available in black, silver and white

Panasonic Lumix SZ10 Handling

Panasonic Lumix SZ10  (2)

Plastic construction makes the camera lightweight, and a rubber finish on the right-hand side of the camera gives your hand additional grip, which is an improvement over the previous version. As the SZ10 is small, we would recommend the use of the provided wrist strap to avoid dropping the camera. The camera feels reasonably well built despite the plastic construction.

There is a clear layout of controls and buttons, with and the majority of buttons feature a metal finish. There is no mode dial, instead there is a mode button that lets you change the shooting mode on screen. The Q (Quick) Menu button gives quick access to the most commonly used options, so that you don't have to enter the menus often. There is also built-in help that explains the options and settings available, making it easy to use. 

The screen is reasonably good, however viewing angles could be better, and pictures look better when viewed on another device such as your computer or smartphone. The tilting screen helps with using the camera outdoors, as you can tilt it to a better angle.

Panasonic Lumix SZ10  3

Wi-Fi features - Using the Panasonic Image App, you can use a QR code displayed on the camera to connect your smartphone or tablet to the device. Once connected, the Image App gives you a number of options including remote operation, image transfer, geotagging (with GPS location data), plus photo collage creation. When you are using the remote shooting feature, you can also use the smartphone's touch-screen to set the focus point. 

Panasonic Lumix SZ10 Battery

Battery life - Battery life is rated at 200 shots according to Panasonic / CIPA test results, and a spare battery is recommended if you want to take more shots or plan on using Wi-Fi a lot.

Speed - The camera is reasonably quick most of the time, although can feel a little sluggish when focusing or when scrolling through the menus. The camera has a relatively slow continuous shooting speed, and to shoot at a quicker speed the camera reduces the resolution to 3 megapixels.

Panasonic Lumix SZ10 Performance

The performance section is where we look at the image quality performance of the camera. Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.

Panasonic Lumix SZ10 Sample Photos

Panasonic Lumix SZ10 Lens test images

Camera Performance - The camera has reliable exposure, and good colour reproduction, giving pleasing images. Photos taken with flash show little red-eye, however, the flash is quite weak and doesn't cope very well with subjects over a metre away, and as a result, the ISO setting is increased by the camera, which results in an image with more noise. Dynamic range is reasonable, although appears worse on the rear screen when shooting than it does when you view the images later on another device. Using the iExposure option can help improve results.

Images show reasonable levels of detail, particularly in the centre of the frame, although detail does become softer towards the corners of the frame, and there is some vignetting (dark corners) visible in wide-angle shots with clear skies. The lens is fairly resistant to flare, and purple fringing is also fairly well controlled. The camera has a close focusing distance so good macro photography is possible. 

Panasonic Lumix SZ10 ISO test images

ISO Noise Performance - The SZ10 produces good results when shooting at ISO settings between ISO100 and ISO400. In low light the higher ISO setting of ISO800 may still produce usable results if sharing on the web. Above this results are poor, and higher ISO settings should be avoided. ISO1600 - ISO6400 is available in high sensitivity mode, at a reduced resolution.

Panasonic Lumix SZ10 White-balance test images

White Balance Performance - Auto White Balance (AWB) performs well in a variety of lighting conditions, and there are a number of presets available if needed (although no fluorescent preset), along with manual white balance for tricky situations, however for the most part the camera produces good results on auto settings. 

Panasonic Lumix SZ10 Digital filters

Digital Filters - There are a number of creative effects available, and examples can be seen above. HDR shooting is available, although this is at a reduced resolution of 3 megapixels. The camera has an automatic panoramic mode however, it produces such a low-resolution image it's barely worth using.

Video - The camera records 720p video with mono sound, and optical zoom is available. Results are reasonable, but nothing special when compared to other cameras that can record full HD video.

Value For Money

The Panasonic Lumix SZ10 is available for around £109 which makes it reasonable value for money, although alternatives are available with fullHD video and quicker continuous shooting, including the Sony Cyber-shot WX220 (£109), Nikon Coolpix S7000 (£129), and Canon IXUS 275 HS (£119). An alternative available with a selfie screen is the Panasonic Lumix TZ57 (£159).

Have a look at more pocket zoom cameras in our Top 10 Best Travel Zoom Cameras 2015, or for more budget options, have a look at our Top 10 Best Budget Compact Cameras. You'll also need to buy a memory card and a case or bag to keep your camera safe and protected - have a look at our complete guide to camera bags.

Panasonic Lumix SZ10 Verdict

The Panasonic Lumix SZ10 is a compact and fairly stylish point and shoot camera with a good zoom range, thanks to a 12x optical zoom lens. The tilting screen and built in Wi-Fi will be appealing to many however, the use of a CCD sensor means that the camera is not as quick as competitors that all use a CMOS sensor. This also means that the SZ10 only offers 720p video, whilst others offer full HD video. If the price of the SZ10 was noticeably lower than the competition, then this might be something you could live with, however, as the price is the same, you've got to be very keen on the tilting selfie screen for this camera to be your first choice. The panoramic mode is also pretty disappointing, producing very low-resolution images.

Images from the SZ10 are reasonably good, with decent colour and exposure, and there are a number of creative effects available. If you simply must have a selfie-screen, then the SZ10 is one of the cheapest cameras available with this feature. If you've got more money to spend then the TZ57 is definitely worth looking at, priced at £159, and also features a selfie screen.

Panasonic Lumix SZ10 Pros

12x optical zoom lens
Creative effects
Easy to use
Wi-Fi connectivity
Compact and lightweight

Panasonic Lumix SZ10 Cons

Non-standard USB cable for charging (not MicroUSB)
Very low-resolution panoramic photos
720p video recording
Slow continuous shooting 

FEATURES  
HANDLING  
PERFORMANCE  
VALUE FOR MONEY  
VERDICT  

 

Panasonic Lumix SZ10 Specifications

ManufacturerPanasonic
Lens
Max Aperturef/3.1 - f/6.3
35mm equivalent24mm - 288mm
Optical Zoom12x
Image Sensor
Pixels16Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)4608
Pixels (H)3456
Sensor TypeCCD
Sensor Size1/2.33
Sensor Size (width)No Data
Sensor Size (height)No Data
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
  • 16:9
  • 1:1
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor2.7in
Screen resolution460k
Touch ScreenNo Data
Focusing
Min Focus3cm
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • Face Detection
  • Multi
  • Centre
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/2000sec
Shutter speeds longest60sec
Bulb modeNo Data
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Scene modes
Metering
    ISO sensitivity100 - 6400
    White balance
    • Auto
    • Manual
    • Outdoors/Daylight
    • Cloudy
    • Incandescent
    • Shade
    Exposure Comp+/-2
    Shooting Options
    Continuous shooting1.4fps
    Video
    Movie modeYes
    Video Resolution
    • 1280x720 HD 720p
    Video FPS30fps
    Stereo SoundNo
    Optical Zoom with VideoYes
    Other Features
    Image StabilisationYes
    Interface
    HDMINo
    USBUSB 2
    Wi-FiYes
    Storage
    Card Type
    • SD
    • SDHC
    • SDXC
    File Type
    • JPG
    Power Source
    Battery TypeLi-ion Battery Pack (3.6V, 690mAh, 2.5 Wh)
    Battery Life (CIPA rating)200shots
    Box Contents
    Box ContentsNo Data
    Dimensions
    Weight163g
    Width99mm
    Height59.9mm
    Depth29.8mm

    View Full Product Details

    Join ePHOTOzine and remove these ads.

    Explore More

    Photographs taken using the Panasonic Lumix SZ10

    Abandoned

    There are no comments here! Be the first!


    Sign In

    You must be a member to leave a comment.

    ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

    Join For Free

    Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.