Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS10


The Lumix DMC-ZS10 is one of the first Panasonic point-and-shoots to offer a 3D shooting mode, though this capability is limited to still images. It works a lot like the 3D mode that Sony's single-lens 3D-capable cameras use: You set the camera's mode dial to '3D' and pan the camera from side to side; the camera takes a series of photos that it automatically stitches together into an .MPO image. To view the image in 3D, you must play the photo back on a 3D-capable TV set or monitor. Unlike the and the , the DMC-ZS10 doesn't provide a glasses-free display.

We hooked up the Lumix DMC-ZS10 via an HDMI cable to the 3D-capable for some informal testing of its 3D imaging capabilities, and the camera generally did a good job of showcasing a 3D effect in images that featured layers reaching far back into the scene. There is a bit of a "cardboard cutout" effect between layers at different depths in the scene, and you'll need to use the camera's own 3D playback menu selection to get the best results when playing 3D images back on a TV set. As in 2D mode, the camera in 3D mode does a much better job in well-lit, outdoor situations than in dimly-lit environments. And because the 3D images are captured at a reduced resolution, you see a bit of graininess and visual noise in full-screen 3D shots. The Lumix DMC-ZS10's 3D output amounts to an extra, enticing feature rather than the primary reason to choose this camera.

Setting the Lumix DMC-ZS10's mode dial to the 'SCN' position brings up a menu of 30 scene modes. Though they look like smallish touch-icons, you have to use the camera's physical navigation pad to select them. Along with such common scene modes as Portrait, Sports, Sunset, and Panorama Assist, you'll find a few unique ones. Handheld Night Shot is similar to Sony's Handheld Twilight mode, in that it takes several shots in rapid succession at different exposure settings and then merges them to create a crisp low-light shot without the flash. The unit's High Dynamic Range mode automatically compiles HDR shots in-camera; Flash Burst mode quickly recycles the flash for continuous shooting at about a frame per second; and the high-speed movie mode captures super-slow-motion YouTube clips.

Another unique setting is Happy mode, which boosts color vibrancy to near-neon levels. The mode provides a quick antidote to the camera's underexposed shots in Auto mode--but it will satisfy you only if you're a huge fan of oversaturation and unrealistically bright colors.