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You are hereHome > Best Digital Cameras > Panasonic L1 digital SLR

Panasonic Digital Cameras


Panasonic L1 digital SLR Review

Review Date: Aug 7, 2006

Category: Advanced Amateur - Prosumer

Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1

Photoxels Editor's Choice 2006

Executive Summary

This Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1 Review is based on a production model. All sample images are unretouched, except where specified.

This review has been submitted to DIWA Awards [Total: 80%].


Panasonic did not cut any corners when it introduced the Lumix DMC-L1, its first digital SLR. With an elegant body design reminiscent of the rangefinder cameras, the Panasonic L1 succeeds in re-introducing analogue-type controls that work flawlessly: a Shutter Speed Dial on the top of the camera and an Aperture Ring on the new made-specifically-for-digital LEICA lens work together to set exposure control and select shooting modes intuitively.

Besides the superb analogue handling, the Panasonic L1 also features a couple of practical digital improvements in its dSLR not found on other dSLRs (except the Olympus EVOLT E-330 with which it shares the optical subsystem and a number of other goodies):

  • a Dust Reduction System that removes dust from the image sensor every time the camera is turned ON (also in the new Sony Alpha DSLR-A100 which does so when the camera is turned OFF);
  • a Live View LCD with 100% frame coverage that allows precise framing, horizontal and vertical levelling, live histogram, flashing highlights, and depth of field preview;
  • built-in bounce flash.

When it comes to the lens included with the camera [body only not available], the LEICA D VARIO-ELMARIT 14-50mm/F2.8-3.5 ASPH. lens surpasses those offered as kit lenses on other dSLRs. With a 35mm-equivalent focal length of 28-100mm, the excellent Leica lens covers wide-angle to medium telephoto, and also features analogue-like controls for easy and intuitive operation: an Aperture Ring, a Zoom Ring and a Manual Focus Ring. It is also the first Leica lens with optical image stabilization that compensates for hand-shake to help prevent blurring.

The Panasonic L1 is truly a photographer's camera: it is full-featured and there are no scene modes -- and so the photographer needs to have a good understanding of how to adjust the exposure in various tricky lighting situations.

The new Live MOS image sensor produces excellent image quality with low noise from ISO 100 to 800.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1 will appeal to pros and amateur photographers desiring a digital camera with superb analogue-like handling, Live View LCD, Dust Reduction System and excellent image quality.

See if you fit the Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1 User Profile below:

Panasonic L1
User Profile
Desire a quality 7.5 MP resolution digital SLR camera with excellent professional image quality.
Want analogue style controls: shutter speed dial, aperture ring, zoom ring, manual focus ring.
Considers a LCD with Live View a welcomed bonus.
Want fast response times with virtually no shutter lag (when using viewfinder).
Want fast and precise auto and manual focus.
Want a full-featured digital camera with many pro features.
Want interchangeable lenses.
Want ability to add on optional accessories, including powerful external flash.
Want auto-clean image sensor.


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