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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

Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1
Mouseover for back view

Photoxels Editor's Choice 2006

Category: Advanced Amateur - Prosumer

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1 is Panasonic's first ever digital SLR. Responding to fans' requests for an interchangeable lens digital camera, Panasonic embarked on the design of the L1. One of the earliest decision made was to use the Four-Thirds System mount open standard.

Another decision was to partner with Olympus (the originator of the 4/3 Systems standard) to build the camera. Their partnership resulted in the Olympus EVOLT E-330, the world's first digital SLR to offer Live viewing through the LCD. The Panasonic L1 will also be housed in the same body but will offer MEGA O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilization) in addition to Olympus' dust reduction feature.

While the LCD monitor on the Olympus E-330 has swivel capability, Panasonic designers have opted for a non-swivelling one on the L1.

Panasonic L1 Top View

The lens that will come standard with the Panasonic L1 will be made by Leica: a 14-50mm 3.6x optical zoom Leica D Vario Elmarit F2.8(W)-F3.5(T).

Besides the Leica lens that will be offered with the camera, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1 is also compatible with the extensive line of Olympus' quality Zuiko Digital Specific Lenses™ that have been specially designed for optimum results using the Four Thirds System (4/3-System) standard.

April 13, 2007 - New firmware adds the following improvements:

  1. Added a multiple exposure function.
  2. Added panning mode [MODE3] to the optical image stabilizer.
  3. Added a low-angle viewing mode that makes it easier to view the LCD display when the camera is held below eye level.
  4. Added feature that simplifies setting the aperture when using a lens without an aperture ring.
  5. Added two manual white balance settings to GUI. GUI design uses navigational cursor to easily select, and set, white balance (WB) to change the colour temperature, or set the ISO sensitivity or flash. Time restriction for making changes was removed.
  6. Added "HOLD" option to Auto Review time, enabling continuous viewing.
  7. Added feature to allow zoomed playback of photos. It's now possible to move back to the preceding images or forward to the next images while the image is still zoomed.
  8. Added [AUTO] for the ISO sensitivity in the aperture-priority AE mode [A] and shutter speed-priority AE mode [S].
  9. Added GUI option to easily check the firmware version.

The new DMC-L1K firmware is now available at http://panasonic.jp/support/global/cs/dsc/download/L1K/

View the Leica version: Leica Digilux 3 DSLR

Read our Panasonic L1 review...
REVIEWS ON THE WEB
Panasonic L1 dSLR
QuickFact™ Sheet
  Panasonic L1US | CAN | UK | Lumix Site  
  KEY FEATURES    
  Camera Type Interchangeable Lens Digital SLR Camera  
  Camera Effective Pixels 7.5 Megapixels  
  Image Sensor 17.3 x 13mm (Live MOS Sensor)  
  Extra Optical Zoom Max 1.5x (with live view only)
(Not effective with full pixel recording. Magnification ratio depends on the recording pixels.)
 
  Digital Zoom (*1) 2x
4x (live view only)
 
  Focal Length f=14mm to 50mm (35mm equivalent: 28 to 100mm)  
  Leica DC Vario Lens 16 elements in 12 groups (2 Aspherical lenses)  
  Aperture Type 7 diaphragm blades / iris diaphragm  
  Aperture Range F2.8 (Wide) - F3.5 (Tele)
Mininum: F22
 
  Optical Image Stabilizer MEGA O.I.S. (Mode 1 / Mode 2 )  
  PERFORMANCE FEATURES    
  Focusing Area 0.29m at all focal lengths  
  Focus Type: TTL Phase Difference Detection System
Modes: AFS / AFC / MF
 
  AF Assist Lamp Yes  
  ISO Sensitivity Auto / 100 / 200 / 400 / 800 / 1600  
  White Balance Auto / Daylight / Cloudy / Shade /
Halogen / Flash / White Set 1,2 /
Color Temperature Setting
 
  White Balance Adjustment Blue/Amber Bias
Magenta/Green Bias
 
  Color Temperature Setting 2500k to 10,000K in 31 steps  
  Exposure Program AE
Aperture Priority AE
Shutter Priority AE
Manual
 
  Exposure Compensation 1/3 EV Step, ± 2 EV  
  Auto Bracketing (AE) 1/3 ~ 1EV Step +2EV, 3 or 5 Frames  
  Light Metering TTL Full Aperture Light Metering by
49 Zone Multi-Pattern Sensing System (optical viewfinder)
256 Zone Multi-Pattern Sensing System (Live View Mode)
 
  Metering Range 0 - 20EV with optical viewfinder
0 -1 6EV with Live View Mode (with F2.0 lens, ISO 100)
 
  Shutter Speed 1/4000 ~ 60 and bulb (up to approximately 8 minutes)  
  Self Timer 10 seconds / 2 seconds  
  Recording Format JPEG (Design rule for camera file system based on Exif 2.21 standard)
DPOF corresponding
RAW
 
  Recording Image Size (Pixels)    
  4:3 Aspect Ratio (Still Image) 3136 x 2352
2560 x 1920
2048 x 1536
 
  3:2 Aspect Ratio (Still Image) 3136 x 2080
2560 x 1712
2048 x 1360
 
  16:9 Aspect Ratio (Still Image) 3136 x 1760
1920 x 1080
 
  CONVENIENCE FEATURES    
  Burst Shooting Mode Up to 6 images (when there are RAW files) at 3 or 2 frames/sec.  
  Unlimited Consecutive Shooting (*2) Yes (when there are no RAW files)  
  STANDARD FEATURES    
  Built-in Flash Mode Auto, Auto/Red-eye Reduction, Forced On/Red-eye Reduction, Slow Sync., Slow Sync./Red-eye Reduction, Forced On/Off  
  External Flash Hot Shoe  
  Viewfinder Optical Viewfinder (Eye-level Porro Mirror)
Field of view: approx. 95%
Magnification: approx. 0.93x
Detachable Eyepiece Shutter
 
  LCD Monitor 2.5" Diagonal Polycrystaline TFT LCD (207k pixels)
Field of view: approx. 100% in Live View Mode
 
  Playback Mode Single / 9, 25-thumbnail display, Calendar display, Zoomed playback (16x max), image rotation (except for Raw), Slide Show, Favorite Pictures, Resizing, Trimming, Protection, Aspect Conversion, DPOF Print Setting  
  OSD Language English, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese (Traditional), German, Italian, French  
  Recording Media SD Memory Card
SDHC Memory Card
Multimedia Card
 
  Interface Digital: USB 2.0 (High Speed)
Analog Video: NTSC/PAL Composite (switched by menu)
 
  Direct Print PictBridge  
  Power Supply Lithium-ion Battery Pack (7.2V, 1500mAh) (Included)
Battery Charger/AC Adaptor (Input: 110-240V AC) (Included)
 
  Battery Life (*3) Up to 450 pictures
(CIPA Standard with Leica D Elmarit12-50mm/F2.8-3.5 ASPH)
 
  SOFTWARE  
  USB Driver Yes  
  Lumix® Simple Viewer Yes  
  Photo Fun Studio Yes  
  SILKYPIX® Developer Studio Yes  
  ACCESSORIES [ System Chart ]  
  Battery Charger Yes  
  Battery Pack Yes  
  AC Adaptor Yes  
  Lens Cap Yes  
  Lens Hood & Adaptor Yes  
  Lens Rear Cap Yes  
  Lens Storage Bag Yes  
  Eyepiece Cap Yes  
  Body Cap Yes  
  Cables AC, DC, USB & Video  
  Strap Yes  
  Dimensions (W x H x D) 145.8 x 86.9 x 80 mm /
5.74'' x 3.42'' x 3.15''
 
  Weight (Camera Body Only) approx. 530 g /
1.17 lbs
 
  MSRP (with LEICA D VARIO-ELMARIT 14-50mm/F2.8-3.5 lens) US $1,999 / CDN $2,399  

All capacity figures are approximate.

*1 As digital magnification increases, resolution significantly decreases.
*2 Number of shots may vary depending on memory card size, battery power, picture size, and compression. The consecutive shooting speed varies depending on the memory card or the built-in memory.
*3 Shooting conditions: 73.4°F with 50% humidity;LCD On; Using the included SD Memory Card; Starting to shoot 30 seconds after turning on the power; Shooting once every 30 seconds with the flash in full operation for every other shot; Changing the zoom setting from telephoto to wide, or wide to telephoto, for each shot; Temporarily turning the power off after each 10 shots (long enough to lower the battery temperature. For DMC-LC1: Shooting once every 30 seconds, flash in operation for every shot, 77°F(25°C) ambient temperature.


Product technical specifications (including MSRP and Included Accessories) are as represented by the manufacturer and subject to manufacturer's change without any notice or obligation on the part of the manufacturer. Product color availability and included accessories may also differ by country or area. Please verify the latest specs from the appropriate manufacturer's site.

Before you buy, do your homework and verify a seller's reputation. One source you may want to check with is Resellerratings.com. And remember, if a price seems to good to be true, it probably is.

DISCLAIMER:

Though we make every effort to strive for accuracy in reproducing these specs, we do occasionally make mistakes, so verify with the manufacturer's site for the latest specs. Also, in the early stages of a product introduction, you can almost guarantee there will be some errors from the manufacturers themselves as they update their sites. If you see any mistakes, please contact us. We do appreciate your writing in with the corrections and thank you in advance!

Panasonic L1

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