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Mark Peters : December 20th 2006 - 12:00 CET

Panasonic Lumix DMC L1 review


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PanasonicPanasonic Lumix DMC L1 review : Panasonic have been making digital compact cameras for years. Remarkable features include MEGA O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilisation) and lenses that sport the Leica name. However, it seems that Panasonic are eager for more. The Japanese brand wants to be regarded as a full-fledged camera manufacturer. To achieve this, they need a DSLR, which is still considered the showpiece in the world of photography. Panasonic decided to join forces with Olympus. Olympus possess many years of SLR experience, whilst Panasonic know more than a thing or two about electronics. The result of this cooperation is the Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1. An interesting camera, which clearly shows Panasonic intend to take things seriously.
Panasonic Lumix DMC L1 reviewPanasonic Lumix DMC-L1 - Live View
One of the remarkable features of the Panasonic L1 is of course Live View, which we have already seen on the Olympus E-330 digital SLR. Both cameras use the LiveMOS designed by Panasonic. Live View enables you to capture your images via the LCD screen instead of through the viewfinder. This certainly has its advantages, especially if you are a keen macro photographer. The Live View can be used both with and without auto focus. Contrary to the Olympus camera, however, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1 features only one Live View mode, and lacks the adjustable screen. The LiveMOS sensor offers a total of 7.5 million pixels. A very decent number, although it may seem somewhat outdated from a psychological point of view, especially considering the ongoing "pixel war". Don't let this distract you, however, because pixel quality far outweighs the actual number. The sensor is based on CMOS technology, which is becoming an increasingly common feature in cameras. A major advantage of this is the lower power consumption.

Panasonic L1 digital SLR - Optical Image Stabilizer
The lens system comprises 16 elements in 12 groups and features two large-diameter glass-molded aspherical lenses. Meeting the Leica D lens lofty quality standards, this lens unit provides a superior optical performance and matches perfectly with the digital SLR camera body. The result is exquisite rendering, with images that offer clarity, depth, and rich expression from corner to corner, even at a fully open aperture. The optical image stabilisation system - MEGA O.I.S - provided in the lens unit helps minimise blurring to ensure that photos are sharp even in situations when hand-shake is typically a problem, such as when taking macro close-ups, indoor shots, or night portrait shots.

Panasonic Lumix DMC L1

Panasonic L1 DSLR - SuperSonic Wave Filter
One of the main obstacles that users of DSLR cameras encounter is the presence of dust on the sensor, which causes annoying black spots in the photo. More and more manufacturers are developing systems to deal with this irksome issue. Panasonic apply a vibrating filter in front of the sensor. This SuperSonic Wave Filter literally shakes the dust from the sensor. The dust is then caught by a form of adhesive strip located below, which ensures it will no longer be roaming free inside the camera. This system is in fact identical to that of Olympus, which doesn't come as a surprise, considering their close cooperation. And why break your brain over something that has already been invented?

Panasonic DMC L1 SLR camera review
The Panasonic Lumix L1 is a very interesting camera indeed, especially as it clearly indicates the path Panasonic intend to take. Moreover, it is only the first DSLR by the brand, and we will undoubtedly see more in the future. We received a so-called full-production model to test extensively over a considerable period of time. Our findings of this remarkable camera can be read in the following Panasonic Lumix L1 review.





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