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Panasonic Lumix L1
Nic Rossmüller : July 1st 2006 - 09:31 CET
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PanasonicPanasonic Lumix L1 : Panasonic, the leading brand for which Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. is well known, begins sales of its first digital single-lens reflex (SLR) camera with interchangeable lens, the DMC-L1, on 22nd July, 2006 in Japan. In developing the DMC-L1, Panasonic's aim was to create a digital SLR camera that delivers superb photographic rendering capabilities and is a pleasure to use. The DMC-L1 comes equipped with a Leica D Vario Elmarit lens, the first Leica lens designed specifically for a digital SLR camera and equipped with MEGA O.I.S. The DMC-L1 also incorporates a Live MOS image sensor that conforms to the Four Thirds standard and offers 7.5 megapixels to ensure outstanding picture quality.
Panasonic Lumix L1Panasonic Lumix L1 - Dust reduction
The new camera also introduces a full-time Live View function that, using a signal output directly from the Live MOS sensor, lets users see on the LCD screen the same image seen by the sensor. With full-time Live View and the DMC-L1's large LCD screen, users can compose shots in new ways and with greater ease and accuracy. The DMC-L1 also features a dust reduction system that solves the digital SLR camera's long-standing problem of dust adhering to the sensor. In the new DMC-L1, Panasonic has incorporated today's most advanced digital technologies while maintaining the attractive look and operating feel of the familiar film camera.

Panasonic Lumix DMC L1 - Leica D Vario Elmarit 14-50mm lens
A shutter speed dial on the camera top together with an aperture ring on the Leica D Vario Elmarit 14-50mm/F2.8-3.5 lens give the user easy, intuitive control of the exposure. The magnesium-alloy body, which in design closely resembles the body of a rangefinder camera from days past, combines with the aluminium-alloy lens section to offer both high rigidity and a high-grade appearance. With the DMC-L1, Panasonic has created a digital SLR camera that is a pleasure to use and can render photographs of exquisite beauty. Advanced photographers and hobbyists alike will find the DMC-L1 to be an extremely satisfying tool capable of capturing expressive, artistic images.

Panasonic Lumix L1 digital SLR - Four Thirds standard
Aiming to create a next-generation digital alternative to the conventional film camera, Panasonic has focused on developing digital cameras that deliver beautiful photographs - clear, detailed, richly expressive images free of unwanted digital characteristics - plus easy, satisfying, intuitive shooting. The DMC-L1 lens mount system conforms with the Four Thirds standard. While the DMC-L1 offers the many advantages of an advanced digital camera, it also has the familiar, analogue-like operating feel of a fine film camera. This combination of superb image rendering, exceptional ease of use, and satisfying operating feel sets the DMC-L1 apart from all other digital SLR cameras.

Panasonic DMC L1 - Lens manufacturers
The DMC-L1's lens mount system adopts the open format of the Four Thirds system, developed as a common standard for digital cameras. The Live MOS sensor it incorporates is a 4/3-type image sensor. This means that the DMC-L1 can be used with lenses made by a variety of manufacturers, giving users a host of equipment options. In the Four Thirds system, the lens diameter is larger than the image circle, making it possible to design the lens so that the light passes on a straight path to the image sensor. As a result, lenses for digital cameras can be created in a size smaller than those that complied with 35mm film SLR camera standards, meeting the needs of today's digital age.

Panasonic Lumix DMC L1 DSLR - Performance
The DMC-L1 design reflects Panasonic's diligent pursuit of more than just high functionality. A shutter speed dial on the camera top enhances the user's sense of control. An aperture ring, along with a focus ring and zoom ring, is provided on the Leica D Vario Elmarit 14-50mm/F2.8 ASPH lens. These rings and the shutter dial combine to give the user quick, intuitive camera control for comfortable shooting in a range of situations. With the DMC-L1, users experience the responsive, satisfying performance that one would expect in a finely crafted camera. The DMC-L1 also offers a high-grade appearance and high reliability and durability thanks to use of a lightweight, high-rigidity magnesium alloy for the camera body. The body periphery and grip are covered with a textured, simulated leather that helps ensure a secure, slip-free hold.

Leica D Vario Elmarit - Macro photographie
The Leica D Vario Elmarit lens, the first interchangeable lens designed specifically for digital cameras to bear the Leica brand name, is a standard zoom lens developed jointly by and combining the optical technologies of Leica Camera AG and Panasonic. A new set of quality standards were created specifically for this lens, to ensure that it would bring out the best performance of the camera it is coupled with. With a focal length range equivalent to 28mm (wide) to 100mm (medium telescopic) on a 35mm film camera, the Leica D lens provides exceptional results with everything from portraits to landscapes. This bright F2.8-3.5 lens allows maximum use of the out-of-focus techniques possible only with an SLR camera. The lens also provides outstanding macro shooting, thanks to a 29 cm minimum shooting distance (0.32x maximum magnification, 35mm equivalent) across the entire zoom range. From landscapes to portraits to macro close-ups, the Leica D zoom lens excels in a wide variety of shooting situations.

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 - Gyrosensors
Thanks to the gyrosensors and Venus Engine Plus LSI built into the lens, the system detects camera movement at a rate of 4,000 times per second, so hand-shake compensation is extremely precise. There are two image stabilisation modes. In Mode 1 the hand-shake compensation function remains active at all times, so the image in the LCD and viewfinder is clear, which makes shots easier to compose. In Mode 2 the system activates only when the shutter button is pressed; this provides a more precise compensation performance. Users can select whichever mode they prefer in a specific situation.

Panasonic Lumix L1 - Live view
Panasonic has developed a full-time Live View function that lets users accurately compose photos while viewing the high-resolution 2.5" LCD screen. In previous digital SLR cameras, a "live" image could be seen only through the viewfinder. The new full-time Live View function thus represents a dramatic change in digital SLR photography, giving users new ways to shoot. Full-time Live View provides a 100 percent view field coverage (that is, the same image seen by the image sensor) on the DMC-L1's large, 2.5" LCD monitor. Users can compose a shot easily and accurately while viewing the screen.

Panasonic Lumix L1 SLR - Live MOS image sensor
The screen also displays critical information such as a live histogram and white balance, which users can easily check prior to snapping the shot. When a tripod is used, full-time Live View lets users compose the image without bending to peer through the viewfinder. In these ways, users will find that full-time Live View gives them both more shooting flexibility and greater convenience. The Live MOS image sensor must remain ON when full-time Live View is in use. The Live MOS sensor has a full-time image output function that sends a signal directly to the LCD, allowing high-quality display on the LCD screen of the same image seen in the sensor. Note that when the full-time Live View function is active, the internal mirror is in the raised position, which means that there will be no image visible in the optical viewfinder.

Panasonic Lumix L1

Panasonic L1 DSLR - 2.5 Inch LCD screen
Users can take advantage of the revolutionary full-time Live View function in both Auto Focus and Manual Focus modes. When using Manual Focus, users can select a particular area within the frame and enlarge it up to 10x. Then, viewing the DMC-L1's 2.5" 207,000-pixel LCD screen, it is easy to check the focus. It is also possible, by pressing the aperture preview button, to check the depth of field. When the aperture is being adjusted, the DMC-L1 automatically adjusts the brightness of the full-time Live View image on the LCD screen to prevent it from becoming too dark to see. This makes it easier to check the depth of field.

Panasonic Lumix DMC L1 digital SLR - Live MOS sensor
The Live MOS sensor used in the DMC-L1 provides the beautiful images with delicate gradation and wide dynamic range that only a CCD image sensor can provide. To this it adds the low energy consumption only a CMOS sensor can offer. The use of dedicated processing technology enables operation at a low voltage of 5 V, minimising noise in darker parts of an image. Also, photodiodes embedded deeply in the silicon layer create a structure that suppresses noise generated on the substrate surface. As a result, the white-spot pixel defects and textural roughness that often characterise images captured in dim lighting are minimised, so photos are crisp and clear.

Panasonic Lumix L1 digital camera - Supersonic Wave Filter
One of the most critical issues with digital SLR cameras with interchangeable lenses is the possibility of dust entering the camera body during lens changes. This dust can adhere to the image sensor and show up as spots on photos taken. Panasonic has solved this problem by equipping the DMC-L1 with a Supersonic Wave Filter system that uses supersonic vibration to shake off any dust clinging to the sensor. This simplifies camera maintenance and eliminates worries about dust entering the camera body when lenses are being changed outdoors, so users can enjoy themselves and just concentrate on shooting.

Panasonic Lumix DMC L1 D-SLR - Venus Engine 3
The Venus Engine III is an image processing LSI developed by Panasonic to maximise the performance of the Leica D lens and Live MOS sensor. This advanced LSI not only helps reproduce images with outstanding resolution, superior colour and detailed gradation, it also distinguishes chromatic noise from luminance noise and selectively reduces the chromatic noise, one of the chief sources of image quality problem. This helps the DMC-L1 deliver the superb image rendering one expects from a quality SLR camera. The Venus Engine III also works swiftly, helping give the DMC-L1 a quick startup time of 0.8 second, shorter shutter interval, and improved consecutive shooting performance. Further, the Venus Engine III consumes 20% less power than its predecessor, the Venus Engine II. This combines with the Live MOS sensor's low energy consumption to give the DMC-L1 longer battery life. Users can take around 450 shots (CIPA standard) on a single battery charge.

Panasonic DMC L1 DSLR - Film mode
In film cameras, the brand of film used affects the colour characteristics, gradation and colour saturation of the photos taken. This gives photographers the option of choosing a particular brand of film to attain a particular desired effect. The DMC-L1 provides a similar option by giving the user a total of seven "film" modes to choose from, including four colour settings (Standard, Dynamic, Natural and Smooth) and three monochrome settings (Standard, Dynamic and Smooth). Just as photographers can switch film brands to change the imaging characteristics, DMC-L1 users can switch modes to achieve a similar effect. In addition to the conventional white balance setting, the DMC-L1 features a two-axis setting system that allows even finer white balance adjustment. Making adjustments along a horizontal amber-blue axis and a vertical green-magenta axis, users can set the camera for detailed colour cast compensation over virtually the entire colour space.

Panasonic Lumix L1 SLR - 7.5 Megapixel sensor
When the camera is set to record at less than the maximum number of pixels, users can take advantage of an Extra Optical Zoom function. This function alters the 7.5-megapixel Live MOS sensor's operating area, to vary the angle of view and increase the maximum zoom ratio. Unlike a digital zoom, the Extra Optical Zoom function extends the focal length 1.5 times (when shooting at 3-megapixel or a lower-resolution mode) without degrading the image. Users enjoy extra zoom power without loss of picture quality.

Panasonic Lumix L1 - Accessories
• Panasonic DMW-BAL1 Leather Bag
• Panasonic DMW-SSTL1 Shoulder Strap
• Panasonic CGR-S603 Battery Pack
• Panasonic DMW-RSL1 Remote Shutter
• Panasonic DMW-LMCH72 Remote Shutter
• Panasonic DMW-LPL72 PL Filter
• Panasonic DMW-FL500 External Flash (GN50)
• Panasonic DMW-FL360 External Flash (GN36)

About Panasonic
Panasonic's vision of the digital future is driven by the needs and aspirations of our business customers and millions of consumers around the world who use our products every day. We share their dream to live a fuller life by providing ways of working smarter and enjoying the rewards of technological advances. As we move forward together with our customers into the uncharted future of the 21st century with the prospect of future technologies and systems yet to be thought of, Panasonic's standards are still firmly grounded in the philosophy of company founder Konosuke Matsushita. He began our journey in 1918 by inventing a two-socket light fixture. Profound in its import yet elegantly simple, Konosuke Matsushita's breakthrough led to what is now one of the world's largest electronics companies. As he built Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd., he never lost sight of the importance of putting the needs of his customers and the public first.

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