Summary: As it offers a significantly different feature set from most other DSLRs, the L1 is worth considering particularly if you are new to automated cameras, maybe coming from older analogue models, or if you're enough of a traditionalist to miss the operation of those cameras.
Excerpt: Using this camera is similar to using a film camera: the zoom and aperture rings on the available Leica lenses plus the mode dial and manual focus. Also, since there are no scene modes, i highly recommend that you only buy this camera if you are more than a newby hobbyist (advanced amateur to professional photographer). An interesting fact is that Panasonic L1 a similar design to Olympus EVOLT E-330 but will offer MEGA O.I.S.
Excerpt: It's not easy being the new kid on the block, but it helps to have friends who are well known in the neighborhood. Take Panasonic, new to digital SLRs, and veterans Olympus and Leica. With their help, Panasonic hopes its new 7.5MP Lumix DMC-L1 DSLR ($1,900, street, with lens) will stand tall against the big guys. But does this new camera have what it takes?
Conclusion: The DMC-L1 is Panasonic's first foray into the highly competitive digital SLR market. As such I think they should be pretty happy with the result. From an image quality point of view they've taken a surprisingly mature and conservative approach delivering clean images with natural color and tone response which aren't over-sharpened or over-processed.
Pros: Excellent control layout; proper shutter speed and aperture dials, Very fast access to aperture and shutter priority modes, Very good build quality; magnesium alloy frame, Supersonic Wave Filter ensures no dust on sensor, Metering available in viewfinder and live view modes, Good dynamic range, very similar to Canon EOS 30D, Natural color and tone response, not over saturated or over contrasty, Adjustable noise reduction level (although default is 'zero'), Very good a...
Cons: Small and dark viewfinder view (difficult to see fine detail, difficult to check focus), Auto-focus in live view requires display freeze and mirror flip down / up, Image processing algorithm not 'crisp' in appearance (although artifact free), Live view becomes dark in low light / DOF preview (doesn't adjust gain), Shutter release delay in live view, Image parameter adjustments don't offer enough latitude of change, Auto focus provides just three focus points, although...
Excerpt: The Lumix DMC-L1 marks Panasonic's entry into the crowded midrange digital SLR market. Co-developed with Olympus (whose E-330 is quite similar), the DMC-L1 packs a 7.5 Megapixel LiveMOS sensor, a FourThirds lens mount, a 2.5" LCD display with live view, full manual controls, dust reduction system, and a Leica-style body that's literally built like a brick. Unlike the E-330, there's only one live view mode on the DMC-L1, since there's no secondary CCD near the viewfinder.
Pros: Very good photo quality, especially if you shoot RAW, Excellent Leica kit lens with optical image stabilization, Built like a tank, Robust performance in most areas, Live view on sharp 2.5" LCD (but see issues below), Handy MF assist feature when using live view, Full manual controls, Cool pop-up flash can be angled upwards for "bouncing", Dust reduction system, Two custom buttons on top of camera, Decent software included to work with RAW images, USB 2.0 High Speed s...
Cons: Very expensive for what you get, Bulky, clumsy body has too many buttons and dials; some switches, very, poorly placed, Noisier than other D-SLRs at high ISOs, JPEG image processing isn't the best; you'll get much better results shooting RAW, Live view slows focusing times, drains battery; nearly impossible to see anything in low light, Dark, narrow optical viewfinder, Slow low light focusing; only three focus points, RAW files are twice as large as cameras with simil...
Conclusion: Panasonic Lumix DMC L1 digital reflexcamera Panasonic show they are realistic. They know they will not instantly become a market leader. After all, the market will need to get used to them, and Panasonic will in turn have to learn a thing or two about this "new market". This strategy of building things up slowly and unhurriedly is something I can certainly appreciate. It indicates Panasonic intend to take things seriously, and are keen to go for the long-term run.
Excerpt: , Lumix DMC-L1 bodies provided by Panasonic for our use had just been updated with final production-ready firmware.
This picture of a candle, taken at dusk, was deliberately under-exposed by two-thirds of a stop to help the metering system compensate for the dark background. Shutter: 1/30th, f/5, ISO 100
Here is a shot taken with the Leica Vario Elmarit at its longest (50mm, or 100mm equivalent) zoom setting.
Summary: Panasonic’s Lumix L1 is arguably the most unique digital SLR on sale today. It may share many aspects with the Olympus E330 which provide the Live View, anti-dust system, and allow a flat upper surface, but Panasonic’s gone several steps further by adding a superb lens with optical stabilisation and equipping the L1 with a set of analogue controls which go beyond retro nostalgia to deliver genuine enhancements in usability.
Pros: Superb Leica kit lens with stabilisation, Effective anti-dust feature, Useful Live View facility, Quick and easy analogue controls
Cons: Relatively small and dim viewfinder, Out-resolved by 10 Mpixel DSLRs, Higher noise at 1600 ISO than most DSLRs, Live View slow and of limited appeal