Panasonic DMC-L1 Photos

February 28, 2006 | Mark Goldstein | Digital SLR Cameras, PMA Show 2006 | 41 Comments | |

Panasonic DMC-L1PMA 2006: Live from the Panasonc press conference at PMA, where Panasonic have unveiled the new DMC-L1 digital SLR camera. Here are some exclusive shots of the Panasonic L1, new Leica D lens and Sigma Four Thirds lenses. The DMCL1 has certainly caused a stur amongst the journalists here at PMA, but what do you think of the Panasonic DMC-L1?

Update 28th February 2006: I’ve added 14 more photos of the DMC L1 which give you a much better idea of what the new DSLR looks like. There are also some exclusive shots which compare the DMCL1 with the Olympus E-330 and also show the Leica D lens mounted on the E-330, and an Olympus E-System lens on the Panasonic L1. And yes, the Olympus lens did work with the Panasonic body, just as the E-System standard promised.

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Panasonic DMC-L1

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Leica D Lens

Leica D Lens

Sima Four Thirds Lenses

Panasonic Accessories



Thanks go to Ian Burley, from DPNow, for providing the Olympus E-330 and lens!

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41 Comments | Newest Oldest First | Post a Comment

#1 Dario

Let me pretend that I act the way someone my age does and say: That's sick, yo.

It seems like a beautiful camera, though the lines could have been a little sharper in my opinion.

It would be a dream camera for someone who really values small DSLRs. I'm not if it's the smallest one made, but it certainly would look small in comparison to different shapes.

The 4/3 is a good choice since it'll provide much lighter and smaller lenses. We'll see it's true usefulness when we get shots taken at 800 iso and over.

Still, it would be a fantastic toy to have with a super fast 35mm (equiv) prime.

3:59 pm - Sunday, February 26, 2006

#2 Gordon Moat

It's the Leica Digilux 2 with a lens mount and larger CCD. So how long before we see the Leica version? Maybe they will call it the Digilux 3.

7:17 pm - Monday, February 27, 2006

#3 johan

Does it have that funky bounce flash that the digilux 2 had?

4:47 am - Tuesday, February 28, 2006

#4 Mark Goldstein

Yes, it does Johan. I actually have some very interesting, new hands-on shots of the Panasonic L1, showing the flash and other features, plus a few pictures that you won't find in many other places.

I'll be publishing them later today.

11:25 am - Tuesday, February 28, 2006

#5 Zoltan

Interesting shots Mark. Do I see it correctly that the monitor of the Lumix isn't tiltable? If that's the case, it is a major drawback compared to the Olympus E-330.

1:48 pm - Tuesday, February 28, 2006

#6 Mark Goldstein

Zoltan, that's correct, the DMC L1 does NOT have a tiltable LCD monitor, as on the E-330. It is fixed in place, negating one of the advantages of the Live View idea.

1:56 pm - Tuesday, February 28, 2006

#7 JM

Hi to all.Do anybody know how much it would cost?I believe it will be on par with the other 4/3 system olympus slrs...Im very much interested on buying a 4/3 system slr since i was enlightened on a seminar of olympus E system..

3:38 pm - Tuesday, February 28, 2006

#8 eyekode

Sorry, it is just too big. I expected it to be isD sized or something. It looks pretty large compared to the 330.
The alure of a Leica for me is the small size, this just doesn't impress.
The lens however sounds nice.

4:02 pm - Tuesday, February 28, 2006

#9 Adrian

The best coverage of the Pana L1 launch! Congrats Mark!

4:44 pm - Tuesday, February 28, 2006

#10 BJN

Yawn. Olympus guts in expensive Pana-Leica packaging. Make your AF-assist light look like a rangefinder window. Cute, but Leica used to be about more than fake styling.

Sigma puts Olympus 4/3 mounts on five lenses that are identical to those it offers for other mounts and formats and somehow this is a big deal. Several of the "new" lenses have full 35mm image circle coverage, the others provide APS-C coverage. Nothing new but the mount. What's the big deal about slapping a different mount on a Sigma lens? Nothing, unless you're a marketing type looking to milk everything you can to make 4/3 look good.

5:08 pm - Tuesday, February 28, 2006

#11 Rob

Can you change the aperture on the L1 with that scroll wheel on the back?

5:09 pm - Tuesday, February 28, 2006

#12 Earl

I agree with comment #1 - I'd really like to see a great performing fast prime lens for this camera, something in the <F2 range. Something around 40mm (equivalent.)

The camera would have to have awesome low noise performance in order for me to even begin thinking about switch cameras. Panasonic has been coming up with some cool stuff. I hope this is a winner for them.

4:3, 2:3 - Who cares? I don't.

5:53 pm - Tuesday, February 28, 2006

#13 Gordon Moat

Good morning Mark,

Just caught your photos on Nice! ;-)

I doubt Leica will only have one lens for this 4/3 system. This seems like a perfect direction to replace their slow selling compact film camera line. My guess would be one or two more lenses, then we will see a Leica branded body, perhaps with a slightly different hand grip.

7:14 pm - Tuesday, February 28, 2006

#14 m gottlieb

I'll second that - Mark, you have the best coverage of the show. Mazel tov!

8:31 pm - Tuesday, February 28, 2006

#15 nick in japan

Very interesting initial start for Oleicapana, we Canon, Nikon users will probably await a tilt LED and other tweaks that surely will evolve. For a first time DSLR user, I think these folks should consider this camera, if the image quality pans out to be what it is hyped to be. I say this because, altho Canon and Nikon have vast amounts of lenses and accessories available, they haven't provided the live preview, which, for me at least, is a wonderful tool for seeing what your EV and PL adjustments are doing BEFORE you pull the trigger. Bigger and better LED, tilting will evolve I'm sure, things that will lure us ALL, Sigma on board is a big plus for me too, a great company that has done me real good in the past!
For we shooters that do the long range stuff too, that built in 2X factor sounds great...awaiting image results/ comparisons for a better eval.

10:44 pm - Tuesday, February 28, 2006

#16 Nicholas


Is the mirror on the DMZ L1 ( as well as the E330 ) as noisy as the mirror on the E300?

The noise of the E330's mirror at Photo Expo 2005 could be heard over the din of the show floor. It would never do for a church shoot.

I am not knocking any camera, just asking a question on an issue that is never mentioned in any Preview/Review of the mirror system in these cameras.

Regards, Nicholas

10:52 pm - Tuesday, February 28, 2006

#17 Nicholas

******* CORRECTION: my post above:

2nd sentence should read : "The noise of the E300's mirror...."

Sorryy, Nicholas

10:56 pm - Tuesday, February 28, 2006

#18 m gottlieb

Leica cannot call it the D1, because Nikon already took that. I think either it will be the D3 or the 1D.

Canon has the 1Ds, so it will not conflict. Besides, Canon has a 5D and so does KM (RIP).

3:30 am - Wednesday, March 1, 2006

#19 m gottlieb

One more: when Leica releases their version, I'm buying it!

3:32 am - Wednesday, March 1, 2006

#20 nick in japan

Contax had a "G" series as Canon did later, maybe copycat names dont matter anymore! Leica will be happy to hear your comment! Maybe they will even jack up their price even more than they did with the stupid D Lux 2. A "Leica" tattoo on your forehead would be cheaper!

3:49 am - Wednesday, March 1, 2006

#21 AA

Ahhhhhh finally some nice, clear pics of the Lens Mount opening on the actual camera........ very clean.

I love looking at photos of holes where you insert things........

It's a chunky camera though, isn't it? I like it. Looks pretty solid, throw-back design - I'm just not sure if that trigger button is in a comfortable spot. I prefer it to be more angled and forward facing so that I don't have to be so acrobatic to get my finger squared away on top like that.

7:13 am - Wednesday, March 1, 2006

#22 AA

You're lucky I didn't say

"where you insert long, hard things........"

7:14 am - Wednesday, March 1, 2006

#23 Johan


Thanks for the great coverage.

One last question: since the Leica body doesn't have an aperture dial (or an index-finger or thumb wheel), and most lenses don't have an aperture ring, how does one set aperture on those lenses? Via the dial on the back?

Also, I presume the leica lens will still focus and compose wide open, and stop down for the shot, even if the aperture is set via the lens ring, or does the lens ring mechanically affect the iris?

10:54 pm - Wednesday, March 1, 2006

#24 Alvaro

In the back of the Panasonic L1 there is a button with an aperture draw (over the display button). This button can be used to setup aperture with the Olympus lenses. Anybdy could explain how to setup manual apertures with the OLympus lenses? Or these lenses could only be used in Programmed or Shutter prefered modes, like a Nikon G lens in an older 35mm Nikon AF camera?

1:29 am - Thursday, March 2, 2006

#25 nick in japan

Someone needs to create a "Compatiblily Chart" for the 4/3rds Lenses as applicible to the cameras they all fit. Sounds like investments in lenses needs a close look-at before purchase, to ensure creative stuff can be done! Gary, this is a submission to your "Parries" column!!!

3:40 am - Thursday, March 2, 2006

#26 emlem

Just bought a Digilux 2 in January. Not sure whether to be happy that I bought a camera with a fast f2.0 lens or to be sad that I could have bought one with more MP's and interchangeability.

Whatever happens, seems that they have learn't lessons from the DGL-2. Hope they make some nice Leica lenses for this and hope that there is a bigger RAW file buffer than the DGL-2 cos thats a sore point!


12:24 pm - Thursday, March 2, 2006

#27 David

Dear all,
Though I haven't seen the pana L1 on my hand, I believe according to the 4/3 way, the aperture rign is fake just like the focus ring of all ZD lens.

2:12 pm - Thursday, March 2, 2006

#28 Keith

I love how my DMC LC1 handles. This seems like a camera I would like. What puts me off as a professional is that the camera is only 7 megapixels. I wish it was at least 10. My agencies will not take files from a camera that produces such small files.

4:57 am - Sunday, March 5, 2006

#29 nick in japan

How about interpolating in Photoshop to 10-20mp, Drag the image over on top of a picture from a a Hassy and presto-chango, your data , now, may be accepted!

5:27 am - Sunday, March 5, 2006

#30 Sam

"Leica cannot call it the D1, because Nikon already took that. I think either it will be the D3 or the 1D.

Canon has the 1Ds, so it will not conflict. Besides, Canon has a 5D and so does KM (RIP)."

Canon has a 1Ds (high res) AND a 1D (high speed - different horses for different courses), so it would conflict.

As for the Panasonic, it's nice but how will the LCD preview affect the battery life compared to the 30D or the D70s?

3:39 am - Thursday, March 9, 2006

#31 Riley

This is a move many have been waiting for
The larger capacity is more than welcome
The lens mount is a greating for a wider lens, that is much sought after by press and interior photographers.
From what I can recall, pana have tackled every objection to the previous model sans the tilting viewer.
The dust removal, 4/3 innovations, and bounce flash are going to lead the market.
I cant wait to hear what the nay sayers will come up with when Digilux 3 hits the streets, just like I cant wait to get my hands on one of these cameras.

10:11 am - Monday, March 13, 2006

#32 Peter Davies

Lets hope its better than the LC1.. what a dissapoinment that was. The LC1 deliniation was poor ,all detail lost in highlights or shaddow.a triumph of false hope.. I gave mine away.

11:51 am - Thursday, April 6, 2006

#33 jason

can't wait for this be released, any clue on possible release date?
planning on d-slr end of june hope this ready then, k doesnt have a swivel screen like the e330, but as a long time manual film shooter i love my shutter speed as dial on top.
and what expected price? will be range of e-330 or different?

dont realy care about the leica len's since 4/3 systems and use every single aperture ring equiped lens on the market with apropriate adapter, done want6 lose my smc prime len's:( so either a *ist or a 4/3 is my only choices and 4/3 let me even use the lens from my nikon af film cam.

6:15 am - Friday, April 7, 2006

#34 Mark Goldstein

Jason, the Panasonic L1 won't be available until Autumn at the earliest, and it will probably cost more than the E-330 (to be confirmed obviously).

9:16 am - Friday, April 7, 2006

#35 Castor Troy

The content of your show is great, I really enjoy it.

7:45 pm - Tuesday, April 11, 2006

#36 Magnus Ogard

I find it strange if an agency don't accept 7,5mp. Most do prefer an output of at least 300dpi, but don't have such strong preferences concerning resolution. I therefor find this camera a strong candidate for a pro that needs a compact slr as a walkaroud cam. After all a lot of pros still use 4,1mp Nikon D2H.
The camera is a beauty. Limited resolution is balanced by a wonderfull colour-reproduction that comes with the 4/3-sensors nature. Good going, Panasonic. I would like one.

12:58 am - Thursday, April 13, 2006

#37 ken

I am L1 fan from Japan.

Panasonic Lumix web site will introduce something new on tommrow afternoon in Japan standard time. (June 21th.)
It might be official introduction of DMC-L1.

Here is countdown page (sorry for Japanese script only)

2:00 pm - Tuesday, June 20, 2006

#38 nick in japan

This afternoon at 1700hrs (JST) I will be searching too!

10:39 pm - Tuesday, June 20, 2006

#39 nick in japan

Specs are posted, shipping sometime in July.

11:06 am - Wednesday, June 21, 2006

#40 Nonix

Some high iso speed photos (ISO 1600) or links:

I'm quite disappointed..

12:04 pm - Monday, December 4, 2006

#41 carl hamilton

Panasonic DMC L1 . a good camera ruined by bad shutter button placement . unless one is an auto sado-masochist who enjoys the pain of straining one's shutter finger while experiencing the joy of creating beautiful Leica lens images.

4:34 pm - Friday, December 8, 2006