Panasonic LUMIX DMC-L1: Their 1st Ever Digital SLR Camera with Interchangeable Lenses

Panasonic has announced the launch date for the DMC-L1, its first digital single-lens reflex (SLR) camera with interchangeable lens. From 22nd July 2006 this camera will be available in Japan and already looks set to be a firm favourite.

Leica D Lens provides a superior optical performance and matches perfectly with the digital SLR camera body

The DMC-L1 has a new LEICA D VARIO-ELMARIT 14-50mm/F2.8-3.5 lens equipped with an aperture ring, focus ring and zoom ring, for easy, direct aperture setting. The focal length range is equivalent to 28mm (wide) to 100mm (medium telescopic) on a 35mm film and provides exceptional results.

The lens also provides outstanding macro shooting due to a 29cm minimum shooting distance (0.32x maximum magnification, 35mm equivalent) across the entire zoom range.

Superb image rendering with MEGA O.I.S

The DMC-L1 comes with Panasonic’s Optical Image Stabiliser feature which minimises jitter from shaky hands. 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

O.I.S features two further corrective modes. Mode one constantly and continuously compensates for movements, ensuring that the image in the LCD and viewfinder is always clear. Mode two only stabilises the image the instant the shutter button is pressed. Both modes work with the DMC-L1, providing consumers with outstanding benefits. Mode one will be available for Olympus users if they are using the new Leica D lens.

Refined design makes the camera a pleasure to hold and use

This new camera features a shutter speed dial on top of the camera body, enhancing the sense of camera control. Combined with a classic design this ensure the Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1 is distinct in both design and operation. The body periphery and grip are covered with textured, simulated leather ensuring a secure and comfortable hold.

Complies with Four Thirds™* Standard

The DMC-L1 incorporates a live MOS sensor that conforms to the Four Thirds standard and offers 7.5 megapixels. It can be used with lenses made by a variety of manufacturers, giving users a host of equipment options. Noise is minimised by a special processing technology the runs on voltage as low as 5V.

*Four Thirds? is a registered trademark.

The power of the Venus Engine III LSI

The Venus Engine III is a newly developed image processing LSI which maximises the performance of the Live MOS sensor. Offering high resolution, superior colour reproduction and detailed gradation, the Venus Engine III also reduces noise to the level expected from a digital SLR, thus achieving stunning picture quality. The Venus Engine III also improves camera responsiveness supporting high-performance consecutive shooting and a short shutter interval. The Venus Engine III requires only 80% as much power as its predecessor and when combined with the Live MOS sensor’s low energy consumption results in longer battery life.

Full-time Live View for a whole new style of Digital SLR shooting

The heart of a digital SLR is the mirror box unit, which integrates a quick-return mirror, viewfinder, and AE sensor. This, combined with the full-time image output function of the Live MOS sensor, achieves a full-time Live View function that displays the image on the LCD directly from the sensor signal. This incredibly useful function can be selected in both Auto Focus and Manual Focus modes. In Manual Focus, photographers can enlarge an image within the frame and then select the area focusing, making it easier to check the focusing condition on the large 2.5inch, high resolution, 207,000 pixel LCD. It is also possible to check the depth of field by pressing the Aperture button.

Shake off dust with the Supersonic Wave Filter system

A big problem with digital SLRs with interchangeable lenses is the possibility of dust getting inside the camera during the lens changes and contaminating the image sensor. If this happens, professional cleaning is often required. The DMC-L1 manages this problem by incorporating a Supersonic Wave Filter dust reduction, which uses supersonic vibration to shake off dust that might otherwise affect the image.

A Digital SLR offering home networking capabilities

As with all Panasonic Lumix cameras, the DMC-L1 is uses SD memory and is also compatible with mass-storage SD standard based on FAT32. This includes the upcoming super-high-capacity SD Memory Cards allowing more than 2GB (SDHC).