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Battery Compartment

The L1's battery compartment is accessed from the base of the hand grip, the compartment door opening by turning a lever to the left. Inside you will find the CGR-S603 Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery which has a rated capacity of 1500 mAh at 7.2V (10.1 Wh).

Storage Compartment

The storage compartment is located on the right side of the camera (from the back) and is behind a small door which makes up part of the hand grip. The door hinge is spring loaded and opens on its own once slid slightly towards the rear. Inside you will find an SD card slot which supports both normal SD (up to 2 GB) and also the higher capacity SDHC cards (typically 4 GB and above).

Connections

All of the L1's connectors are found behind a rubber door on the left side of the body. The first connector provides for video-out and remote control (optional), the second USB 2.0 (Hi-Speed). I was a little disappointed that Panasonic decided not to put a nice metal hinged door over these connectors which would have been more in keeping with the clean 'semi-pro' design of the rest of the camera (they did manage this on the older LC1).

Tripod Mount

On the bottom of the camera you'll find the metal tripod socket which is aligned exactly with the center line of the lens. It was however disappointing to find the tripod mount so close to the rear of the camera, this does give the camera a tendency to tilt upwards slightly if screwed too tightly to a tripod mount.

Pop-up Flash

Just like the DMC-LC1 but unlike any other digital SLR the L1 features a dual-angle pop-up flash. The flash release button actually has two positions, a gentle press opens the flash to the upward facing 'bounce' position, press a little further and the second arm of the flash is released for forward facing direct flash.

 

Flash Hot-shoe

The L1 has a flash hot-shoe (or 'accessory shoe') which appears to be identical that used on Olympus 'E System' digital SLR's. The L1 is compatible with existing Olympus flash lights (FL-50, FL-36, FL-20 and macro flashes) as well as what appears to be a Panasonic branded FL-50 which was shown at the launch of the camera.

Lens Mount

The L1 has a Four Thirds System mount, which means that as well as the 'Leica' kit lens it can also take Olympus 4/3 lenses and those from other third party manufacturers (such as Sigma). Just like the E-330 the L1's mirror swings sideways (to the right) during an exposure and during live view (where the main sensor delivers a live image to the LCD monitor).

"Supersonic Wave Filter"

The L1 incorporates the same "Supersonic Wave Filter" as we have seen on Olympus Four Thirds digital SLRs. This is a method of cleaning the sensor which involves making a thin, circular transparent filter in front of the sensor vibrate at high frequency, this causes any dust or dirt to literally drop off the sensor surface and on to a sticky tape material (which apparently has been used in conventional SLR's for some time now). This built-in cleaning takes place every time you power up the camera.

Shutter Release Sound

In some of our digital SLR reviews we now provide a sound recording of a continuous burst of shots to provide a sample of the shutter release sound. The SD card used was a Lexar 133x 1 GB.

JPEG Fine continuous, 30 seconds

Panasonic DMC-L1 JPEG Fine - 74 frames (2.9 fps initial burst of 29 frames)

Panasonic DMC-L1 JPEG Fine: 557 KB MP3

Box Contents (Kit)

  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1 digital SLR body
  • 14 - 50 mm F2.8 - F3.5 lens
  • Lithium-Ion battery
  • Battery charger
  • Body cap
  • Shoulder strap
  • Video and USB cables
  • CD-ROM's
  • Manual, System chart, Warranty
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