PMA 2006: Panasonic has today announced the fruits of its new relationship with Olympus, the DMC-L1 Four Thirds System Digital SLR. Todays news is really just a 'development announcement' so doesn't have any detailed specifications, however reading through what has been revealed so far this camera does appear to share quite a bit with the Olympus E-330 EVOLT. Another interesting revelation in this release is the confirmation that Panasonic developed the 7.5 MP Live MOS sensor (the same we assume as in the E-330). Other features include a shutter speed dial on the top of the camera, full-time live view (same as E-330), Secure Digital storage and a 2.5" LCD monitor.

Jump to:

Press Release:

A genius in the making - Panasonic announces
development of the DMC-L1 Digital SLR

Having announced our entry to the digital SLR market in 2005, Panasonic is pleased to update you on the development of the state-of-the-art Lumix DMC-L1 – our first interchangeable-lens digital SLR camera, distinguished from conventional digital SLRs by combining the operating feel of an analogue camera with innovative features unique to digital cameras.

An entirely new kind of digital SLR

The DMC-L1 benefits from 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.

This new and inspiring digital SLR also features a shutter speed dial on top of the camera body, to enhance the sense of camera control. These features, combined with a classic design that will remind users of traditional analogue cameras, ensure the Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1 is distinct in both design and operation.

Outstanding image quality at low energy consumption

Panasonic has proudly developed the new Live MOS sensor using its original ν Maicovicon™ technology. The 4/3 type Live MOS sensor with 7.5 million pixels helps capture the beautiful images of a CCD sensor with delicate gradation and a wide dynamic range, whilst suppressing energy consumption as only a CMOS sensor can do. Noise is also minimised thanks to a special processing technology that runs on voltage as low as 5V.

The power of the Venus Engine III LSI

The Venus Engine III is an image processing LSI, newly developed to maximise 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. Despite offering superior performance, the Venus Engine III consumes only 80% as much power as its predecessor, the Venus Engine II. This combines with the Live MOS sensor’s low energy consumption to provide 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

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

A Digital SLR offering home networking capabilities

Consistent with all Panasonic Lumix cameras, the DMC-L1 is compatible with the SD memory card. It is also compatible with mass-storage SD standard based on FAT32, including the upcoming super-high-capacity SD Memory Cards of more than 2GB (SDHC). 

The SD memory card opens up a world of home networking opportunities. Photographers can take photos with the Lumix, and view the images on a Panasonic Viera flatpanel; save them onto disk with a Panasonic DIGA DVD Recorder, and print them with a photo printer connected to your television.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1 is a finely crafted camera designed to give beginners and professionals alike a powerful tool for creating truly outstanding photographic masterpieces. Following additional development efforts, Panasonic plans to shake the market with the DMC-L1 later this year. The best in the digital SLR market is clearly yet to come.

Panasonic DMC-L1 specifications (so far)

Body Metal sub-frame
Sensor • 4/3 type Live MOS, developed by Panasonic
• 17.3 x 13.0 mm active area
• 7.9 million total pixels
• 7.5 million effective pixels
• RGB (Primary) color filter array
• Fixed low pass filter (anti-alias filter)
• Supersonic Wave Filter (dust protection)
Image processor Venus Engine III
Shutter speed • Auto
• 30 - 1/4000 sec
• Bulb
Aperture • Auto
• Manually selectable on Leica D lens
LCD monitor • 2.5" TFT LCD monitor
• 207,000 pixels
Live view on LCD • A Mode: Framing live view with AF function
• B Mode: Macro live view with MF (100% frame coverage), with mag
Storage • Secure Digital
• Supports new SDHC cards with capacity of 2 GB+

Additional images