Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1 Review
We don't normally perform lens tests in digital SLR reviews, we have in the past for a few kit lenses in the past, certainly when the first sets of 'affordable' kit lenses appeared on the market. The DMC-L1 is fairly unique in that it is sold as a complete package including the pretty remarkable Leica designed 14-50 mm F2.8-F3.5 Image Stabilized lens which integrates with the camera and provides an aperture dial for quickly jumping out of Program exposure into Aperture priority. Because of the Four Thirds sensor size the focal length range of 14-50 mm provides an equivalent field of view of 28-100 mm on a 35 mm camera.
Resolution and sharpness
Below you will find a range of crops from a shots of our standard resolution chart. Each shot was taken at a different focal length and aperture combination. This should provide you with a good impression of how well the lens works from wide open to smallest aperture and at both full wide angle and full telephoto zoom.
Panasonic / Leica 14-50 mm F2.8-F3.5 OIS lens
Wide angle: 14 mm (28 mm equiv. FOV)
At full wide angle (28 mm equiv. FOV) the L1's kit lens delivers its optimum corner-to-corner sharpness at around F5.6 / F6.3, wide open the corners of the frame are clearly soft and at anything over F11 diffraction begins to affect sharpness, you can almost make out the disk' diffraction pattern at F22 which is best avoided.
|F2.8 (wide open)||F5.6||F11||F22 (smallest aperture)|
Telephoto: 50 mm (100 mm equiv. FOV)
At full telephoto (and although not shown here but also from around 50 mm equiv. onwards) the lens performs just as well wide open as stopped down to its optimum F5.6 / F6.3, again beyond F11 diffraction begins to soften the image and you simply wouldn't want to use F22.
|F3.5 (wide open)||F5.6||F11||F22 (smallest aperture)|
As we would expect the optimum macro performance for the L1's kit lens was at full telephoto with a focus distance of about 29 cm (the specified minimum focus distance). Obviously this lens isn't optimized for macro use and we wouldn't call a frame coverage of 10 x 8 cm macro either. Luckily there are some Four Thirds macro lenses available (Olympus 35 & 50 mm and Sigma 105 & 150 mm) for those who need them.
Barrel and Pincushion Distortion
The L1's kit lens produced just 1.0% barrel distortion at full wide angle, 28 mm equiv. FOV (14 mm actual), this is a very good performance considering the field of view coverage (we have seen 35 mm lenses with worse distortion). It's pretty unlikely that you would ever see this level of distortion in normal everyday shots unless you managed to align the top of the frame with a horizontal detail. At telephoto we could measure no distortion at all. Overall Kudos to Panasonic / Leica.
|Wide angle - 1.0% Barrel distortion
Equiv. focal length: 28 mm
|Telephoto - 0% Pincushion Distortion
Equiv. focal length: 100 mm
Purple Fringing (Chromatic Aberrations)
The L1's kit lens delivers very little chromatic aberrations even in the worst possible situation; high contrast scenes at full wide angle and maximum aperture. A very impressive performance.
|28 mm equiv., F2.8 (maximum)||28 mm equiv., F2.8 (maximum)|
Vignetting & Light Falloff
These images are then processed by our own analysis software which derives an average luminance (Lum) for the four corners of the frame (5% each) as well as the center (10%), the corners are averaged and the difference between this and the center of the frame is recorded. This value can then be plotted (see graphs below) as a representation of the approximate amount of falloff (as negative percentage).
Range of falloff
The chart below demonstrates the difference that these figures above can make, we took the blank wall luminance value of 75 (about 190,190,190 RGB) as our normal level. Remember that these patches are solid and the actual effect of shading is a softer gradual roll-off which would not necessarily be so obvious.
The images below were produced from our test shots, they have been deliberately 'posterized' to indicate different levels of falloff. Each band represents a 10% drop in luminance. At wide angle and maximum aperture (F2.8) there is some falloff (as we would expect) but it's unlikely you would be able to see this in normal everyday shots, go just one stop down for a marked change. At full telephoto we see a minimal amount of fall off at maximum aperture (F3.5), again nothing that would be noticeable in everyday shots. To see how this compares to a typical DSLR lens see this page of our Nikon D200 review.
14 mm (F2.8 max)
(28 mm equiv. FOV)
50 mm (F3.5 max)
(100 mm equiv. FOV)
|Al Fateh Grand Mosque by mallen1976|
from Your City - B&W Night Picture
|Fascia walkie talkie building London by ian herridge|
from Abstract Architecture
|Beakable by Hobbyfotograaf|
|St Paul's - DT NYC by mollymcd|
from Modern - Old-Fashioned
Joey L, Dani Diamond, Brandon Woelfel and Jessica Kobeissi go head-to-head in an episode of "4 photographers shoot the same model."
The latest flagship phone from Asus combines a 12MP 1/2.55" Sony IMX362 main sensor with a smaller Sony IMX351 chip for 2x zoom and a background-blurring portrait mode.
The company behind popular photo editor Picktorial 3 just released the X-Pack: a preset package that allows you to add Fuji's in-camera film simulation profiles to your RAF files in post.
Photoshop. GoPro. Every once in a while a product emerges that defines a category. And sometimes, it vanishes just as quickly as it arrived on the scene. This week's Throwback Thursday remembers the Flip, the pocket camcorder everyone had – until they didn't.
The Nokia 8's dual-cam combines the image data from a 13MP RGB sensor and a 13 monochrome chip for better detail, improved dynamic range and lower noise levels.
The company behind retail giant B&H Photo has agreed to pay out $3.2 million in monetary relief and back wages to settle a discrimination and harassment case from 2016.
After a popular Facebook teaser and some studio portrait samples, Godox has finally officially released the Godox A1 smartphone flash and flash trigger. Cheap, versatile and innovative, color us intrigued.
Canon’s EOS 5D Mk IV has won the European Imaging and Sound Association’s Professional DSLR of the Year award, making this the third year in a row that the brand has beaten Nikon to the top spot in the professional camera category.
A photograph and quote tweeted out by former president Barack Obama has officially become the most popular tweet of all time, receiving over 1.3 million retweets and 3.4 million likes.
Edward Weston was one of the most influential photographers of the 20th century, and in this episode of Advancing Your Photography we learn the extreme technique he used to capture one of his most famous still life photos.
Instagram just released a small update that will make a huge difference if you're active on the photo sharing app: threaded comment replies.
Venus Optics has announced the price and delivery date of the second lens to join its Zero-D line up: the 15mm F2 for Sony’s E mount. A lens they've dubbed, "the world's fastest 15mm rectilinear lens for full-frame."
Cinnac is a new social network for photographers that will help you separate your good photos from your great ones through a Tinder-like community-based rating system.
The Canon EF 35mm F2 IS USM is an understated jewel of a lens, and one that we've enjoyed on a variety of cameras since its release almost five years ago. Its relatively small size and image stabilization make it a versatile tool for a variety of photography - check out our sample gallery.
You don't need a fancy studio or tons of gear to capture the kind of classic product photography you see in magazines. In this video, Dustin Dolby shows you how to do it with just a couple of speedlights and some know-how.
The life-logging camera is trying to make a comeback. Say hello to FrontRow, a live-streaming enabled life-logging camera from Ubiquiti that hangs on a necklace like a pendant.
When a prospective client approaches you, don't just say "yes" right away. Here's a useful list of questions you should be asking before you decide to take the job and name your price.
Samsung just revealed a blazing-fast new Solid State Drive capable of data transfer speeds of up to 540MB/s.
DJI has developed a 'Local Data Mode' that lets pilots fly without being connected to the Internet. The mode should calm recent fears over data privacy and security when flying DJI drones.
After 1.7 million downloads on Apple computers since the launch in November 2015, Aurora HDR will be available for Windows PCs for the first time with the 2018 release.
The company behind the new Meyer Optik Goerlitz lens manufacturing business has formed a new brand to bring back the Biotar 75mm F1.5 that was made by Carl Zeiss Jena in the 1940s and 50s.
The updated Qualcomm Spectra system is a dual-camera setup that is capable of sensing depth and motion in real time.
A sizable swath of the United States will be treated to a total eclipse of the heart – er, sun – in just under a week. Here are a few excellent guides to help you photograph this rare occasion.
f11 Magazine—an ad-supported, free magazine for 'photographers and aficionados' that focused on photos rather than gear—is suspending publication due to financial troubles.
The Minolta MC Rokkor-X 40-80mm F2.8 is unlike any zoom lens you've probably ever seen. Instead of a helicoid, it uses a gearbox, and because of this it's still one of the sharpest zoom lenses out there.
If you're looking to switch to Sony, the company's new limited-time "α trade up" promotion can snag you up to $500 + trade-in value towards a brand new a9, a7 II, a7R II, or a7S II when you hand over your DSLR or mirrorless camera.
The Google Camera app exclusive to the company's own Pixel phone has been unofficially ported to other Android devices. If you're willing to take the risk of installing, you can now use features like HDR+ on the Galaxy S8, LG G6, OnePlus 5, and more.
49-year-old David Hilos is known by the Singapore photography community as the 'camera whisperer.' When a service center says a camera is beyond repair, Hilos can usually coax it back to life.
Photographer Ryan Kelly captured one of the most viral and graphic images of the horrifying events in Charlottesville, VA this weekend. This is the harrowing story behind that photograph.
Data storage manufacturer Synology has added a new, lower-cost NAS to its DiskStation j line that has a maximum capacity of 40TB, and which is aimed at home users and photography enthusiasts.