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)
Soulumination is a non-profit organization that provides life-affirming legacy photography to families facing serious medical conditions, completely free of charge. This video shares the work they are doing.
Fujifilm EU seems to have accidentally leaked an unreleased camera to the masses. The leaked page details a new "X-T100" camera that will share most of its specs with the X-A5, but includes an EVF, deeper buffer, and 3-way tilting touchscreen.
LA-based director and cinematographer Phil Holland of PHFX recently joined forces with Gotham Film Works to create something out-of-this-world. Using a special aerial camera array, Holland shot a flyover of New York City using not one, not two, but three 8K RED Weapon Monstro VistaVision cameras.
According to an interview with the Google Photos team on XDA, object removal simply had a lower priority in the development queue than other features. It might still show up some day... but maybe not.
In a bid to clear up online speculation, surprise entrant to the full frame cinema lens market Nisi has answered some questions about its relationship with brands marketing lenses very similar to its own F3 series.
Now that we've completed our review of Panasonic's Lumix DC-ZS200 (TZ200), we've updated its entry in our Best Cameras for Travel, Best Pocketable Enthusiast Cameras and Best Enthusiast Long Zoom Cameras buying guides.
This useful video guide by The Slanted Lens will get you up to date on the latest TSA rules on flying with lithium ion batteries. If you're getting ready to travel with a bunch of photography gear, this is one to watch.
This product photo was captured using two speedlights to light the bottle, a smartphone to light paint the background, and some Photoshop to pull it all together. Watch the video to see how product photographer Dustin Dolby did it.
The software development kit allows third-party developers to create mobile and desktop apps that can control the camera remotely via USB cable or Wi-Fi.
Fujifilm has been forced to roll back the much-anticipated firmware update v4.0 for the X-T2 released last week due to "malfunctions." Firmware updates for the GFX 50S, X-H1 and X-Pro2 planned for this month have also been delayed as a result.
The Laowa 9mm F2.8 Zero-D is an ultra-wide lens for APS-C mirrorless cameras designed with minimal distortion. We took an E-mount version of the lens out for a spin on the a6500 – take a look at the results.
"...excuse me if I don’t walk around in front of [my client] shooting bloody BTS because somebody on social media wants to see it because they can’t be arsed to attend a proper controlled seminar and learn properly, they’d rather be ‘cheap’ and just try to reverse engineer BTS stuff."
OnePlus has slightly boosted the camera specifics of its news flagship smartphone, the OnePlus 6. Compared to its predecessor, it boasts both a bigger sensor and optical image stabilization.
These newly leaked images and sketches show the upcoming DJI Phantom 5 drone, which will allegedly feature a 1-inch sensor camera with interchangeable lenses.
A piece of leaked code revealed a new feature—since confirmed by Instagram's CEO—that is coming to Instagram. It's called 'time spent,' and it will allow users to track how much time they spend on the photo sharing app so they can be more 'intentional' about it.
The new website and app—developed by Fujifilm USA but available to everyone—will host interviews with X and GFX professionals, run technique articles, and showcase collections of images shot with Fujifilm equipment.
The flagship smartphone by Huawei's sub-brand Honor offers the same Kirin 970 top-end chipset as Huawei's flagships P20 and P20 Pro, but at a significantly lower price point. It also includes some advanced AI scene and object recognition.
One man's feature is another man's bug. Photographer Robert Hall has discovered a quirk about how the live view and EVF on Sony's full-frame mirrorless cameras respond when you attach a flash. Fortunately, he's also found a way to work around it.
Microsoft's Surface Hub 2 is a massive collaborative touchscreen display that may or may not have any practical use for professional photographers... but it sure looks impressive nonetheless.
Google is replacing its existing Google Drive plans with newly packaged Google One plans that are 50% cheaper and come with live chat support. Two terabytes of cloud storage will now cost you just $10/month.
Photographer David Oastler got his hands on an early copy of the Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 Sony FE lens, and while he couldn't take pictures with it, he did get to test its focusing capabilities. The great news: this thing focuses just as fast a Sony native lens.
Canon Rumors is reporting with near-certainty that Canon will unveil two new 70-200mm L-lenses in early June. The site says it is 100% certain the 70-200mm F4L IS II is on the way, and 95% certain the 70-200mm F2.8L IS III will also be announced.
Photographer Henry Stuart has created a 24-hour panoramic timelapse of London that combines 6240 D850 files to form a picture that contains over 7 billion pixels. The 155° view presents the city in an incredible amount of detail, with Nikon claiming you can read signs up to 5 miles away.
In the ad, a woman pulls out her iPhone to take a selfie in a train station, and all sorts of studio lights, umbrellas and softboxes materialize out of nowhere around her.
If it feels like we've been writing a lot about Sony recently, you haven't been imagining things: we've been writing about its products and technologies quite a bit. Here's why.
Fujifilm has announced the Instax Square SQ6, an analog instant film camera that resembles the old Instagram logo. The SQ6 takes Fujifilm's Instax Square film which gives a 62 x 62mm (2.4 x 2.4") images on 86 x 72mm film. It will cost around $130.
In a leaked internal email, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun details the creation of a dedicated in-house camera department that will focus exclusively on developing better camera tech for the brand's smartphones.
hähnel has extended its range of radio-triggered Modus 600RT flash units with a model for Micro Four Thirds cameras. The unit can be used directly in the hotshoe as a standalone flash, or within a group of flashes as a TTL commander or a slave using radio or optical communication.
Researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana–Champaign and Intel have developed a neural network that can brighten extremely low-light images without adding any noise. It's not an exaggeration to say the results are incredible.