Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1 Review
Top of camera controls
The top right of the camera is dominated by the large shutter speed dial with the shutter release button at its center. Traditional SLR users may find the position of the shutter release a little odd but it takes no time at all to get used to. The ability to change shutter speed by simply turning this dial is really convenient, the 'A' position indicates automatic shutter speed, simply turn to select a shutter speed. The position of this dial and the aperture ring (on the kit lens) define the exposure mode, see the table below.
Exposure mode depending on aperture ring and shutter speed dial
|Aperture ring position|
Program auto exposure
Aperture Priority auto exposure
Shutter Priority auto exposure
Set just around the shutter speed dial are the drive and metering mode levers. Lastly there are two 'FUNC' customizable buttons, by default FUNC.1 selects image size/quality and FUNC.2 is used to change exposure compensation but you can reprogram these via the camera menu.
Shutter speed dial
Auto shutter speed
Long exposure / Bulb
1/2.5 - 1/800 second
1/1000 - 1/4000 second
Personally I found the Metering mode and Drive mode levers to be too lose, all too easy to accidentally knock and put the camera into a different mode (especially the Metering lever). These should be either very stiff or have some form of locking button to avoid accidental change. Despite assurances that they would be stiffer in the final camera we found there to be very little difference.
• Digital ESP
• Center-Weighted Average
• Single shot
• Continuous drive
|FUNC.1||Picture Size (Image size / quality, JPEG only)
• Size: Large, Medium, Small
• Quality: Level 1, Level 2, Level 3
• -2.0 EV to +2.0 EV
• 1/3 EV steps
Customizable FUNC buttons
The FUNC.1 and FUNC.2 buttons can be customized to change any of these camera settings:
- Exposure comp.
- Film mode
- Picture size
- RAW record
- OIS mode
- Burst rate
- Flash sync.
- Custom set
Lens barrel controls
Just like the Panasonic DMC-LC1 (AKA the Leica Digilux 2) the L1 relies on the function of the dedicated aperture ring on the kit lens. In the A position aperture is selected automatically, hold the unlock button and turn the dial to select an aperture (either Aperture priority or Manual mode). See the table above to see how the exposure mode depends on the position of the aperture ring and shutter speed dial. Also found on the side of the lens is the OIS on/off switch.
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