Panasonic DMC-L1 Digital SLR

Score

Key Features

  • Review Price: £1147.95

The digital camera industry has seen some highly productive partnerships between big electronics companies and traditional camera brands, particularly in the area of digital SLRs. Sony partnered with Konica-Minolta, which resulted in the Alpha A100, Samsung joined forces with Pentax to launch its re-badged line of GX-series SLRs, and now Panasonic has teamed up with Leica and Olympus to produce the DMC-L1, the company’s first foray into the competitive DSLR market, and the first non-Olympus camera to use the Four Thirds sensor and lens mount format.


The L1 is a 7.5-megapixel digital SLR featuring live monitor view (only the second digital SLR to do so) and supplied with a fast f/2.8–3.5 Leica-branded lens. It currently sells on the high street for a whopping £1,349.99, although it is available from at least one online retailer for around £1,150. This seems expensive at first glance, especially compared to other similarly specified SLRs, but a Canon EOS 400D with a EF-S 17-55mm f2.8 IS USM lens will cost you nearly £1,100. Fast lenses are very expensive.


The lens supplied with the L1 is certainly an impressive-looking item. It is physically very large, 98mm long and 77mm in diameter, and weighs just over 500g, contributing nearly half of the total weight of the kit. Its maximum aperture of f/2.8–3.5 is much faster than the standard kit lenses supplied with rival cameras. It is also fitted with Panasonic’s proprietary optical image stabilisation system, Mega OIS, which has been shown to provide at least two stops of additional stability. The lens is not currently available separately, which will probably disappoint many Olympus owners. Likewise the L1 is not available body-only, so there’s no chance of saving money by getting it with a less expensive Olympus or Sigma 4/3 lens.


Panasonic trades heavily on this almost religious reverence that a lot of photographers have for the Leica name, even though its Leica-branded lenses are in fact made by Panasonic in a factory in Japan. The design of the L1 is clearly intended to resemble a classic 35mm rangefinder camera, and all the publicity pictures of it are carefully shot to emphasise that aspect.


However this is a bit of a fraud, because as soon as you actually handle the camera or even see it from any angle other than front-on you realise that beyond the retro-styled shutter speed dial and aperture ring – and the huge price tag – it bears no relation to a rangefinder camera at all. For a start it’s twice as thick and twice as heavy. The camera body measures 145 x 86.9 x 80mm, and with the lens attached weighs a hefty 1080g. The main advantages that rangefinder cameras have over SLRs are their light weight and slim size, but the L1 has neither so why is it designed to look like a rangefinder?

More from TrustedReviews

LG Q8 finally brings the V20’s promise to Europe

Atari is now in the speaker business… and the hat business

Thinner Moto Z2 Force could come with a huge trade-off

HyperLoop One

Elon Musk’s Hyperloop gathering pace as NY-DC link gets ‘OK’

N64oid

Is this proof an N64 Classic will follow the SNES?

Agents of Mayhem preview

cats 17

Why you’ll want to download this OnePlus 5 update today

Golf rory

British Open Golf Live Stream: How to watch online for free

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare for Xbox One down to under £9

Samsung Gear S3 finally gets Samsung Pay support in UK

Welcome to the all new Trusted Reviews

Netgear Arlo

Netgear Arlo Pro

Cat Amazon

Are you kitten me? Pet translation devices tipped for future smart homes

fire emblem warriors

Fire Emblem Warriors

pokken

Pokkén Tournament DX

TP-Link Smart Wi-Fi LED Bulb 5

TP-Link Smart Wi-Fi LED Bulb

Samsung Pay

Samsung Pay now lets you use your PayPal funds at the checkout

assassins creed origins

Ubisoft teases new games for Nintendo Switch, coming ‘quite soon’

amazon echo

Ask Vodafone: Mobile network’s first Amazon Alexa voice skill is revealed

Google Feed

The Google app’s new personalised feed might just drag you off Facebook

z2play 9

Moto Z2 Play

Mira Prism

For just $99 you can bring AR to the iPhone 7

Samsung Galaxy S8

Samsung Galaxy S9 displays may be the same, save one major new feature

movie theatre

The Netflix Effect: ‘Binge-watching’ is coming to movie theatres

Porsche MIssion E

Porsche’s latest electric car chargers put Tesla to shame

EE logo

EE’s new 20GB SIM-free deal is the best value tariff you’ll see all summer

Int-Ball

These are the first images from the ISS – as captured by a zero-gravity drone

iMac 21.5-inch 4K (2017)

LG V30 case

LG V30 design ‘confirmed’ ahead of IFA 2017 launch

iPhone 7 vs iPhone SE

Waiting for the iPhone SE 2? Sadly, it could be a one-and-done

Google Glass Enterprise

Google Glass 2 has arrived, sort of

Denon AH-C621R

Denon AH-C621R

BBC Proms

Get ready to listen to the BBC Proms like never before

Fender Newport Monterey Bluetooth speakers

Fender’s new Bluetooth speakers look just like tiny guitar amps

Garmin Vivosmart 3

Garmin Vivosmart 3

airplane

Is the laptop travel ban dead? Electronics restrictions lifted by TSA but UK fails to follow suit

KitSound Immerse

KitSound Immerse Wireless Headphones

Emojis

It’s World Emoji Day and Apple is showing off all of its newcomers

Porn Block

Privacy fears as UK plans age verification for porn sites

WhatsApp

New WhatsApp feature could give Apple’s iMessage a run for its money