However, the L1 doesn't look like a mere clone of the E-330. It ships with the new Leica D f/2.8-to-f/3.5 14mm-to-50mm ASPH lens (the D is for digital), which incorporates Panasonic's optical image stabilization and image-processing chip into the lens itself. Given how little we liked the kit lens in the E-330, the lens promises to be an important advantage for the Panasonic model over the Olympus's.
As with the Leica lenses that have appeared on previous high-end models from the two companies, such as the Leica Digilux 2, the lens features an old-fashioned aperture ring, and the body has a shutter-speed dial to provide the same feel as a film SLR. The DMC-L1 may be Panasonic's first digital SLR, but its unique features give it great potential. It will be available some time this year (though I'm betting on a Photokina time frame) at an unspecified price.