'Hocus Pocus 2' Review Wi-Fi 6 Router With Built-In VPN Sleep Trackers Capital One Claim Deadline Watch Tesla AI Day Student Loan Forgiveness Best Meal Delivery Services Vitamins for Flu Season
Want CNET to notify you of price drops and the latest stories?
No, thank you
Accept

Panasonic tosses dSLR into the ring

Panasonic tosses dSLR into the ring

PMA 2006 - CNET covers the show
Panasonic's Lumix DMC-L1 is the company's first digital SLR, and it looks like it will be an impressive model. The fruit of a technology alliance between Panasonic and Olympus, the L1 is based on the same 7.5-megapixel nMOS sensor as the -31675515.html?tag=txt">Olympus Evolt E-330--unsurprising, since Panasonic makes the chip--which enables the live-view LCD technology in both cameras. (This gives photographers the option to frame their shots with the L1's LCD instead of the optical viewfinder, just like a point-and-shoot model.) Olympus contributes the Supersonic Wave Filter technology, which repels dust from the sensor.

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.