The Online Photographer

Check out our new site at!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

L-L's Lumix L1 "First Field Report"

Michael Reichmann has just posted a first look user report of the new Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1 and its Leica D Vario-Elmarit 14-50mm ƒ/2.8-3.5 lens over at The Luminous Landscape. It's one of Michael's charactistically excellent and honest reports; he gives camera and lens a good trial and doesn't mince words about what he thinks, while giving you enough down-to-earth information about his priorities to disagree or reserve judgment if you so choose. Given Michael's now extremely extensive experience with all sorts of digital cameras at every level, his opinions and impressions are valuable and make good reading whether your own interest in the product is passionate or passing. Have a look when you get a chance.

Posted by: MIKE JOHNSTON with thanks to Ken T.


Blogger plabby said...

I would be lying if I didn't say I was a little dissappointed by the review. I love the cameras Leica?panasonic have created in the past, but I can't imagine who would buy such a camera when you could get a d-80 with an 18-200 for $200 less. Yes, its a leica lens, and yes the live preview is nice, but I have a feeling that this lens may not be enough to make this camera a success in the market.

11:19 PM  
Blogger Ian Rees said...

The lens is considerably less impressive when you take into account the lower usable sensitivities of the 4/3 sensor. Despite being f/2.8, the system will probably produce inferior results when f/2.8 or greater is actually needed.

12:13 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

Since the rise and popularity of digital photography, an enormous number of people who buy cameras now never used, or even owned, a camera on a regular basis before. This has led to a huge reduction in the quality and functionality of one area that I consider to be vital to good photography...the viewfinder. So many people buying digital cameras today have no idea what a good viewfinder is like and as such they are happy with whatever dinky little thing the manufacturers put in the camera they are buying. The Sony R1 is a case in point. More than enough megapixels for most people, top quality lens, wide angle down to 24mm (how much would that cost in a separate lens), but a poor quality EVF that was for me a real deal breaker. So now it seems that Leica/Panasonic have done the same by putting in a small, dim viewfinder into their latest flagaship.

Digital photography is great but priorities have shifted and I think we are losing some very important aspects of camera design for the sake of other, in my opinion, less important features.

7:02 PM  
Blogger Brad Bunnin said...

Well, despite some ambivalent reviews, I bought an L1, took it to Europe for a month, and came back delighted with it! The viewfinder doesn't offer a great view, but it's certainly adequate. The performance of lens, shutter, and controls is excellent. I especially like not having to scroll through menus to make changes. The weight and balance of the camera suit me. Even the complaints about the position of the strap lug and the shutter release seem to me a reflection of inflexibility on the reviewers' part, not a real problem. My average-sized hands fit the camera nicely, without strain or pain. The lug nesteled between my first and second fingers, and the release fell comfortably under my finger. I used the camera extensively (daily, nearly) for four weeks, never asked myself if I really, really wanted to take it out for the day (or night), shot RAW+jpeg most of the time, did quick street shooting and long exposures, landscapes, cityscapes, night shots, portraits, semi-macro—and enjoyed the experience. I used an 8GB SDHC, which worked well. Only a couple of times did I miss the added reach of a tele lens, and the 28mm end of the range was enough for my purposes. (I sold a Sony R1, which is an innovative camera with many good features, but I didn't get results with it to compare favorably with my L1. The camera that preceded the R1 was a Panasonic Lumix DMC LC1, which I like a lot, except for the EVF.)

The Leica-designed lens, and the obvious controls, and the handling, have sold me on the L1.

6:11 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home