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-   -   Got my hands on a L1 (

Treemonkey Apr 29, 2006 1:44 AM

Just got back from the photo imaging world convention in Sydney. I managed to convince one of the Panasonic reps to let me hold the L1, apparently this is not usually allowed. It was Preproduction model number 3, ie the third one made in the world! I was not allowed to power it up but had a good play with it. It seemed pretty nice and quite light. I asked the million dollar question, how much would it cost and the response was "I am not allowed to tell you, but one this is for sure it wont be cheap".

Had a good chat to the Pana reps but couldnt get much more info about the L1 out of them.


HarjTT Apr 29, 2006 7:45 AM


Thanks for the info and how the hell did you manage to get them to handover the L1 without you dashign off with it!!?

Some more questions on the L1 - how big is the body and the lens ? What about weight wise ? Is it comfortable to hold or is it like the FZ10 a wee bit awkward ? Was the LCD still fixed ? Any indication of new lenses ?




Treemonkey Apr 29, 2006 8:37 AM


I thought you may have been interested HarjTT! Size wise it is slightly larger than the FZ10 although quite comfortable to hold, better than the canon 350D but not as good as the Nikon D50/70. The weight was very light, in the order of the Canon 350D (although I doubt it had a battery in it). I dont think the screen flipped out.
I did talk about using the Pana IS lenses on the Olympus 4/3rds cameras and the IS mode 2 will not work on systems other than the Pana, but mode 1 will. The aperture ring is electronic so when used on an Oly it wont work but the aperture can still be controlled via the camera. He did take the lens off so I had a look inside. Since it was a preproduction model it didnt have all the kinks worked out and the focus ring and zoom were pretty stiff.
He was quite nervous about getting it out (it was lock up out back) and didnt give me much time before it locked it away again.


Hiroshi Apr 30, 2006 8:28 PM

If the L1 is going to be a hit, it had better be right from the start. So far from what I've seen, I'm not impressed with the Olympus' offerings inthe 4/3 system. The quality of the photographs from the E300, E500 and E330 are not up to par with those of the Canon RebelXT with a good lens. Considering that the body only XT can be got for under $700.00 and the new, very sharp Sigma 17-70mm (27-112mm digital equivalent) for under $400.00....that's allot of camera and lens for $1100.00

Perhaps the Panasonic VenusIII engine will be better suited to extract the information from the 4/3 system,above what Olympus has offered.


zygh Apr 30, 2006 9:42 PM

Won't be cheap, huh?
Well, as far as I can tell, that L1 ain't worth more than 800$ for the body only. Nikon, Canon and even Pentax have all better offers than that, price wise, in the dSLR department.
Panny's sure taking a stake here...

eddie_dane May 1, 2006 10:14 AM

Panasonic seem to be betting that people will be willing to pay more for the preview LCD like on the Oly 330 (they are probably counting on people wanting to get the Leica lens as well).

If it can't deliver image quality and camera performance compared to the likes of Canon/Nikon, I don't think people will be willing to pay much/any extra for either feature.

On a another note:

Like many here, I've been weighing getting my first dSLR kit and while Oly Zuiko lenses are high quality, I've learned that with dSLR you aren't just buying a camera but a camera system (lenses, flash, etc) and my attention has mainly been drawn toward Canon and Nikon for a complete system. While the Leica lens is enticing, it's only one lens. I have been sorely disappointed in the availability in accessories for Panasonic's pinnacle camera (FZ30) and I don't want that kind of headache if I get a dSLR. I've had my FZ30 since Dec '05 and I just now secured the Panasonic wide angle lens and I consider myself lucky. Sure, there are plenty of 3rd party lenses available but I'd expect the accessories from the manufacturer to be in consideration.

And yes, I realize that the whole idea behind the 4/3 system is lens compatibilty and I also know that Sigma has already announced new lenses but if those features were so strong, there would already be a lot of people with 4/3 cameras before the L1 came out.

HarjTT May 2, 2006 6:10 AM

Hi Eddie

From what I've read I think the problem with the 4/3's system was that although it was supposed to be "open standard", Olympus kept a pretty tight control over it which put off all of the other manufacturers that had joined it i.e Kodak, Fuji, etc from developing their own 4/3 systems and thus making Oly the only player in town. There were also quiet a few people that thought it was dead end system ( Now with Pana on board 4/3 that seems to have changed matters a bit and its also encouraged the other signatories, well sigma at least to produce a range of lenses for the system. My gripe with the 4/3 system is that it was supposed to allow the design and manufacture of smaller cam's and lenses compared to APS/Full frame 35mm cams but from what I've seen that simply isn;t the case although the oly e330 is a really nice size.

Image quality and price point are going to be really important and as you say if the L1 etc can't match or beat the likes of Canon/Nikon DSLR's I completely agree with you that people will go elsewhere. If the price of the L1+lens is reasonable (for me that would be around the £1000) and IQ is better than the LC1 it will be pretty special and I would consider it but I also want a tilt swivel LCD.

On another note we shoudl also watch out for Sony as they will be showing off some new DSLR's at Photokina 2006 and hopefully with "Carl Zeiss" badged lenses as they would be using KM's in cam IS and the KM mount.

Interesting times ahead.



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