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Old Oct 14, 2006, 3:15 PM   #1
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I popped into a camera store in the city today and on teh way out spotted the L1 and immediately asked to see it :G:G:G . First impressions of the L1 in hand are :

1. Appearance - it looks just as lovely in the flesh as it does on screen and my that Leica D14-50 is a soo pruuuty. Construction of the body very nice and every button lever just clicks like a merc's. Sizewise I had begun to think the L1 was a brick but suprisingly its not too big at all but if they had made it slightly smaller I'd say it would have been perfect but then the 14-50 would have really looked huge on it.
2. Weight - its light even with the Leica D attached. I was in fact shocked by how it felt in my hand esp compared to my E1+14-54. I could easily carry the L1 around all day without even noticing it. I even began to think it was too light and may be a wee bit extra weight would have made it feel even better.
3. Viewfinder - Actually wasn't too bad at all. Its smaller than the E1's and I'd say just slightly darker than it should be but it was good enough. What I would have prefered was for all the camera info to be displayed traditionally at the bottom as I just seemed to miss seeing the vital info on the right hand side at times. That way the VF would look bigger as well.
4. Ergonomics - very good indeed except for the camera eyelets which should be higher up and out of the way like the E1 but I think I could easily get used to those. The grip and shutter location wasn't as awkards as I thought they would be and in use every button seems to be in the right place (like the E1). The shutter dial, shutter button and aperture/focus/zoom rings are just smooth. Although I have to say my Oly 14-54 zoom and focus rings do feel smoother in use compared to the leica D - the Oly also "feels" better put together but thats just my initial opinion.
5. Liveview LCD - I'd say that its better implemented on the Pana than on the E330 but again thats my opnion. Really easy to use but I would have prefered an articulated tilt/swivel LCD esp for the money.
6. In use - very fast AF and shot to shot speed. Wish I had a SD card with me at the time so I could check the IQ from the camera.
7. Menu's - Coming from an FZ back ground very simple and easy to use.

I didn;t get much time with the L1 as I was heading home but I will be popping back later this week and hope that they have not sold it as the store had only two in stock inc the display model that I had a play with. I had to stop my self from walking out with the L1 esp as its £1,500.00 GBP which is $2,784.30USD.

No price or when the Leica D will be available on its own for now but it was good to see the cam in the flesh at last!

Cheers


HarjTT

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Old Oct 14, 2006, 10:40 PM   #2
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$2,784.30 USD! Whatttt?

Say it ain't so.
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Old Oct 15, 2006, 10:02 AM   #3
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hi Harj
risky business walking into a camera store
you were lucky to be able to leave
out here L1 was A$3,850 when I looked last
about A$2,800 on ebay
its only money Andrew, thats what its for

Riley
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Old Oct 15, 2006, 6:13 PM   #4
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Well if the L1 had been $2,783.29 I woud have said yes.
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Old Oct 16, 2006, 1:39 AM   #5
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Andrew, prices in Europe should not be used in determining what we'll pay for it over here in the US. They, unfortunately, are dealingwith entirely different price structures/controls.I've already seen it advertized at $1,899 online (see URL below, and yes, this includes the lens)and that's the price I've heard talked about online. I'm even contemplating selling the 14-50 zoom when I do get around to buying one to drop the overall costunless the body onlyis available when my opportunity to nab one comes up, which I am figuring will be in late January/early February. The Zuiko 14-54 I currently haveis much smaller, my copy is plenty sharp, and after shooting with the Zuiko for an extended timenowI've found Ireally don'thave the need for image stabilization in this focal length range.

http://www.adorama.com/IPCDMCL1K.html
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Old Oct 16, 2006, 3:23 AM   #6
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It was selling for $1999 at several places locally recently. IMHO, it's overpriced at that price. I believe that the body and the lens are each listing for around $1000.

IMHO, the combined entity is maybe worth $1500 if it were fairly priced.

The Olympus 14-54 lens is widely available for under $500, and I really can't see that body being worth more than $800 nowadays, in the context of a Pentax K10D for $900 or a Nikon D80 for $1000. I would be hard pressed to justify more than $700 for that lens, when the Oly 14-54 lens can be had for $479
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Old Oct 16, 2006, 11:10 AM   #7
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I don't usually shortchange myself on the world scene but I can see I've done just that in this case. I should have seen and recognized economic ''posturing'' but I fell short in this case. Recognizing this in this light then thank goodness for the USA. No offense to those livingelsewhere...contextually speaking of course.
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Old Oct 16, 2006, 12:15 PM   #8
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DougJGreen wrote:
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It was selling for $1999 at several places locally recently. IMHO, it's overpriced at that price. I believe that the body and the lens are each listing for around $1000.

IMHO, the combined entity is maybe worth $1500 if it were fairly priced.

The Olympus 14-54 lens is widely available for under $500, and I really can't see that body being worth more than $800 nowadays, in the context of a Pentax K10D for $900 or a Nikon D80 for $1000. I would be hard pressed to justify more than $700 for that lens, when the Oly 14-54 lens can be had for $479
$1,500 is probably closer to what it would be selling for if it were not for the Leica name on the lens, and in this case when I say "name", that is indeed it. This is a Panasonic lens. They got input from Leica engineers but this lens was built in Japan, in a Panasonic factory...it is a Panasonic lens with the Leica name on it because somewherea while backPanasonic paid Leica a lot of money for the rights to do so, and we in turn pay more at the counter.

Straight from the Panasonic FAQpage on the L-1:

Question3. Where is the DMC-L1K lens made?


Answer3. Under a licensing agreement with Leica Camera AG, the lens is manufactured in a Panasonic plant in Japan that has satisfied the required manufacturing standards.


Everyone's doing it. Are we so naive to think the "Carl Zeiss" lenses Sony is putting on their digicams is the sameglass Carl Zeiss makes for the Hasselblad cameras? The marketers are betting a large majority are, and I guess to an extent it works. Lord knows, if I have to wind upbuying the L-1kit I hope someone believes it when I put the lens on eBay!


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Old Oct 16, 2006, 12:39 PM   #9
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Well, look at the bright side regarding that lens, It's probably a Leica optical design, and had Leica actually been the folks to manufacture it, it would surely be $2K for the lens alone if it were a dollar. Based on some comparison tests I've seen, I'd say that the lens is slightly superior to the Zuiko 14-54mm lens (being contrastier and a bit crisper overall wide open), and it does have the build in image stabilization, which I believe is only of slight value in this focal length range.
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Old Oct 16, 2006, 1:33 PM   #10
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i dont think there is any doubt that panasonic benefit from the leica branding

there are also visible benefits for buyers in that the lenses are an improvement
i would site that the FZ series panasonic optics do better than comparable zooms from canon

the third point i would make is this, and it is to do with production cost/capability
i doubt that leica has the manufacturing clout to provide glass in the numbers that panasonic requires. leica methods guarantee a high standard of quality, but are very costly and slow. hence panasonic make some shortcuts in production that are inline with modern practises, and have no doubt these are practises that leica can live with. the resulting quality is certainly less....yes, but it still cuts a better than average profile

whatever your opinions on the pana variety of leica glass, i feel sure it is helping leica survive where ordinarily, by now they would be in huge trouble. if the continuation of leica matters, it is worth supporting this industrial alliance

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