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Old Aug 10, 2006, 7:53 AM   #1
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One of the first things that came to mind when the L1 and its price was first announced was "Have Panasonic made a mistake by not providing existing Pana users with an affordable upgrade path to a Panasonic DSLR ?". Having aimed the L1 squarely at the upper end of the market and seeing the amounf of interest (or lack of) that the L1 has created within the various Panasonic user forums principally due to its price I'd say that they have made an error in not announcing an entry level DSLR. Such a camera would have provided an incentive for existing users to take the first step with a panaleica based SLR. Instead they're looking at the alternatives available at the $1000 bracket and particularly appealing will be the Sony alpha, the new D80 and Olympus E500/E330. To me thats a shame and a lost opportunity, and once people start building up a system its very hard to swap.

Just my two cents, euros and pennies

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Old Aug 10, 2006, 11:28 PM   #2
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I think a case can be made that Panasonic did the right thing by not offerring an entry level DSLR.

For one thing, they shouldn't be concerned about providing an upgrade path for Panasonic users. My camera before upgrading to a DLSR was a Panasonic and, like 98% of people getting a DSLR, brand loyalty to my previous camera maker was a non issue.

More importantly, Panasonic may have done the correct thing by not jumping into a market that is awash with entry level and mid-level SLRs. There are a dozen cameras in that market already. In the 4/3 system specifically, Olympus has the E-300, E-330, and E-500 which covers the mid and entry level range. Pansonic has little to gain by competing directly against an establishedseries of modern, high value cameras from a respected maker.

I think they found an interesting hole in the market. It's not a big hole...but it is an area that has room. They found a spot in the "premium" DSLR market. They've got advanced lenses with a legendary name on an advanced body. It's not an all outprofessional camera like some of the big 14MP things we see and it doesn't offer a million accessories. But it advances the 4/3 system just a step above current Olympus offerrings.

It's not a segment of the market that is likely to sell a lot cameras. But it might be the place where they can establish their presence as a quality leader in the DSLR world. They get a little extra press and get their product noticed. Had they jumped into the low end of the market with EVERYBODY else, they could be just a another "also ran" getting lost in a battle of cheap cameras.
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Old Aug 11, 2006, 8:59 AM   #3
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I think it was Jim C, one of the moderators here, who mentioned Panasonic was going to be manufacturing somewhere in the 2000 units per month range- compare that to [email protected] 80,000 units a month of the A100 and you can see this is obviously being sold as a niche product. Alot depends on the final price. I've seen the camera listed on the B&H website at $1,999, and that looked to be abody only deal, but again, it's not yet there actually for sale- will that be the final price?

So far I've seen some things that make me want to like this camera. I already have a set of Olympus glass that will be as good as any lens Panasonic makes for it, so the body's all I need. Will the Olympus FL50 flash thatI ownbe completely compatible? I think it will, but I'll want to be sure.

There's usually one time a year I have an opportunity to add a significant piece to my outfit. This year it was the Zuiko7-14 zoom. Between now and the end of the year a high dollar item is out, but early next year the opportunity will be there at some point, and I've not marked this off the possibilities list.
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Old Aug 11, 2006, 12:46 PM   #4
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Hi Greg

From what I can tell the Oly Flash guns should work just fine with tha L1 as the hotshoe and the Panasonic flash look identical to OLymups's. Quote from dpreview

"The L1 has a flash hot-shoe (or 'accessory shoe') which appears to be identical that used on Olympus 'E System' digital SLR's. The L1 is compatible with existing Olympus flash lights (FL-50, FL-36, FL-20 and macro flashes) as well as what appears to be a Panasonic branded FL-50 which was shown at the launch of the camera."

http://www.dpreview.com/articles/pan...mcl1/page4.asp

I'm not sure whether B&H have made an error on their pricing for the L1 as Amazon.com is taking orders for the L1+Lens for $1999.00. My only real concern here in the UK is if they really over price the L1 and if they do I'll look to pick up the E330 +14-54mm Zukio instead. I'll miss having IS but I can work around that for now.

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Old Aug 11, 2006, 3:54 PM   #5
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The E-330 is definitely out there as well. With an E-1 and E-300 right now there's no realneed to buya body....when the time comes Imay even have to resist the temptation of the 35-100 f2, or even the 150 f2and skipping a new body all together! I really have no complaints with my current body setup. The pictures are beautiful, but that fast f2 zoomlens is awful tempting, and it's no heavier than the Canon 100-400L I used to haul around with the 10D outfit I sold when I got into my current E-1 setup.

Too many things to think about right now, and it's too darn hot down here in Texas to even get out and shoot.
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Old Aug 11, 2006, 4:01 PM   #6
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If I'm recalling correctly, initially Panasonic said (in February) they weren't exactly sure if they will sell the body only, or as it stands now, the L1 + LENS. Ithad something to do with how the units sell in the beginning. Given that JimC said his information (rumors)said Panasonic will make 3,000 a month then it seems to me there won't be any room to come up with a body only scenario. If the L1 doesn't move as well as expected then I look for a body only pricing , whatever that may be, around Christmas.

I also saw B&H's $2,000 bodyonly. However, on a related topicon Steve's Forums a few weeks back a posted link had L1+lens for that price.

By the way, does anyone here know how well the LC1 did. I think that's the model before the L1 isn't it?

An aside here: I know I've said before that I've been looking at other cameras but the L1 still puts a gleam in my eye.
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Old Aug 11, 2006, 4:51 PM   #7
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Hi Andy

I can't give you a figure on the production runs but I do know that they sold every LC1/Digilux D2 that was manufactured.

Regards the L1 - Panasonic have clearly stated that it would be sold as a kit initially and then the lens would be available at a later stage.

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Old Aug 11, 2006, 9:45 PM   #8
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Well! If Panasonic sold all their LC1s then those owners may well be into an upgrade to the L 1provided they didn't move on to something else the past two years.

I still have my review of that camera. I liked everything about that one except a major stumbling block and that is the 3x zoom on it.

What if JimC's rumor about 3,000 L1s being builtis truebut the demand suddenly scoots up considerably. Would Panasonic be able to meet demand? Demand in this casecould mean people wanting an L1 within two weeks of purchase rather say a month-long wait, or longer. Will Panasonic be making a mistake manufacturing 3,000 instead of 6,000? I also wonder how they arrived at the lower figure. I'm sure their market research showed something to allow them to beconfident in the lower figure; assuming it's true of course. :-)

I believe they will manufacturemore than 3,000 for worldwide consumption. This way if demand shoots up then they will have a supply to satisfy. At least that 's what I hope they would do. That said, if supply is short then more people may get interested and resign themselves to a ''long wait.''

I know, I know,a lot of speculation on my part.
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Old Aug 20, 2006, 3:56 AM   #9
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I can't see anything other than the "snob factor" that would lead someone to buy an L1, and I don't think the Leica lens is going to provide enough appeal to generate sales of a horrendously overpriced Panasonic camera.
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Old Aug 20, 2006, 5:34 PM   #10
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Laying aside the snob factor I would think positivereviews would generate interest more than a ''I have one.'' Nowto be sure some folks who have''deep pockets'' will be guilty of a snob factor, but even at that, if the intent was to actually use the camera, assuming positive reviews, then wherein lies the snobbishness simply because of a capacity to purchase higher than others. How will that be determined.

I'm sure some D200 and 30D owners and a host of less expensiveowners can be guilty of this same syndrome, not to mention the very high-end digital buyers even if their work place will provide them the cameras.

That said, a review here someplace gave a thumbs down in a couple of critical areaswhich in turn denied me thispotential first-time purchase of a DSLR.

For the price of the L1, discrepancies should be minor in my opinion, i.e., start up time, or this or that button is in the wrong place, not something like the buffer isn'tup to par.
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