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Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1

alaTest has collected and analyzed 289 reviews from magazines and websites. Views about the design and image quality are overall positive. The build quality and performance also get good comments. The battery and low light performance get negative comments, while reviews about the focus and shutter are mixed.

lens, performance, build quality, image quality, design

value for money, viewfinder, low-light, battery

We analyzed user and expert ratings, product age and more factors. Compared to other Digital SLR Cameras the Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1 is awarded an overall alaScore™ of 89/100 = Very good quality.

See all Panasonic Digital SLR Cameras

Review analysis

(Based on 289 reviews)

Expert Reviews  

User Reviews  

Showing 126 review(s)

Expert Reviews User Reviews
Showing 1 - 10 of 126 Show Reviews: in English | in other languages (96)

Expert review by:



The Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1 is a Four-Thirds format, 7.5-megapixel DSLR with live preview. It comes with an optically stabilized Leica D Vario-Elmarit 14-50mm, f/ 2.8-3.5 lens; the camera body and lens package is priced online at about $1,750, although...

Fast, solid lens ; Excellent image stabilization ; Built-in bounce flash ; Sturdy construction ; Magnified focus on LCD

Slow, limited auto focus ; High noise at high ISO ; Live view drains battery quickly ; Full stop ISO range ; Small and dim optical viewfinder ; Narrow viewing angle on LCD

The Panasonic L1 is more fun than the other Four-Thirds cameras we've tested. The interface is appealing - it's not simply nostalgic to use an aperture ring, it's quick and comfortable too. We're delighted that someone - anyone - is including a fast,...

Expert review by:

Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1 Review


The Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1 is the first foray by Panasonic into the digital SLR market, and the Japanese consumer electronics giant has certainly taken an interesting approach. Instead of starting ...

The Panasonic L1 isn't a mass-market device, and deliberately so, therefore it feels a slightly odd choice of first DSLR for a major electronics manufacturer. In fact, it is...

Expert review by:

Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1 Digital Camera - Full Review


Panasonic's first SLR, the Lumix DMC-L1, has a 7.5 megapixel sensor and a large, fast 14-50mm optically stabilized zoom lens that's equivalent to a 28-100mm lens on a 35mm camera. This 2.4 pound SLR is thick and requires two hands to hold. A unique...

Sturdy build, Unique pop-up flash with bounce option, Nice LCD display, Good resolution, Many buttons for easy access to frequently used controls, Live View mode good for composing images from odd angles, Good quality lens with optical image...

LCD does not swing out from the body, Optical viewfinder is dim even in bright daylight, Autofocus in Live View mode is extremely slow, introducing dramatic shutter lag, Preflash is very early, increasing shutter lag beyond 1/2 second, Flash does not...

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1 brings to fruition the company's pledge in April 2005 that it would create a digital SLR under its own branding, compatible with Olympus' Four Thirds lens mount standard. The L1 looks to be quite an interesting SLR at that,...


Expert review by:

Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1


Another important part of the DMC-L1 package is its kit lens. This F2.8-3.5 Leica lens has a focal range of 14 - 50 mm (equivalent to 28 - 100 mm on the DMC-L1) with the added bonus of optical image stabilization. While it's still made in Japan, this...

Very good photo quality, especially if you shoot RAW ; Excellent Leica kit lens with optical image stabilization ; Built like a tank ; Robust performance in most areas ; Live view on sharp 2.5" LCD (but see issues below) ; Handy MF assist feature when...

Very expensive for what you get ; Bulky, clumsy body has too many buttons and dials; some switches very poorly placed ; Noisier than other D-SLRs at high ISOs ; JPEG image processing isn't the best; you'll get much better results shooting RAW ; Live...

If you're set on live view, you can save yourself a lot of money by getting the Olympus E-330 instead (around $800 body only) and then adding in an F2.8-3.5, 14 - 54 mm lens for $430 more. For those who didn't do well in math, that's $1230, or about...

Expert review by:

Panasonic DMC-L1


The 7.5-megapixel Lumix DMC-L1, Panasonic's first digital SLR, was announced in early 2006. It was the first non-Olympus SLR built around the Four Thirds System. It came a little more than a year after the manufacturer announced it would work with...

Expert review by:

Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1 Digital Camera Review


Using this camera is similar to using a film camera: the zoom and aperture rings on the available Leica lenses plus the mode dial and manual focus. Also, since there are no scene modes, i highly recommend that you only buy this camera if you are more...

Expert review by:

Panasonic’s Lumix DMC-L1; High-Tech Digital SLR With Conventional Controls And Traditional Style


The first Panasonic D-SLR, the Lumix DMC-L1 is a product of an alliance with Olympus, since it employs, according to the company, some "jointly developed technologies and components." In fact, this camera shares many attributes with the Olympus EVOLT...

Autofocus is available but the camera must lower and raise the reflex mirror for the system to work; that process, and the noisy clicking it produces, can be somewhat slow and annoying. Frankly, I found manual focus to be far more convenient. The...

Expert review by:

Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1 Digital Camera Review


The Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1 is Panasonic's first entry into the very competitive digital SLR arena.

Very nice kit lens (fast maximum aperture and image stabilization) ; Fun, "mechanical", retro design ; Built-in, pop-up flash has bounce ability ; Excellent image quality

Battery life not amazing compared to competitors ; Expensive kit is only purchase option ; May not be comfortable for some people ; Higher noise than competitors

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1 is an impressive camera that, frankly, is going to have a hard time contending with the competition.  Image quality is excellent and the camera operates well.  The included "kit" lens is far and away the best kit lens that...

Expert review by:

Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1 Review


Panasonic's first DSLR, the Lumix DMC-L1, stands out from norm. Even though it is largely based on the Olympus E-330, which is already an exotic camera, the L1 adds even more distinction. There are two special aspects to this DSLR: its...

Clean and detailed images up to ISO 200, Automatic sensor cleaning

Above average noise above ISO 200, Noisy but usable at ISO 800

Expert review by:

Panasonic DMC-L1


Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1 digital camera review


Product Specifications

State-of-the-art digital and optical technologies have been crystallized to make LUMIX DMC-L1 a top camera while helping establish a new photographic culture for the digital age. The DMC-L1 is an entirely new kind of digital SLR camera. It is operated much like a traditional film camera but provides a variety of innovative features that increase the fun of shooting photos. While the DMC-L1 is digital, it has a classic design that will remind users of traditional analog cameras. Because it is digital, the DMC-L1 can offer features such as a full-time Live View function through the large 2.5" high-resolution LCD, which offers a shooting style different from conventional digital SLRs that have only an optical viewfinder. The full-time Live View is made possible by the new Live MOS sensor, developed using Panasonic's original Maicovicon technology. Used in the DMC-L1, the 4/3-type Live MOS sensor with 7.5 million pixels provides both the outstanding image quality of a CCD and the low energy consumption for which CMOS sensors are known. The DMC-L1 also incorporates the Venus Engine III image processing LSI, which teams up with the Live MOS sensor to achieve stunning picture quality and responsive performance, with features such as rapid consecutive shooting. The LUMIX DMC-L1 is a state-of-the-art digital SLR camera that maintains the intuitive control and operability of familiar analog cameras, unlike digital SLRs that simply offer extended functions and specifications. The DMC-L1 is a finely crafted, truly satisfying camera that makes it easy for people who have never even used a digital single lens reflex camera to take beautiful shots and gives professionals a powerful tool for creating photographic masterpieces that visually express the emotions of their subjects.


Battery Form Factor:Manufacturer specific
Manufacturer Battery Name:Panasonic CGR-S603A

Camera Flash

Red Eye Reduction: Yes
Type:Pop-up flash

Digital Camera

Digital Camera Type:SLR
Supported Flash Memory:MultiMediaCard / SD Memory Card / SDHC Memory Card

Dimensions & Weight


Display (Projector)

Diagonal Size:2.5in
Diagonal Size (metric):6.4cm
Display Form Factor:Built-in
Technology:TFT active matrix
Type:LCD display


Packaged Quantity:1
Product Line:Panasonic Lumix

Lens System

Lens Aperture:F/2.8-3.5
Lens for SD:Body only/Leica D Vario-Elmarit 14-50mm lens
Max Focal Length:50mm
Min Focal Length:14mm
Optical Zoom:3.6
Type:Zoom lens

Optical Sensor

Optical Sensor Size:13.0 x 17.3mm
Optical Sensor Size (metric):13.0 x 17.3 mm
Optical Sensor Type:Live MOS
Sensor Dust Reduction: Yes
Sensor Resolution:7.5Megapixel

Optical System

Built-in Optical Image Stabilizer: Yes
Image Stabilizer:Optical

Optical Viewfinder

Type:Eye-level porro prism

Storage Floppy Drive

Type: None

Video Input

ISO (Max):1600
Light Sensitivity:ISO 100 / ISO 1600 / ISO 200 / ISO 400 / ISO 800 / ISO auto
Special Effects:Black & White
Still Image Format:JPEG / RAW
Type:Digital camera


Viewfinder Type:Optical