Panasonic is finally releasing a more reasonably priced DSLR. I can’t imaging that the former DMC-L1 has faired that well in light of competition like the Nikon D200 and Canon 30D; however, the L1 has dropped to about $1200 from its original $2000. Right, I know, it’s special because of the Leica glass. Ok, but that’s not much a selling point to the masses. A $1299 price point and a more ergodynamic body will be more appealing though.
If you don’t already know what the deal is with Panasonic DSLRs, here’s a little primer. Panasonic introduced the DMC-L1 back at PMA 2006. The L1 (and now the L10) is based on the Olympus four-thirds system. In fact, the L1 is based heavily on Olympus E-330 and the L10 appears to be based on the E-410 and E-510. The advantage of joining the four-thirds system is a huge base of lenses to rely on immediately. Maybe Panasonic can capitalize on this advantage with their newest entry.
Thanks to an outstanding lens, by far the best “kit” lens on the market, the L10 delivers excellent image quality in RAW, but its JPEG processing is unable to maintain this high quality level. Although the L10 can shoot continuous JPEGs with 3 fps, it has a disappointing buffer memory of merely three RAW images. Despite its flaws, the L10 offers one of the best packages available for serious photo enthusiasts. When considering the L10 against the competitors, fair performance and a hefty price tag should be weighted against outstanding image quality potential, many practical features and user friendly ergonomics.
After checking out the press release below, head on over to DPReview.com for their rather thorough preview of the L10.
PANASONIC EXPANDS LUMIX SLR LINE WITH FIRST SLR MODEL FEATURING FACE DETECTION, ADVANCED INTUITIVE FEATURES
LUMIX DMC-L10 Features 270-Degree Rotating Live View LCD,
and Advanced Dust-Prevention System
SECAUCUS, N.J. (August 30, 2007) – Panasonic today introduced the newest member of its digital single-lens reflex (SLR) camera line, the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-L10, the company’s first SLR with Face Detection. The DMC-L10 also offers an advanced 2.5 inch Live View LCD which can rotate 270 degrees, enabling versatile shooting options, and making it easy and convenient to shoot from high or low angles. Complete with a 10.1-megapixel Live MOS Sensor, the DMC-L10 includes an advanced, Supersonic Wave Filter system that prevents dust from collecting on the sensor and degrading photo quality.
“Panasonic’s advanced digital imaging technologies, including Optical Image Stabilization and Intelligent ISO control settings, are helping LUMIX compact digital cameras make a name for themselves in this industry, “said Alex Fried, National Marketing Manager, Imaging, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company. “Now, we expand our SLR line with the LUMIX DMC-L10, which is especially designed for the consumer who is familiar with compact digital cameras, but also wants to further experience the enjoyment of digital SLR photography.”
The DMC-L10 is Panasonic’s first digital SLR with Face Detection, which will focus, set auto exposure and can detect up to 15 human faces simultaneously, capturing the subjects clearly and brightly. Combining Face Detection with Panasonic’s Intelligent ISO Control settings, which measures the movement of the subject and sets the ISO level accordingly, helps give consumers crisp, blur-free images.
The Live View LCD lets users check the image on the camera after making exposure compensation adjustments, but before taking the shot. The LCD also features an Intelligent LCD function that offers an automatic brightness level control function, making the screen visible regardless of a bright sunlit or dark environment. In addition, the DMC-L10 adopts advanced hybrid-type AF system, which gives users the option to choose either the phase difference AF system or the contrast AF to suit the preferred shooting style. While in manual mode, the user can enlarge part of the subject on LCD and also freely move the magnified area for easy framing.
A common concern among digital SLR camera users is the potential of dust entering the camera’s body when adjusting interchangeable lenses. To combat this, Panasonic has equipped the DMC-L10 with a Supersonic Wave Filter system that uses supersonic vibrations to shake off dust clinging to the sensor, which also simplifies the maintenance process.
The DMC-L10 incorporates a variety of functions that build a bridge for those transitioning from a compact digital camera to a digital SLR, helping them to take high-quality digital photos. For instance, the Mode Dial on top of the camera provides easy access to the most frequently used settings including Auto mode, each P/A/S/M mode, and five scene modes (Portrait, Scenery, Macro, Sports and Night Portrait) and one custom mode that can be set per the user’s preference.
The DMC-L10 comes equipped with a LEICA D VARIO-ELMAR 14-50mm / F3.8-5.6 / MEGA O.I.S. lens, which has a focal length from 14mm to 50mm, and offers a more compact and light-weight body than its predecessor (LEICA D VARIO-ELMARIT 14-50mm/ F2.8 -3.5 ASPH).
Other advanced features of the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-L10 include:
- Film Mode: Allows users to choose a setting which mimics the effects of analog film. Users select from nine modes including Standard, Dynamic, Nature, Smooth, Nostalgic, Vibrant, Standard B/W, Dynamic B/W and Smooth B/W, with the capability to finely adjust contrast, sharpness, saturation and noise reduction. All these settings can be confirmed before you take the picture and the result is always as you intended.
- The Venus Engine III: Image processing LSI developed by Panasonic to maximize the performance of the Leica D lens and Live MOS sensor. This advanced LSI helps reproduce images with outstanding resolution, superior color and detailed gradation. It also distinguishes chromatic noise from luminance noise and selectively reduces the chromatic noise, one of the chief sources of image quality problem. This helps the DMC-L10 deliver the superb image rendering one expects from a quality SLR camera.
- Image Stabilization: Panasonic drew on its cutting-edge lens technology to invent Mega O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer), a system that prevents blurring from shaky hands and has been incorporated in the full 2007 line of LUMIX digital cameras. This high-precision image stabilizing lens system is now available with the LEICA D VARIO-ELMAR 14-50mm/F3.8-5.6/MEGA O.I.S.
- Advanced Scene Modes: As part of the L10’s intuitive usability, the photographer can make finer adjustments when using frequently-used scenes such as Portrait, Sports, Landscape and Night portrait. For instance, when selecting the Portrait or Sports mode, users can further define whether the scene is in outdoors or indoors. When using the Landscape mode, users can specify if it is a nature or an architectural shot.
- Auto-Focusing Methods: To match the shooting situation and subject’s position, the user can select from six auto-focusing methods: Face Detection, 9-point, Multi, 3-point, 1-point and Spot. With the 1-point AF or spot AF method, the auto-focusing area can be chosen from as many as 11 points. Various group area patterns can also be selected in the new Multi method.
The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-L10 will be available in October 2007 for a MSRP of $1,299.95.
[tags]panasonic, lumix, dmc-l10, news, release, price[/tags]