Digital Photography Now -  
home :: Camera reviews :: Features
21st July 2006
Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1 sample images
by Ian Burley

Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1 sample images to view and download, including ISO range samples.

Discuss this article on the DPNow DSLR discussion forum

How do you appreciate your photos in this digital age?

Fortunately for us at the Panasonic press event in Barcelona this week, Lumix DMC-L1 bodies provided by Panasonic for our use had just been updated with final production-ready firmware.

The L1's Leica Vario Elmarit 14-50mm f/2.8-3.5 standard zoom lenses provided were mechanically and optically production standard, but one more firmware update was expected. I had some intermittent focus mechanism problems when trying to use this lens on an Olympus E500, which Panasonic attributed to the E500's firmware (v.1.1 rather than the latest v.1.2) and the intermediate firmware in the lens.

Below is a small gallery of original JPEG images I took using the DMC-L1. One the second page of this article are 1:1 crops taken at different ISO sensitivities, with links to download the full image, if required. All but one are taken using the Leica Vario Elmarit with Mega OIS image stabilisation switched on in mode 2. One shot was taken using a well-used Digital Zuiko 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 for comparison. I tended to use the lens' traditional-style aperture ring for aperture priority auto shooting. All shots were taken with the camera set to record least-compressed JPEG files.

I was also trying out a pre-production DMC-LX2 and a DMC-LZ50 at the same time, so, combined with extremely hot and humid conditions in Barcelona, and being weighed down with four cameras (including an E500 plus lenses) and a bag, my comment for the compositional quality of these shots is that they could probably have been better! Even one of Panasonic's Japanese staff commented I closely resembled one of his compatriots on holiday...

Please note, by clicking on the the thumbnails below, the full orginal four megabyte 7.5 megapixel JPEG image will show in your browser. You may prefer to download the image to your computer for convenient browsing offline. Windows users can do this by right-clicking and using the 'Save Target as...' option.

This picture of a candle, taken at dusk, was deliberately under-exposed by two-thirds of a stop to help the metering system compensate for the dark background. Shutter: 1/30th, f/5, ISO 100

     Here is a shot taken with the Leica Vario Elmarit at its longest (50mm, or 100mm equivalent) zoom setting. Shutter: 1/250th, f/8, ISO 100

For comparison, here is the same scene as the previous one taken with an Olympus Digital Zuiko 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 lens, @54mm (108mmequiv.) Shutter: 1/250th, f/8, ISO 100

Taken at the Vario Elmarit's 17mm (34mm equiv.) zoom setting this shot covers a relatively wide view of the scene. Shutter: 1/400th, f/5.6, ISO 100

Also at 17mm, this portrait mode view combines some tricky high contrast edge detail, highlights and shadow areas. Shutter: 1/200th, f/8, ISO 100

In quite difficult, sun-glaring, conditions for the model, this is one of a continuous sequence of shots @50mm (100mm equiv.) Shutter: 1/800th, f/4, ISO 100

This was taken at full aperture to minimise depth of field and to examine sharpness of the lens without stopping down. 50mm (100mm equiv.) Shutter: 1/400th, f/3.5, ISO 100

Pointing up the side of a hill, this shot was taken at 24mm (48mm equiv.) and includes shadows, mid-tones and high-contrast edges in the highlights. Shutter: 1/400th, f/5, ISO 100

Now with the Vario Elmarit at its widest zoom setting (14mm, or 28mm equiv.) we have some green foliage and blue flowers in the foreground under bright midday sunshine plus shade. Shutter: 1/200th, f/5.6, ISO 100

Finally, this busker was sat in a grotto, with the exterior bright background showing, so exposure was increased by two thirds of a stop to compensate. 20mm (40mm equiv.) Shutter: 1/80th, f/4, ISO 100

These images really only serve as a quick and rough means of evaluating the DMC-L1. I would expect that dedicated DMC-L1 owners would not, as I did, depend on in-camera JPEGs, but use RAW file conversions. This was not possible as the necessary software was not yet available. Panasonic did say that they were working with both Adobe and DXO to provide third-party RAW conversion tools in addition to their in-house solution.

So, to be brutally critical, the JPEGs produced by the DMC-L1 tended to be quite saturated and some may prefer to tone down the red in some skin tones. I could also see some moiré effect in very fine, high contrast detail, like highlighted strands of hair. In very demanding situations, at the outermost regions of the frame, some purple and green fringing is visible, though it's not too bad. There is a nice overall smoothness to the images, which should produce good prints, though some users will probably want to sharpen these up in post-processing.

It's far too early to make any meaningful judgment, but I hope that the images provided in this article will start the process of familiarisation with the DMC-L1 and its capabilities.

Related articles: Panasonic releases Firmware for DMC-L1K Panasonic Introduces the LUMIX DMC-L1 Panasonic announces development of the DMC-L1 Digital SLR
©2001-2015 Digital Photography Now, All Rights Reserved.