Panasonic L1

Megapixels: 7.5MP
Camera size: 145.8W x 86.9H x 80D mm
57.4W x 34.2H x 31.5D in
Weight: 530g / 18.7oz
Release date: Feb 2006


The Panasonic L1 was Panasonic's first Four Thirds camera and it's first digital SLR, using their own made CMOS sensor clocking in 7.5MP, and featured film-like manual controls, with a dedicated shutter speed dial and aperture on the lens. Speaking of the lens, the best thing about this camera is probably the kit lens it came with - the Panasonic 14-50mm f/2.8-3.5 was a worthy competitor to the Olympus 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5

Eddie's take on it

For all practical purposes, this is the same camera as the Olympus E-330. It was quite expensive when new ($2000 with the 14-50mm f/2.8 lens), and it's a pretty large, chunky camera, with some early tech that some would say is simply not quite there yet. Some ebayers still want a lot for it, but I don't see them sell for obvious reasons. I wouldn't buy one for over $75.

There is absolutely no reason to buy this over the later models, like the E-5xx, E-4xx and E-6xx series.

If you want to check out a camera with the Porro prism, the earlier Olympus E-300 at least has the CCD sensor as the redeeming quality. The E-300 doesn't have live view, but the live view implementation on this is so bad, you'll be wishing this camera didn't have it either.

Due to the dedicated shutter speed dial (and the dedicated aperture dial on the 14-50mm f/2.8 lens), this camera had a small - and I mean small - following when it came out, as this was rather rare on cameras at that time. Overall though, this was a flop for Panasonic.

Four Thirds Camera Timeline
  2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Flagship E-1 E-3 E-5
Pro Enthusiast E-30
Enthusiast E-620
E-500 E-510 E-520
L1 L10
Entry Level E-300 E-330
E-400 E-410 E-420 E-450