Panasonic DMC-L10

Posted by Marques on Nov 3rd, 2007


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The second digital SLR from Panasonic is out, and looks good.

The Panasonic DMC-L1 left its mark on the digital SLR world, although sales were bellow expected. Now, short for two years after that moment, Panasonic brings us the DMC-L10, and much more is expected from it.

 

Panasonic DMC-L10: Highlights

  • Live MOS 10.1 Megapixel sensor (3648 x 2736 pixels)
  • Lightweight body
  • Kit Lens: LEICA D VARIO-ELMAR 14–50mm/ F3.8–5.6/ASPH
  • Articulating screen
  • Live View
  • Dust Removal System
  • Four Thirds Lens Mount

 

 

Panasonic DMC-L10: Sensor and Processor

The 10 Megapixel Live MOS sensor place this camera in the middle-high places in sensor resolution and it is a good choice for serious hobbyists. While not top of the top, the majority of amateur photographers will not come across the need for increased resolution.

The Venus Engine III is an image processing LSI made to maximize the quality of the photos captured by the sensor. One of the main highlights of the processor is its ability to distinguish between luminance noise and chromatic noise, increasing image quality.

Panasonic DMC-L10: Live View and Articulating Screen

The Live View, together with a 2.5″ articulated LCD screen, take dSLR photography to a new dimension. No more bending and twisting to be able to look through the viewfinder and no more “blind” shots. Twist the LCD your way and see how the photo looks before you press the shutter button.

The Live View and articulated screen make for a much easier transition from a P&S to this SLR.

Panasonic DMC-L10: Leica… what more to say

Leica is one of the most known lens makers prized for the quality of the lens and, of course, the images they produce. So, having a Leica lens attached to this camera is definitely a plus, and the LEICA D VARIO-ELMAR 14-50mm/F3.8-5.6 ASPH (15 glass elements) is sure to meet the highest standards. Also, the Venus Engine III processor was developed with this lens in mind. This might be the reason why this camera is only sold, so far, as a kit with the lens.

The Four Thirds Lens mount is another plus with this camera, since there is the possibility to use lenses from a much more wide range of sources and brands.

Panasonic DMC-L10: Price might be an obstacle

The lens is probably also the reason why the price for this camera is so high. At around $1300, the DMC-L10 is on the same price range as other, more feature rich, cameras. So, there is a tough choice to be made here. While having such a quality lens is attractive, if you are transitioning from a P&S, probably you will not yet appreciate the lens quality. If you have a more established photographic knowledge and are capable of appreciating the lens, you’d probably want to go for a better camera on the same price range. It’s all a matter of balance that I’m not sure that Panasonic was able to achieve.

Panasonic DMC-L10: Overall

This camera was released to target a booming market: consumers who want to expand their photo capacities from the P&S. While the camera features are more than enough to satisfy those customers, the jump from a $300 P&S to a $1300 SLR might be too much for many. If consumers think that having a very high quality lens is indispensable, then this camera is recommendable. Otherwise, there are other cameras on the market that, although possibly harder to handle for someone without the know-how, are a better value for the same money.

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Over one year after Sony launched the A100, finally the A700 is here.

It has been well over one year since Sony, following the Konica Minolta acquisition, released the A100. Now, Sony expands the DSLR segment with the A700, a middle range camera expected to heavily compete with the newest releases from Canon and Nikon.

SONY A700: HIGHLIGHTS

  • 12.2 Megapixel APS-C Exmor CMOS sensor
  • 3″ LCD (640×480)
  • Bionz Image Processor
  • 11 point focus system
  • New High-Speed Shutter
  • Super SteadyShot
  • Aluminum/Magnesium Case
  • HDTV Output

 

SONY A700: a 12.2 MP beast

While it is still a big point of discussion if point & shot cameras really need the extravagant increase in resolution from the past years, for a dSLR it is definitely a plus.

Comparing with the A100, the SONY A700 features a completely new CMOS sensor delivering 12.2 effective million pixels for a maximum resolution of 4272×2848. The sensor was designed for low-noise (noise was much discussed for the A100) and speed. Together with the new Bionz Image Processor, the Sony A700 is now capable of delivering 5 fps up to 18 12MP RAW files.

 

SONY A700: Faster and better focus

The Auto Focus (AF) mechanism has also been redesigned. The Sony A700 features an 11 point focus system with a central double cross with two horizontal and two vertical sensors plus a high precision horizontal sensor in the middle.

Besides the obvious increase in focus accuracy, the physical mechanism and the AF algorithm have also been improved, resulting in what is possible the fastest AF in any dSLR today.

 

SONY A700: for the fast and the slow

And it seems that everything is new on this camera when compared to the A100. The A700 has a new carbon fibre shutter that allows up to 1/8000 sec. Sony also mentions that this new shutter can take up to 100,000 cycles. It is a lot of photos.

If slow is the word, the newly improved Super SteadyShot (the mechanisms that physically adjusts the sensor to minimize motion blur) is functional up to 4 stops. This basically means that at low shutter speeds, the motion blur is drastically reduced even without the use of a tripod. As a A100 user, I’ll have to say that this is one of the best features of these cameras.

SONY A700: Punch it hard, it can take it

Well, don’t do it. Kicking your camera is probably not the best option (even if your photos are not coming out as you want). Nonetheless, the Sony A700 has a new case with an aluminum chassis and magnesium body. 5% lighter and 3x stronger than the A100, the A700 seems to be able to take some tough work. To top it, the buttons are sealed for better protection against dust and humidity.

SONY A700: Watch it BIG

The 3″ LCD really catches the eye. It’s big and for locally reviewing your photos you don’t need anymore than this. Also, to prevent obfuscation, the contrast levels of the LCD have been improved.

Want it even bigger? What about connecting it to your HDTV? With the A700 you can do it directly. the Sony A700 has an HDMI terminal and offers full 1080i HDTV output.

 

SONY A700: Overall conclusions


With this camera Sony really establishes itself as a major player in the DSLR world. Without question, the A700 was made to compete with the big names.

Although it still looks and feels much like part of the Konica Minolta segments, the A700 stands out from the previous models while keeping the same lens mount allowing for not only the Sony lenses but the whole range of Konica Minolta lenses to be used.

Lot’s of new features are sure to make the A700 a worthy buy for the aspiring hobbyist.

As for price… Well, it’s a new camera with lots of new high tech on it. Around $1400 is the price for the body. If it follows the same trend as the A100 did, it’s very likely that the price will drop in the near future.

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Lumix DMC-FX100 – The new digital camera from Panasonic

Posted by Marques on May 25th, 2007


The release of the Lumix DMC-FX100 digital camera was announced by Panasonic and it’s the latest on their Lumix digital cameras series.

Featuring an amazing 12.2 Megapixel CCD and a 28mm f/2.8 LEICA lens, the Lumix DMC-FX100 arrives to break another barrier in image resolution for the ultra compact digital cameras. As claimed by Panasonic themselves, this is the world’s first 12.2 Megapixel digital camera with 28mm wide-angle lens.

Lumix DMC-FX100s

Lumix DMC-FX100: HIGHLIGHTS

  • 12.2 Megapixel sensor (effective)
  • f2.8-5.6 3.6x zoom lens by LEICA (28-100mm equivalent)
  • OIS (optical image stabilization)
  • 2.5″ display with 207,000 pixels
  • Ultra compact at 96.7 x 54.0 x 24.5 mm ( 3.80 x 2.13 x 0.96 in)
  • ISO 80 – 1600 (forced up to 6400)
  • 3 video recording modes
  • Up to 320 shots per battery charge

Lumix DMC-FX100: SIZE

One of the things that impresses in the DMC-FX100 is the size. At only 96.7 x 54.0 x 24.5 mm ( 3.80 x 2.13 x 0.96 in), fits in the ultra compact category for digital cameras. Fitting a 1/1.72″ sensor and a 7 element lens in such a slim body could not have been an easy task, but the result is here.

Lumix DMC-FX100: LENS

The quality of LEICA lenses is worldwide known and this camera comes equipped with a 28mm wide-angle LEICA DC VARIO ELMARIT lens, capable of f2.8 – f9 on wide and f5.6 – f18 on tele. The 3.6x optical zoom gives the 35mm equivalent of a 28-100mm lens.

As some of its predecessors, the DMC-FX100 features OIS (optical image stabilization) to guarantee the perpetual alignment of the optical unit with the CCD, minimizing the blur caused by shaky hands.


Lumix DMC-FX100: ENGINE, SENSITIVITY and MEMORY

As for speed of shooting, at the full 12.2Mp resolution, the interval between shots is as low as 0.9 seconds and decreases at lower resolutions reaching the 6 shots per second range in High-Speed bursting mode.

The ISO range goes from 80 to 1600 and can be extended (High-sensitivity mode) to a whopping 6400, although beyond 800 the noise levels might become a problem as it is the case with most digital cameras.

For this kind of resolution the 27Mb built-in memory is almost unusable, but the camera offers an Secure Digital / MultimediaCard slot to allow expansion, also compatible with the new Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) cards.

Lumix DMC-FX100: LCD and POWER

To view your photos, the 2.5″ polycrystalline TFT LCD with 207,000 pixels resolution is another highlight of this digital camera.

To feed all of these features, power is provided by a 3.7V, 1150mAh Lithium Ions battery, allowing on average 320 pictures per charge.

Lumix DMC-FX100: FINAL REMARKS

From their press release: “Providing the outstanding performance of a 28mm wide-angle lens and a 12.2-megapixel CCD in a sleek body, the new DMC-FX100 is a superior camera that can be relied upon to capture your most special moments. Elegantly finished in a choice of either sleek silver metallic or cool black metallic, the sleekly styled FX100 will be available from July.”

If you are planning to buy a new compact digital camera, it might be worth to wait until July and get your hands on the Lumix DMC-FX100.

No set prices have been released but my assumption is that it will hit the streets at something between $400 and $450. In Europe the price will be slightly higher and according to the german Panasonic site, the camera will have a price around 429 euros (aprox. $575 US).

Download the data sheet with the full specifications (pdf file) Lumix DMC-FX100 data sheet

Specifications taken directly from panasonic-europe.com


 

 

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