Panasonic Launches Its First Digital SLR Camera in July
The LUMIX DMC-L1 features Leica D Lens with optial image stabilizer.
Jun 21, 2006, Osaka, Japan - Panasonic, the brand for which Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. is known, announced today the company will launch its first digital single-lens reflex (SLR) camera, the 7.5-megapixel LUMIX DMC-L1, on July 22, 2006 in Japan.
After having established itself quickly as a leading maker in the compact digital camera market with the LUMIX cameras, the company aims to create a market for the new flagship model offering unique features.
Mr. Shunzo Ushimaru, Director, Corporate Marketing Division for Panasonic Brand in Japan, said, “We have revolutionized digital camera photography with the introduction of an optical image stabilizer, now standard in digital still cameras and continued the revolution, incorporating powerful zoom and a wide-angle lens into compact digital cameras. These technologies have culminated in the DMC-L1, setting a new standard for digital SLR cameras.”
Mr. Mamoru Yoshida, Director, DSC Business Unit, Panasonic AVC Networks Company, said, “Digital still cameras penetrated more than half of Japanese households with 8.7 million units sold in the year to March 2006. The digital still camera market is expected to become 8.4 million units in size in the following year, but the digital SLR camera segment is growing fast. We aim to grab it with our innovative digital SLR camera that increases the fun of picture taking as well as meets the demands of professional photographers.”
In developing digital still cameras, Panasonic engineers pursued its concept to deliver a camera that provides natural-looking images with outstanding picture quality and rendering abilities with warmth and subtlety. Implementing the concept, the DMC-L1 offers a variety of innovative features for ensuring superb images while maintaining the familiar operability of a traditional analog camera.
These features include the Leica D VARIO-ELEMERIT 14-50 mm/F2.8-3.5 lens, the world’s first Leica lens designed for digital SLR cameras. The interchangeable lens is based on the new Four Thirds system open standard ensuring interchangeable lens mount capability. Adoption of the system lets users combine bodies and lenses made by other makers. With the Four Thirds system, the diameter of the lens is larger than that of the image circle so that the light passes through to the sensor in straight line. As a result, the system allows for designing lenses that maximize the sensor performance while making them smaller compared to those complied with 35 mm film SLR camera system lenses.
The Leica D lens also incorporates Panasonic’s MEGA Optical Image Stabilizer and the newly developed Venus Engine III LSI. The gyrosensors and the image processing LSI can detect every slight hand-shake at a sampling rate of up to 4,000 times per second to assure blur-free pictures.
The DMC-L1 has a full-time Live View function that allows users to compose a scene through the high-resolution LCD, in addition to an optical viewfinder. Unlike the conventional digital SLR cameras, this function enables users to shoot photos while viewing the 2.5-inch, 207,000-pixel LCD screen.
The Live MOS sensor has a full-time image output function that sends images directly to the LCD. The Live View function can be selected in both Auto Focus and Manual Focus modes. In Manual Focus, it allows the user to choose the focusing area and enlarge it as much as 10 times. This helps users to make sure the focusing condition in any spot of the image on the large LCD.
The 4/3-type Live MOS sensor with 7.5 million pixels provides both the outstanding image quality of a CCD sensor with detailed gradation and wide dynamic range and the low energy consumption of a CMOS sensor. Using a special processing technology which runs on voltage as low as 5 V, the sensor also delivers clean and clear pictures in dark scenes by suppressing noise.
Other key innovations include the Supersonic Wave Filter dust reduction system. The system uses supersonic vibration to instantly shake off any dust that can accumulate on the electrically charged sensor during lens changes.
The DMC-L1 has a shutter speed dial on top of the camera body and an aperture ring on the lens barrel, providing the intuitive control of a conventional film camera. The black magnesium-alloy body is not only sturdy and lightweight but also stylish and chic in design.
Like all LUMIX cameras, the DMC-L1 is compatible with the SD Memory Card. The images recorded on the SD Memory Card can be shared with the family and friends on Panasonic’s Viera plasma TV or printed with a photo printer.
Panasonic plans to produce 3,000 units of the DMC-L1 per month.
Best known by its Panasonic brand name, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. is a worldwide leader in the development and manufacture of electronic products for a wide range of consumer, business, and industrial needs. Based in Osaka, Japan, the company recorded consolidated net sales of US$76.02 billion for the year ended March 31, 2006. The company’s shares are listed on the Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, New York (NYSE:MC), Euronext Amsterdam and Frankfurt stock exchanges. For more information on the company and the Panasonic brand, visit the company’s website at http://panasonic.net.
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