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Canon 300D vs Panasonic L1

The Canon EOS 300D (called Canon Rebel in some regions) and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in August 2003 and February 2006. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on an APS-C (300D) and a Four Thirds (L1) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 6.3 megapixels, whereas the Panasonic provides 7.4 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Canon 300D versus Panasonic L1
Canon 300D Panasonic L1
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Four Thirds lenses
6.3 MP, APS-C Sensor 7.4 MP, Four Thirds Sensor
no Video no Video
ISO 100-1,600 ISO 100-1,600
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
1.8 LCD, 118k dots 2.5 LCD, 207k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
2.5 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
400 shots per battery charge750 shots per battery charge
142 x 99 x 72 mm, 649 g 146 x 87 x 64 mm, 606 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 300D and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon 300D and the Panasonic L1. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon 300D vs Panasonic L1
Compare 300D versus L1 top
Comparison 300D or L1 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic L1 is notably smaller (10 percent) than the Canon 300D. Moreover, the L1 is markedly lighter (7 percent) than the 300D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 300D nor the L1 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. A larger imaging sensor will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, although exceptions exist. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Canon EF Lens Catalog (300D) and the Four Thirds Lens Catalog (L1).

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras there.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon 300D 142 mm 99 mm 72 mm 649 g 400 n Aug 2003 899 i
2.
 
Panasonic L1 146 mm 87 mm 64 mm 606 g 750 n Feb 2006 999 i
3.
 
Canon 77D 131 mm 100 mm 76 mm 540 g 600 n Feb 2017 899 i
4.
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 116 mm 74 mm 66 mm 553 g 240 n Feb 2014 799 i
5.
 
Canon 700D 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 580 g 440 n Mar 2013 649 i
6.
 
Canon 650D 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849 i
7.
 
Canon G1 X 117 mm 81 mm 65 mm 534 g 250 n Jan 2012 799 i
8.
 
Canon 400D 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 n Aug 2006 799 i
9.
 
Canon 350D 127 mm 94 mm 64 mm 540 g 400 n Feb 2005 899 i
10.
 
Canon XT 127 mm 94 mm 64 mm 540 g 400 n Feb 2005 899 i
11.
 
Canon 20D 144 mm 106 mm 72 mm 770 g 700 n Aug 2004 1,499 i
12.
 
Canon 10D 150 mm 107 mm 75 mm 850 g 500 n Feb 2003 1,999 i
13.
 
Leica Digilux 3 146 mm 87 mm 77 mm 606 g 750 n Sep 2006 1,499 i
14.
 
Nikon D70 140 mm 111 mm 78 mm 679 g 400 n Jan 2004 999 i
15.
 
Olympus E-330 140 mm 87 mm 72 mm 637 g 750 n Jan 2006 999 i
16.
 
Olympus E-300 147 mm 85 mm 64 mm 624 g 750 n Sep 2004 799 i
17.
 
Panasonic L10 135 mm 96 mm 78 mm 556 g 450 n Aug 2007 599 i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The 300D was somewhat cheaper (by 10 percent) than the L1 at launch, but both cameras fall into the same price category. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.

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Sensor comparison

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon 300D features an APS-C sensor and the Panasonic L1 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the L1 is 34 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.6 and 2.0. The sensor in the 300D has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the L1 offers a 4:3 aspect.

In terms of underlying technology, both cameras are build around CMOS sensors.

Canon 300D and Panasonic L1 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the L1 offers a higher resolution of 7.4 megapixels, compared with 6.3 MP of the 300D. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 5.51μm versus 7.38μm for the 300D). However, it should be noted that the L1 is much more recent (by 2 years and 6 months) than the 300D, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.

The resolution advantage of the Panasonic L1 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the L1 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 15.7 x 11.8 inches or 39.8 x 29.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 12.5 x 9.4 inches or 31.9 x 23.9 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 10.5 x 7.8 inches or 26.6 x 19.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon 300D are 15.4 x 10.2 inches or 39 x 26 cm for good quality, 12.3 x 8.2 inches or 31.2 x 20.8 cm for very good quality, and 10.2 x 6.8 inches or 26 x 17.3 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon EOS 300D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1 offers exactly the same ISO settings.

300D versus L1 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

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Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Canon 300D APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.010.8544 55
2.
 
Panasonic L1 Four Thirds 7.4 3136 2352none...... ..
3.
 
Canon 77D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.3971 78
4.
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 31201080/30p21.510.8581 58
5.
 
Canon 700D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.2681 61
6.
 
Canon 650D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.2722 62
7.
 
Canon G1 X 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.8644 60
8.
 
Canon 400D APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.0664 62
9.
 
Canon 350D APS-C 8.0 3456 2304none21.810.8637 60
10.
 
Canon XT APS-C 8.0 3456 2304none21.810.8637 60
11.
 
Canon 20D APS-C 8.2 3504 2336none21.911.0721 62
12.
 
Canon 10D APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.110.9571 57
13.
 
Leica Digilux 3 Four Thirds 7.4 3136 2352none...... ..
14.
 
Nikon D70 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.410.3529 50
15.
 
Olympus E-330 Four Thirds 7.4 3136 2352none...... ..
16.
 
Olympus E-300 Four Thirds 8.0 3264 2448none...... ..
17.
 
Panasonic L10 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.310.8429 55
The L1 offers Live View, so that it can project the live image that the sensor receives onto the rear screen for framing. The 300D lacks this capability. Both cameras are still-image focused and cannot record videos.
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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The 300D and the L1 are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The viewfinders of both cameras offer the same field of view (95%), but the viewfinder of the 300D has a higher magnification than the one of the L1 (0.55x vs 0.47x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon 300D and Panasonic L1 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
(000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Canon 300Doptical n 1.8 118 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
2.
 
Panasonic L1optical n 2.5 207 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
3.
 
Canon 77Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
4.
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIoptional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 5.2 Y Y
5.
 
Canon 700Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
6.
 
Canon 650Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
7.
 
Canon G1 Xoptical n 3.0 922 Swivel n 1/4000s 1.9 Y Y
8.
 
Canon 400Doptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
9.
 
Canon 350Doptical n 1.8 115 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
10.
 
Canon XToptical n 1.8 115 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
11.
 
Canon 20Doptical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n
12.
 
Canon 10Doptical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
13.
 
Leica Digilux 3optical n 2.5 207 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
14.
 
Nikon D70optical n 1.8 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0 Y n
15.
 
Olympus E-330optical n 2.5 215 tilting n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
16.
 
Olympus E-300optical n 1.8 134 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
17.
 
Panasonic L10optical n 2.5 207 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n

The 300D writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the L1 uses SDHC cards.

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Connectivity comparison

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Canon EOS 300D and Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
    Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Canon 300DY-----1.1---
2.
 
Panasonic L1Y-----2.0---
3.
 
Canon 77DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
4.
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIYstereomono--mini2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon 700DYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
6.
 
Canon 650DYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon G1 XYstereomono--mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon 400DY-----2.0---
9.
 
Canon 350DY-----2.0---
10.
 
Canon XTY-----2.0---
11.
 
Canon 20DY-----1.1---
12.
 
Canon 10DY-----1.1---
13.
 
Leica Digilux 3Ystereomono---2.0---
14.
 
Nikon D70Y-----1.0---
15.
 
Olympus E-330Y-----2.0---
16.
 
Olympus E-300Y-----2.0---
17.
 
Panasonic L10Y-----2.0---

Both the 300D and the L1 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 300D was replaced by the Canon 350D, while the L1 was followed by the Panasonic L10. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Panasonic websites.

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Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon 300D and the Panasonic L1? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS 300D:

  • Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
  • Richer colors: The pixel size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
  • More dynamic range: Larger pixels capture a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Larger pixels means good image quality even under poor lighting.
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.55x vs 0.47x).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in August 2003).

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Advantages of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (7.4 vs 6.3MP), which boosts linear resolution by 6%.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (2.5" vs 1.8") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (207k vs 118k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3 vs 2.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (750 versus 400) out of a single battery charge.
  • Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (2.0 vs 1.1).
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years and 6 months of technical progress since the 300D launch.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the L1 comes out slightly ahead of the 300D (7 : 6 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

300D 06:07 L1

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 300D and the Panasonic L1 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the 300D or the L1 perform in practice. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.

Expert reviews

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon 300D....+ +.... Aug 2003 899 i
2.
 
Panasonic L1..85/100+..3.5/5 Feb 2006 999 i
3.
 
Canon 77D4.5/5..82/1004.5/54/5 Feb 2017 899 i
4.
 
Canon G1 X Mark II3/5+77/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2014 799 i
5.
 
Canon 700D....76/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2013 649 i
6.
 
Canon 650D4/5+ +77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849 i
7.
 
Canon G1 X5/5+76/1004/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799 i
8.
 
Canon 400D..+ ++ +o4/5 Aug 2006 799 i
9.
 
Canon 350D..80/100+ +o.. Feb 2005 899 i
10.
 
Canon XT..80/100+ +o.. Feb 2005 899 i
11.
 
Canon 20D....+ +.... Aug 2004 1,499 i
12.
 
Canon 10D....+ +.... Feb 2003 1,999 i
13.
 
Leica Digilux 3.......... Sep 2006 1,499 i
14.
 
Nikon D70....+ +.... Jan 2004 999 i
15.
 
Olympus E-330....+o.. Jan 2006 999 i
16.
 
Olympus E-300....+o4.5/5 Sep 2004 799 i
17.
 
Panasonic L10..85/100+3.5/54/5 Aug 2007 599 i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Canon 300D:
Check Ebay offers
Panasonic L1:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications: Canon 300D vs Panasonic L1

    Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Canon 300D Panasonic L1
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date August 2003 February 2006
    Launch Price USD 899 USD 999
    Sensor Specs Canon 300D Panasonic L1
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor Four Thirds Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.7 x 15.1 mm 17.3 x 13.0 mm
    Sensor Area 342.77 mm2 224.9 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 27.3 mm 21.6 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 2.0x
    Sensor Resolution 6.3 Megapixels 7.4 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3072 x 2048 pixels 3136 x 2352 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 7.38 μm 5.51 μm
    Pixel Density 1.84 MP/cm2 3.28 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 1,600 ISO 100 - 1,600 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC Venus
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 55 ..
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.0 ..
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 10.8 ..
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 544 ..
    Screen Specs Canon 300D Panasonic L1
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.55x 0.47x
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 1.8inch 2.5inch
    LCD Resolution 118k dots 207k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon 300D Panasonic L1
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 2.5 shutter flaps/s 3 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium CF cards SDHC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Canon 300D Panasonic L1
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 1.1 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon 300D Panasonic L1
    Battery Type BP-511 CGR-S602
    Battery Life (CIPA)400 shots per charge750 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 142 x 99 x 72 mm
    (5.6 x 3.9 x 2.8 in)
    146 x 87 x 64 mm
    (5.7 x 3.4 x 2.5 in)
    Camera Weight 649 g (22.9 oz) 606 g (21.4 oz)

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