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Panasonic L1 vs L10

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC- L10 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in February 2006 and August 2007. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with a Four Thirds sensor. The L1 has a resolution of 7.4 megapixels, whereas the L10 provides 10 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Panasonic L1
versus
Panasonic L10
Panasonic L1   Panasonic L10
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Four Thirds lenses Four Thirds lenses
7.4 MP, Four Thirds Sensor 10 MP, Four Thirds Sensor
no Video no Video
ISO 100-1,600 ISO 100-1,600
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
2.5 LCD, 207k dots 2.5 LCD, 207k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive)
3 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
750 shots per battery charge450 shots per battery charge
146 x 87 x 64 mm, 606 g 135 x 96 x 78 mm, 556 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC- L10? 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

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Panasonic L1 and the Panasonic L10 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Panasonic L1 vs Panasonic L10
Compare L1 versus L10 top
Comparison L1 or L10 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic L10 is somewhat larger (2 percent) than the Panasonic L1. However, the L10 is markedly lighter (8 percent) than the L1. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the L1 nor the L10 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. In this particular case, both cameras feature the same lens mount, so that they can use the same lenses. You can compare the optics available in the Four Thirds Lens Catalog.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. 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.
 
Panasonic L1 146 mm 87 mm 64 mm 606 g 750 n Feb 2006 999i
2.
 
Panasonic L10 135 mm 96 mm 78 mm 556 g 450 n Aug 2007 599i
3.
 
Canon XT 127 mm 94 mm 64 mm 540 g 400 n Feb 2005 899i
4.
 
Canon Rebel 142 mm 99 mm 72 mm 649 g 400 n Aug 2003 899i
5.
 
Leica Digilux 3 146 mm 87 mm 77 mm 606 g 750 n Sep 2006 1,499i
6.
 
Leica V-LUX 1 141 mm 86 mm 142 mm 734 g 360 n Sep 2006 849i
7.
 
Nikon D80 132 mm 103 mm 77 mm 668 g 600 n Aug 2006 999i
8.
 
Nikon D70s 140 mm 111 mm 78 mm 679 g 500 n Apr 2005 899i
9.
 
Olympus E-420 130 mm 91 mm 53 mm 440 g 500 n Mar 2008 599i
10.
 
Olympus E-520 136 mm 92 mm 68 mm 535 g 750 n May 2008 699i
11.
 
Olympus E-410 130 mm 91 mm 53 mm 435 g 500 n Mar 2007 699i
12.
 
Olympus E-330 140 mm 87 mm 72 mm 637 g 750 n Jan 2006 999i
13.
 
Olympus E-500 130 mm 95 mm 66 mm 479 g 750 n Sep 2005 599i
14.
 
Olympus E-300 147 mm 85 mm 64 mm 624 g 750 n Sep 2004 799i
15.
 
Panasonic G10 124 mm 84 mm 74 mm 388 g 380 n Mar 2010 499i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The L10 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 40 percent) than the L1, which puts it into a different market segment. 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

Sensor comparison

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature a Four Thirds sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 2.0. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.

Panasonic L1 and Panasonic L10 sensor measures

While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the L10 offers a higher resolution of 10 megapixels, compared with 7.4 MP of the L1. This megapixels advantage translates into a 16 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the L10 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 4.74μm versus 5.51μm for the L1). However, it should be noted that the L10 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 6 months) than the L1, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that at least partly compensate for the smaller pixel size.

The resolution advantage of the Panasonic L10 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the L10 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 18.2 x 13.7 inches or 46.3 x 34.7 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 14.6 x 10.9 inches or 37.1 x 27.8 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 12.2 x 9.1 inches or 30.9 x 23.2 cm. The corresponding values for the Panasonic L1 are 15.7 x 11.8 inches or 39.8 x 29.9 cm for good quality, 12.5 x 9.4 inches or 31.9 x 23.9 cm for very good quality, and 10.5 x 7.8 inches or 26.6 x 19.9 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600. The Panasonic Lumix DMC- L10 offers exactly the same ISO settings.

L1 versus L10 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-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.
 
Panasonic L1 Four Thirds 7.4 3136 2352none20.810.48052
2.
 
Panasonic L10 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.310.842955
3.
 
Canon XT APS-C 8.0 3456 2304none21.810.863760
4.
 
Canon Rebel APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.010.854455
5.
 
Leica Digilux 3 Four Thirds 7.4 3136 2352none21.010.612753
6.
 
Leica V-LUX 1 1/1.8 10.0 3648 2736480/30p18.49.5-72729
7.
 
Nikon D80 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.111.252461
8.
 
Nikon D70s APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.410.352950
9.
 
Olympus E-420 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.510.452756
10.
 
Olympus E-520 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.410.454855
11.
 
Olympus E-410 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.110.049451
12.
 
Olympus E-330 Four Thirds 7.4 3136 2352none20.810.47352
13.
 
Olympus E-500 Four Thirds 8.0 3264 2448none20.710.34551
14.
 
Olympus E-300 Four Thirds 8.0 3264 2448none20.410.1-4048
15.
 
Panasonic G10 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.141152
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.
Both the L1 and the L10 offer Live View, so that they make it possible to use the rear screen for framing. Both cameras are still-image focused and cannot record videos.

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The L1 and the L10 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 L1 has a higher magnification than the one of the L10 (0.47x vs 0.46x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Panasonic L1 and Panasonic L10 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Specifications
(inch/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.
 
Panasonic L1optical n2.5 / 207 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
2.
 
Panasonic L10optical n2.5 / 207 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
3.
 
Canon XToptical n1.8 / 115 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
4.
 
Canon Rebeloptical n1.8 / 118 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
5.
 
Leica Digilux 3optical n2.5 / 207 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
6.
 
Leica V-LUX 1235 n2.0 / 207 tilting n 1/2000s 2.0 Y Y
7.
 
Nikon D80optical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
8.
 
Nikon D70soptical n2.0 / 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0 Y n
9.
 
Olympus E-420optical n2.7 / 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
10.
 
Olympus E-520optical n2.7 / 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y Y
11.
 
Olympus E-410optical n2.5 / 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
12.
 
Olympus E-330optical n2.5 / 215 tilting n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
13.
 
Olympus E-500optical n2.5 / 215 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
14.
 
Olympus E-300optical n1.8 / 134 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
15.
 
Panasonic G10202 n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 2.6 Y n
The L10 has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the L1 does not have a selfie-screen.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the L1 and the L10 write their files to SDHC cards.

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 Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1 and Panasonic Lumix DMC- L10 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
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Panasonic L1Y- / ----2.0---
2.
 
Panasonic L10Y- / ----2.0---
3.
 
Canon XTY- / ----2.0---
4.
 
Canon RebelY- / ----1.1---
5.
 
Leica Digilux 3Ystereo / mono---2.0---
6.
 
Leica V-LUX 1Ymono / mono---2.0---
7.
 
Nikon D80Y- / ----2.0---
8.
 
Nikon D70sY- / ----2.0---
9.
 
Olympus E-420Y- / ----2.0---
10.
 
Olympus E-520Y- / ----2.0---
11.
 
Olympus E-410Y- / ----2.0---
12.
 
Olympus E-330Y- / ----2.0---
13.
 
Olympus E-500Y- / ----2.0---
14.
 
Olympus E-300Y- / ----2.0---
15.
 
Panasonic G10Ymono / ---mini2.0---

Both the L1 and the L10 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The L1 was replaced by the Panasonic L10, while the L10 does not have a direct successor. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Panasonic website.

Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Panasonic L1 or the Panasonic L10 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Reasons to prefer the Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1:

  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.47x vs 0.46x).
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (750 versus 450) on a single battery charge.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in February 2006).


Advantages of the Panasonic Lumix DMC- L10:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (10 vs 7.4MP), which boosts linear resolution by 16%.
  • More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (40 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 6 months) more recently.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the L10 emerges as the winner of the match-up (5 : 3 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 wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

L1 03:05 L10

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Panasonic L1 and the Panasonic L10 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 specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the L1 or the L10 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 expert reviews are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], 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 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Panasonic L1..85/100..+..3.5/5 Feb 2006 999i
2.
 
Panasonic L10..85/100..+3.5/54/5 Aug 2007 599i
3.
 
Canon XT..80/100..+ +o.. Feb 2005 899i
4.
 
Canon Rebel......+ +.... Aug 2003 899i
5.
 
Leica Digilux 3............ Sep 2006 1,499i
6.
 
Leica V-LUX 1............ Sep 2006 849i
7.
 
Nikon D80..+..+ +o4.5/5 Aug 2006 999i
8.
 
Nikon D70s..........5/5 Apr 2005 899i
9.
 
Olympus E-420..85/100..+ +4/54.5/5 Mar 2008 599i
10.
 
Olympus E-520..87/100..+ +4.5/54.5/5 May 2008 699i
11.
 
Olympus E-410..86/100..+ +4/54.5/5 Mar 2007 699i
12.
 
Olympus E-330......+o.. Jan 2006 999i
13.
 
Olympus E-500..76/100..+ +.... Sep 2005 599i
14.
 
Olympus E-300......+o4.5/5 Sep 2004 799i
15.
 
Panasonic G103/5....70/1004/54/5 Mar 2010 499i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Panasonic L1:
Check Ebay offers
Panasonic L10:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. 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: Panasonic L1 vs Panasonic L10

    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 Panasonic L1 Panasonic L10
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Four Thirds lenses Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date February 2006 August 2007
    Launch Price USD 999 USD 599
    Sensor Specs Panasonic L1 Panasonic L10
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format Four Thirds Sensor Four Thirds Sensor
    Sensor Size 17.3 x 13.0 mm 17.3 x 13.0 mm
    Sensor Area 224.9 mm2 224.9 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 21.6 mm 21.6 mm
    Crop Factor 2.0x 2.0x
    Sensor Resolution 7.4 Megapixels 10 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3136 x 2352 pixels 3648 x 2736 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 5.51 μm 4.74 μm
    Pixel Density 3.28 MP/cm2 4.44 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 Venus Venus
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 55
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 21.3
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 10.8
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 429
    Screen Specs Panasonic L1 Panasonic L10
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.47x 0.46x
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 2.5inch 2.5inch
    LCD Resolution 207k dots 207k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Swivel screen
    Shooting Specs Panasonic L1 Panasonic L10
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 3 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDHC cards SDHC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Panasonic L1 Panasonic L10
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Panasonic L1 Panasonic L10
    Battery Type CGR-S602 DMW-BLA13
    Battery Life (CIPA)750 shots per charge450 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 146 x 87 x 64 mm
    (5.7 x 3.4 x 2.5 in)
    135 x 96 x 78 mm
    (5.3 x 3.8 x 3.1 in)
    Camera Weight 606 g (21.4 oz) 556 g (19.6 oz)

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