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Panasonic L10 versus Panasonic L1

The Panasonic Lumix DMC- L10 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in August 2007 and February 2006. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with a Four Thirds sensor. The L10 has a resolution of 10 megapixel, whereas the L1 provides 7.4 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Panasonic L10 vs Panasonic L1

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Panasonic L10 and the Panasonic L1 is provided in the side-by-side display below. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. If you prefer, you can also use the toggle button to switch to a comparison in percentage terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the L10 – represents the basis or 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Panasonic L10 vs Panasonic L1
Compare L10 versus L1 top
Compare L10 and 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 somewhat smaller (2 percent) than the Panasonic L10. However, the L1 is markedly heavier (9 percent) than the L10. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the L10 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. In this particular case, both cameras feature the same lens mount, so that they can use the same lenses. You can find an overview of suitable optics in the Four Thirds Lens Catalog.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Panasonic L10» 135 mm 96 mm 78 mm 556 g 450 n Aug 2007 599- i
Panasonic L1« 146 mm 87 mm 64 mm 606 g 750 n Feb 2006 999- i
Canon 350D« » 127 mm 94 mm 64 mm 540 g 400 n Feb 2005 899- i
Leica Digilux 3« » 146 mm 87 mm 77 mm 606 g 750 n Sep 2006 1,499- i
Nikon D60« » 126 mm 94 mm 64 mm 522 g 500 n Jan 2008 629- i
Nikon D40X« » 124 mm 94 mm 64 mm 522 g 520 n Mar 2007 729- i
Olympus E-620« » 130 mm 94 mm 60 mm 521 g 500 n Feb 2009 699- i
Olympus E-450« » 130 mm 91 mm 53 mm 440 g 500 n Mar 2009 499- i
Olympus E-420« » 130 mm 91 mm 53 mm 440 g 500 n Mar 2008 599- i
Olympus E-520« » 136 mm 92 mm 68 mm 535 g 750 n May 2008 699- i
Olympus E-410« » 130 mm 91 mm 53 mm 435 g 500 n Mar 2007 699- i
Olympus E-510« » 136 mm 92 mm 68 mm 538 g 750 n Mar 2007 799- i
Olympus E-330« » 140 mm 87 mm 72 mm 637 g 750 n Jan 2006 999- i
Olympus E-300« » 147 mm 85 mm 64 mm 624 g 750 n Sep 2004 799- i
Panasonic G1« » 124 mm 84 mm 45 mm 360 g 410 n Sep 2008 599- i

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: Panasonic L10 vs Panasonic L1

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. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better 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.

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 L10 and Panasonic L1 sensor measures

While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the L10 offers a higher resolution of 10 megapixel, compared with 7.4 MP of the L1. This megapixel 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). In this context, it should be noted, however, 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.

L10 versus L1 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Panasonic L10» Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736-21.310.842955
Panasonic L1« Four Thirds 7.4 3136 2352-----
Canon 350D« » APS-C 8.0 3456 2304-21.810.863760
Leica Digilux 3« » Four Thirds 7.4 3136 2352-----
Nikon D60« » APS-C 10.0 3872 2592-22.511.456265
Nikon D40X« » APS-C 10.0 3872 2592-22.411.451663
Olympus E-620« » Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024-21.310.353655
Olympus E-450« » Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736-21.510.551256
Olympus E-420« » Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736-21.510.452756
Olympus E-520« » Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736-21.410.454855
Olympus E-410« » Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736-21.110.049451
Olympus E-510« » Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736-21.210.044252
Olympus E-330« » Four Thirds 7.4 3136 2352-----
Olympus E-300« » Four Thirds 8.0 3264 2448-----
Panasonic G1« » Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000-21.110.346353
Both the L10 and the L1 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: Panasonic L10 vs Panasonic L1

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The L10 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 adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Panasonic L10 and Panasonic L1 along with similar information for a selection of comparators. If you need more detail on the specs, you can find comprehensive listings, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.

Core Features
  Camera Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Panasonic L10»optical n 2.5 207 swivel n 4000 3.0 Y n
Panasonic L1«optical n 2.5 207 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n
Canon 350D« »optical n 1.8 115 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n
Leica Digilux 3« »optical n 2.5 207 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n
Nikon D60« »optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n
Nikon D40X« »optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n
Olympus E-620« »optical n 2.7 230 swivel n 4000 4.0 Y Y
Olympus E-450« »optical n 2.7 215 fixed n 4000 3.5 Y n
Olympus E-420« »optical n 2.7 215 fixed n 4000 3.5 Y n
Olympus E-520« »optical n 2.7 215 fixed n 4000 3.5 Y Y
Olympus E-410« »optical n 2.5 215 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n
Olympus E-510« »optical n 2.5 215 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y Y
Olympus E-330« »optical n 2.5 215 tilting n 4000 3.0 Y n
Olympus E-300« »optical n 1.8 134 fixed n 4000 2.5 Y n
Panasonic G1« »1440 n 3.0 460 swivel n 4001 3.0 Y n

Both the L10 and the L1 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.

Review summary: Panasonic L10 vs Panasonic L1

So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Panasonic L10 or the Panasonic L1 – has the upper hand? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.


Advantages of the Panasonic Lumix DMC- L10:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (10 vs 7.4MP) with a 16% higher linear resolution.
  • More flexible LCD: Has swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (40 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 6 months after the L1).


Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1:

  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (750 versus 450) out of a single battery charge.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in February 2006).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the L10 emerges as the winner of the contest (4 : 2 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.

L10 04:02 L1

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the L10 or the L1. 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. This is where reviews by experts come in. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The full reviews are available by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review scores
  Camera cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Panasonic L10»85/100Rec3.5/5rev4/5 Aug 2007 599- i
Panasonic L1«85/100Rec-rev3.5/5 Feb 2006 999- i
Canon 350D« »80/100HiRecrevrev- Feb 2005 899- i
Leica Digilux 3« »----- Sep 2006 1,499- i
Nikon D60« »80/100HiRec4/5rev4.5/5 Jan 2008 629- i
Nikon D40X« »79/100HiRec4/5rev4/5 Mar 2007 729- i
Olympus E-620« »88/10072/1004.5/5rev5/5 Feb 2009 699- i
Olympus E-450« »--4/5-4/5 Mar 2009 499- i
Olympus E-420« »85/100HiRec4/5rev4.5/5 Mar 2008 599- i
Olympus E-520« »87/100HiRec4.5/54/54.5/5 May 2008 699- i
Olympus E-410« »86/100HiRec4/5rev4.5/5 Mar 2007 699- i
Olympus E-510« »89/100HiRec3.5/5rev4.5/5 Mar 2007 799- i
Olympus E-330« »-Recrev3.5/5- Jan 2006 999- i
Olympus E-300« »-Recrevrev4.5/5 Sep 2004 799- i
Panasonic G1« »HiRec70/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2008 599- i

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when refering to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price 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. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

 

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored. If you cannot find the camera you are interested in, please send me an email, and I will try to add information on that model to the database.

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