|October 31, 2006
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and Images: Panasonic DMC-L1 DSLR
by George Schaub
The Panasonic DMC-L1 DSLR is Panasonic’s first digital single lens reflex camera. Priced at just under $2000 with a Leica D Vario Elmarit f/2.8-3.5 14-50mm zoom lens (equivalent to 28-100mm in 35mm format) and 7+ megapixel sensor, it is a member of the Four/Thirds family. That allows you to use any lens from the Olympus and Sigma 4/3 mount offerings on the camera as well. It uses SD cards, and takes the newest SDHC cards with greater storage capacity. And the Leica lens uses Panasonic’s OIS (optical image stabilization) that helps you get steady shots in two to three less stops of light than usual when shooting handheld. The body also has a Live View mode similar to the feature found in Olympus’ recent DSLRs.
What I really
like about the Panasonic is that it takes a slightly different tack than
other DSLR cameras, and seems proud of the road less traveled. It has
two auto exposure modes—aperture and shutter priority, but that’s
not exactly what they seem to encourage. This is a camera with a mixed
bag of tricks, one that had me shooting mostly in manual mode, something
I hadn’t done for years, but which I enjoyed. The shutter speed
is controlled via a dial surrounding the shutter release; aperture is
controlled by click stops on the lens itself with 1/3 stop indents. If
you want to shoot in AV or TV you set either of those controls to “A”
and then the camera will handle the exposure using spot, center-weight
averaging or it’s evaluative (multiple) system. I used the multiple
in manual mode for most of my shots.
Back to the Future
the calendar says it is mid-October, we are currently in production on
the January, 2007 issue of Shutterbug magazine. That means it is once
again time to take stock of where we’ve been and where we are going.
To that end, we decided to look back at the turn of this new century when
we asked Shutterbug’s regular contributors to offer their views
on the millennium ahead. As you might suspect, we received a variety of
interesting predictions from this very diverse group. So as we prepare
for 2007, let’s take a look back at how a few of these experts envisioned
the second 150 years of photography.
First Look: Canon
Digital Rebel XTi
The Canon Digital Rebel line accomplished a number of things. It broke
the $1000 DSLR price barrier, with room to spare, and as a result
brought DSLR photography into the mainstream. What followed is history,
with other makers bringing forth their “bargain” DSLR
offerings, with the Rebel setting the bar. As is their wont, Canon
followed up on the Rebel with other generations of this successful
product, each one a modification that incorporated technology gotten
from more current cameras and lessons learned from past Rebel products.
The latest of these is the Canon Rebel XTi, a 10+ megapixel DSLR with
a dust reduction system and simplified operating system.
There's a trend in digital cameras to offer more and more in-camera processing, including making copies that change resolution and "retouching" white balance, red-eye etc. Given that you had such a camera, would you use the camera for these tasks or wait until later after downloading to do it in your image processing program?
Please comment briefly on any experiences you might have had with in-camera image processing techniques.
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