Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1
Some cameras are sure to split opinion, and I’m sure the L1 will offer an affront to some photographers’ views of what an SLR should look like. It’s boxy square and looks like a oversized rangefinder. This isn’t surprising, given Panasonic’s ties with Leica, not only in thinly disguising and rebadging Panasonic cameras for Leica, but also in trying to appeal to rangefinder users via the LC1. The L1 follows that camera’s aesthetic, and I like it. It takes some getting used to, I’ll admit, but who’s to say boxy isn’t good?
It worked for years for Ikea, Hasselblad and Volvo (so the L1 will do well in Sweden!). If nothing else it’s distinctive and I certainly received a few glances while using it in London. The camera is well made and feels solid. The main controls are secure, and reasonably well spaced, but the 2.5inch screen takes up a lot of real estate so some people may feel that the back of the camera is cramped.