Although most of the major camera companies pre-empted PMA and released their latest imaging products in the weeks leading up to the annual photo marketing trade show, there was still some flash on Day 1 of the show in Orlando yesterday. For starters, Olympus and Panasonic announced they had joined forces to release a new digital SLR—the Lumix DMC-L1. Remarkably, the mating of Olympus and Panasonic has actually produced an off-spring that looks more like a Leica. The Teutonic appearance of this new 7.5MP camera is no coincidence. Leica designed the lens on this new DSLR which will carry the Panasonic brand and comes with a 4/3 Live MOS sensor with Live Preview on its 2.5-inch screen all technologies jointly developed by Panasonic and Olympus.
If you re having trouble following all the brands involved in this new camera, add in the fact that lens maker Sigma was also at the press conference showing off five new lenses designed by the company specifically for the camera s 4/3rds sensor system. Rumor has it that the that the Lumix DMC-L1 will be officially available this fall when it makes its world debut at the massive Photokina imaging show in Cologne, Germany.
Officials from Olympus and Panasonic declined to say what their fascination with Germany was other than the fact that the trains run on time and that German beer packs quite a kick. The latter fact I was confirm independently last night and am still confirming today. —Dan Havlik