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Panasonic DMC-L1 Performance


Timing and Performance

Average speed for a consumer-oriented digital SLR.

Startup/Shutdown
Power on
to first shot
1.3 seconds
Time it takes for camera to turn on and take a shot.
Shutdown
1.9 seconds
How long it takes to shut down.
Buffer clearing time
18 seconds
(2 seconds buffer clearing in LF JPEG)
Worst case buffer clearing time. -- This is the delay after a set of shots before you can remove the card. Some cameras won't shut down until the buffer is cleared.
Mode switching
Play to Record,
first shot
0.1 second
Time until first shot is captured.
Record to play
3.0 seconds
Time to display a large/fine file immediately after capture.
Display
recorded image
1.3 seconds
Time to display a large/fine file already on the memory card.
Shutter response (Lag Time):
Full Autofocus Wide
(optical viewfinder)
0.34 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at wide angle position.
Full Autofocus Tele
(optical viewfinder)
0.33 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at telephoto position.
Full Autofocus Wide
(Live View)
0.67 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens wide, with Live View active.
Full Autofocus Wide
(Live View + Flash)
0.76 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at mid-zoom position with Live View and on-camera flash active.
Prefocused
(optical viewfinder)
0.24 second
Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.
Prefocused
(Live View)
0.50 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at mid-zoom position with Live View active.
Continuous AF
0.42 second
This mode usually shows no speed increase with our static subject; we have no way to measure performance with moving subjects.
Manual focus
0.35 second
For most cameras, shutter lag is less in manual focus than autofocus, but usually not as fast as when the camera is "prefocused".
Cycle time (shot to shot)
Single Shot mode
Large Fine JPEG
1.22 seconds;
2 seconds to clear
Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots.
Single Shot mode
Small Basic JPEG
1.11 seconds;
2 seconds to clear
Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots.
Single Shot mode
RAW + LF JPEG
0.88 second;
5 frames total;
13 seconds to clear
Time per shot, averaged over 5 shots.
Early shutter
penalty?
No
Some cameras refuse to snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer
Continuous mode
Large Fine JPEG
0.48 second (2.09 frames per second);
2 seconds to clear
Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots.
Continuous mode
Small Basic JPEG
0.48 second (2.09 frames per second);
2 seconds to clear
Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots.
Continuous mode
RAW + LF JPEG
0.49 second (2.04 frames per second);
6 frames total;
18 seconds to clear
Time per shot, averaged over 6 shots.
Flash recycling
5.5 seconds
Flash at maximum output
Download speed
Windows Computer, USB 2.0
1,672 KBytes/sec
Typical Values:
Less than 600=USB 1.1;
600-770=USB 2.0 Low;
Over 770=USB 2.0 High

The DMC-L1's performance is pretty good here, though shut-down time is a little slower. Full autofocus shutter lag is about average (with 14-50mm kit lens), but "prefocus" times (half-pressing and holding down the shutter button before the final exposure) are on the slower side compared to other SLRs at 0.24 second. Add Live View mode and Live View plus flash and the times get longer, taking 0.67 to 0.76 seconds respectively. When you add the 5.5 second recycle time, and daylight fill flash shots are unbearably slow. Shot-to-shot cycle times are below average for an SLR, at about 1.22 seconds for large/fine JPEGs, but the camera seems to capture unlimited frames at this rate with a two-second buffer clearing time. In Continuous-mode, speed is also below average at a bit over two frames/second, again with no apparent buffer limit, except when shooting RAW + large/fine JPEG, when burst length was limited to six shots in succession. Flash recycling time is actually quite good at 5.5 seconds after a full-power shot. Connected to a computer, download speeds are fast enough to avoid needing a separate card reader. Bottom line, the DMC-L1 is fairly responsive, ready for fast action shots at sporting events and children's birthday parties, but a little slower than most SLRs.

Battery and Storage Capacity

Battery
Good battery life without live preview, average with live preview mode.

Operating Mode Number of Shots
Live preview off
450
Live preview on
300

The Panasonic DMC-L1 uses a custom rechargeable LiIon battery for power, and a battery and charger are included with the camera. Even though runtime is quite good without live preview, we strongly recommend picking up a spare battery and keeping it freshly charged and on-hand for extended outings, or if live preview is used often.

The table above shows the number of shots the camera is capable of (on a fully-charged rechargeable battery), based on CIPA battery-life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions.

(Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document))

Storage
The DMC-L1 accepts SD/SDHC cards, though no card is included with the camera.

Image Capacity with
256MB Memory Card
Fine Normal Basic RAW+JPG
3,136 x 2,352
Images
33
67
133
11
File Size
7.6 MB
3.8 MB
1.9 MB
23.3 MB
Approx.
Compression
3:1
6:1
12:1
-
2,560 x 1,920
Images
50
100
198
12
File Size
5.0 MB
2.5 MB
1.3 MB
20.9 MB
Approx.
Compression
3:1
6:1
11:1
-
2,048 x 1,536
Images
79
156
303
13
File Size
3.2 MB
1.6 KB
844 KB
19.0 MB
Approx.
Compression
3:1
6:1
11:1
-

We strongly recommend buying a large capacity SD/SDHC memory card at least a 1GB card, preferably a 2GB one, to give yourself extra space for extended outings. (Check the shopping link above, cards are really cheap these days, so no reason to skimp.)