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Panasonic Positions d-SLR At $1,999

Secaucus, N.J. — Panasonic announced pricing and availability details for its first digital SLR camera, the DMC-L1, targeting a higher-end customer than the two other d-SLR newcomers, Sony and Samsung.

The 7-megapixel L1 will ship in September with a suggested retail price of $1,999. The price includes a Leica D Vario-Elmarit 14-50mm/F2.8-3.5 lens with Panasonic’s MEGA Optical Image Stabilization.

The camera, which was developed in conjunction with Olympus, is styled after rangefinder cameras popular in the 35mm heyday. It offers a magnesium-alloy body with a shutter speed dial on the top and an aperture ring on the lens.

Like the previously announced Olympus E330, the DMC-L1 features a Live MOS image sensor which allows the L1 to offer a live preview on its 2.5-inch LCD screen, a feature other SLRs don’t offer. It will also offer a Supersonic Wave filter for removing dust from the image sensor when lenses are changed.

The camera is based on the 4/3 system for digital SLR lenses and sensors, which will make the L1 compatible with other 4/3 lenses from Olympus, Leica and Sigma.