Panasonic has revealed its first digital SLR – a 7.5 million pixel Four Thirds model called the Lumix DMC-L1 which was built in a tie-up with Olympus. And Leica has effectively endorsed the Four Thirds standard by announcing a 14-50mm Four Thirds lens, developed in partnership with Panasonic.

Due to go on sale later this year key features of the DMC-L1 include a live view function using a Live MOS sensor and 2.5? screen (207,000 pixel resolution).

Full specification of the DMC-L1 was yet to be confirmed when we contacted the company?s UK office this morning.

However, we know that the user will be able to control the shutter speed using a dial on top of the camera body. While, the new lens (Leica D Vario-Elmarit 14-50mm f/2.8-3.5 ASPH) is equipped with an aperture ring, plus a zoom ring and focus ring. The lens is designed to deliver the 35mm viewing angle of a 28-100mm optic.

A prototype of the DMC-L1 camera is on show at the Photo Marketing Association trade show which is taking place this week in Orlando, Florida.

The DMC-L1 will be the second digital SLR to feature a live colour view on its LCD screen ? the first being the Olympus E-330 announced last month. This also employed a Live MOS sensor (see AP 4 February 2006).

Panasonic first announced its DSLR alliance with Olympus on 13 January 2005.

See upcoming issues of AP for more details of the new camera.