Panasonic L1 vs Pentax K-r

Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1 front
Pentax K-r front

Panasonic L1 vs Pentax K-r Key Specs

Panasonic L1
(Full Review)
  • 7MP - Four Thirds Sensor
  • 2.5" Fixed Screen
  • ISO 100 - 1600
  • No Video
  • Micro Four Thirds Mount
  • 606g - 146 x 87 x 77mm
  • Announced April 2007
Pentax K-r
(Full Review)
  • 12MP - APS-C Sensor
  • 3" Fixed Screen
  • ISO 200 - 12800 (Increase to 25600)
  • Sensor based Image Stabilization
  • 1/6000s Max Shutter
  • 1280 x 720 video
  • Pentax KAF2 Mount
  • 598g - 125 x 97 x 68mm
  • Announced March 2011
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Panasonic L1 vs Pentax K-r Overview

Lets look a bit more closely at the Panasonic L1 versus Pentax K-r, one being a Advanced DSLR and the latter is a Entry-Level DSLR by rivals Panasonic and Pentax. There exists a crucial gap between the sensor resolutions of the L1 (7MP) and K-r (12MP) and the L1 (Four Thirds) and K-r (APS-C) use totally different sensor sizing.

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The L1 was unveiled 4 years before the K-r and that is quite a serious gap as far as technology is concerned. Both of these cameras offer different body type with the Panasonic L1 being a Mid-size SLR camera and the Pentax K-r being a Compact SLR camera.

Before getting through a more detailed comparison, below is a brief overview of how the L1 grades versus the K-r when it comes to portability, imaging, features and an overall rating.

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Reasons to pick Panasonic L1 over the Pentax K-r

 L1 K-r 

Reasons to pick Pentax K-r over the Panasonic L1

 K-r L1 
AnnouncedMarch 2011April 2007Fresher by 47 months
Screen sizing3"2.5"Bigger screen (+0.5")
Screen resolution921k207kClearer screen (+714k dot)

Common features in the Panasonic L1 and Pentax K-r

 L1 K-r 
Focus manually Dial exact focus
Screen typeFixed Fixed Fixed screen
Selfie screen Absent selfie screen
Touch screen Absent Touch screen

Panasonic L1 vs Pentax K-r Physical Comparison

In case you're planning to carry your camera regularly, you're going to have to factor its weight and measurements. The Panasonic L1 has got outside measurements of 146mm x 87mm x 77mm (5.7" x 3.4" x 3.0") along with a weight of 606 grams (1.34 lbs) while the Pentax K-r has proportions of 125mm x 97mm x 68mm (4.9" x 3.8" x 2.7") accompanied by a weight of 598 grams (1.32 lbs).

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Keep in mind, the weight of an Interchangeable Lens Camera will change depending on the lens you have at the time. Below is the front view physical size comparison of the L1 compared to the K-r.

Panasonic L1 vs Pentax K-r size comparison

Taking into consideration dimensions and weight, the portability grade of the L1 and K-r is 65 and 67 respectively.

Panasonic L1 vs Pentax K-r top view buttons comparison

Panasonic L1 vs Pentax K-r Sensor Comparison

Quite often, its difficult to envision the contrast between sensor sizing only by looking at specifications. The graphic here will offer you a stronger sense of the sensor measurements in the L1 and K-r.

To sum up, the two cameras enjoy different megapixel count and different sensor sizing. The L1 with its tinier sensor will make shooting shallower DOF harder and the Pentax K-r will give you greater detail having an extra 5MP. Higher resolution can also help you crop shots far more aggressively. The older L1 is going to be behind in sensor innovation.

Panasonic L1 vs Pentax K-r sensor size comparison

Panasonic L1 vs Pentax K-r Screen and ViewFinder

Panasonic L1 vs Pentax K-r Screen and Viewfinder comparison
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Photography Type Scores

Portrait Comparison

Panasonic L1 Portrait photography highlights
Pentax K-r Portrait photography highlights
manual focus
sensor size is nice (Four Thirds)
supports RAW files
low megapixels (7MP)
has manual focus
decent sensor size (APS-C)
offers face detect focusing
delivers RAW files
sensor resolution low (12MP)
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Street Comparison

Panasonic L1 Street photography advice
Pentax K-r Street photography advice
sensor size is nice (Four Thirds)
supports RAW files
lighter than average in class (606g)
no articulating screen
no image stabilization
built in image stabilization (Sensor based)
decent sensor size (APS-C)
delivers RAW files
no moving screen
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Sports Comparison

Panasonic L1 as a Sports photography camera
Pentax K-r as a Sports photography camera
sensor size is nice (Four Thirds)
has phase detect auto focus
continuous shooting slow (3.0 frames/s)
no image stabilization
low megapixels (7 megapixels)
great max shutter speed (1/6,000 seconds)
built in image stabilization (Sensor based)
decent sensor size (APS-C)
has phase detect AF
max fps very slow (6.0 fps)
sensor resolution low (12 megapixels)
terrible battery life (470 per charge)
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Travel Comparison

Travel photography with Panasonic L1
Travel photography with Pentax K-r
lighter than average in class (606g)
flash built-in
missing Time Lapse mode
low megapixels (7MP)
screen isn't selfie friendly
has built in flash
terrible battery life (470 CIPA)
sensor resolution low (12MP)
does not have selfie friendly screen
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Landscape Comparison

Landscape photography with Panasonic L1
Landscape photography with Pentax K-r
manual focus
swap lenses (Micro Four Thirds mount)
sensor size is nice (Four Thirds)
supports RAW files
screen is small (2.5")
no image stabilization
low megapixels (7 megapixels)
missing Time Lapse mode
has manual focus
swap lenses (Pentax KAF2 mount)
screen size is good (3 inches)
built in image stabilization (Sensor based)
decent sensor size (APS-C)
delivers RAW files
sensor resolution low (12MP)
terrible battery life (470 shots)
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Vlogging Comparison

Panasonic L1 Vlogging details
Pentax K-r Vlogging details
can't record video
built in image stabilization (Sensor based)
offers face detect focusing
does not have selfie friendly screen
video res low (1280 x 720 pixels)
missing microphone jack
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Panasonic L1 vs Pentax K-r Specifications

Detailed spec comparison table for Panasonic L1 and Pentax K-r
 Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1Pentax K-r
General Information
Brand Panasonic Pentax
Model Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1 Pentax K-r
Class Advanced DSLR Entry-Level DSLR
Announced 2007-04-11 2011-03-11
Body design Mid-size SLR Compact SLR
Sensor Information
Processor - Prime II
Sensor type CMOS CMOS
Sensor size Four Thirds APS-C
Sensor measurements 17.3 x 13mm 23.6 x 15.8mm
Sensor surface area 224.9mm² 372.9mm²
Sensor resolution 7 megapixel 12 megapixel
Anti aliasing filter
Aspect ratio 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9 3:2
Highest Possible resolution 3136 x 2352 4288 x 2848
Maximum native ISO 1600 12800
Maximum enhanced ISO - 25600
Minimum native ISO 100 200
RAW support
Minimum enhanced ISO - 100
Focus manually
Touch focus
AF continuous
Single AF
Tracking AF
AF selectice
Center weighted AF
Multi area AF
Live view AF
Face detection AF
Contract detection AF
Phase detection AF
Number of focus points 3 11
Cross focus points - 9
Lens mounting type Micro Four Thirds Pentax KAF2
Available lenses 45 151
Crop factor 2.1 1.5
Screen type Fixed Type Fixed Type
Screen sizing 2.5" 3"
Screen resolution 207k dot 921k dot
Selfie friendly
Touch screen
Screen tech - TFT LCD monitor
Viewfinder Information
Viewfinder Optical (pentamirror) Optical (pentamirror)
Viewfinder coverage 95 percent 96 percent
Viewfinder magnification 0.46x 0.57x
Minimum shutter speed 60 seconds 30 seconds
Fastest shutter speed 1/4000 seconds 1/6000 seconds
Continuous shutter speed 3.0fps 6.0fps
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Manual exposure
Exposure compensation Yes Yes
Custom WB
Image stabilization
Integrated flash
Flash range 13.00 m 12.00 m (at ISO 100)
Flash options Auto, Red-Eye Auto, On, Red-Eye On, Red-Eye Slow Sync, Off, Slow Sync (1&2) Auto, Red-eye Reduction, Slow-speed Sync, Trailing Curtain Sync, High-Speed Sync and Wireless Sync
Hot shoe
AE bracketing
WB bracketing
Fastest flash sync 1/160 seconds 1/180 seconds
Multisegment metering
Average metering
Spot metering
Partial metering
AF area metering
Center weighted metering
Video features
Video resolutions - 1280 x 720 (25 fps), 640 x 480 (25 fps)
Maximum video resolution None 1280x720
Video data format - Motion JPEG
Microphone input
Headphone input
Wireless None None
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec) USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
GPS None Optional
Environment seal
Water proof
Dust proof
Shock proof
Crush proof
Freeze proof
Weight 606g (1.34 lb) 598g (1.32 lb)
Dimensions 146 x 87 x 77mm (5.7" x 3.4" x 3.0") 125 x 97 x 68mm (4.9" x 3.8" x 2.7")
DXO scores
DXO Overall score not tested 72
DXO Color Depth score not tested 22.9
DXO Dynamic range score not tested 12.4
DXO Low light score not tested 755
Battery life - 470 pictures
Battery format - Battery Pack
Battery model - D-LI109,4 x AA
Self timer Yes (2 or 10 sec) Yes (2 or 12 sec)
Time lapse recording
Type of storage SD/MMC card SD/SDHC
Storage slots 1 1
Cost at release $1,500 $1,100