Panasonic has today confirmed that its first digital SLR, the Lumix DMC-L1, will go on sale in Japan on 22 July. However, we are still waiting to hear from Panasonic regarding a UK price and launch date for the camera, which is a Four Thirds model.

Announced earlier this year, the 7.5-million-pixel model will be launched with a Leica D Vario-Elmarit 14-50mm f/2.8-3.5 ASPH lens which is designed to deliver the 35mm viewing angle equivalent of a 28-100mm zoom. We understand that the Four Thirds mount lens includes an aperture ring, in addition to a zoom ring and focus ring. The 16-element-in-12-group optic contains two aspherical elements.

The result of a tie-up with Olympus, the DMC-L1 is the second SLR to feature a live colour view on its LCD screen, the first being the Olympus E-330 which ? announced in February ? also features a Live MOS sensor. This aims to achieve a full-time live view function ? displaying the image on the LCD directly from the sensor signal. In manual focus mode photographers can enlarge an image within the frame prior to focusing ? making it easier to check the focusing condition on the screen, according to Panasonic who adds that it is also possible to check the depth of field by pressing the camera?s Aperture button.

The DMC-L1?s 2.5in screen boasts a resolution of 207,000 pixels.

Features include a maximum ISO sensitivity of ISO 1600.

Panasonic?s UK office was not able to confirm a UK price or availability date at the time of writing, though they have contacted the company?s Japanese HQ on our behalf. We will keep you posted.