Panasonic has announced that it has signed up to the Four Thirds System Supported by Olympus and Fujifilm at PMA in Orlando, Florida.

The company also announced that it has jointly developed a new DSLR camera with Olympus - the DMC-L1 Digital SLR.

The new model, following on from the company's announcement last year or an entry level model is its first DSLR with interchangeable lenses.

The DMC-L1 benefits from a new LEICA D VARIO-ELMARIT 14-50mm/F2.8-3.5 lens, equipped with an aperture ring, focus ring and zoom ring, for easy, direct aperture setting.

Panasonic has also developed something it is calling - a Live MOS sensor. The 4/3 type Live MOS sensor with 7.5 million pixels helps capture the images of a CCD sensor with delicate gradation and a wide dynamic range, whilst suppressing energy consumption as only a CMOS sensor can do. Noise is also minimised thanks to a special processing technology that runs on voltage as low as 5V.

The Venus Engine III is an image processing LSI, newly developed to maximise the performance of the Live MOS sensor offers improved camera responsiveness supporting high-performance consecutive shooting and a short shutter interval.

The camera also features a live view feature, something that is normally not found in DSLR models. Panasonic has introduced a mirror box unit, which integrates a quick-return mirror, viewfinder, and AE sensor.

This function can be selected in both Auto Focus and Manual Focus modes.

In Manual Focus, photographers can enlarge an image within the frame and then select the area focusing, making it easier to check the focusing condition on the large 2.5-inch, high resolution, 207,000 pixel LCD. It is also possible to check the depth of field by pressing the Aperture button.

Following additional development efforts, Panasonic plans to launch the camera for sale later this year.