The L1 was marketed at the same time as the VT Deluxe. Instead of a winding trigger on the bottom, there was a film advance lever on the top. The self-timer was omitted. Thus having no outstanding protrusions, the external design was clean-cut. Along with the Canon 8T cine camera, the L1 was the first camera to receive the Good Design Award which was just instituted by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry.
The cloth shutter curtain in early production cameras was later replaced by a thin stainless steel curtain for better durability and resistance to pinhole burns caused by direct sunlight entering the lens.