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Author Topic: G1-traveling light  (Read 22195 times)
picnic
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« on: March 04, 2009, 04:20:44 PM »
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I'm surprised no one has commented on Michael's article about traveling light with the G1.  And--now that Panasonic has announced the GHD1 with video it seems that it might be of interest, esp. after Chris' article about shooting video with the 5DII.  I understand that videographers are excited about this new little camera too.  I have the original G1 and am having great fun with it, adding several FD primes with an adaptor plus the 2 native lenses.  Its a great complementary camera to my 5D--and I do find I'm picking it up a lot.

Diane B
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John Camp
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« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2009, 04:58:33 PM »
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There have been quite a few observations around the net and on this site about the G1, as well as a long review on Sean Reid's site. The general consensus is just as Michael portrays it: an excellent travel camera with a somewhat limited ISO range and also somewhat limited lenses (they're slow.) But for general all-around use, it's a terrific camera; I carry mine almost all the time, which I have never done with my D3/D300 (too big and heavy) or even my Leica (too expensive and you need to take too many lenses to cover the same range.) The G1 will not replace the big pro DSLRs, because the image quality is not as good as say the D3x or 1DsIII, and the ISO response is not as good as the D3 or the 5DII. But for light weight, and good flexibility within its range, nothing can touch it (at the moment.) Olympus is supposedly coming out with an even more compact system this summer, with body-based image-stabilization, that I expect to be a bit bigger than a Canon G9, but not all that much bigger, and smaller than the G1. And if they can also provide a lineup of Olympus-quality lenses and a sensor that can get even one more stop without noise, that may be my ultimate camera. (The Panasonic lenses are good, but not great, IMHO.)

I think perhaps there hasn't been much discussion of Michael's note simply because most people who know about the G1 agree with him.

JC
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JBerardi
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« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2009, 06:00:15 PM »
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I love the concept of the "EVIL" cameras, but until there's some small primes available, I don't think said concept is fully realized. I like the G1 but it's still going on my shoulder or in a bag of some kind, same as my Nikon. Yeah, it's lighter, but frankly... I'll worry about that once I'm old. On the other hand, if Olympus* puts out this smaller m4/3 system with some nice, small primes... then that IS a big difference to me, and I'll totally be on board. Call it the "Coat Pocket Barrier".

You hear that, camera companies? Make a 9mm prime, and I promise you will sell at least the one...





*I don't actually care if it's Olympus, they're just the ones who happen to be making noise about the sort of thing I'm describing.
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picnic
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« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2009, 06:20:26 PM »
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Quote from: JBerardi
I love the concept of the "EVIL" cameras, but until there's some small primes available, I don't think said concept is fully realized. I like the G1 but it's still going on my shoulder or in a bag of some kind, same as my Nikon. Yeah, it's lighter, but frankly... I'll worry about that once I'm old. On the other hand, if Olympus* puts out this smaller m4/3 system with some nice, small primes... then that IS a big difference to me, and I'll totally be on board. Call it the "Coat Pocket Barrier".

You hear that, camera companies? Make a 9mm prime, and I promise you will sell at least the one...





*I don't actually care if it's Olympus, they're just the ones who happen to be making noise about the sort of thing I'm describing.

The big deal today for the m4/3rds at PMA is the announcement of the GHD1 it seems.  It appears to address some of the 5DII issues with video (i"m not a video person so only passing on what I've read)
http://www.dpreview.com/news/0903/09030315...lumixdmcgh1.asp  
plus there's at least one lens introduced that wasn't before--a 45 f/2.8 macro.   The 7-14 f/4, 14-140HD lens both are due out soon--they are saying May.  Oh, and the video samples are online--might be of interest to some
http://panasonic.net/avc/lumix/systemcamer.../gh1/movie.html
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2009, 07:40:51 PM »
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I think those of us who wanted this already bought one.

Chiropractors should sell these things.
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JBerardi
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« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2009, 08:00:31 PM »
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Quote from: picnic
The big deal today for the m4/3rds at PMA is the announcement of the GHD1 it seems.  It appears to address some of the 5DII issues with video (i"m not a video person so only passing on what I've read)
http://www.dpreview.com/news/0903/09030315...lumixdmcgh1.asp  
plus there's at least one lens introduced that wasn't before--a 45 f/2.8 macro.   The 7-14 f/4, 14-140HD lens both are due out soon--they are saying May.  Oh, and the video samples are online--might be of interest to some
http://panasonic.net/avc/lumix/systemcamer.../gh1/movie.html

Yes, all that stuff is well and good, but it's not a reason for me to buy the system. I can see how for a lot of the user base of this camera, having video is Huge Deal, but I'm indifferent. The 7-14 is a good and necessary addition to the lens lineup... but I'm more interested in the Sigma 10-20 f3.5 that got introduced that's wider and also has the notable advantage of mounting on a camera I already own. Of course, they have to develop a proper lens lineup for those people who aren't already in a SLR system (notice how much the G1 resembles a regular Lumix point and shoot?), but I am in one, and it's a totally fine one, so I'll wait for the m4/3 people to come up with something that's really unique, not just a baby version of what I have now.

And I'm sure they will, eventually. Being a late adopter is nice like that. I'm excited about the future of M4/3, but I'll wait for that future to actually come to pass before I invest anything in it... and then I'll buy a used G1 from someone who owned one buy just HAD to have HD video  
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jeremyrh
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« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2009, 04:09:40 AM »
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I hung back on this until I saw the Olympus announcement, but for me it is really a show-stopper to not have a viewfinder (plus, it's ugly). Squinting at a screen and holding the camera un-braced in 2 hands is just not workable for me. Also - I am not at all interested in video, so teh new Pana has no benefit for me. Now I have the G1 - for sure it is too big for a coat pocket, but it goes in a small bag, or in the backpack I usually take. Also, it fits in a travel kit for business trips where I can't justify a big DSLR, but want the chance to shoot decent shots in a new place.
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Ben Rubinstein
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« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2009, 06:28:20 AM »
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Quote from: JBerardi
Call it the "Coat Pocket Barrier".

+1!
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NikoJorj
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« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2009, 07:30:07 AM »
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Quote from: jeremyrh
I hung back on this until I saw the Olympus announcement, but for me it is really a show-stopper to not have a viewfinder (plus, it's ugly). Squinting at a screen and holding the camera un-braced in 2 hands is just not workable for me.
I'm reluctant to give away the optical viewfinder too...

But if I read Michael's review :
Quote
I've found that generally the G1's viewfinder does the job, and it's only in some specialized situations that it is inferior to a mirror reflex
It seems it's not that annoying.
Michael, may I ask for a few details : what are exactly these specialized situations?

And about the LX3, you used it regularly on the beach : how was the screen in bright sunlight?

My main use for such a coat-pocket (if not pocket) camera would be while backcountry skiing, that means generally lots of sun and lots of snow and the back screen of my good'ol 300D (yes, the rebel) is not of much help - I can barely read the histogram and just have to forgive anything about the image review itself.
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Nicolas from Grenoble
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picnic
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« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2009, 07:58:22 AM »
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Quote from: NikoJorj
I'm reluctant to give away the optical viewfinder too...

But if I read Michael's review :

It seems it's not that annoying.
Michael, may I ask for a few details : what are exactly these specialized situations?

And about the LX3, you used it regularly on the beach : how was the screen in bright sunlight?

My main use for such a coat-pocket (if not pocket) camera would be while backcountry skiing, that means generally lots of sun and lots of snow and the back screen of my good'ol 300D (yes, the rebel) is not of much help - I can barely read the histogram and just have to forgive anything about the image review itself.

I suspect you'd prefer the LX3 (which I don't own and won't) for backcountry skiing (sizewise--pocketable--but then the G1 is smaller than the 400D which I do own), but just to point something out---everything you see on your LCD with the G1 is able to be viewed in the EVF--including review, RGB histos, etc.  For me, that's a biggie.  I could never use the G9 very well in sun to compose, check histo (live or review), or focus.  The EVF took me just a short bit to get used to it and now--wish that I had something similar to MF with a TS on the 5D.  I'd say the only time I find the EVF a bit of an issue is in VERY dark circumstances where it will get grainy--but--and this is a big but--you can still generally focus,  whereas I may not be able to focus with the 5D in the same circumstances.  I really didn't think I would like the EVF but have come to like it very much--and esp. with alternative MF lenses where the MF assist makes focusing so easy that I find MF really enjoyable.

Diane
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pegelli
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« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2009, 08:31:03 AM »
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Quote from: picnic
I really didn't think I would like the EVF but have come to like it very much--and esp. with alternative MF lenses where the MF assist makes focusing so easy that I find MF really enjoyable.

Diane

Thanks for that post. I must say that the G1 really peaked my interest as well since it would allow me to use my old stable of Leica M primes again. Can you describe how the MF assist really works in practice with MF lenses? Michael has promised to report out on his Leica M converter but I don't think it is out yet. I could easily see myself covering WA with the standard zoom lens and then having the 35 mm equivalent of a 70/2.8, 100/2 and 180/2.8 if indeed the system is user friendly enough to use it. The M8 is financially out of reach and I'm not interested (don't have the time) to load film in my old M2, so the G1 seems the route to go.


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pieter, aka pegelli
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« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2009, 09:21:49 AM »
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Quote from: picnic
I'd say the only time I find the EVF a bit of an issue is in VERY dark circumstances where it will get grainy--but--and this is a big but--you can still generally focus,
OK, thanks!
I had a worse experience with EVFs at the time of the Dimage7... I couldn't use it much more than the back screen because it wasn't bright enough (or not enough shielded from external light), but it was some time ago.

And yes, I'm much more inclined towards the LX3 or another "serious" compact for bulk & weight reasons. The G1 is smaller than my 300d but not that smaller - and it would mean reinvest in a complete system. I keep an eye on the new 4/3 Olympus though, when it will be more than a block of wood.
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Nicolas from Grenoble
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« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2009, 09:38:52 AM »
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Quote from: JBerardi
I'll wait for the m4/3 people to come up with something that's really unique, not just a baby version of what I have now.

No mirror box. Thank God.
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picnic
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« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2009, 11:13:30 AM »
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Quote from: NikoJorj
OK, thanks!
I had a worse experience with EVFs at the time of the Dimage7... I couldn't use it much more than the back screen because it wasn't bright enough (or not enough shielded from external light), but it was some time ago.

And yes, I'm much more inclined towards the LX3 or another "serious" compact for bulk & weight reasons. The G1 is smaller than my 300d but not that smaller - and it would mean reinvest in a complete system. I keep an eye on the new 4/3 Olympus though, when it will be more than a block of wood.

I've never tried an EVF before.  From what I read from others, this is very unlike any EVF ever before.  Its very bright all the time--but you can also do a display that shows you exacctly what you will get with a particular shutter speed--esp. useful for manual.

There are M mount adaptors for the G1.  Cameraquest has one as well as Rayqual, Novoflex--and there are probably some on ebay.  Check this chart
http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dx428wg_10fdvsmtd7  Its constantly being updated as more and more appear.  I believe Jim Milich has an M also.  I bought the FD adaptor from Cameraquest  http://cameraquest.com/adp_micro_43.htm

To use MF assist with an MF lens, you go into the menu and choose 'shoot w/o lens'.  I would say all of us are just leaving this on as it doesn't seem to make any difference when using the Panny native lenses for AF at all (BTW, you can use MF assist by setting it on dial on camera top left and just touching the focus ring on the Panny AF lens also).  

With the MF lens mounted with its adaptor, you can just MF with focus ring, but to use MF assist (10X zoom), you click on the <- of the 4 way button which brings up the large MF square.  You can reduce the focus square size to smaller by using the front dial.  You can also move the AF square to anywhere except very far edges of image.  Then click on OK (middle button of 4 way) and you get a full VF of 10X zoom and focus with your front focus ring.  It takes quite a bit longer to type this than it does to use it LOL.  Most of us are using aperture priority, letting the camera choose the shutter speed--and often using auto ISO letting it choose ISO.  

Hope this explains sufficiently.  For anyone wanting to shoot with alternative lenses of all but EOS (AFAIK), there are probably straight adaptors or in some cases, using 2 adaptors (though many of these will be supplanted with direct adaptors as these cheaper adaptor mfg. offer them).  I owned one old 50 f/1.8 which I think was a kit lens for AE-1--I just kept it so I had something on the body.  I looked around, saw that the FD lenses were good on the G1, bought an adaptor, bought a 24 f/2.8 and 35 f/2.8 (would have liked faster but plan to buy Panasonic 20 f/1.7 this Fall when its out and these were smaller than faster in same FL), a set of 12mm, 20mm, 36mm and added a 25mm extension tube set (those for $20 total) and I have a nice MF set in FL range I normally shoot for under $250.   And--its fun to use.  I still have my 5D with a lot of EF mount lenses, but I find I'm carrying the G1 quite a lot.

Diane
« Last Edit: March 05, 2009, 11:14:44 AM by picnic » Logged
John Camp
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« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2009, 01:04:10 PM »
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It just occurred to me that if somebody made a sturdy collapsible plastic LCD shade, like they do for most DSLRs, that could be attached to the back of the Olympus, you'd essentially have a huge dark very visible viewfinder -- might even be too huge to see well from a couple of inches, perhaps there could be a scaled-down image that could optionally be run on the LCD (it seems to me that that would be a relatively minor piece of firmware.) That would eliminate the problem of having to hold the camera away from your body. If done right, and was sturdy enough, it would even be an effective eye-brace. But, it's have to be light and collapsible, or you'd lose the size/weight advantage.

JC
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #15 on: March 08, 2009, 03:51:57 PM »
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In the latest (3.5) Lenswork podcast Brooks Jensen mentions he has a G1.  Not a review of it but he seems to like it.
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John Camp
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« Reply #16 on: March 09, 2009, 12:09:30 PM »
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Quote from: pegelli
Thanks for that post. I must say that the G1 really peaked my interest as well since it would allow me to use my old stable of Leica M primes again. Can you describe how the MF assist really works in practice with MF lenses? Michael has promised to report out on his Leica M converter but I don't think it is out yet. I could easily see myself covering WA with the standard zoom lens and then having the 35 mm equivalent of a 70/2.8, 100/2 and 180/2.8 if indeed the system is user friendly enough to use it. The M8 is financially out of reach and I'm not interested (don't have the time) to load film in my old M2, so the G1 seems the route to go.

You should be aware that Sean Reid (paid site) reviewed the G1 with Leica primes, and found that they do not perform very well around the edges of the photo -- the fall off is quite dramatic in his examples. You'd have to read the site to understand why (I don't want to steal Sean's review from him) but it's a serious problem. Essentially, the very best Leica lenses do not perform as well as the Panasonics , except in the center of the sensor.

JC
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dalethorn
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« Reply #17 on: March 09, 2009, 12:45:37 PM »
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Panasonic apparently feels that the GH1's competition is pocket cameras and low-cost "superzoom" cameras, which must be the reason they're going to sell it packaged with their 14-140 (28-280 in 35mm terms) lens, with no alternative except to buy extra lenses wherever you can get them. I haven't owned any interchangeable lens camera since 2001, when I dumped my Leica M6. But still, I know enough that I would much prefer buying a GH1 with a short and long lens combo, like a 24-85 and 100-400 (35mm eq.)

I'm familiar with the low-noise capability of the LX3 when shooting indoors with average lighting, without flash. And if the sample GH1 photos I saw of the interior of a equipment exhibit are authentic, then it's in another dimension entirely from the LX3. Better than I expected.
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BJL
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« Reply #18 on: March 09, 2009, 02:40:39 PM »
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Ah, the unsteady arms-length LCD camera shooting complaint again:
Quote from: jeremyrh
...  holding the camera un-braced in 2 hands is just not workable for me.
I held my former digicam quite steadily with my elbows and upper arms firmly braced against my body as I composed on the LCD; my upper arms were in fact more solidly pressed down and into my chest than with an SLR, due to the lower camera position.

I am mystified why so many people suggest that it is necessary to wave an "LCD camera" around at arms length, just because this is done by some snap-shooters who do not think about technique, and by long-sighted people I suppose.

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tonysmith
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« Reply #19 on: March 09, 2009, 02:47:04 PM »
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Quote from: dalethorn
I know enough that I would much prefer buying a GH1 with a short and long lens combo, like a 24-85 and 100-400 (35mm eq.)

I would appreciate if you could explain why you think a short and long lens combo would be better - it might guide my choice.

Thanks

Tony
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