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G3 Musings..

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by Maeda, Aug 11, 2011.

  1. Maeda

    Maeda Mu-43 Regular

    87
    Dec 1, 2010
    This is a schizophrenic camera. I don't know whether to use the touch af/shutter, or the viewfinder/shutter button. The lack of the eye sensor makes transitioning between these two styles tedious.

    Movie mode should be on the mode dial, and not a button. Instant access is nice, but consistency with the interaction is better.

    As a naysayer, it pains/surprises me to say that the touchscreen is now a very functional and viable way to shoot a camera. It almost renders the view finder and shutter button superfluous.

    The picture in picture focusing mode is great on the LCD, and very annoying in the viewfinder.

    The new focus modes are a welcome addition (upgrading from a GF1).

    The thumb wheel seems to take more turns to make my aperture changes.

    Feel free to post your detailed G3 musings...
     
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  2. carpandean

    carpandean Mu-43 Top Veteran

    827
    Oct 29, 2010
    Western NY
    I was thinking of doing something like this, too. Here are some random thoughts:

    Overall size and concept of the G3 is what I've been waiting for (though, the upcoming GF7 may change my mind.) The implementation of that concept is good, but not perfect.

    The grip takes getting used to. It felt awkward to hold at first, but my hand position has changed as I use it, making it more usable. It's not an all day, one hand camera, but it's not uncomfortable for taking a few shots one handed and it quite comfortable when using both hands (left hand either under body/lens or on left side of body.) I should note that, while I don't have fat fingers (actually, pretty thin), I do have long fingers.

    The body is so thin that my thumb actually shifts over to the LCD under the play button to get a good grip when using the viewfinder. If it were a little thicker, my thumb would sit more on the soft area around the wheel. Again, though, my thumb is long.

    Touch controls are nice, but I agree about being a little schizo. I'm frequently going back-and-forth between touch and button control. As I've used it, that has settled down a bit, but you have to train yourself.

    Touch shutter is very nice if you have a very good grip with your other hand; otherwise, pushing on the screen moves the camera a little.

    The viewfinder is much nicer than the LVF1. The delay is noticeably shorter (faster refresh), too, which is very welcome.

    The 20mm f/1.7 fits it like a dream. The size is nice; the balance is great. I could use that combination all day long.

    I love the feel with my tapered MD adapter (see adapted lenses thread) and my Minolta MD 50mm f/1.4 and 85 f/2.0 lenses. Even the 135mm f/2.8 works pretty well. On that note, when you get to longer, heavier lenses that really allow/require left-hand support, the feel and control of the grip actually works really well.

    The battery life is ridiculously short. I've just been messing around with the camera a little bit each day and I've had to re-charge it twice already (I got it Monday.)
     
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  3. Maeda

    Maeda Mu-43 Regular

    87
    Dec 1, 2010
    For us with fat fingers, I found the grip to be perfect. Not too big, not too little, but juuuuuust right. :biggrin: My hand is about big enough to palm a basketball briefly (just barely).
    I spent hours last night carrying it around in one hand, like a child with a new toy on Christmas day.


    I think I figured out the schizo-thing better late late last night. It's a workflow issue. I did the following..

    C1 - Saved with the picture in picture going, and with MF set. Aperture priority.
    When I use a manual lens, I start by setting the aperture on the lens, touching the lcd in the area I want to focus on, then press the button and move my eye to the VF. Now i'm free to focus and snap away.

    C2-1 - Saved with pin-point AF active, and AFS set. Aperture priority.
    This is the setting for a AF lens. I start by touching the touch shutter button. Then I set my aperture, and exposure, and then touch the screen for the focus area and the shot.

    I find this method makes using the camera less confusing. I hope it helps somebody..

    If there's such a thing as too many bells and whistles, the G3 is a candidate for having too many.
     
  4. pjohngren

    pjohngren Mu-43 Top Veteran

    560
    Oct 15, 2010
    I will try to help you with your shizophrenia. I took a cursory look at the touch controls and gave up on them altogether, since I can't even use the touch pad on my laptop successfully. This left me with a very traditional camera, operationally, and I have fallen in love with the G3 completely. I only use the screen to look at and adjust menues, and I suppose I might use it with my short light weight tripod, but even then I would not use touch controls, but the timer to fire the shutter or my cable release.

    Even the menues are clear in the EVF, and since there are just the right amount of buttons in my opinion, I don't have to take my eye off the viewfinder to essentially run everything on the camera.

    I don't miss the eye sensor, since whenever you open the LCD screen, it shifts to the screen, and then back to the EVF when you close the screen.

    I agree that the movie button is at least for me cumbersom to operate without giggling the camera. I have it turned off usually.

    So, I solved the problem by dumping the touch screen style of shooting and went with the EVF and available buttons style, and it all works incredibly well. I usualy leave the histogram floating on the image, use Aperture priority, and adust exosure comp with the little wheel. Sometimes I use the pattern autofocus, and other times I use a small center square for focus, set my focus by pressing the shutter half way, re-compose and fire. I have turned off all touch controls that I can turn off, since I find them annoying even to look at.

    If you come from a traditional camera background, then this camera operated this way is a total pleasure to use.
     
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  5. Hyubie

    Hyubie Unique like everyone else

    Oct 15, 2010
    Massachusetts
    Herbert
    + 1 on observations above.

    I find the transition between the EVF and LCD annoying, especially since AlanRoseman showed me his GH2 (not sure though if that is the exact model?) which has a sensor that automatically switches between EVF and LCD. Don't understand why Panasonic had to remove this.

    Also, one of the primary reasons I bought the G3 was for its built-in EVF, but I find that I am using the the swivel screen more. So... I'm having second thoughts and thinking if I should go back to Olympus and get their E-PL3. I love my E-PL1, and I wouldn't mind staying with the Pen series.

    Well, I will give it more time, and maybe I'll grow to love it too.
     
  6. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    I wish the play button was lower similar to the GF2 position. I find it cumbersome having to stretch my thumb which goes over the LCD to playback my images. If it was lower, it'd be easier to press with less effort. The LVF/EVF button is also annoying, but I'm sure it was removed due to cost. I'm also not fond of the build quality as compared to my GF2, which feels more solid due to metal in the construction. I hope someone makes one (though I doubt it), but a leather casing would do wonders with the grip and I'd certainly pay to have something like that for my G3.
     
  7. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Don
    The camera offers a lot of functionality and alternative ways of working, which leads to a bit more of a learning curve than some other cameras.

    I'm finding that this camera is one which takes more getting used to than my GF1 and GH2. I'm confident that with continued use, one can figure out the optimal way of working for what one prefers... but with this camera it seems that finding and settling into that groove takes a little longer and more experience with it. Additional and alternative functionality just takes more time to learn. Some will love that, others perhaps not so.
     
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  8. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    I'm coming from the GF2 and what I like about this combination is that they actually work very much the same. Both use the touch screen interface. Using the cameras simultaneously is almost transparent in operation. It also helps that they use the same battery system, which makes it a nice lightweight, two-camera travel kit.
     
  9. carpandean

    carpandean Mu-43 Top Veteran

    827
    Oct 29, 2010
    Western NY
    As long as you have 5-10 batteries. :wink:
     
  10. Maeda

    Maeda Mu-43 Regular

    87
    Dec 1, 2010
    I'm happy to say that this is very much the case. There are so many options, it's a bit tougher to get a handle on what this camera can actually do. I feel better about it now that I've been playing with it more.

    Sadly.. this is also so true.


    Lets be sure to get all angles with this thread (the title is musings, not bitching. :tongue:). There is a LOT more to love on the G3. More than even my beloved GF1, but because of this complexity, it takes a little longer to find the magic in it.
     
  11. dcisive

    dcisive Mu-43 Veteran

    460
    Feb 19, 2010
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    Lee
    I'm not even sure what I set it to, but when I'm shooting, switching between the EVF and review on LCD is as simple as a quick half press of the shutter, which switches it right back to EVF from the LCD. I don't find this process annoying at all. The only time I switch over entirely to LCD is if I want to see settings to change and such. otherwise I just remain in shooting/review mode. I don't have to bother to press the button to switch them between as a result. Guess I'm also blessed with relatively smaller hands so for me this fits perfect. My manor of holding it is supporting the left side with my thumb outstretched, and my forefinger on my left hand under the body, this combined with my right hand in the usual position ready to shoot and its stable as a rock with no movement nor risk of loss of the camera in my hands. It is really NOT designed to just handle in your right hand as a DSLR would be. Slight modification of the method pays dividends. I got it BECAUSE it was so small. And of course because it has the built in EVF. Surprisingly my battery life hasn't been too bad. I'm certainly exceeding the stated battery life as I'm taking a Panasonic Enginner's advice that I spoke to. Turning it off if I'm not shooting right away again. Saves BIG time on the juice. I have a fairly ultimate lens collection for this baby so no worries there. One end to the other. 14mm f2.5, 20mm f1.7, kit zoom, 45-200 and 100-300. As for focal range or specific use I've got it pretty well covered. I have a 2nd battery which I haven't needed as yet, and 2 16gb Class 10 cards. I even added that Olympus 300L flash for those special times. It's real cute and small and weighs nothing. Great for bouncing. Although I don't anticipate using it much. I have a 52mm 3 stop ND filter and circular polarizer just in case with step rings to fit the pancakes. Now I just need to get some time to road test it all. :) My wife's flowers are beginning to fry in this intense summer heat so I'm losing subjects to shoot :rolleyes:
     
  12. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    I'm surprised not everyone does this! I went on trip with my GF2, only one battery and no charger. I was able to preserve battery life after 2 days of shooting.
     
  13. pjohngren

    pjohngren Mu-43 Top Veteran

    560
    Oct 15, 2010
    I used the G3 for 2 weeks in Alaska shooting every day, and it shoots a good deal over the 270 shots per charge, if you aren't using flash - and who uses flash in the summer in Alaska - the sun is always on.

    But the battery is actually fine. I do have a spare, but could almost always get through a day on one battery. The battery is not a limitting factor at all. And the small charger without all that thick cord attached to it like in the G1/GF1, is a pleasure to use.
     
  14. Maeda

    Maeda Mu-43 Regular

    87
    Dec 1, 2010
    Did you have to use the battery a few times before you saw its full life?

    If I remember my GF1 correctly, I got a substantially longer battery life after I had used the battery a hand full of times. The life was a bit short the first few times I took it out. I think that is what's happening with my G3 (ive only had it about 16 hours).
     
  15. pjohngren

    pjohngren Mu-43 Top Veteran

    560
    Oct 15, 2010
    I agree - and you have to use it right down to the point of hardly any juice left at all, then fully charge it, to get the best results. I believe they then recommend doing that every once a month or so - or is that my laptop?
     
  16. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Don
    All chemistries of rechargeable batteries perform best, give the longest discharge time, and give the longest life if exercised.

    Lithium-ion cells, in particular, do not need to be drained fully before a recharge, as they have no "memory" effect. And they do benefit from an occasional full discharge from time to time.

    Li-ions can be topped off at any point in their discharge cycle with no ill effect. Generally speaking, while a full discharge is good from time to time, the battery will stay healthy longer if you do NOT fully discharge it every time before a recharge every cycle. If possible, when it gets to half discharge, or in that range, top it off. And then every once in a while give it a full discharge before a recharge.
     
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  17. Bill

    Bill Mu-43 Regular

    176
    Apr 15, 2009
    Brisbane, Australia
    Bill (really)
    Unitl my G3 I didn't realise how much I missed an EVF. I keep the LCD screen turned inward for protection and use the EVF as my default. I find the buttons are just enough to do almost everything I want. I only open the screen ocassionaly to make some other change or to show a picture to someone.

    I'm rapt. (I do wish that video button could be programmed to do something else.)

    Adobe: Where's that Lightroom update to include the G3?
     
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  18. pjohngren

    pjohngren Mu-43 Top Veteran

    560
    Oct 15, 2010
    This is exactly my experience with the G3. The EVF feels like a regular SLR view finder. The image is bright and clear and large, with 100% of the image - plus all the information you could want. I have mine set up so that after I take a shot, it pauses and displays the image without any data so I can examine exactly what I've got, right in the view finder. Just touch the shutter button, and you are back to shooting mode.

    Now, what to do with my GF1...........
     
  19. wanjeyin

    wanjeyin Mu-43 Regular

    46
    Mar 1, 2011
    Hi all,
    As many of you have done so already, I am no exception. Today I got hold of my new white G3 body to replace my GF1. All in all I am very satisfied with my purchase.

    The only two things I miss from my GF1 is that all (or mostly) metal body that makes it feel like a tank and a quality product in my hands. Ironically enough, I think I like the older lcd screen on the GF1, even though i feel i could get to enjoy the touch screen controls.

    My beef is with the images rendered on the lcd screen itself. Likely a consequence of having the tactile layer, but to me, photos rendered on the screen do not seem as clear/crisp as they did on the GF1. I also note that images seem slightly oversaturated as well as having a little yellow-magenta push. This is a bit of a disappointment and a trade-off for having touch-screen controls. Have any of you noticed this?

    Indeed this perhaps is where having a capacitive OLED touchscreen (like on the EP3) would be nice!

    Again, other than the above, the G3 is going to be an exceptional camera for me. As many of you have pointed out the evf is absolutely stunning.

    By the way, do any of you use any kind of LCD protection? Also are the LCDs used in the G3/GF1 made of glass or plastic? Any fears of scratching the panel?

    Thanks for reading!

    Regards,
    AJW
     
  20. pjohngren

    pjohngren Mu-43 Top Veteran

    560
    Oct 15, 2010
    Yes - I keep the LCD on the G3 closed, and use the EVF almost exclusively, except for searching for something on the menu. Love the EVF !