GF1 IQ/AF issues?

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by beanedsprout, May 24, 2013.

  1. beanedsprout

    beanedsprout Mu-43 Veteran

    429
    Apr 13, 2013
    north central Ohio
    Should I just buy a new camera? Upgrade to full frame and something with less noise at higher iso? Did a shoot yesterday, lighting kinda sucked, was shooting wide open with the Oly 45 1.8, set the focus and spot metered off that. On the LCD it looked fine, but of course the low resolution was misleading. Even with a tripod her face ended up out of focus. Maybe she was just too far away and the AF isn't that accurate? It could have been the rain in front of her face? Or maybe the lens was dirty. Also there was lots of visible noise above 200iso, so I shot at that or below for most of it, which meant really slow shutter speeds. Even with a tripod it wasn't ideal. Again, looked fine on the LCD but looks can be deceiving. I'll post up some shots to demonstrate it. I wanted to get a gh3 because I liked the compactness of the micro 4/3s system and I already have lenses, plus it's weather sealed, which is horribly important. But if it doesn't function well in low light, it might as well be useless. Honestly I don't know what was the deal with the AF, put the little box right on her face and it "focused" pretty quick. I know shooting wide open reduces depth of field but with those lighting situations I basically had no other choice with visible noise on the low resolution LCD and viewfinder at 320iso. Anyway, any help would be appreciate. I'll post pics when I get home, both good and bad.

    Also I know flash would help, but I only have one hotshoe and I'd rather use a viewfinder, so the next camera will have one built in. Gh3 would be cool for wireless strobes but I'd have to figure out how to use them correctly. Faster lens would be amazing, can't wait for the 42.5 1.2. Just too bad it doesn't come with ois.
     
  2. pcake

    pcake Mu-43 Regular

    187
    May 3, 2010
    focus and metering-wise my GF1 did pretty well for me - definitely better than the G3 or NEX 5R. the GH3 is going to do better in low light or at higher ISO than the GF1 as it's a newer sensor - the G3 did better in low light / high ISO than the GF1 and the GH3 is a newer generation.
     
  3. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Sounds more like a motion blur issue than missed focus.

    With the pace of sensor development, the GF1 is practically a dinosaur in terms of low light. I was comfortable up to at least ISO400, though - and you could probably do better with some more advanced PP work than I am interested (and capable of) doing
     
  4. beanedsprout

    beanedsprout Mu-43 Veteran

    429
    Apr 13, 2013
    north central Ohio
    Yeah that's true. I've never really gotten the hang of PP noise reduction. She was pretty fidgety but there was a difference I'm almost sure between the motion blur and focusing. In some of the shots I remember the focus area being slightly larger than her head, but at those distances the dof shouldn't be that shallow to only catch the tip of her nose in focus or something like that.
     
  5. mzd

    mzd Mu-43 Veteran

    241
    Nov 30, 2010
    Wisconsin
    yes, please post a sample.
    how low light are we talking?
    this image was shot (handheld) in a very dimly lit bar at ISO 800 with the same combo you are talking about - GF1 w/ Oly 45 (f1.8, 1/20)

    click for large size:
    8810394521_ac20475bc5_c.
     
  6. beanedsprout

    beanedsprout Mu-43 Veteran

    429
    Apr 13, 2013
    north central Ohio
    Sorry, after further review it seems to be hand-held motion blur, coupled sometimes with subject blur from using slow shutter speeds. higher ISO looks like crap right out of the camera, so I'll play around with jpegs and PP noise reduction to raw files. Live and learn. Then buy something with in-body IS and decent high ISO results.
     
  7. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Northumberland
    You have a dark rainy day, the face is so far away the focus box is bigger than the face, handheld, using the LCD. So what did the shutterspeed end up as?
    Post the promised pictures too ...
     
  8. beanedsprout

    beanedsprout Mu-43 Veteran

    429
    Apr 13, 2013
    north central Ohio
    _1060209.
    Oly 45 @ 1.8, 1/60th ISO 125

    _1060229.
    Oly 17 2.8 @ 2.8 1/30th same ISO

    _1060463.
    Oly 45 on a tripod, f2 1/3rd of a second, ISO 400

    _1060514.
    Oly 45 f2 1/4th ISO 640, which actually doesn't look bad.

    She was pretty fidgety, went to modeling school so maybe that's where she picked it up. But there's a lot of motion blur here and there, but I guess the GF-1 isn't too bad at some higher ISOs. the 640 shot doesn't reveal a lot of noise, and it seems to be only her face is blurred. So maybe I'm just a ****ty photographer. Also I was using a viewfinder but reviewing the images on the LCD, which really turned me off to the higher ISOs because it showed a lot of noise zoomed in.
     
  9. mzd

    mzd Mu-43 Veteran

    241
    Nov 30, 2010
    Wisconsin
    i think you are definitely OK in the 400-640 range on the GF1.
    but, remember, we are talking about 90mm equiv focal length and the old rule of 1/FL isn't that far off. those are all pretty slow shutter speeds. you can get away with those once in a while, but your subject really needs to hold still for a moment and your keeper rate will be lower.
    seeing as the model is your gf in this case, i would ask her to give a slight pause between her movements. i think it would go a long way if she could "hold the pose" just a bit.
    also, this lens is known to be very sharp wide open and in low light, you need every stop you can get.
    also, you get a little bit more ISO leeway with RAW. that way you can set how much NR you apply at your computer while viewing full size images.
     
  10. madmaxmedia

    madmaxmedia Mu-43 Veteran

    335
    Feb 20, 2010
    Your shutter speeds are way too low. The 1/focal length is a good rule of thumb to prevent blur due to camera movement, but doesn't apply to subject movement.

    In all likelihood the AF was fine. But keep in mind the depth of field is not too much at 45mm f/2.
     
  11. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Northumberland
    1/30sec and 1/3rd sec are slow, the GF1 is lightweight and shallow ... you did well on some pictures and I've seen and commented on other photos from this shoot that came out great.
    Stabilisation would've helped, the high ISO on the new sensors would've helped too.
    In my opinion you did well but the whole thing would be easier with this year's model (camera, not ... model) Olympus.

    Conclusion : keep doing exactly what you're doing since it looks twice as good as most stuff, and save up the pennies for an E-M5 or whatever. I pick that camera since it has demonstrably the best stabilisation in m4/3rds today.