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GF1 or G3 with 100-300 lens

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by chilliman, Feb 29, 2012.

  1. chilliman

    chilliman New to Mu-43

    Jan 24, 2011
    I've been happy with my GF1 with pancake lens + the clip on viewfinder, I have recently aquired a panny 100-300 lens which works well on the GF1.

    Have seen a lot in forums praising the G3 with the 100-300mm as if it is the bees knees. Now I'm wondering should I consider upgrading to the G3 or stay with the GF1.

    On paper theres not a heck of a lot of difference between the G3 and GF1 apart from extra 3.x mp and a few cosmetic changes ie; flipout lcd screen.

    Is the quality of photos better from a G3 & 100-300 than the GF1with 100-300 attached?
  2. xdayv

    xdayv Color Blind

    Aug 26, 2011
    Tacloban City, Philippines
    based on my experience, there's not much difference in IQ especially at base ISO. but as you move on past ISO 800, the G3 is better.

    that being said, G3's built-in viewfinder will help you stabilize your handholding of lens like the 100-300. :biggrin:
  3. Luke

    Luke Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 30, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    I prefer the feel of the gf1 in my hand, but the viewfinder in the G3 is a real treat....as is the flippy screen.
  4. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    I think your money would be a lot better spent on an m.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8 to go with your Lumix 20mm f/1.7 and Lumix 100-300mm f/4-5.6, and start filling in your lens collection. Or perhaps even the Leica 45mm f/2.8 Macro-Elmarit which will do dual purpose of filling in the focal ranges as well as offering macro capabilities.

    If you're considering a Panasonic G3, then the m.Zuiko would be well within that same budget and the Leica only a little bit more.

    Don't worry about upgrading bodies until you have a more complete lens collection to meet various needs.
  5. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Oct 1, 2010
    From my experience the quality issues will be camera movement and focus:

    (1) High ISO noise will probably not be a huge issue unless you expect to be shooting at dawn and dusk. You're unlikely to be shooting the 100-300 in indoor low light situations.

    (2) Your stability shooting the 100-300, particularly at the 300 end, will not be adequate unless you are using an eye-level viewfinder (or a monopod/tripod.) I brought a few hundred pictures back from Africa a couple of months ago and was disappointed to see the number that showed some camera motion, even with my G1 mashed firmly against my face and often using a monopod. OIS is not a panacea. Not even close.

    (3) It's my understanding that the LVF-1 is not adequate for manual focusing. In Africa, I ran into many situations where there was grass or a twig or something between me and the subject, necessitating manual focus. MF is damned hard with that lens anyway, since with the enlargement it is like maybe a 2000mm lens. Unstable and hard to even find the subject. So if you envisage doing wildlife, the LVF-1 may not be adequate.

    But ... unless you are worried about low light why not just pick up a G1? $150 and a little patience should get you one.
  6. Spuff

    Spuff Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 5, 2010
    Berkshire, UK.
    I was going to do a thread about this.
    I did an experiment and found that with OIS on or off images when mounted on a tripod (with no perceptible movement when shutter pressed) were worse than using OIS hand held.
    Best results were self timer (OIS off) on my tripod.
    I had been thinking about a monopod but this experiment seemed to indicate it would make results worse rather than better.

    It seems to me that if there is only a very smalll amount of movement OIS doesn't work properly.
    I've certainly managed to get some crisp images of distant signs at full extension handheld without a viewfinder (this does depend on being a reasonably steady holder).
  7. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Oct 1, 2010
    I'm not sure I would draw that conclusion. If the tripod was that unstable, was it a really good heavy tripod or was it vibrating? Good article here: Tripods and Ball Heads by Thom Hogan

    Your better experience by using the self timer kind of indicates that there might be a vibration issue.

    Re monopod, since we are holding those at the top, my guess is that high frequency vibration is mostly eliminated and that lower frequency movement can be dealt with by using an adequate shutter speed. The old rule of slowest shutter speed being the reciprocal of the (35mm equiv.) focal length probably applies. I know that some of my soft Africa pictures were shot at speeds much slower than that.

    Absolutely. I am amazed by the number of people I see who don't know how to hold a camera. Elbows in, braced. Leaned against an inanimate object or even an animate one. (My wife is not at all surprised when she hears "hold still" and I use her shoulder as a camera stabilizer.)

    My bottom line: Good crisp images are possible with this lens but they are not a given.
  8. Kevin

    Kevin Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 25, 2011
    Vancouver, Canada
    I though I read somewhere (but can't find it now) that you should always turn OIS off when using a tripod due to it trying to correct for non existent movement.
  9. kinlau

    kinlau Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 29, 2012
    I have the 100-300, and it knows how to compensate when it's mounted to a tripod, you don't get drift. Not all lenses work the same way, I have lenses that drift badly.

    The biggest problem I find with the 100-300 is the lack of a tripod mount, it's not a good balance on most tripods. I use a video tripod with my GH2, so the mount plate slides to compensate for the balance.

    At 600mm equiv on a G3 or GF1, good long lens technique is necessary, and a remote shutter release would be at the top of the list, along with a good tripod. Proper handholding technique along with a fast shutter speed like 1/2000 or faster will also help when it's not possible to setup a tripod. I do a lot of shooting at these focal lengths, and that's what helps. Multi-shot mode, helps also, you get a much better chance of a good shot when you can fire off 2 or 3 shots in a row.
  10. moccaman

    moccaman Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 4, 2012
    I thought about the LVF1 for my GF1 but the cost of the thing even from places like B&H and adorama is still up in the 140-150 region, and shipping for us down under means 180 bucks just for an outdated viewfinder.

    I ended up buying a brand new G2 body locally for a steal, 269 bucks, and will likely use it with the 45-200 I plan on, along with night photography and other stuff where the EVF will be VERY handy.
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