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GH2 -- a few test photos to illustrate high ISO and DR

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by dko22, Feb 25, 2011.

  1. dko22

    dko22 Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 26, 2010
    Stuttgart, Germany
    I've now had my GH2 around 10 days and have been running a few tests to compare to the G1. Haven't gone near video yet! Initial impressions are pretty favourable. What I was looking for was a clear improvement in noise levels, both for high ISO and for filling in shadows -- which is basically what DR is about (though RAW files also have a lesser amount of highlight recovery but it's easy to blow highlights even with a FF camera).

    The images show G1 v GH2 indoor tests at different ISO's for illustration at two different typical light levels. To show you can easily get a pretty clean ISO 6400, I also did an outdoor GH2 shot with a 100% crop for quick reference. It's self-evident to me that the less the light, the more a camera will struggle so the usable max ISO is between 1600 and at least 6400. G1 is more like 500 to 2000

    Finally, one from each camera showing what happens with 50 "fill light" (with an illustration of the unaltered shadows). Here ISO 160 is clearly better than the G1 base ISO 100, both in noise and also contrast and colour. G1 ISO 200 allows only a small shadow lightening before the image falls apart whereas ISo 320 with the GH2 is still fairly comfortable in general.

    All the images for comparison are full size LR3.3 RAW exports with 20 luminance and sharpening up to around 50/45 -this tends to give the best results as a preset, I find. The GH2's are sampled down to 12mp to allow equal comparison to the G1. Of course this is only a small and unscientific sample --hundreds of images would in fact be required for a detailed comparison but it gives an idea anyway. But it at least gives some typical shooting scenarios which official reviews often totally fail to do.

    Zenfolio | David Owen | G1 v GH2 high ISO and DR

    IQ in undemanding light at low ISO is pretty similar though the GH2 has an edge in crispness it seems. The EVF is noticeably better and I love the customisable buttons

    • Like Like x 1
  2. zpierce

    zpierce Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Sep 26, 2010
    Minneapolis, MN
    Cool, but I'm confused, am I missing captions somewhere? How do we know which photos have which settings and from which camera?
  3. dko22

    dko22 Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 26, 2010
    Stuttgart, Germany
    Just click on the info tab in Zenfolio (or the info button) for the EXIF. The actual LR3 processing is standardised throughout and is really just default settings except for giving a 20 luminance and sharpening is increased to 50/1/45. The ISOs of course don't compare like with like as the older camera doesn't have a 6400 ISO for instance but rather a range for giving roughly comparable IQ.

    If anyone would like me to do particular tests, then please let me know as I know there are users who are considering an upgrade from a first gen. G camera primarily on the basis of stills quality and improved functionality with video being a useful bonus rather than a core requirement.
  4. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    Were these straight out of camera jpegs or RAWs converted?

    The GH2 ISO 1600 looks pretty good, better than the G1.

    The RAWs I've seen are marginally worse for noise than the G1/2. But because there are more pixels, Noise Reduction doesn't seem as destructive.

    The GH2 seems like an impressive camera. I hope Panny can make a rangefinder style that has the power the GH2 has in IQ.

    Thanks for the samples.
  5. dko22

    dko22 Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 26, 2010
    Stuttgart, Germany
    All RAW conversions. I've was never keen on the Panny ooc jpegs with the G1 and am unlikely to even bother experimenting with the GH2 as I can see how much detail and flexibility is lost.
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