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GX-1 LCD Exposure Accuracy (WYSIWYG)

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by RoadTraveler, Dec 1, 2012.

  1. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012
    Okay Panasonic m4/3 experts, I'm trying to get comfortable using my new GX-1 before an event next weekend and hope to make it do what I want. Or more accurately, learn what its strengths and limitations and "if" I can make it so some things?

    Both my Canon 5D2 and S100 have a "Live View" mode that allows the LCD display to closely represent the exposure of the image prior to taking the shot. I'd like the GX-1 to do this, but after playing with the "LCD Mode" and brightness it seems that the GX-1 will not do this [hope I'm wrong]? How about with the optional external/hot shoe viewfinder? If not, is there another body that does?

    I've searched this forum and the web a few times and the thread below is the closest I've come to an answer:

    https://www.mu-43.com/f43/why-isnt-lcd-live-my-gf1-8951/

    Just shooting around, it seems the problem is mostly with images that will be dark and underexposed. The LCD will show these as perfectly exposed (or bright) but after the shot is taken the review/playback shows the true exposure of the image. Brighter images seem more accurate/representative of WYSIWYG on the LCD. I'm using A-aperture mode. This has caused me to change the Auto Review from the min. 1 sec. to 3 sec. to have a chance to check the exposure during playback.

    I understand exposure compensation (and like the button/wheel combo on the GX-1), but would much prefer more accurate screen exposure before I take a shot and not after.

    This is my biggest complaint or 'issue' with the GX-1, while I'm just trying to learn the system. Overall I like the camera so far… and absolutely love how small and light it is compared to the 5D2 and 24-70 lens. In the thread linked above one poster mentioned using the trash button to 'preview' the image (on a GF1 I think?), is there such a button or mode on the GX-1? I've been reading and searching the manual but not found what I'm hoping for.

    Am I asking for more than the GX-1 can give?

    Thanks!

    James
     
  2. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    That's just the way the GX1 (and both the G3 & G5 in my experience) operates by design, unfortunately. There's a few other threads where this has been discussed, and there doesn't appear to be any workaround for the behavior as far as I can remember.

    One thing I do that helps is use the histogram in situations like that, to help me ensure I've got the exposure closer to what I want. It's not a fix obviously, but it helps.
     
  3. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012

    Well that's a thought and I appreciate the suggestion. Do you know if the optional viewfinder performs the same as the LCD?

    I will likely have to learn to watch the screen/playback to check exposure. Seems that even if what I'm asking for was not the default setting that Panasonic should allow one to chose a live view mode that was an accurate representation of the image exposure.

    Another thought I had for some exposure help would be to display an actual 'light meter' scale, but I can't seem to find such an option, maybe that's too old school?
     
  4. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    Unfortunately I just mailed out my GX1 and viewfinder today on loan to a friend so I can't confirm, but I believe they operate the same IIRC.

    There is a light meter option for the GX1, but it only displays when you are actively making adjustments. If you enable metering in the menu (don't recall the exact name of the option offhand, unfortunately), then scroll the exposure compensation, shutter speed, aperture or make any other adjustment you'll see the meter appear on the bottom of the view. It just uses a basic red/black scheme to let you know when you're in the properly exposed range (black) based on metering.
     
  5. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    SoCal
    I know the OM-D will reflect over/under exposure in the EVF and the LCD. I suspect the other Oly's may work this way also.
     
  6. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    One thing to add/clarify also... on the Panasonic cameras the image is "gained up" to appear brighter in dark situations. However, if you adjust exposure compensation it will reflect that in the view. For example it may look brighter than the actual scene in the LCD/EVF, but if you add +1EV it'll get even brighter, and if you reduce -1EV it'll get correspondingly darker. So it reflects changes to the exposure but it isn't WYSIWYG, if that makes sense.
     
  7. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012
    Yep, makes perfect sense, I've seen and experienced this feature and I like it.

    I just wish the screen wasn't always bright and gained-up giving a false representation of a dark seen that is about to be recorded. I understand that people need to be able to 'see' what they are shooting, just seems there should be an option for advanced shooters to have WYSIWYG.
     
  8. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012
    Maybe I should have purchase an Olympus body instead? Maybe next time.
     
  9. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    I would agree, this is a situation where I can't see a good reason NOT to implement both approaches as an option for the user but then, I'm not a product manager at Panasonic :biggrin:
     
  10. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Jesus people, there are 300000000 threads on this.

    You need to hit the display button and activate shutter speed effect on.
     
  11. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    I don't think you'll find much of a difference. With any camera LCD (or EVF), you're getting an approximation that is optimized for visibility - not exposure accuracy. Some are better than others, but the only way to gauge exposure with real accuracy is to use the histogram.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012
    Yes sir, I understand the LCD will never be exactly WYSIWYG, however the two very different Canons I mentioned (5D2 & S100) when set appropriately are better. If the scene is going to be 2/3 to 2 stops under or overexposed, one can see it on the screen, instead of the screen just being perfectly bright and normal. This seems a real oversight for a camera with only the LCD as the sole tool for composition, and one that is targeted at enthusiasts. Maybe I'm being too picky or biased by past experiences, but appears I'm not the only one to gripe about this...

    I just did some testing in my shop, under truck fenders, inside a relatively dark car on a cloudy day. I was hoping that "LCD Mode" [2*] might work better, but after several trips of the shutter comparing the recorded image to that displayed prior, seems the [A*] is better overall so I'll keep it there for now.

    Related to all this exposure and LCD discourse, regardless of the camera I often use +/- exposure compensation to get what I want, and the ease with which this setting is accessed, turned-on, and adjusted using the GX1's wheel is fantastic.

    Here is to rolling forward with positive thoughts, I truly want the GX1 and/or m4/3 system to work well for me, the size and weight savings are huge! :wink:
     

    Attached Files:

  13. turboBB

    turboBB Mu-43 Rookie

    16
    Mar 4, 2013
    James, not sure if you ever got this fully squared away but having spent a lot of time most recently on a LX5 w/full time WYSIWYG preview, I found it odd that the GX1 didn't have this, however, it can be achieved (just not full-time).

    IMO, the easiest way to do this is if you set the Fn1/2 function to PREVIEW:

    Menu > Custom > Fn BUTTON SET > Fn1 or Fn2* > Select PREVIEW (from menu pg 1)

    *Fn2 is a dual function button but defaulted to AF/AE Lock so you'll need to override this via: Menu > Custom > AF/AE LOCK /Fn2 > Select Fn2

    Once done you can use this to get a relatively accurate WYSIWG preview.

    For the example below, let's say you've set it to Fn1 and are in M mode:

    - The first time you hit Fn1, you'll see "SHUTTER SPEED EFFECT ON Fn1" displayed on the screen. In this mode (which I like to dub DOF preview), as long as you do NOT hit the shutter button you can adjust the aperture and watch a WYSIWYG DOF preview in Live View. Adjusting the shutter speed will have no effect on the preview so I feel this is actually mis-labeled.

    - With the next invocation of Fn1 (provided again you didn't hit the shutter button) you'll see "SHUTTER SPEED EFFECT OFF Fn1" displayed on the screen. In this mode, you can adjust both the aperture and shutter and it'll display pretty much a realistic WYSIWG preview of your final exposure.

    Once you take your shot or depress the shutter button to acquire focus, it'll exit out of this preview mode so you'll need to hit the Fn1 button each time you want to use this (hence the non-full-time I mentioned earlier).

    Hope that helps,
    Tim
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012
    Nice, helpful post turboBB. I'll have to give this a try. I've been reasonably happy having the screen brightness set to 2*, which has seemed a good compromise. The feature I dislike the most is when the LCD automatically adjusts and becomes much brighter than the captured image.

    The GX1 has become a favorite, I've purchased two LVF2s for my bodies, and overall really like the buttons and interface.

    Thanks for figuring out and sharing this workaround.

    James
     
  15. turboBB

    turboBB Mu-43 Rookie

    16
    Mar 4, 2013
    It's the least I can do for the heads up on the fantastic price on this gem. I had initially wanted a do it all (DMC-GH3) but looks like I'll hold off for now and stay with this and get a separate dedicated camcorder. Besides, I figured there are benefits to being able to film and grab some stills (from different POV) during events.

    P.S. I forgot to mention that this is covered on pg. 113 of the advanced manual where there is a note at the bottom on limitations "Range for shutter speed effect check is 8 seconds to 1/1000th of a second."

    Cheers,
    Tim
     
  16. laser8

    laser8 Mu-43 Veteran

    403
    Jan 29, 2013
    Mare nostrum, Istria
    turboBB gave a good tip.

    I had a similar issue, and coming from an LX5 which actually has this function, I was quite surprised of the lack of the same in the GX1. As I like to "focus and recompose" I found the lack of lcd exposure quite disturbing. The best option that works for me is assigning to the fn1 button the AElock function, which keeps the exposure locked on the lcd too. So, I focus on the point I want to be properly exposed, lock the exposure, focus and reframe.
     
  17. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012
    That is an easy and practical way. I should use exposure lock more often.
     
  18. danska

    danska Mu-43 Top Veteran

    945
    May 21, 2012
    Portland, OR
    Joe
    So let me ask then, what focus point do you use? I've been using the fn1 button to lock my focus as I like to lock focus and re-compose, and the problem with having the half-case is that the focus point will change constantly if I have it on. I'm frustrated by the focusing options on the GX1 when I've gotten so used to the EM-5.
     
  19. laser8

    laser8 Mu-43 Veteran

    403
    Jan 29, 2013
    Mare nostrum, Istria
    I'm sorry, but my technical vocabulary is quite restricted, can you explain a bit more plainly what you mean? What I was saying above is that if you wish to see on the lcd how the picture will look like (more or less, of course), a way to do it is lock the exposure on the part of the picture you want to be "properly" exposed. Then you focus on what you want to be in focus, recompose somewhere along the way, and shoot. Depending on how you mostly shoot, you can decide to lock exposure and focus at the same time, obviously if you use MF this makes no sense.

    If by focus locking you mean focus tracking, then we are speaking of different thinks altogether.
     
  20. mrjr

    mrjr Mu-43 Top Veteran

    518
    Sep 25, 2012
    That behavior (OP's problem) annoyed me on my G3 in low light. It's not such a big deal when I'm casually shooting night scenes, but since the OP is using it for an event, a three second review seems unworkable. I didn't realize the DoF Preview gave a WYSIWYG exposure preview; thanks for that, TurboBB.

    Thankfully, at least because of my current settings, the OM-D behaves--showing pretty nearly WYSIWYG, without needing a histogram. But if I were shooting a GX1, and I'd like to get one in the future, I'd definitely try to learn to rely on the histogram in those situations, even though that leads to a "busier" display.

    Now maybe someone can explain to me why a function called "DoF Preview" shows a "Shutter Speed Effect On" message when activated...