GX80/85 Manual Clarifications

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by rumplestiltskin, Oct 12, 2017.

  1. rumplestiltskin

    rumplestiltskin Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Aug 16, 2017
    El Paso, TX
    I thought I'd start this thread with the intent to identify inaccuracies or inconsistencies in the user manual (and/or advanced manual) along with the plain English clarifications. Please feel free to add others you may find, even those that may be accurate but just confusing.

    Here's the first one I've found:

    Both the user/advanced manuals imply that setting the "maximum ISO setting" to None permits the camera to set the ISO to whatever it's needed to be (up to 25600, the camera maximum). Actually, this is not true. Setting the maximum to None is the same as setting it to 3200 if you shoot in any of P, A, S, or M. If you want the maximum to be, for example, 25600, you need to set it to that. (Or set it to 12800 if that's the maximum you want, etc.)
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  2. rumplestiltskin

    rumplestiltskin Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Aug 16, 2017
    El Paso, TX
    Focus Bracketing: Half-right.

    When you set the GX85 to do Focus Bracketing, there are some choices you need to make: Shot order and then, in the "More Settings" area, how far apart the focus should be for -each- shot and how many shots in total you wish the camera to shoot. Let's examine the specifics.

    1. Set it for either "0/-/+" or "0/+".
    The first choice results in a bizarre sequence. Let's say you asked for 15 shots. The camera will shoot in this order: 0/-1/+1/-2/+2/-3/+3/-4/+4/-5/+5/-6/+6/-7/+7
    So you can see you'll get 15 sequentially named photos but the focus order will be jumping back and forth with the focus becoming alternately closer then farther with each shot. IMHO, this is an absurd design that could be rectified with a firmware update. It should be named "-/0/+" (or "+/0/-" if you prefer) and ordered accordingly.

    2. In the "Step" option, the choices are +1 through +10. This is the relative distance between the focus points the camera will shoot. Notice this is relative so it means that, for each focal length and starting focus distance, this relative distance will be different. Okay; that's not the answer you wanted, right? You were looking for something like "that's 1/4" apart for each shot" but, sadly, that's not the case. You'll have to run some tests (unless someone has already done so and posted a chart somewhere) so you'll know that (for example) when you set the lens to 40mm, focus at 2.5 feet, and use f4, a 25-shot bracket will provide sharp focus from that 2.5 feet out to 5.5 feet if you use the "0/+" shot order. (And what is "sharp focus" to you as opposed to me?)

    I hope this provides a bit of clarification even if it's not totally nailed down. I do find that the "0/+" setting works in a logical manner and provides fairly good results. By the way, I am using Affinity Photo to do a "Focus Merge" of my shots and the results are good.


    Edit: Here's a "Focus Merged" jpeg from 25 photos. I set the focus bracketing step to 3, the zoom to 34mm and the camera used f5.1 for the aperture. I focused on my knee (at the bottom middle of the photo). The distance to my knee was about 2.5 feet and, to the computer, about 5.5 feet. So that's 3 feet in focus as a result of the merge.
    (Yes; I know the subject matter sucks but this was just to show the result of what focus bracketing followed by a focus merge could do.)

    ...and here's the first shot in the sequence:
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2017
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  3. Wasabi Bob

    Wasabi Bob Mu-43 All-Pro

    That's been a fairly consistent operation on several models. So we all know that as the iSO increases, so will the noise. At the literal maximum ISO's, it will be objectionable to most people. 3200 has been a popular level that most agree is quite usable.
  4. rumplestiltskin

    rumplestiltskin Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Aug 16, 2017
    El Paso, TX
    Agreed; however, nowhere in the manual does it correctly specify the behavior. And that's the purpose of this thread. :D 
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