Lumix G9 2X Digital Zoom

Little Fish

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Mar 9, 2021
Messages
39
Last year I got the 50-200 Elmarit for birding with the G9. Due to the lock down, I spent a lot of time backyard birding, and the 50-200 was not long enough. Thus, I used for the first time 2X DIGITAL ZOOM.

To my surprise the 2x digital cropped video held up well on a 43" 4K TV. The imaging was very clear up close (12") and you can't really see any difference between the un-edited regular 4K30p and the cropped 2X 4K30p. EXCEPT, when there are little birds moving real fast or a lot of rapid movement in the shot. I'm not sure if this will hold up on larger 50+ inch 4K TV.

l'll Attach some video samples once I upload them to YouTube.

For now, I'd like to know if others out there at mu43 use this video feature regularly on the G9? And to let other know that this feature is viable option when you need that extra reach for video "FAST".

There are great benefits to using 2X DIGITAL ZOOM for 4K video when you need the extra reach f. I know it works great with the G9 and I have it set to C2 in Program 4K video mode. Also, there is no aperture penalty for 2x, and the video resolution is still 3840x2160, so it blends well with other 4K clips in editing. And no need to remove lens to attach a TC.

The down side of the 2X DIGITAL ZOOM: Not much room for video editing or exposure changes. Also, 2X DIGITAL ZOOM does not work with the HighSpeed 4K or HighSpeed HD180. But the 4K60p with 150MB bitrate does (which requires editing for slow motion). Also, if used with JPG the JPGs are cropped down to very small files but the resolution remains at 3840x2160.

Thus, using the 2X DIGITAL ZOOM is a viable option for 4K video when you need the extra reach fast. Are there others out there who use it? If so, how do you use 2X DIGITAL ZOOM? And, does it hold up on 50" or larger 4K TV screens?
 

D7k1

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
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Messages
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I've use it with 4K and the PL100-400 on a tripod. Unless shooting over water on a moderately hot day I find it very acceptable in 4K video. Have not tried stills but frames from the videos appear acceptably sharp when captured in VegasPRO.
 

archaeopteryx

Gambian sidling bush
Joined
Feb 25, 2017
Messages
1,662
To my surprise the 2x digital cropped video held up well on a 43" 4K TV.
Out of curiosity, why is this surprising? 2x crop from 20 MP is 5 MP. 4k is an 8.3 MP frame. So there's not a dramatic miss in pixel count. In the 4k video case it's not so easy to pixel peep and, if extracting stills, the highest quality .mp4 frames I get out of ffmpeg are jpeg 70 with some encoding artifacts. So it's not really a pixel peeping thing there either. (In 4k video I find the 4k crop factor is usually fine for my purposes.)

I rarely use digital TCs for still wildlife imaging. Usually what I do is center whatever the subject to crop in on is in order to give it the lens's highest resolving power and then recreate the composition I had in mind with an off-centre crop in post. From an image quality standpoint this is usually a small to negligible optimization, mostly I just prefer the workflow as I find cropping in post to be less hassle and more flexible than changing between 1, 1.4, and 2x in the Q menu or wherever. (For a while I tried putting it on a Fn button but still didn't use it much.)
 

Little Fish

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Mar 9, 2021
Messages
39
I've use it with 4K and the PL100-400 on a tripod. Unless shooting over water on a moderately hot day I find it very acceptable in 4K video. Have not tried stills but frames from the videos appear acceptably sharp when captured in VegasPRO.
Thank you. Yes, I agree, the 4K video does well with the 2X Digital Zoom. I've uploaded the samples in 4K. For stills they are real small JPG, and are limited to any editing. Testing the JPGs out is a good way to see how it fits in with your set up.
 

Little Fish

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Mar 9, 2021
Messages
39
Out of curiosity, why is this surprising? 2x crop from 20 MP is 5 MP. 4k is an 8.3 MP frame. So there's not a dramatic miss in pixel count. In the 4k video case it's not so easy to pixel peep and, if extracting stills, the highest quality .mp4 frames I get out of ffmpeg are jpeg 70 with some encoding artifacts. So it's not really a pixel peeping thing there either. (In 4k video I find the 4k crop factor is usually fine for my purposes.)

I rarely use digital TCs for still wildlife imaging. Usually what I do is center whatever the subject to crop in on is in order to give it the lens's highest resolving power and then recreate the composition I had in mind with an off-centre crop in post. From an image quality standpoint this is usually a small to negligible optimization, mostly I just prefer the workflow as I find cropping in post to be less hassle and more flexible than changing between 1, 1.4, and 2x in the Q menu or wherever. (For a while I tried putting it on a Fn button but still didn't use it much.)


Yes, great point. And with wildlife the extra crop helps with the reach which can be a benefit when trying to focus or set up a good background for the shot. Great info on the techniques by the way. Thanks for your valuable insight.
 

grcolts

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Feb 1, 2010
Messages
525
Location
Texas
Real Name
Gary
I have used it for some of my birding shots but mostly if I crop I do it in software. The digital zoom worked well. Olympus cameras have this feature too.
 
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