My 1st ILC - GF2: Standard vs Fine?

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by roverT, Dec 2, 2011.

  1. roverT

    roverT Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 27, 2011
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Hey guys,

    Just picked up a GF2 w/14-42 kit lens and playing with it all night and the image quality seems really nice especially having a shallower depth of field with a larger sensor and different glass. Comparing indoor noise to using my friend's S95...the GF2 does seem a bit sloppy (especially compared to the GX1) considering the S95 can run at F2.0 and a lower cleaner ISO vs the GF2 kit lens at F3.5 having to run several ISO stops higher. I know it would be different with the F1.7 lens which I would love to get in the future but I'm happy with at least the DOF compared to tiny P&S sensors.

    Question I have so far is the standard resolution vs the fine resolution setting. I've been going back and forth trying to eye the differences and I only see very minor changes in the small fine stuff that you barely see anyways. Is it worth having something double the file size for just random daily pictures?

    Here's a picture I took at 1/15, F5.6, 14mm bouncing the flash off the seems clear enough to me so far...haha. The only editing I did was resize and used the smart sharpen tool at 50% to clear up the text on the phone:
  2. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    How are you going to use the pictures? If you are going to print them, go with FINE, always. If just on the screen, SMALL is OK, but understand you will have far less leeway in post processing.

    f/2 to f/3.5 is less than one stop - your ISO should be higher by one stop. So, if he's at 200, you will be at 400. The sensor should be better by a little more than a stop, so the GF2 should still "win". I bet if you look very closely (pixel-peeping) you will see that the S95 has destroyed all fine image detail in an effort to make the image appear free from noise, where the more "noisy" GF2 image will have a ton more detail.
  3. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 5, 2011
    Mostly agree with TC on the fine vs. small question. For posting to web pages or small prints (up to 5x7 certainly, probably up to 8x10) small should be fine. For larger prints, or if you'll have to crop the image a lot, use fine.

    And I agree that the S95 is probably applying more aggressive NR to the images, reducing detail in the process.

    But f/2 to f/3.5 is 1.5 stops, not less than 1. f-stops run like this:

    1.4 (1.8) 2.0 (2.4) 2.8 (3.5) 4.0 with the half-stops in parens.

    So 2 to 2.8 is a full stop, 2.8 to 3.5 is a half stop.

    So if the S95 is shooting at 200, you'd be shooting at ISO 500 to get the same exposure. And if you have the GF set to full stop increments, using auto-ISO I think it would bump up to 800.
  4. roverT

    roverT Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 27, 2011
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Understood guys. Thanks! Learning something everyday! I mostly just use pictures to store on hard drive and if I need to reflect on them, then I will bring them back out. But most pictures I do are for screen. I may print a few photos but usually 5x7 or smaller. I know that if I plan on printing larger then I will step up my sizing and resolution.

    I guess I'll have to play around with the S95 more with it side by side and see how well it works. I've probably asked this little GF2 gem the world when it can only give me a city block. LOL. Isn't that the case with all "new to me" stuff?

    More questions popped into my head for you video folks. 1080i fine vs 1080i standard. Are there huge differences with the 17 vs 13 Mbps change? Wouldn't 720p offer a better quality picture to 1080i as the Mbps does not change? Wouldn't 720p offer a smoother picture when there is movement compared to 1080i? What does it mean when it's 60i/60p when the sensor output is 30fps? Is the fps up converted/sampled within the camera's software?