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My first day out with my G3

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by Phil66, Mar 10, 2012.

  1. Phil66

    Phil66 Mu-43 Regular

    130
    Dec 27, 2011
    Hello all,
    Just got back from my first session out with my G3. Here are some observations. Please bare in mind I have come straight from a compact Ixus 800.
    Comments welcome.

    1/ I use the viewfinder much more, infact I only used the screen when I had an unusual angle either very low or over head.
    2/ I took each picture in Ai AND a semi manual mode as part of the learning experience.
    3/ I kept finding that when I went into Ai mode the setting for background defocus had reverted to a large aperture for some reason though this wasn't every time. Could it be some I am doing?
    4/ I used my 20mm pancake for about 3/4 of the shots and my kit zoom for the rest. I started to wonder why I bought the 20mm, I can't see any benefit except for the size.
    5/ I noticed I can change the shutter speed in aperture priority, why is this so?
    6/ I did occasionally miss my compact.

    Please feel free to discuss the above and any advice is gladly received.

    Cheers

    Phil
     
  2. 00r101

    00r101 Mu-43 Regular

    56
    Jan 21, 2012
    "4/ I used my 20mm pancake for about 3/4 of the shots and my kit zoom for the rest. I started to wonder why I bought the 20mm, I can't see any benefit except for the size."

    When you start to shoot indoors you will appreciate the fast 20 a lot more. Also outdoors the big aperature will give you the opportunity to play with short depth of field (background defocus!)

    Probable most important is that the 20 is just a sharper lens. Get to your PC and start examining your pix at larger than 100% magnification and you will see.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. 00r101

    00r101 Mu-43 Regular

    56
    Jan 21, 2012
    "5/ I noticed I can change the shutter speed in aperture priority, why is this so?"

    Really, not on mine. What buttons do you press to do that?
     
  4. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    3/ iA resets everything every time you go into that mode

    4/ I get the impression you are trying to duplicate the infinite depth of field you had with your compact. If so, you may as well stay with the Ixus. The advantage of these larger sensor systems is the ability to throw areas out of focus with large aperture lenses like the 20/1.7

    5/ if you adjust the exposure compensation, the shutter speed will change (as it should)
     
  5. Phil66

    Phil66 Mu-43 Regular

    130
    Dec 27, 2011
    I've just been looking and I got confused with exposure compensation, that changes the shutter speed. Sorry.

    Phil
     
  6. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    IMHO the difference between the 20 and the kit zoom is huge when it comes to sharpness and the way it renders an image.
     
  7. Phil66

    Phil66 Mu-43 Regular

    130
    Dec 27, 2011
    I did a few indoor shots but I started to think that the lens is only "fast" with a large aperture, If I am taking a picture in a stately home of a large room I don't want a narrow depth of field. How could I set it so that it behaved like my Ixus? That didn't have a narrow depth of field indoors. I'm not saying the Ixus was better :eek: I'm just saying that it was easier :rolleyes:

    Cheers

    Phil
     
  8. tdekany

    tdekany Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 8, 2011
    Oregon
    Any pictures too see?
     
  9. Phil66

    Phil66 Mu-43 Regular

    130
    Dec 27, 2011
    Good question,

    I took them all in RAW and now I can't open them in Elements 10. When I click "open" and navigate to the folder it shows the thumbnails. I'm very upset :frown: PSE is saying they are the wrong file type.

    Windows photo viewer shows them too. The file extension is .RW2 and I used Adobe RGB colour space on the camera.

    Any ideas?

    Phil
     
  10. tdekany

    tdekany Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 8, 2011
    Oregon
    I am the worst person to ask. I just learned last night that all this time I was only using 4MP out of 16 by taking "S" small pictures.

    I always shoot Jpeg.

    Plus the only program I have is Sylkypix.

    I'm sure by the time I post this message, someone has given you instructions. Be patient.

    Make sure to post at least a few pictures, whether you "love" them or not.

    Did you use Auto WB? What style?
     
  11. mnhoj

    mnhoj There and back again

    Dec 3, 2011
    Los Angeles
    John M
    The IXUS has a smaller sensor so at the same F-stop it will have greater DOF. Probably has IS as well?

    The higher ISO performance of the G3 can help. Try not to stop down the 20mm too far. F2.8-4 at a moderate distance has a deceiving amount of depth.

    When you get the G3 right look again close. The difference should be remarkable.
     
  12. mnhoj

    mnhoj There and back again

    Dec 3, 2011
    Los Angeles
    John M
    You'll probably need to download a newer version of Adobe Camera Raw.
     
  13. Phil66

    Phil66 Mu-43 Regular

    130
    Dec 27, 2011
    Just viewed the pics and I have to say the difference between the two lenses is huge!!! The pancake has much more vivid colour and sharpness. I have only quickly viewed them at 25% size but it was imediately obvious.
    I need to find a good zoom lens now that gives around 4x zoom with the clarity of the pancake. Is it possible?

    Cheers

    Phil
     
  14. tdekany

    tdekany Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 8, 2011
    Oregon
    Pictures already - PPLLEEAASSEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE ::D:D:D:D:D
     
  15. David A

    David A Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 30, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    When people talk about "fast lenses", they mean a lens with a large maximum aperture. That lets you take a photo with a faster shutter speed in low light but you can only do that if you use the wider apertures and using a wide aperture minimises depth of field.

    Critical point: most people who need fast lenses are shooting in low light and shooting subjects which don't require a great depth of field so they don't have problems shooting with the lens wide open, or nearly wide open. They aren't shooting interiors of stately homes and wanting to get as much as possible reasonably sharp so they don't need the greater depth of field that stopping down the lens provides.

    If you need that depth of field you're going to have to stop the 20 mm down and that means that you aren't going to use its speed. What the 20 will give you that the kit zoom doesn't is sharpness and more detail but if you find that you can't fit enough of the room into the frame and you're using the kit zoom at focal lengths shorter than 20 mm, then the lens you need is likely to be the Panasonic 14 mm, the Olympus 12 mm which at f/2 is faster than the 14 mm but you don't need the speed for what you're shooting (see comments above) or one of the wide angle zooms, either the 7-14 or the 9-18. Whichever one of those you choose, you need to choose it on the basis of focal length and how much of a room you can fit into the frame. Check the image threads here for those lenses and you should find some examples of interior shots, especially in the threads for the zooms. With the exception of the 14 mm, all of those lenses are going to be more expensive than the 20 mm.

    What you need to do for shooting interiors is to stop the lens down. How far you need to stop the lens down will depend in part on the focal length of the lens (the shorter the focal length, the greater the depth of field at a given aperture and focussing distance) and the size of the room and the depth of the area you're trying to keep looking sharp. Stopping the lens down means that you need to use a longer shutter speed and that runs you into problems with camera movement if you're hand holding the camera. You can increase the ISO setting to compensate for that but depending on the light you are likely to get increased noise in the shot, or you can use a tripod to keep the camera stable so you don't have to worry about the fact that the exposure is longer. Keeping the ISO setting low and using a tripod will give the best results.

    If you can't use a tripod or monopod for some reason, then you could cheat by placing the camera on a table or shelf or press it against the side of a door frame to get extra support. You can also use image stabilisation if your lens has it built in. That can help a bit but in some cases it may not help enough to avoid camera shake. Unfortunately Panasonic relies on in-lens stabilisation and not all M43 lenses have it. Olympus cameras have image stabilisation in the body which means you can get image stabilisation with all lenses but you don't have an Olympus camera and image stabilisation isn't the only reason for choosing one camera over another. The G3 has some features that Olympus PEN series cameras lack and they may be more important to you than image stabilisation.

    The IXUS has a smaller sensor and, without going into a technical explanation, that means that you are going to be able to get greater depth of field at a given aperture when the field of view, what's included in the frame, is the same for both your G3 and the IXUS. That also means that you can use a wider aperture with the IXUS while keeping the same depth of field and that means that it may be possible to hand hold shots with the IXUS that you can't with the G3. What the larger sensor of the G3 gives you over the IXUS is better quality images with more detail, but you need to use smaller apertures and longer exposures to capture the same image. As the saying goes, there's no such as a free lunch and the cost of buying that improvement in image quality over the IXUS is going to be longer exposures at the same ISO setting because you're going to have to stop the lens down further in order to get the depth of field.

    So those are the things you need to consider. Unfortunately focal length, aperture, and depth of field are all related and there's no way around those relationships. In turn they influence shutter speed and your choice of ISO setting and those settings raise issues with camera shake and noise in the images you make, plus sensor size (IXUS vs G3) also has implications for depth of field and image quality.

    You can get photos with the G3 in which everything that is sharp in your IXUS shots is sharp, probably even sharper and with more detail depending on your choice of lens, but you're going to have to stop the lens down more to get those results and that means longer shutter speeds, higher ISO ratings, or both and you're going to have to deal with the shooting issues that those choices create. Unfortunately you can't simply swap from the IXUS to the G3, use the same focal length and cover the same area in the frame from the same point, and use the same aperture and shutter speed and get the same depth of field. The different sensor sizes in the 2 cameras and the fact that lenses of the same focal length will cover different fields of view on each of those cameras mean that you can't get the improved image quality the G3 provides simply by swapping from the IXUS and not changing the other factors involved in getting the shots you want.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  16. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    SoCal
    David A, thank you for taking the time for such a detailed reply. It is people like you that make this forum a pleasure to read and participate.
     
  17. David A

    David A Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 30, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    Gary,

    Thanks for the kind words. I figure enough people have taken time over the years to try and answer my questions that I should try and do the same when I get the chance.

    And BTW you just did a very good job of that in your interview thread. There was a lot in there which I found valuable.
     
  18. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    SoCal
    Thanks David A ... how often does an old journalist get to hang out his dirty laundry ... lol

    Gary
     
  19. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Note: for more detail and photographic examples of what DavidA is talking about, pick up a copy of "Understanding Exposure" by Bryan Petersen.
     
  20. Phil66

    Phil66 Mu-43 Regular

    130
    Dec 27, 2011
    Thank you David A, much appreciated. That's the kind of explanation I need. I guess I was naive in thinking that because the G3 is a "better" camera than the Ixus then everything would be better. I read about the 20mm being "lightening fast" and so I thought it would enable me to shoot better indoor handheld pictures than on the Ixus.
    I have to say, I do like the 20mm lens, I thought I would miss the zoom but I didn't, in fact I only took 30% of the pics with the zoom and most of the time I was being gratuitous with it.
    I'm sure I'll learn to appreciate the G3 more with time, I'm 46 years old and have always had compacts so it's a difficult change over for me :blush:

    Thanks again.
    Phil