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NOOB: G5 indoor picture settings

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by mrazmat, Jul 15, 2014.

  1. mrazmat

    mrazmat Mu-43 Rookie

    10
    Jun 16, 2014
    Chicago
    Hi everyone. I love this community and have learnt quite abit about these cameras and their capabilities by reading and oggling at the photos you all post. Truly impressive. I can get pretty good pictures (both RAW and SOOC) when the sun is out with ample natural light. I'm trying to not use iA and become proficient with just the manual settings on the camera before I invest in any more lenses or a new m43 camera (I have the O45, P20, P12-35, P45-150).

    The issue is I find myself mostly shooting smaller indoor family events with lots of kids in them (family birthday parties, etc). It's not as if we're all sitting in the dark during these parties, but somehow I just cant get the camera to produce what I want - which is a true (or at least close) representation of what my eyeball sees. I have no doubt on the system's capabilities and am sure its a lack of proper settings. That is when I thought to come to mu43 to seek advice/tips/pointers/clues.

    I searched the forums, tried many different settings and learned many valuable lessons (how to set the C-settings for example, use of electronic shutter, burst speeds, LR process flow, removing NR, +saturation, etc) and could say my photos have improved marginally, if that. I understand its a lot of experimentation and that I'll be eventually happy with a percentage of the actual photos I take - right now that percentage is in the low single digits. I want to bump that up to the low double digits. Essentially I want to eliminate blur (did I mention lots of kids), and get eye-popping sharpness from photos.

    I think I have good glass, so it's not really due to slower lenses...I'm convinced its operator error and I'm seeking guidance from the gurus to help me improve. Can someone help this guy out?

    Any help would be very much appreciated. :smile:

    many thanks!
     
  2. flamingfish

    flamingfish Mu-43 Top Veteran

    771
    Nov 16, 2012
    Emily
    The one thing you didn't mention having tried is bumping up the ISO. I don't know anything about the G5 -- I've got Olympus bodies -- but the Olys do well at higher ISOs and I imagine the Panas do as well. If you use a higher ISO, you can use a higher shutter speed and catch more action.
     
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  3. mrazmat

    mrazmat Mu-43 Rookie

    10
    Jun 16, 2014
    Chicago
    ff, thanks. I have tried upping the ISO, but see a quick degradation of photo quality, especially indoors. Anything above 8000 is almost useless indoors, in my opinion. Just too grainy. How high of an ISO do you set for indoor photos?

    thanks!
     
  4. manju69

    manju69 Mu-43 Veteran

    493
    Jul 1, 2011
    Stroud, UK
    Pete
    Hi. The situation you mention and the photos you desire from it are challenging for these cameras; ie no blur and sharp pictures at low-ish ISO indoors (maybe other systems would struggle too but I only have m43) I am not sure even the best glass could do that or not very often. Kids move very fast! Even with my f1.8 glass, indoors I am still pushing the ISO envelope. The P20 will struggle to capture this because of slow AF where as the newer Oly 25 would be better but even with that I would not expect loads of keepers.

    In similar situations I sometimes shoot in S priority and monochrome and high ISO, so the grain matters less!

    Thera is always flash but that is an art I have not mastered.



    Sent from my iPhone using Mu-43
     
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  5. yakky

    yakky Mu-43 Top Veteran

    662
    Jul 1, 2013
    The G5 has pretty poor auto white balance. Use a grey card or a white sheet of paper to set it indoors. Second, since Panasonics don't have any way to set minimum shutter speed in auto iso, you'll want to shoot in S mode with a shutter speed for 1/125 for kids that are sitting mostly still and 1/250 for kids that are moving around.

    That said, you'll be shooting in the high ISO range with those shutter speeds even with something like the 25/1.4, which is going to mean shots that are a bit soft. The G5 just isn't very good above ISO1600.
     
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  6. ean10775

    ean10775 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 31, 2011
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Eric
    If you're talking about indoor photos lit primarily by tungsten lighting and your house is anything like mine, you're easily looking at ISO 1600 or higher, even with an aperture like f1.7. The acceptability of noise is a personal thing, but I find the noise of the newer m43 cameras such as the G5 acceptable at 1600 or even 3200 in a pinch. For me, I ensure that the color noise is removed but I rarely remove any of the luminance noise. As far as capturing what your eye sees, make sure the camera is metering properly for your subject - In darker environments, the camera is going to tend to expose them brighter than they actual are if you rely on the camera's matrix metering (which will mean slower shutter speeds that will lead to motion blur). You may want to try dialing in some negative exposure compensation or spot meter for your subject to make sure you're exposing for the scene as you see it.
     
  7. mrazmat

    mrazmat Mu-43 Rookie

    10
    Jun 16, 2014
    Chicago
    Manju,

    Thanks for your input. I'll try focusing on S and a higher ISO. How high is high in your experience?
    I'm afraid I may need to go down the flash route (been trying to avoid it). I really like the smaller form factor.

    thanks!
     
  8. manju69

    manju69 Mu-43 Veteran

    493
    Jul 1, 2011
    Stroud, UK
    Pete
    For in body monochrome I might let it get to 8000 but I doubt I would print those large! but they can be acceptable to "capture a moment" and small prints maybe.


    Sent from my iPhone using Mu-43
     
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  9. Timmy

    Timmy Mu-43 Regular

    110
    Dec 3, 2013
    Wiltshire - UK
    You mentioned you're using manual settings, if that means 'M' mode I would avoid that (just checking). As per other comments try using S-mode and keep an eye on your shutter speed to avoid blur with movement. Also don't forget you've got a flash which can be handy indoors even in good light.

    With your 20mm you should be able to get reasonable results indoors- although that depends what your expectations for 'keepers' are!
     
  10. mrazmat

    mrazmat Mu-43 Rookie

    10
    Jun 16, 2014
    Chicago
    yakky,

    thank you! Where can I find information about this method?
    I'll try those faster SS (1/125-1/250) with auto iso.
     
  11. mrazmat

    mrazmat Mu-43 Rookie

    10
    Jun 16, 2014
    Chicago
    Ean, thank you! How do you remove color noise and/or luminance noise? Is that something the G5 can do?
    I think I need to research what metering is and how it ought to be used. More research :)

    thanks!
     
  12. mrazmat

    mrazmat Mu-43 Rookie

    10
    Jun 16, 2014
    Chicago
    Timmy, I'm using M (well C-1, C-2) where I've set all the setting to try to get familiar with the camera. I think one of the common suggestions was to focus on S for lower-light situations, which is what I'll try this weekend. Any recommendations on good flashes?

    thanks!
     
  13. flamingfish

    flamingfish Mu-43 Top Veteran

    771
    Nov 16, 2012
    Emily
    Even the on-camera flash (or the clip-on-to-camera flash, in the case of most of the Olys) can be useful. If your subject is backlit -- standing in front of a window or something, so your subject looks more like a silhouette -- you can use the flash to keep your subject from being too dark. Try it with the flash on automatic, and if you want more or less flash, you can adjust it for more or less power. (Or at least I assume so -- you can on the Olys, and I imagine on the Pana as well.)

    Speaking as someone who's also learning, it might be better to get familiar with one function at a time, rather than jumping into fully manual. Because it sounds like your main challenge is catching a moving target (the kids), try shooting in shutter priority (S). Adjust your shutter speed so it's relatively fast, and let the camera take care of the rest. Keep an eye on what the camera's doing, though, because it might decide that the situation calls for a higher ISO than you want.

    Some time when you're not shooting family gatherings, take your camera out and shoot a bunch in aperture-priority mode, so you can get a feel for the changes in depth of field that you get with aperture changes. Once you get comfortable with both S and A mode, then M should be a breeze.

    I think the shutter speed suggestions were more directed toward the "moving subject" aspect. There are two conflicting issues going on with shooting kids (moving objects) inside. To get a sharp picture of a moving subject (kid), you want to use a fast shutter speed so that it freezes the action. If you use a slow shutter speed, your subject will be blurred unless you're lucky enough to catch a moment when the kid is still. However, a fast shutter speed means that there isn't much time for light to get in to the sensor. If you're using a high shutter speed, unless you're shooting in a situation where there's a lot of light, you need to use a large aperture or a high ISO or both (unless you're supplementing the light with flash or other lights).

    If your subject is relatively still, you can use a lower shutter speed, but don't go too low unless your camera is supported. You'll have to experiment to see how slow a shutter speed you can get away with while still hand-holding your camera. If you start getting below 1/30 (or 1/60 if you drink a lot of coffee like I do), you might get blur because your hands shake. If you've got good steady hands, you might be able to hand-hold the camera at slower shutter speeds.
     
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  14. mrazmat

    mrazmat Mu-43 Rookie

    10
    Jun 16, 2014
    Chicago
    ff,

    Yes. I need a more systematic approach. I'll start with S and truck onward from there.

    thanks for the advice!
     
  15. ean10775

    ean10775 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 31, 2011
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Eric
    Its done in Adobe Lightroom using the slider adjustments in the noise reduction panel. I leave the luminance slider at zero but adjust the color slider until all the chroma noise (blotchy color) is gone.
     
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  16. yakky

    yakky Mu-43 Top Veteran

    662
    Jul 1, 2013
    I think the manual has some good info, but its fairly easy to do, you basically point the camera at a piece of paper and take a picture. The camera does the rest.
     
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  17. Engawa

    Engawa Mu-43 Regular

    45
    May 23, 2014
    An alternative to using higher ISOs to achieve faster shutter speeds is to use flash to freeze motion.

    There are many ways to do this, but an easy way to do it would be to set the camera into M mode, meter for ambient light, and allow the built in flash to use TTL metering. One of the problems with this will be that you will likely get mixed lighting and you will have trouble finding a suitable white balance. You could maybe correct this by correcting your flash with translucent colored gels, or processing your photos in black and white.

    If you buy an external flash, you could probably just set the camera to its max sync speed and bounce the external flash towards the ceiling, cutting out ambient light. It would probably be better to set the flash manually through trial and error as you would be able to avoid TTL pre-flash lag. If you use this method, you could buy a very cheap manual flash.
     
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  18. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    Why not get a real flash, something like the Panasonic FL-360L or the Nissin i40? Right now on B&H, the FL-360L sells for $230, and the i40 sells for $270. With either of those flashes, you can tilt the head in any way to bounce the flash to get a more natural looking image. You can sync up to 1/125 TTL, or even higher than that with non-TTL.

    Shooting with a flash will definitely keep your ISO low enough to be acceptable.
     
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  19. mrazmat

    mrazmat Mu-43 Rookie

    10
    Jun 16, 2014
    Chicago
    I'm looking into getting the Nissin i466. Some of the documentation I'm reading about it makes it seem like the flash does tilt, but others have mentioned that it doesn't. If it doesn't, maybe I should just get the i40..Do you have a preferred flash?

    thanks!
     
  20. mrazmat

    mrazmat Mu-43 Rookie

    10
    Jun 16, 2014
    Chicago
    I see many nights of playing around with flashes in my future. Lol. Sigh.