Settings for Panasonic G9 on Galapagos trip

stevierose

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My wife and I are going to be going on a "bucket list" trip in a few weeks, to the Galapagos Islands off of Ecuador. The nature and wildlife there are unique and amazing. You travel around on a small cruise boat and they take you into the islands on smaller landing boats.

I just purchased a Panasonic G9 to take on the trip. I own the Panasonic 12-35 and 35-100 f2.8 lenses as well as some primes. In order to minimize changing lenses in a situation where I'm going to be landing on islands and getting on and off small boats I am thinking of renting an Oly 12-100 f4 lens to keep on the camera.

I am looking for advice for setting up the camera for three modes for capturing the wildlife: 1. Still single images, 2. Burst shots, 3. video clips. I am an experienced photographer and have used m43 cameras before, but am new to the G9. I usually shoot RAW/JPEG files at largest size for still photography, but am just learning about all the bells and whistles on the G9 and don't know a lot about video. Any suggestions?
 

cdmicha

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There are so many ways to customize the G9 that it would be hard for anyone else to tell you how to do this. For me, with a dedicated drive mode dial and dedicated focus mode dial, I don't even use custom settings like I used to do with other cameras. You need burst mode? Simple dial switch. AFC? Dial switch. What I'd do is make sure you've got your preferred settings mapped to the dials so that when you use the switch, you're good. What those preferred settings are, of course, up to you.
 

ScottinPollock

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Regarding video… if your editing software/hardware are capable of keeping up with 4k, always record in 4k as you'll not only get better rez, but have the ability to pan, zoom, and crop smoothly in post. There is virtually no downside to 4k on the G9 (except of course for file size).

Also, if your editor is capable of grading, use the Cinelike D profile for high contrast scenes, and the Cinelike V profile for low. Keep in mind video is like taking jpeg only... best to get it as right as possible in camera. Assign the various jpeg helper modes (Highlight Shadow, iDynamic, etc.) to function buttons for quick access. Try to error exposure on the ETTR side as shadows are not easily lifted, especially at higher ISO.

To avoid having to dive in to the menus to toggle continuous autoFocus in video, assign AF-ON to the AF/AE Lock button. You can then use that for single autoFocus when the Focus mode lever is set to MF, while continuous will be available in AFS and AFC.

Use Zebra 2 set to 105%. You can then see what areas will be overexposed, and back down from there if they contain anything useful (this is one of the biggest advantages of mirrorless).

Have fun.
 

ralf-11

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ini the Galapagos the wildlife is very "tame" and unafraid of humans (which is why Ecuador requires a guide with every party that is not composed of scientists - the guide is more like a ranger or partly a guard for wildlife)

you will not need a long lens really and will be able to shoot fairly close up to wildlife and not worry about AF speed etc.

one thing - if you have a submersible camera you may be able to get some great shots of iguanas eating below the surface (they will then go perch on the rocks to warm up again) AFAIK, this is a unique behavior for any reptile in cold water so worthy of photos.

I agree that using the buttons makes life a LOT easier with the G9 - practice in the dark a bit
 

Mike G

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My wife and I are going to be going on a "bucket list" trip in a few weeks, to the Galapagos Islands off of Ecuador. The nature and wildlife there are unique and amazing. You travel around on a small cruise boat and they take you into the islands on smaller landing boats.

I just purchased a Panasonic G9 to take on the trip. I own the Panasonic 12-35 and 35-100 f2.8 lenses as well as some primes. In order to minimize changing lenses in a situation where I'm going to be landing on islands and getting on and off small boats I am thinking of renting an Oly 12-100 f4 lens to keep on the camera.

I am looking for advice for setting up the camera for three modes for capturing the wildlife: 1. Still single images, 2. Burst shots, 3. video clips. I am an experienced photographer and have used m43 cameras before, but am new to the G9. I usually shoot RAW/JPEG files at largest size for still photography, but am just learning about all the bells and whistles on the G9 and don't know a lot about video. Any suggestions?
Stevie, I reckon that the two lenses you already have will be more than adequate!
 

stevedo

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ini the Galapagos the wildlife is very "tame" and unafraid of humans (which is why Ecuador requires a guide with every party that is not composed of scientists - the guide is more like a ranger or partly a guard for wildlife)

you will not need a long lens really and will be able to shoot fairly close up to wildlife and not worry about AF speed etc.

one thing - if you have a submersible camera you may be able to get some great shots of iguanas eating below the surface (they will then go perch on the rocks to warm up again) AFAIK, this is a unique behavior for any reptile in cold water so worthy of photos.

I agree that using the buttons makes life a LOT easier with the G9 - practice in the dark a bit
Agree, the wildlife is close. Our guide insisted we kept 2 metres between us and the animals/birds. Trouble was, I don't think anyone told that to the wildlife as they would often come closer. As ralf said, long lenses not required. I used 40-150 F2.8 and didn't need anything longer.

One tip, don't forget to take something wider for landscape photos. It's way too easy to focus (pun intended) on the wildlife and forget to take photos of your surroundings as well. I had to keep reminding myself to take environment/landscape shots.
 

mumu

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You've gotten some great advice. The "remember to shoot a contextual wide shot" is something I need to tattoo onto the back of my hand because I always forget. As for recording video using a flat profile, I suggest practicing this before you go. I did it last minute for my Costa Rica trip and part way through the trip, after trying out various profiles and adjustments, I switched my cameras back to regular video mode because I couldn't find any look that I was happy with. Now, I will qualify this by saying that I DIDN'T KNOW WHAT I WAS DOING when it comes to colour grading. Yes, I know shooting with a flat profile is the way to go for a lot of videographers. All I'm saying is that you might want to have a process that gives you satisfactory results BEFORE you commit to use it for an important trip. I'll give it another try since I use multiple cameras to capture video so I'd like all my clips to look more similar but I'll develop my technique at home, with disposable clips, before relying on it for "important" video.

Regarding 4K, yes, if you are ok with the file size and your computer can handle it, it'll give you more options even if you're outputting at 1080. I generally use 4K when I know I'll need it (post zooming, panning). I usually set Adobe Premiere to display it at 1/2 or 1/4 quality when working with it in the editor, though. My PC won't preview it smoothly when I've got effects applied to 4K clips at full quality.

Also, please post your photos and thoughts when you get back. My wife and I are interested in going there, too. I'm also wondering what else is recommended to see or do in Ecuador.
 
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My wife and I are going to be going on a "bucket list" trip in a few weeks, to the Galapagos Islands off of Ecuador. The nature and wildlife there are unique and amazing. You travel around on a small cruise boat and they take you into the islands on smaller landing boats.

I just purchased a Panasonic G9 to take on the trip. I own the Panasonic 12-35 and 35-100 f2.8 lenses as well as some primes. In order to minimize changing lenses in a situation where I'm going to be landing on islands and getting on and off small boats I am thinking of renting an Oly 12-100 f4 lens to keep on the camera.

I am looking for advice for setting up the camera for three modes for capturing the wildlife: 1. Still single images, 2. Burst shots, 3. video clips. I am an experienced photographer and have used m43 cameras before, but am new to the G9. I usually shoot RAW/JPEG files at largest size for still photography, but am just learning about all the bells and whistles on the G9 and don't know a lot about video. Any suggestions?
Stevie--those panasonic lens are your answer---Great lens----have mine 5 years and still say just about as good as most of my primes.
 

stevedo

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Steve Douglas
My wife and I are going to be going on a "bucket list" trip in a few weeks, to the Galapagos Islands off of Ecuador. The nature and wildlife there are unique and amazing. You travel around on a small cruise boat and they take you into the islands on smaller landing boats.

I just purchased a Panasonic G9 to take on the trip. I own the Panasonic 12-35 and 35-100 f2.8 lenses as well as some primes. In order to minimize changing lenses in a situation where I'm going to be landing on islands and getting on and off small boats I am thinking of renting an Oly 12-100 f4 lens to keep on the camera.

I am looking for advice for setting up the camera for three modes for capturing the wildlife: 1. Still single images, 2. Burst shots, 3. video clips. I am an experienced photographer and have used m43 cameras before, but am new to the G9. I usually shoot RAW/JPEG files at largest size for still photography, but am just learning about all the bells and whistles on the G9 and don't know a lot about video. Any suggestions?

Here's another idea. Instead of renting an Oly 12-100 to minimise lens changes, why not rent a second G9? Same batteries, charger and interface etc. as you already have.
 
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