Time-exposure using a Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by Dave Reynell, Jan 30, 2014.

  1. Dave Reynell

    Dave Reynell Guest

    Coming from decades of Pentax SLR use I have found the transition from these wonderful cameras to the modern-day digital (MFT) cameras seamless. However, I have just run into a minor problem which had me scratching my head last evening when I was attempting to take what we used to term a "time-exposure". With the Pentax all I did was use the "B" (bulb) setting on the shutter-speed dial, which held the shutter open when the shutter button was held down with a cable-release.

    Not so with the G1 ! Digging around in the manual I found a reference to something termed "Long Shot - NR" (Page 105). I was informed that "If you set [ON], the countdown screen is displayed when the shutter button is pressed.....". So I did exactly what I was told to do and set the camera up on a tripod, squeezed the shutter-release and waited for the "countdown" to appear on my flip-out screen.

    Nothing !

    Admittedly, it was pitch dark as I was on a beach attempting to capture the effects of marine phosphoresence lighting up a shore-break.

    Any clues ? Was it simply too dark ? Or should I have gone about it using another method.

    Your comments would be appreciated

  2. G3user

    G3user Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 26, 2013
    I think on the G3, you can get to bulb by putting it into M mode, then increasing the shutter duration past 60 seconds until you get to bulb. It might be similar on the G1? Bulb has a maximum of "about 120 seconds" on the G3.
  3. dwig

    dwig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 26, 2010
    Key West FL
    i don't have my manual handy so I don't know where the error occurred (your misreading of the manual, the manual being mis-translated from the original Japanese, or the manual being mis-written) but this is not the behavior of the G-1. The "countdown screen" appears after you release the shutter button (when set on "B") or when the shutter closes (when using a camera timed shutter speed). The long exposure NR works by the camera taking a second "exposure" with the shutter closed and it then compares the noise in the two "exposures" and uses an algorithm to "subtract" the noise from the blank second "image" from the actual picture. This second "exposure" takes a significant amount of time when you have made a long exposure and the countdown screen is displayed to let you know that the camera is busy and not simply locked up.

    BTW, on the G-1 the maximum camera timed exposure in either M or S is 60 seconds. There is a "B" setting available in M only, but there is some maximum time that this can be made to hold the shutter open.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Dave Reynell

    Dave Reynell Guest

    Thanks for this. I set the camera to M then scrolled through the "timed" shutter settings until "B" appeared. You are correct, the max. timed exposure is 60 seconds. I'll go play with the camera again tonight !
  5. Dave Reynell

    Dave Reynell Guest

    Thankyou, I found it in the "M" mode - now to find out what the max. for bulb is ? Will get there with a bit of experimentation.
  6. Dave Reynell

    Dave Reynell Guest


    Took the G1 down to the beach last evening again. This time armed with the knowledge that with the dial set to M and "B" (bulb) showing on the flip-out screen all would be well. Not so.

    It seems that under conditions of extremely low light the shutter will not open on the "B" setting. This could be a function of the inbuilt electronics (metering perhaps ?). On my old Pentax SLR's, "B" worked in any light / or lack of it - I pressed the shutter button and the focal plane shutter remained open until I released the shutter button.

    After numerous attempts to activate the shutter, with the dial set to M and "B", I turned the camera to face a nearby (1 mile away) residential area which was lit by a few street lamps and the odd interior lights from occupied homes. This time the shutter worked and I could run several exposure tests.

    So ..... How do I overide the problem of trying to activate the shutter, with the camera set on "B", in extremely low light ? In this case the glow from phosphoresence generated by surf action.
  7. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Sean Rastsmith
    Probably couldnt lock focus. Try putting in MF mode, then shooting.

    Sent from my LG-P769 using Mu-43 mobile app
  8. Dave Reynell

    Dave Reynell Guest

    Went through my mind, but try MF in the dark, pitch dark ! Would have worked with the old Pentax legacy lenses, their focussing rings stopped at the infinity marking.
  9. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    It can't lock autofocus in the pitch black.
    How far do you want to focus?
    What lens are you using?
    What's wrong with AF on a lit target then switch to MF and point it where you want it ... ?

    Also ;
    Put them on your G1.
  10. Johnytuono

    Johnytuono Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 10, 2012
    Lancs., UK
    Have you got the option set that doesn't allow the shutter to fire unless focus is gained........mine's a GX1 so it could be slightly different on the G1.
  11. PENasonic

    PENasonic Mu-43 Regular

    P1000637.jpg 40sec exposure on a clear night sky using a 28 mm f2.8 Vivitar on my trusty G1
  12. StanUbeki

    StanUbeki New to Mu-43

    Feb 16, 2014
    I had this same issue last night with my G1. Switching to MF solved it. You can verify by leaving your lens cap on. I can successfully photograph the back of my installed lens cap using bulb settings.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Good job Stan, and the G1 is one of the few m4/3rds bodies with an MF/AF dial that (once learned) you can switch blindly with gloves on.
    That's saying something.
  14. StanUbeki

    StanUbeki New to Mu-43

    Feb 16, 2014
    Thank you, it was your post that triggered my thinking. Long ago I developed a sense for shooting Kodachrome 64 in the dark. I have recently been inspired by the work of a guy calling himself "tackyshack" on Flickr. We'll soon see how well the G1 shoots in the dark. I have my eye on a Sony RX100 with the Exmoor R sensor. It does amazing things in low light.
  15. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    The fella "Woof Woof" uses cameras in the dark sometime;. he likes his new A7 since the EVF can dim itself to useable levels at night.
    Worth a look.
    He hates his G1 in the dark as the EVF is way too bright.
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