Panasonic Firmware Updates for G1/GH1/GF1 available now:
Panasonic Firmware Updates for G1/GH1/GF1 available now:
One area where the G1 has had some issues is in the implementation of TTL Auto flash metering with adapted manual lenses, so I was curious to test it and see what their stated "Improved modulation accuracy of flash" meant in this regard.
Prior to installing the v1.5 firmware update, with the camera on fw v1.4, I fitted the Konica 40/1.8 lens and Olympus FL36 flash unit. I set the flash unit to TTL Auto - Manual Zoom, 42mm zoom setting. I made eight exposures of two scenes: a modestly lit living room and a dark kitchen. Each set of four exposures was made in Manual mode at 1/125 second: ISO [email protected]/1.8, [email protected]/8, [email protected]/1.8 and ISO [email protected]/8.
I did similar sequences with the Lumix G 20mm lens.
I then did the update and checked that the body was running Firmware v1.5, made the same sequence of photos again.
Results: the G1's firmware 1.5 exposures are much more consistent than the firmware v1.4 exposures. The v1.4 exposures with the Konica lens range from on the money to a couple of stops off, all the v1.5 exposures range in a small variation around a third of a stop or less. With the Lumix G lens, the results are noticeably more even as well (although they never varied by as much as with the adapted lens).
This is an excellent improvement: TTL auto metering is much more usable with the adapted lenses now.
I suppose this would depend on hand/finger size, but someone over on LL forum about a year ago suggested using a thumb roll from left button to okay as you bring the camera to your eye. I found that worked for me--not quite a one button click like my GF1, but its become pretty seamless for me after doing it for a year. YMMV, as I said--thumb/hand size might not make it feel 'right' but thought I would throw it out.
The one-touch MF assist would be very nice. Given what can already be changed with the buttons I doubt there'd be any hardware issues involved. Maybe a Panasonic equivalent of the incredible Canon CHDK firmware hack will appear, someday.
The one feature that would really make me happy (lots of other people too) is a user-configurable minimum shutter speed for tweaking the Auto ISO curve. The camera's default of 1/30th with a legacy lens is just too darn slow. The little LX3 has had this option for years, so Panasonic obviously understands the utility of this feature. Oh well.
I find the complaining sadly typical. Instead of praising Panasonic for continuing development and improving functionality with a new firmware update, on a discontinued model too, the response is ".. they didn't do what I wanted ..." without any real understanding of whether or not it's even possible or not.
Every feature on the camera has to be supported by both hardware and software that drives its operation. I have no idea whether the click-dial switch is re-programmable to do the one-touch MF Assist like the one on the GF1 does, and neither does anyone else on this forum.
I have no problem using the left-arrow/menu-button operation for MF Assist. I use it on both the G1 and the L1, and its as natural an action to me as anything else.
I'd have been happier if they could implement AF support for the rest of my SLR lenses (like they did on the G2/G10) but I don't know whether that's actually possible on the G1/GH1/GF1 either. I tend to doubt it because from all observations, Panasonic is trying their best to provide things that their customers would like to have. ;-)
Godfrey, did you also try the in-built flash with the Konica lens?
Sorry for giving you heartburn over this, but come on, where it is already implemented on the GF1, I still think it could be done on the G1/GH1. We already know that the switches are microprocessor controlled, they have to be... they're sure as hell not linked mechanically. That being the case, the firmware would be able to address the switch's function to whatever keypress or sequence of keypresses the firmware is written for.
The fact that Panny hasn't done so doesn't mean they can't. This isn't as much complaining as providing feedback as to what we would like their products to do. Personally, I feel that the ability to do this on the GF1 was direct result of "complaints" about the current implementation on the G1/GH1.
I never complained about the lack of "one touch" thingy and I use mostly manual focus lenses ( i don't strive to take fuzzy photos either).
If the one touch thing is implemented, it would make the manual focusing not only more accurate but faster than any AF mode, IMO.
Wouldn't that make all the system lenses redundant?
Can anyone confirm if these updates prevent third party batteries from working?
Also, I didn't pick up on this improvement for the G2/G10 - so will they autofocus all 4/3 lenses now with the adapter?I'd have been happier if they could implement AF support for the rest of my SLR lenses (like they did on the G2/G10)
Last edited by grum; 10th May 2010 at 13:30.
You do not know whether the switches are linked to their functions in a way that can allow this different behavior, and cannot unless you dismantle the camera, instrument the switches and logic, and run a pile of tests to understand how the switch is wired and how the logic works. Everything else you're saying is conjecture and an expression of your frustrated desire.
I don't have heartburn over your statements. I just think they're typical of most of what I read in these enthusiast forums, and that's sad to me. Personally, I'm delighted they care enough to update and enhance this nice, discontinued camera that I've been using for a year and a half. I'll find the improvements in TTL flash metering very useful, even if nothing else is substantively changed.
Thank you, Panasonic.
I'll do some experimenting.
So it depends on which third party batteries you use. I currently have two Panasonic batteries, and I'll buy another one or two from BestBatt.com most likely when next I go traveling with the G1.
Sadly, one of the last FourThirds lenses I'd someday like to acquire (the ZD 150mm f/2) is not on that list, and none of the teleconverters or extension tubes are either. But everything else I have for my SLRs is.
Thanks, that's very helpful.
Let's call it a draw, shall we?
BTW, you don't need to sell me on the merits of Panasonic, I've owned many over the years and adopted each of the G-series as soon as they were available.
I don't know what you want to call a draw. I'm not trying to sell you anything, nor is this a debate.
Assumptions about the capabilities of the hardware on "similar series cameras" is where things usually go wrong. Just because the cameras are a 'similar series' doesn't mean they share all the same bits and have the same wiring or capabilities. They were designed in series: #2 taking some advantage from what was learning in creating #1, #3 taking some more advantage by what was learned in making #2, etc. #3 should naturally have more capabilities in some dimension than #2.
But if you want a draw: if you stop complaining, I'll stop complaining about your complaining. ;-) That's a thumb-up to me.
This is from 10 minutes of playing.
I'm thankful they continue updating the firmware too.....but I still wish the G1/GH1 had the one click MF assist. I've tried the thumb roll over two buttons and thus far, it's just not coming "naturally" for me. Certainly not as natural and quick as a one click move would be.
I suspect that if it was possible, Panasonic would have done it by now, so I'm not holding out much hope that it will ever happen, which is too bad. Maybe someday, when I least expect it, this wish will come true. :-)
One click sure would be nice, but I'm used to two.
I tried the GH1 flash, it's actually usable with adapted lenses now. Excellent work by Panny. Thanks Godfrey for posting your flash tests.
I'm grateful Panasonic fixed the flash problem, and my two non-Panasonic batteries (one from BestBatt and one from an eBay seller some months ago) still work fine. (Though I have noticed, even before the 1.5 update, that they don't give as much warning they are out of charge as my Panasonic batteries -- the battery indicator goes from "fully charged" to "no power" very quickly.)
I, too, wish they would implement the one-click feature. However, they say that they won't. I wrote to them a couple of months ago, after the GF1 one-click firmware feature came out, and asked if they had similar plans for the G1 and GH1, and the tech who responded said they did not. As they have now come out with a G1 firmware update that doesn't implement the one-click feature, it appears that they have a technical or marketing reason for leaving manual focus assist as it is, and I'm focusing (pun intended) on getting used to the thumbroll technique.
As for complaining, I think this is a cultural or family value. Some cultures and families value complaining and do it all the time, to each other and to others. Some look at complaining as pointless or negative and don't do it and don't like it when others complain. That's why they make different flavors of ice cream.
Just my two cents -