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Thread: G1 viewfinder in low light

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    Senior Member pellicle's Avatar
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    G1 viewfinder in low light

    Hi

    this weekend I was out doing something on a request for my mother in law and was photographing in very low light (at night, cloud cover here in Finland in the -20). I don't know if the camera was slow because of the cold, but I'm sure it was low light.

    I was trying to use the zoom confirm focus with a 28mm FD lens on at full aperture (f2.8). This is brighter than the kit zoom by a margin but still it was not only difficult to see anything it was painfully slow to move that rectangle around to find the points I wanted to focus on.

    I ended up getting an OK image, but man this must be tied into screen refresh or something cos it was like running in treakle.



    so I'd like to add this to the 'improved features' on the new model.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Y.B.Hudson III's Avatar
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    Re: G1 viewfinder in low light

    a faster Lens solves the problem... the square velocity is directly related to the aperture, ISO has no bearing on the problem.

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    Re: G1 viewfinder in low light

    Finland in deep winter, what can you expect?

    Either move to a warmer/brighter environment or as Hudson said, get a faster lens.

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    Senior Member pellicle's Avatar
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    Re: G1 viewfinder in low light

    Quote Originally Posted by Y.B.Hudson III View Post
    a faster Lens solves the problem... the square velocity is directly related to the aperture, ISO has no bearing on the problem.
    I didn't mention ISO .. or noise ... its the viewfinder responsiveness that was a hassle. It wasn't much better with a 1.4 either ... and you don't get much faster than that!

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    Re: G1 viewfinder in low light

    Yes, in very dim light the EVF can become difficult to use. To put it in perspective, however, at those illumination levels I can't see anything in the viewfinders of my SLRs at all. ;-)

    When I'm going to be working in extremely dim circumstances like that, I carry a small, bright flashlight with me and use it to illuminate something so I can focus. It also works to put the camera on a tripod, drop the flashlight on the plane of focus, set focus, retrieve the flashlight, than make the exposure.

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    Senior Member pellicle's Avatar
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    Re: G1 viewfinder in low light

    Hi

    the torch is a good idea, its funny how you learn and use these things and then forget them. Interestingly enough I could see clearly with my optical SLR but I'm sure I could not have focused as well with that (not to mention that I can't do HDR with film, but that might be an interesting experiment).

    I guess I should have mentioned that it was on a tripod, though I thought that would have been clear (looking at the picture). I was using up to 30 seconds exposure in the HDR

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    Senior Member pellicle's Avatar
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    Re: G1 viewfinder in low light

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Finland in deep winter, what can you expect?
    getting harder to pick ... lately Germany and UK has been colder with more snow.

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    Member kwalsh's Avatar
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    Re: G1 viewfinder in low light

    The flashlight/torch idea works really well for most moderate distances. Although I rarely if ever use it I did make a hotshoe mountable laser sight (just bought a $15 laser sight from E-bay and make a hot shoe mount for it out of a six sided die). The dot is visible at a few hundred meters and is easy to focus on. Works well for tripod mounted telephoto shots in low light. Again, a rare use case.

    Just having the flashlight works most of the time, even if your subject is a bit too far you can always walk over to the subject, leave the flashlight there, and then focus.

    Ken

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    Senior Member pellicle's Avatar
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    Re: G1 viewfinder in low light

    but still none of this helps how painfully slow it is to move the focus zone around in low light on the G1

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    Re: G1 viewfinder in low light

    Pellicle, At -20 deg C with little light, depression would be more of a bother than trying to manipulate the tiny little buttons on the G1 with thick mitts, no?

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    Re: G1 viewfinder in low light

    Quote Originally Posted by pellicle View Post
    but still none of this helps how painfully slow it is to move the focus zone around in low light on the G1
    I don't bother. I move the camera, then frame after I've got focus set properly.

    FEFE: Focus, Exposure, Frame, Expose ... :-)

  12. #12
    Senior Member pellicle's Avatar
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    Re: G1 viewfinder in low light

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Pellicle, At -20 deg C with little light, depression would be more of a bother than trying to manipulate the tiny little buttons on the G1 with thick mitts, no?
    surprisingly I was just using thin fleece gloves. Actually I seem to like the cold (even though I grew up in a tropical area). Finns however have this rally great invention called the Sauna ... that and koskenkorva helps warm you back up ;-)

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    Member kwalsh's Avatar
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    Re: G1 viewfinder in low light

    Quote Originally Posted by pellicle View Post
    but still none of this helps how painfully slow it is to move the focus zone around in low light on the G1
    I'm not seeing this behavior. I'm able to move it around at the same speed regardless of light level. Do you have DOF preview w/shutter speed effect on? Is that doing it? If so one option is to up the ISO to 3200 for framing and then drop to the desired ISO for exposure.

    Ken

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    Senior Member pellicle's Avatar
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    Re: G1 viewfinder in low light

    Ken

    Quote Originally Posted by kwalsh View Post
    I'm not seeing this behavior. I'm able to move it around at the same speed regardless of light level. Do you have DOF preview w/shutter speed effect on? Is that doing it? If so one option is to up the ISO to 3200 for framing and then drop to the desired ISO for exposure.
    nope, not on ... might be that its not as dark as where I was ... I just tried it with a lens cap on (total darkness) and it was the same as I remember.

    if yours isn't I'll consider a firmware upgrade (and now wonders what version I have ...)

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    Senior Member Y.B.Hudson III's Avatar
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    Re: G1 viewfinder in low light

    30 sec. exposure...what do you expect. I'd be more worried about frost bite. get reaL wouLd ya...

    Please state all the relevant facts first, next time.
    Last edited by Y.B.Hudson III; 19th January 2010 at 10:46.

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    Member kwalsh's Avatar
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    Re: G1 viewfinder in low light

    Quote Originally Posted by pellicle View Post
    nope, not on ... might be that its not as dark as where I was ... I just tried it with a lens cap on (total darkness) and it was the same as I remember.

    if yours isn't I'll consider a firmware upgrade (and now wonders what version I have ...)
    I just tried mine with both the lens cap on and pointed out the window into day light and both the MF and AF zones move at the same speed regardless. I'm on ver 1.4 - the one that Panasonic released accidentally for a few hours that still allows unchipped batteries to work with the camera.

    You know what, another difference is I'm doing this with the 14-45 kit lens. I suppose with a MF lens in "use w/o lens" mode things could be different for some weird reason...

    Ken

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    Re: G1 viewfinder in low light

    Quote Originally Posted by pellicle View Post
    surprisingly I was just using thin fleece gloves. Actually I seem to like the cold (even though I grew up in a tropical area). Finns however have this rally great invention called the Sauna ... that and koskenkorva helps warm you back up ;-)
    Koskenkorva and G1 do not mix well.

    It may be useful to keep warm and to get depressed further...

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    Senior Member m3photo's Avatar
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    Re: G1 viewfinder in low temperatures

    Quote Originally Posted by pellicle View Post
    but still none of this helps how painfully slow it is to move the focus zone around in low light on the G1
    It's not the low light - it's the low temperature.
    Next time take a spare battery with you in a warm pocket and switch them around frequently, I know it's a hassle when you're working with a tripod but then again I always use bracket-plates for quick on/off tripod removal to avoid having to try and play around with screw attachments at such low temperatures.

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    Senior Member Tullio's Avatar
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    Re: G1 viewfinder in low light

    Despite the difficulties in taking the picture, the end result looks pretty darn good. I like the colors and composition of the image. As for the focal point, I always find it easier to keep it in the center and simply move the camera to recompose the frame rather than having to deal with the arrow buttons to move the green box a little bit to the left, and up and right ,...
    Tullio

  20. #20
    Senior Member pellicle's Avatar
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    Re: G1 viewfinder in low light

    Ken

    Quote Originally Posted by kwalsh View Post
    I just tried mine with both the lens cap on and pointed out the window into day light and both the MF and AF zones move at the same
    to be sure we're talking about the same thing, I'm meaning when you press the button for zoom assist (need to have MF set on the camera with the kit lens) when moving the yellow rectangle around to get it to where I wish to focus ...

    I thought your point about the legacy lens was interesting, and I just tried it to get same behaviour no matter which lens

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    Senior Member pellicle's Avatar
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    Re: G1 viewfinder in low temperatures

    Quote Originally Posted by m3photo View Post
    It's not the low light - it's the low temperature.
    Next time take a spare battery
    well since the battery indicator was showing nearly full I'll have to get my wife to knit a nice wooly jumper for the poor camera, can't have it getting a flu out in the cold.

    (achoo)

    but to be serious for a minute, behaviour is same indoors now at +20C

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    Re: G1 viewfinder in low light

    Now I do wonder about firmware version. On my G1 or GF1, the MF assist green block moves reasonaly quickly.

    I just tried it on my G1 with the 45 f/2.8 in AF but with magnified by touching focus ring while holding down shutter button. Moved quite quickly actually--and this is in quite low light. I put the FD 28 f/2.0 and used MF assist--and it was the same. Temp here in my work space is probably about 68-70 degrees farenheit. My firmware is 1.4 on G1--and correct one for 45 f/2.8. Oh, and battery is at 2/3.

    Diane

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