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Thread: Panasonic GH-1: EVF "pumping up" dark scenes - workaround?

  1. #1
    emory
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    Panasonic GH-1: EVF "pumping up" dark scenes - workaround?

    I just bought a GH-1. At the moment, I am using it with Canon FD lenses via an adapter. Mode is manual "M."

    The only feature I find annoying is the EVF / LCD continually amplifying or "pumping up" dark scenes to absurdly bright levels.

    This increases horizontal noise and black lines to distracting levels, no matter what ISO is set. Plus it gives you no idea what your final picture will look like.

    I realize that you can press the iris/trash can button and then the display button to go into "shutter speed effect" mode, but this results in a "stuttering" image in low light which is highly distracting. And the moment you even touch the shutter release, the "shutter speed effect" mode ends.

    Even my six-year-old Canon Powershot S-1 provides a WYSIWYG view in the EVF in low light.

    My questions:

    * Is there any workaround?

    * Is there any way of getting into "shutter speed effect" mode with just ONE button -- and keeping it there, even after touching the shutter release?

    Thanks for any help. The GH-1 is an astounding camera, but this one "feature" could be a deal-breaker for me.

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    Re: Panasonic GH-1: EVF "pumping up" dark scenes - workaround?

    Looks like the Samsung NX10 is the cam for you that offers the darkening feature. Can't focus with any manual focus lenses.

  3. #3
    retnull
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    Re: Panasonic GH-1: EVF "pumping up" dark scenes - workaround?

    I had the same reaction at first, but eventually I realized Panasonic made a good design decision. The boosted view makes it possible to manual focus in very low light -- much better than a "WYSIWYG" design. Much better than even a film camera, even.

    I prefer the ability to low-light focus, even if it means I might have to squeeze off another shot after adjusting for exposure.

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    Re: Panasonic GH-1: EVF "pumping up" dark scenes - workaround?

    Quote Originally Posted by retnull View Post
    I had the same reaction at first, but eventually I realized Panasonic made a good design decision. The boosted view makes it possible to manual focus in very low light -- much better than a "WYSIWYG" design. Much better than even a film camera, even.

    I prefer the ability to low-light focus, even if it means I might have to squeeze off another shot after adjusting for exposure.
    I agree. I adjusted and know I could never use my 5D for manual focusing in very low light as I can my G1.

    Never having had a live view except the G9 (and I never shot low light with it LOL), I guess I don't have anything to judge against, but I do like the Panasonic implementation for my own shooting.

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    Re: Panasonic GH-1: EVF "pumping up" dark scenes - workaround?

    Quote Originally Posted by emory View Post
    The only feature I find annoying is the EVF / LCD continually amplifying or "pumping up" dark scenes to absurdly bright levels.

    This increases horizontal noise and black lines to distracting levels, no matter what ISO is set. Plus it gives you no idea what your final picture will look like.
    Well, it's there for a reason, and that's to help you see your subject in dim lighting. It's a trade-off. Either see something so you can focus, or see nothing because the scene is too dark. As for giving you an idea of what the final picture will look like, you have a digital camera - take the actual picture to see what he final picture will look like, then adjust as necessary. Eventually you'll learn your camera to the point of knowing what the output will look like without having to rely on features like this.

    Quote Originally Posted by emory View Post
    Thanks for any help. The GH-1 is an astounding camera, but this one "feature" could be a deal-breaker for me.
    If you're that bothered with a non-photo feature like this that much, then you're right and perhaps this is not the camera for you. You deserve to be happy with your gear. In the meantime, you could try getting used to it and find some work-arounds. In time, you may find it acceptable.
    -Dragos
    Panasonic GH1/G1, Canon FTb(n)/F-1, Mamiya C330F/RB67 Pro SD, Chamonix 45N-2, Nikon F5 + Assorted Lenses

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    Re: Panasonic GH-1: EVF "pumping up" dark scenes - workaround?

    I dont think you can do it with one button but you can make it lock with out having to hold the cam funny. This is how it works for me. First press menu button, select custom, preview hold to on. Now when I press the depth of field preview (trashcan) it does that and locks the depth of field preview (Do any other cams have this feature of locking DOF?). Now when I then press the display whilst still in the depth of field preview mode it locks the shutter preview also and stops the gaining and shows you how your picture will actually look (Do any other cams have this feature?). By the way as everyone has said so far these are pretty good features and Panasonic have probably implemented them the best way. Can anyone think of a better way they could have implemented it? Come to think of it alot of people are using the movie dial or taking a shot to get a quick preview of there actual photo exposure, I wonder if people arent noticing this none finger breaking option hidden away in the menus.

    Let us know how you get on with it Emory

    Cheers
    Last edited by kainekainekaine; 24th May 2010 at 08:28.

  7. #7
    emory
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    Re: Panasonic GH-1: EVF "pumping up" dark scenes - workaround?

    Wow! So many fast, helpful and sympathetic replies. This is a fantastic forum. Thanks to all of you.

    KaineKaineKaine, I have been using the technique you describe, but I still find having to press two buttons (one after the other) a bit awkward, maybe because I use the EVF almost exclusively. I'll get used to it eventually, but right now I'm still fumbling badly. Using the movie mode for live view, then turning the dial one click to "M" works quite well, and it is definitely faster. But it's still a little fumbly. On the other hand, I do find focussing in movie mode fairly fast and reliable -- even in very dim light.

    After a lot of experimenting, though, I have to agree with everybody: the feature's advantages outweigh its disadvantages. And it's really only an issue in dim light.

    Here's my "work flow" now, and I can certainly live with it:

    - Use P or A mode. (For some reason, I prefer A.)

    - Set aperture on FD lens.

    - Half depress shutter release

    - Change shutter speed with front dial (push so display turns yellow) until the exposure compensation value at the bottom of the display is at 0.

    Don't like the resultant shutter speed? Change aperture on FD lens or ISO.

    One thing I have been noticing, though, is that dark tones (say the finish on an FD lens) tend to go inky black with no gradation -- even though I use "nostalgic" film mode at -2, -2, -1 and -2. Using a longer shutter speed that makes the exposure compensation value go to +1 (3 lines to right of 0) solves the problem. But I wonder why that is?

    I hope some of this is useful, but if I'm on the wrong track, please correct me. Thanks again, everybody.

    (P.S. - I haven't even tried the kit lens yet...)

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