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Thread: Should I buy a GH1

  1. #1
    richie15
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    Should I buy a GH1

    I currently have a GF1 and G1 and like both for their own reasons. I use the G1 for mf lenses and the GF1 for travel and AF lenses.

    I am thinking of upgrading my G1 to GH1 and wonder if this upgrade is worth it. It will cost me c250 after selling the G1. I understand the GH1 has a better sensor. Any views welcome.

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    Re: Should I buy a GH1

    The GH1 has a "better" sensor for video.

    If you are into still captures, the G1 is better. One site compared the performance of these two (can't remember that now) and the G1 fared better.

  3. #3
    richie15
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    Re: Should I buy a GH1

    Thanks, not really interested in video, I will keep the GF1 for that. If the G1 is equal or even better than the GH1 for still captures then I may as well keep what I have.

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    Re: Should I buy a GH1

    I wouldn't upgrade right now. First I would wait and see how well the new G2 interface does with the touch controls (shipping starting this week). Let's see how G2 image quality compares to GH1. Then there should be a new GH2 announced for Photokina in the fall.

    So, i would stick with your current lineup and see what plays out over the summer.

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    Re: Should I buy a GH1

    as far as I know the GH1 sensor is about 1 stop better regarding higher ISO/noise behaviour.
    I would also wait- as soon as a gh2 will be announced you can either buy the gh2 or a gh1 for a lower price than today.

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    Re: Should I buy a GH1

    Quote Originally Posted by t_streng View Post
    as far as I know the GH1 sensor is about 1 stop better regarding higher ISO/noise behaviour.

    "Better" than what? Where can I find information on that?

    All I know is that GH1 gives still shots with noticeable banding which the G1 does not. If that isn't the case, please enlighten us with some information to correct that thought.

  7. #7
    Fahim
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    Re: Should I buy a GH1

    According to the reviews, GH1 provides better quality in higher ISO than G1.

    Luminous-landscape.com

    Changes From the G1

    The following is my report on the Lumix GH1 considering it primarily as a video camera. As a still camera it is little changed from what I wrote about in my initial review. The sensor is new, though still effectively 12MP. This allows the camera to shoot various still aspect ratios, from 4:3 to 3:2 to 16:9, all with the same coverage angle. The new sensor also seems to have given the camera somewhere between a half stop and a full stop of extra ISO, at last in terms of low noise. ISO 800 on the G1 was acceptable but not great. Now on the GH1 it is on a par with cameras in the APS-C sized sensor category from other manufacturers, and ISO 1600 is acceptable, which before it was not.

    That's about it for upgrades from the G1, so if you'd like to learn more about the still photography side of the GH1 please read my original G1 review and then come back here to learn about the video side of things.

    dcresource.com

    The GH1's photo quality was very good. Photos were generally well-exposed, though it did underexpose by a third of a stop on more than a few occasions. Colors were vivid -- no complaints there. The original DMC-G1 was a little soft, and the GH1 seems a bit worse, though I think the kit lens has something to do with that. If you agree, it may be worth turning up the in-camera sharpening a notch or two. While it's not quite as good as the best D-SLRs in terms of noise, the DMC-GH1 is competitive, and a bit better than the G1. You can safely shoot through ISO 400 in low light and ISO 800 in good light -- and shooting RAW will let you go a little higher. Panasonic cameras automatically remove purple fringing, so that wasn't an issue. I did spot some highlight clipping here and there, but it wasn't major. Redeye levels were mild.


    I ordered an GH1, can't wait to have it in my hands.

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    Re: Should I buy a GH1

    Quote Originally Posted by Fahim View Post
    Luminous-landscape.com

    The new sensor also seems to have given the camera somewhere between a half stop and a full stop of extra ISO, at last in terms of low noise.
    That's about it for upgrades from the G1, so if you'd like to learn more about the still photography side of the GH1 please read my original G1 review and then come back here to learn about the video side of things.

    dcresource.com

    The original DMC-G1 was a little soft, and the GH1 seems a bit worse, though I think the kit lens has something to do with that. If you agree, it may be worth turning up the in-camera sharpening a notch or two. While it's not quite as good as the best D-SLRs in terms of noise, the DMC-GH1 is competitive, and a bit better than the G1. You can safely shoot through ISO 400 in low light and ISO 800 in good light -- and shooting RAW will let you go a little higher.

    None address the question.

    The first quoted "review" site says "seems".

    The second "review" site is talking about things that do not make sense (G1 was soft?).

    Is there any information from the manufacturer to make the claim that the GH-1 makes a better still camera compared to the G1?

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    Re: Should I buy a GH1

    I can't say I've seen any banding issues on my GH1 either, but I also don't push it much beyond ISO 800. I might do some side-by-side testing with my G1 to see if I can tell the difference.

    Some differences between the G1 and the GH1 sensor:

    1: GH1 sensor is slightly larger, and it allows constant angle of view regardless of image format. That also means in 16:9 mode, you get a bit of extra FOV horizontally, thus increasing your wide angle capability slightly.

    2: The GH1 has a slightly thinner AA filter because of the video capability, which some tests have discovered may have resulted in slightly increased DR over the G1.

    3. Some of the later GH1 sensors were built in a different factory than the original G1 and GH1 sensors, so there may be process variations inherent in those sensors across cameras. Not sure what the impact on IQ is for that.

    So is the GH1 sensor 'better' than the G1 sensor? I guess that depends on your definition of better. It is for me, especially since I haven't experienced the banding issue. FWIW DXO shows significant differences in the two sensors when compared side-by-side, so assuming they performed the same tests on both and that they have no reason to pump up the GH1 performance, there's something measurable between the two.

    I'm excited to see what the GH2 will have. I hope for a lot of improvements, but I suspect it'll be more of an incremental approach in order to get to market by Photokina and respond to the Sony NEX and whatever Canon/Nikon may have in the works for mirrorless cameras.
    -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: Should I buy a GH1

    Quote Originally Posted by photoSmart42 View Post

    2: The GH1 has a slightly thinner AA filter because of the video capability, which some tests have discovered may have resulted in slightly increased DR over the G1.
    Dragos, Allow me to take that (though it is going off topic) to ask for some clarification.

    How is an anti aliasing filter related to dynamic range?

    Who finds out if an AA filter is thinner or thicker? I ask this because in a few cameras I opened up, I could never identify the AA part of the filter nor could I determine how thick it might be.

    There are some review outfits that keep invoking this AA thickness to rationalize all sorts of things. I never understood how that is possible.

    Yes, the new sensor of GH-1 (larger size, various aspect ratios and all that) has been claimed by Panasonic as being a good thing for video.

    BTW, I do have a hacked G1 which is devoid of the AA/UV/IR filter stack. I have not found aliasing a problem. Pana weaves some interlacing magic (if you process the RAW files on an antique computer, you can actually witness this process! ) to achieve that.

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    Re: Should I buy a GH1

    Thanks to this thread, I ended up buying G1 instead of G1H and saving few $$$

  12. #12
    richie15
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    Re: Should I buy a GH1

    Quote Originally Posted by sagar View Post
    Thanks to this thread, I ended up buying G1 instead of G1H and saving few $$$
    More money for glass

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    Re: Should I buy a GH1

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Dragos, Allow me to take that (though it is going off topic) to ask for some clarification.

    How is an anti aliasing filter related to dynamic range?
    Vivek, I'm simply mentioning it as something Panasonic said is different about the GH1 sensor over the G1 sensor, and correlating that change (absent knowledge of any other significant changes) to the improvement in SNR, DR, tonal range, and color sensitivity reported by DxO. From what I read, the absence of the AA filter in the M9 also has a lot to do with the improved DR, tonal range, and color sensitivity of that camera (in addition to other features of their sensor technology), so to me that was an additional data point to see that the presence/absence of an AA filter has some effect on all those performance parameters. I couldn't explain to you the physics behind it because I haven't spent the time to dig that far into it. I can imagine having an extra piece of glass in front of the sensor has a lot of unwanted effects, and I can see how it could affect all those parameters.

    Frankly I'm just happy taking great photos with my GH1, and my wife is very happy with her G1. Alles gut!

    P.S. Some day I'll get the courage to hack my wife's G1 similar to your changes (once I get her something new, of course - perhaps that pink GF1).
    -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: Should I buy a GH1

    Quote Originally Posted by photoSmart42 View Post
    I can imagine having an extra piece of glass in front of the sensor has a lot of unwanted effects, and I can see how it could affect all those parameters.
    OK, thanks for the clarification.

    It is my understanding that anti aliasing filter is just for what it is supposed to be for. Otherwise, there will be moire like M9 pumps out. Same about the presence or absence of UV/IR cut and other filters on a sensor. Absence of them or ineffective ones would churn out cyan casts and would lack color fidelity. Post capture massaging to overcome such flaws is going to affect the image quality of the picture as well.

    Every sensor has extra piece of glasses, including the Leica M8 and M9 (two pieces of glass on each sensor).

    The thicker stack of glass (fairly thick in case of G1) has little to do with the strength of the anti aliasing effect the filter brings about.

    Though I have not had a chance to look (yet), I would think the AA/UV/IR/anti shake glass stacks in front of the sensor on Nikon D3s are very thick- way thicker than the ones in a Leica M9.

  15. #15
    Fahim
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    Re: Should I buy a GH1

    I received my GH1 three days ago.......and I'm happy so far. Takes great pictures...

    Got it for a real good price at 800 only...
    Last edited by Fahim; 31st May 2010 at 08:19.

  16. #16
    richie15
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    Re: Should I buy a GH1

    Quote Originally Posted by photoSmart42 View Post
    Vivek, I'm simply mentioning it as something Panasonic said is different about the GH1 sensor over the G1 sensor, and correlating that change (absent knowledge of any other significant changes) to the improvement in SNR, DR, tonal range, and color sensitivity reported by DxO. From what I read, the absence of the AA filter in the M9 also has a lot to do with the improved DR, tonal range, and color sensitivity of that camera (in addition to other features of their sensor technology), so to me that was an additional data point to see that the presence/absence of an AA filter has some effect on all those performance parameters. I couldn't explain to you the physics behind it because I haven't spent the time to dig that far into it. I can imagine having an extra piece of glass in front of the sensor has a lot of unwanted effects, and I can see how it could affect all those parameters.

    Frankly I'm just happy taking great photos with my GH1, and my wife is very happy with her G1. Alles gut!

    P.S. Some day I'll get the courage to hack my wife's G1 similar to your changes (once I get her something new, of course - perhaps that pink GF1).
    Dragos

    Earlier in the thread you mentioned you might be able to compare the G1 against the GH1 and see if there is any difference in IQ, I would be very interested to see this if possible.

    Thanks

    Richard

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    Re: Should I buy a GH1

    Quote Originally Posted by richie15 View Post
    Dragos

    Earlier in the thread you mentioned you might be able to compare the G1 against the GH1 and see if there is any difference in IQ, I would be very interested to see this if possible.

    Thanks

    Richard
    I'll try to find some time to do that, but it won't be to the level of testing referenced in the links above. I'm not sure how relevant the banding issue is, if it exists across all the GH1s, or how it affects my photos (which I haven't noticed).

    I'm not sure why someone would take a high-ISO photo with noise reduction turned to negative (isn't that ADDING noise?), and not expect artifacts, whether they by banding or otherwise, but that's just me. It makes for an interesting experiment on the capabilities of the camera, but not for a very interesting photograph. I take my photos with NR at +2, and I rarely, if ever, go above ISO800, and realistically not much even above ISO400.
    -Dragos
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  19. #19
    gcogger
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    Re: Should I buy a GH1

    I took a look at the reviews of the 2 cameras (G1 and GH1) on dpreview. Comparing the RAW image crops of the 2 at ISO800 and 1600, I'd agree with the reviews noted above - the GH1 looks between 1/2 and 1 stop better for noise. It's enough to convince me to upgrade from my G1 some day (OK, video is a 'nice to have' too).

  20. #20
    richie15
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    Re: Should I buy a GH1

    Do the film modes and different noise settings just apply to JPEGS or can this be applied to RAW files?

  21. #21
    gcogger
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    Re: Should I buy a GH1

    They shouldn't directly affect RAW files, but it's possible that SilkyPix will pic up on those settings and use them when it processes the files. In something like the Adobe converters those settings shouldn't make any difference.

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    Re: Should I buy a GH1

    Quote Originally Posted by richie15 View Post
    Do the film modes and different noise settings just apply to JPEGS or can this be applied to RAW files?
    Have you read my links? Nothing like mentioned above should affect RAWs, but does (processed by LR\ACR) with GH1.
    Obviously it is a bug. So far - not resolved.

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    Re: Should I buy a GH1

    Quote Originally Posted by photoSmart42 View Post
    I'm not sure why someone would take a high-ISO photo with noise reduction turned to negative (isn't that ADDING noise?)
    => when using RAW - because it workarounds Panasonic bug.

    NEVER ANY setting adds noise!!! It is there! By setting NR to positive - you just remove some noise together with details.

    About the bug - if NR is set negative on some ISO combinations (see my links) - you get smeared RAWs. It means less details, but also can mistakely look as lower noise. After more detailed analyiss - you realise, that you have less noise together with less details.

    Quote Originally Posted by photoSmart42 View Post
    I rarely, if ever, go above ISO800, and realistically not much even above ISO400.
    Then you are not best person to be aksed for diferencies, because on low ISOs there aren't any, except multiaspect sensor of GH1.

  24. #24
    richie15
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    Re: Should I buy a GH1

    Quote Originally Posted by gcogger View Post
    They shouldn't directly affect RAW files, but it's possible that SilkyPix will pic up on those settings and use them when it processes the files. In something like the Adobe converters those settings shouldn't make any difference.
    Thanks, that is what I thought. The RAW converter could make a difference though......

    Capture NX used to carry over camera settings from Nikon so I know what you mean
    Last edited by richie15; 4th June 2010 at 10:50. Reason: .

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    Re: Should I buy a GH1

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry_R View Post
    Then you are not best person to be aksed for diferencies, because on low ISOs there aren't any, except multiaspect sensor of GH1.
    Well, I never claimed to be. Just sharing my experiences with my camera because the question was asked. If this were a thread about high ISO performance on the GH1, I wouldn't have replied.
    -Dragos
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  26. #26
    richie15
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    Re: Should I buy a GH1

    I am a low ISO user like Dragos and have not purchased any Panasonic camera for high ISO performance, if I was looking for this I would probably have repurchased another D700.

    I have read the dPreview thread which I do think is very informative for the right audience. My understanding (please correct me if I am wrong) is that for ISO800 and above the noise can be an issue and the way round this is to change the settings to +1 or +2 so the camera retains this setting. This adjustment should not affect the RAW files but for some bizarre reason does sort the problem. It also looks as if the GH1 has better high ISO performance than the G1 or GF1.

    I am now trying to understand the banding issue and have 54 pages to read, unless you can pls summarise?

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    Re: Should I buy a GH1

    Quote Originally Posted by richie15 View Post
    My understanding (please correct me if I am wrong) is that for ISO800 and above the noise can be an issue and the way round this is to change the settings to +1 or +2 so the camera retains this setting. [...] I am now trying to understand the banding issue and have 54 pages to read, unless you can pls summarise?
    Richie,
    in my opinion for high ISO - use RAW + LR 3 BETA. Then even ISO 2000 is useful on G1, of course with downsized resolution a little, but I don't think it is an issue. In past, with LR 2.6 you should use external programs like Noise Ninja or DFINE. DFINE was not only removing noise, but also banding. Now LR 3 has totally new noise algorithms, and you no more need to buy external software.
    Or play with JPG settings and camera body algorithms. But be aware it is not as powerful as LR3 or DFINE - looking ALWAYS on two aspects:
    - minimise noise
    - keep as much as possible details

    To summarize banding - GH1s from older factory have it, GH1s from newer have it minimised, but still more than G1\GF1 on higher ISOs. How to know what you buy? I do not know other answer than by testing yourself before buying.

    I had 3 GH1s, so know how it looked through time.

  28. #28
    richie15
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    Re: Should I buy a GH1

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry_R View Post
    Richie,
    in my opinion for high ISO - use RAW + LR 3 BETA. Then even ISO 2000 is useful on G1, of course with downsized resolution a little, but I don't think it is an issue. In past, with LR 2.6 you should use external programs like Noise Ninja or DFINE. DFINE was not only removing noise, but also banding. Now LR 3 has totally new noise algorithms, and you no more need to buy external software.
    Or play with JPG settings and camera body algorithms. But be aware it is not as powerful as LR3 or DFINE - looking ALWAYS on two aspects:
    - minimise noise
    - keep as much as possible details

    To summarize banding - GH1s from older factory have it, GH1s from newer have it minimised, but still more than G1\GF1 on higher ISOs. How to know what you buy? I do not know other answer than by testing yourself before buying.

    I had 3 GH1s, so know how it looked through time.

    Thanks Jerry that is very helpful and saved me a lot of reading,

    I think I am going to be ok on the noise issue. I shoot in RAW with pp in Capture One which I have found to be the best raw converter to protect colour, as I said I will not venture over ISO 400 and have dfine if I need it, 1 question do I need to change the Noise to +1 as a default?

    The banding issues is a bit more of a problem, I have found a used GH1 with this being purchased new in March 2010, so hopefully its the latest batch. Is the banding apparent across all ISO?

  29. #29
    gcogger
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    Re: Should I buy a GH1

    Hang on a minute - I'm a bit lost! If you don't care about video, and don't shoot over ISO400, why are you wanting to spend money switching to a GH1?

  30. #30
    richie15
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    Re: Should I buy a GH1

    Quote Originally Posted by gcogger View Post
    Hang on a minute - I'm a bit lost! If you don't care about video, and don't shoot over ISO400, why are you wanting to spend money switching to a GH1?
    I am interested in the size of the sensor. I like the 16:9 aspect ratio and I find that the G1 and GF1 stretch the image. I am hoping the GH1 will be a bit better, particularly with the 7-14.

  31. #31
    gcogger
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    Re: Should I buy a GH1

    I'm not sure what you mean by "stretch the image"? The difference between the G1 and GH1 for 16:9 images is simply that the GH1 uses a slightly larger sensor area, capturing 4352 x 2448 pixels rather than 4000 x 2248 pixels. Neither camera should distort the image in any way.

  32. #32
    gcogger
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    Re: Should I buy a GH1

    Sorry if it sounds like I'm 'grilling' you by the way I'm considering the switch to a GH1 myself, so I'm interested in your reasons.

    (As a total digression, how do I edit my posts on here? I'm not seeing the EDIT button mentioned in the FAQ).

  33. #33
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    Re: Should I buy a GH1

    All the MFT cameras other the the GH1 crop the top and bottom of the frame to go from 4:3 to 3:2 or 16:9 aspect ratio. This means that in 16:9, while the horizontal angle of view is maintained compared to 4:3, the vertical angle of view is reduced.

    The GH1 maintains the diagonal angle of view in 4:3, 3:2, and 16:9. This means that in 16:9, the horizontal angle of view is increased compared to 4:3, and the vertical angle of view is reduced, albeit not to the extent that it would be reduced on other MFT cameras.

    The bottom line is that 16:9 on GH1 makes any lens wider than 16:9 on the other MFT cameras, and 16:9 uses more sensor area on GH1 than on other MFT cameras.

    As for banding, Nik Dfine does a good job of debanding GH1 images. For example, this is a nominal ISO 3200 (ISO 4176 per DxOmark) GH1 image. Banding is very obvious:



    Here it is again after Dfine:



    Dfine debanding can result in some odd effects. For example, if you look closely around the edge of the lamp, there is a halo effect inside and outside of the edge. However, it's pretty easy to strike a balance, and any untoward effects are usually much easier to clean up than the banding itself.

    Here's another example, this time ISO 1600 (ISO 2154 according to DxOmark data) and pushed a bit in Lightroom. This was shot through thick and dirty glass at a local zoo. Please ignore the reflections, which were unavoidable and do not have anything to do with the GH1 image quality:



    After Dfine:



    I personally don't often find banding to be an issue with the GH1 (and I bought an early model), and when it is, Dfine almost always does the trick.

    As for the original question "Should I buy a GH1 right now", I'd wait and see what the GH2 offers.
    Last edited by Amin; 5th June 2010 at 03:19.

  34. #34
    richie15
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    Re: Should I buy a GH1

    Great post Amin, many thanks.

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    Re: Should I buy a GH1

    Quote Originally Posted by richie15 View Post
    Is the banding apparent across all ISO?
    The more UNDEREXPOSED picture, the more banding. So it can appear in fact even at ISO 100. But not such big like on pictures above, so for many it will be acceptable and they would notice only at 100% zoom and when directed.
    But it never happens with G1\GF1 - in the same conditions (underexposed ISO 100).

    One more comment about multiapsect sensor. What I observed is - 7-14mm lens @16:9 with GH1 gives wider result, than G1\GF1 - but slightly less sharp on side areas. Is it acceptable? For many yes, no doubts. Just remember, if you would like to make very big prints. It is probably result of using more center part of the lens by G1, GF1 and less need of correction of lens distortion.
    Plus - whatever is in center of frame is much more further due to wider angle (GH1), so is smaller, less detailed.

    So it all depends how you want to use wide angle. My feeling is now, that GH1 sensor is like it is - because of VIDEO (16:9). Not because of better photographic capabilities.

    Regarding 16:9 - maybe find a shop that sells both G1 and GH1. Or buy GH1 from shop, that accepts returns and check yourself?

  36. #36
    richie15
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    Re: Should I buy a GH1

    Jerry that does worry me a bit. I am going to get one, I have got a good deal on a used one and then I can compare against the G1 and GF1, might seem a bit crazy but I am sold on the Panasonic G series and want to make sure I have the best camera for what I require.

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    Re: Should I buy a GH1

    OK, Jerry, help me understand what I should be looking for in terms of banding, because all I see is normal noise. These are taken @ISO3200 out of my GH1, at -3EV in manual mode, Standard film mode:

    Panasonic GH1 + 14-140mm @14mm; f/4; 1/400s @ISO3200
    RAW saved as JPEG:


    In-camera JPEG:


    Let me know if you need me up link the full-size uploads.
    -Dragos
    Panasonic GH1/G1, Canon FTb(n)/F-1, Mamiya C330F/RB67 Pro SD, Chamonix 45N-2, Nikon F5 + Assorted Lenses

  38. #38
    Senior Member Amin's Avatar
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    Re: Should I buy a GH1

    Dragos, there is both thin and broad horizontal banding in your example, but on the whole, it is very subtle. I wouldn't notice banding in this sample image without looking for it. Look at the top of the paper (towards the upper right), and you will see thin white lines spanning across horizontally. In the dark background to the right of the paper, there are some thin dark and light horizontal bands. There is also some very broad horizontal banding of color pattern noise, but that is true of many (? all) cameras at their limits and nothing specific to the GH1.

    One reason this image may have so little banding (relative to other underexposed ISO 3200 GH1 images) is that the exposure time was very short (1/400s). Then again, if you never notice banding with your GH1, then maybe you got one of the later production ones, which supposedly have less banding.

    I would not discourage anyone from buying the GH1, early production or late, on the basis of banding. It hasn't been a major issue for me at all, and as I stated above, Dfine addresses it well when it pops up. I do think the GH1 has the best image quality of any of the first gen MFT cameras, though not by much.

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    Re: Should I buy a GH1

    Quote Originally Posted by Amin View Post
    Dragos, there is both thin and broad horizontal banding in your example, but on the whole, it is very subtle.
    It is subtle because the image is underexposed and not corrected when developed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Amin View Post
    I would not discourage anyone from buying the GH1, early production or late, on the basis of banding. It hasn't been a major issue for me at all, and as I stated above, Dfine addresses it well when it pops up. I do think the GH1 has the best image quality of any of the first gen MFT cameras, though not by much.
    I fully agree.

    Checking your image again Dragos I see the banding without exactly looking for it. I know since the days the Pentax K10D was released that we can sensitive or not to this sort of banding.

    As mentioned your image is purposely underexposed. Let's say it was underexposed by necessity, that the light in it was all you could get in a certain situation. Then you would like to increase the "exposure" in your raw converter.... and you would get blotchy noise and banding all over. (This also applies to shadow areas in normally exposed images.)

    I can see this with my G1 as well but not as often. I sometimes stack images taken at -2, 0 and +2 steps of EV comp to get around problems with noisy shadows and blown highlights (the sky). But hey, I did the same with my 5D and 5D2, just less often.

    regards,

    Jonas

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    Re: Should I buy a GH1

    Amin, is there a different sort of image I could take where I would see if I have an issue better? I'm trying to figure out under what conditions this banding occurs, whether I have it or not, and what I can do about it if it happens. Would a photo with the lens cap on do it?

    To be honest I'm still not sure of the situation in which I'd take an underexposed photo at ISO3200 in bulb mode - the elements in that setup seem to go against each other - but if such a situation happens upon me I'd like to know the limitation of my ability to capture it successfully.
    -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: Should I buy a GH1

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonas View Post
    As mentioned your image is purposely underexposed. Let's say it was underexposed by necessity, that the light in it was all you could get in a certain situation. Then you would like to increase the "exposure" in your raw converter.... and you would get blotchy noise and banding all over. (This also applies to shadow areas in normally exposed images.)
    Thanks, Jonas. I underexposed it because Jerry said that was the scenario in which this happened most often. I do see that some of the noise is gathered in what could be interpreted as bands, horizontal and vertical, so I think I can see the effect described, and it doesn't appear as bad on my particular camera as in photos I've seen online. Guess I got lucky.

    Taking a -3EV photo, then exposing it to +3EV in post would be like taking a -9EV photo in the first place, so I'd expect that noise would be a huge factor for that photo. Does noise processing software have an issue correcting banding more than just uniform noise? Is that why banding is problematic to begin with?
    -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: Should I buy a GH1

    Quote Originally Posted by photoSmart42 View Post
    Thanks, Jonas. I underexposed it because Jerry said that was the scenario in which this happened most often. I do see that some of the noise is gathered in what could be interpreted as bands, horizontal and vertical, so I think I can see the effect described, and it doesn't appear as bad on my particular camera as in photos I've seen online. Guess I got lucky.
    Yes, there you are; you haven't any bad experience from normal use of your camera and that is what counts, isn't it. As you haven't run into the problem I'm not sure there is a problem. Semantics perhaps, but also real life work with the camera for you.

    Quote Originally Posted by photoSmart42 View Post
    Taking a -3EV photo, then exposing it to +3EV in post would be like taking a -9EV photo in the first place, so I'd expect that noise would be a huge factor for that photo. Does noise processing software have an issue correcting banding more than just uniform noise? Is that why banding is problematic to begin with?
    Hmm, Taking an image at -3EV and saving it by increasing the light, or pump up the EV comp, in the raw converter would be like taking a -3 EV image in the first place. Or an image with something in the shadows.

    The problem with banding is that the unlike noise it makes bands all over the length or height of the image. It is visible also in parts not underexposed, but not everybody sees it. In bright parts we don't see it of course.

    And yes. Noise reducing software normally don't deal with banding at all. The mentioned Nik software has a special box you have to tick to make it analyze and consider banding in the image you want to de-noise. You can see in the lamp sample Amin posted that Dfine works well, but still doesn't remove the banding completely.

    regards,

    Jonas

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    Re: Should I buy a GH1

    Thanks for the reply! I didn't know there was an issue with banding for NR software, but it makes sense - it's easier to remove uniform noise than something non-uniform.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonas View Post
    Hmm, Taking an image at -3EV and saving it by increasing the light, or pump up the EV comp, in the raw converter would be like taking a -3 EV image in the first place. Or an image with something in the shadows.
    It seems to me this would only be the case before you take the photo. If you've already taken the photo, you're dealing with only the available information in the photo as taken, so by pumping up the noise by +6 EV over the existing captured image to me that's like the equivalent of taking a -9EV photo to begin with. You can't recover information you don't have, so you end up amplifying the noise. I could be wrong, but somehow that makes sense to me =).
    Last edited by photoSmart42; 6th June 2010 at 10:38.
    -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: Should I buy a GH1

    Quote Originally Posted by photoSmart42 View Post
    Amin, is there a different sort of image I could take where I would see if I have an issue better?
    Sure, take a photo of people near a dark colored couch, table, or wall in an indoor, lowish light setting. Set the shutter speed to 1/30s, the ISO to 1600, and the f-number to whatever it takes to get a properly exposed image. Then look at the result and see if there is banding in the dark couch/table/wall.

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    Re: Should I buy a GH1

    Quote Originally Posted by photoSmart42 View Post
    (...) so by pumping up the noise by +6 EV over the existing captured image to me that's like the equivalent of taking a -9EV photo to begin with.
    Hmm. We are thinking along different lines here.

    If I have an image I underexposed 1EV by mistake and therefore increase the EV comp in my raw converter I do it with a +1EV. There is no need to multiply or add double values. Maybe somebody else can straighten that out.

    In principle everything in a photo that isn't a grey card, or as bright as a grey card, is either under- over overexposed compared to what a grey card would look if properly exposed and "developed" in a raw converter with no EV compensation.
    So, we see the banding in the shadows, less of it in middle bright areas and not in bright areas.

    High ISO images are already amplified by the camera's electronics compared to what happens at base ISO. That's why you see banding in Amin's and your image, also in JPG images right out of the camera. When applying some, even just a little positive EV comp the banding gets quite visible.

    I am doomed, I can sometimes see banding in "low" ISO (like ISO800) images and I also see noise in big prints from images taken at base ISO. Most people are more fortunate and aren't bothered with all this. So, it can be a problem or not. Some never see it.

    OK, end of blabbering. Cheers,

    Jonas

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    Re: Should I buy a GH1

    yehh... a real problem with the high contrast lenses needed to power the auto focus, not nearly the problem with a manual focus quality cine lens

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    Re: Should I buy a GH1

    Short comment to my last post. Banding can be visible even at ISO 100 in GH1 picture, in darker, underrexposed areas of a photo. Not even whole photo is to be underexposed.

    I was very happy with my 2nd GH1. My friend who used only G1 - from time to time - was showing me banding in my pictures, which I was not aware, until his comment.
    But he saw it, because he never had sth like this with his camera. So better is to compare the same picture taken with G1\GF1 and GH1. Not JPG and RAW from GH1.

    Anyway, as me and others said - not everybody will see it, it doesn't occur on every photo.

    PS: I can't see flickr pictures now...
    (photo currently unavailable)
    Last edited by Jerry_R; 6th June 2010 at 14:49.

  48. #48
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    Re: Should I buy a GH1

    Well I have got it and from what I can see no banding at the minute, albeit I have only taken a few shots. What I would say is that in 16:9 mode I prefer it to the G1.

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    Re: Should I buy a GH1

    Quote Originally Posted by richie15 View Post
    What I would say is that in 16:9 mode I prefer it to the G1.
    Great! That was important reason of your buying!
    Enjoy the camera!

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    Re: Should I buy a GH1

    Quote Originally Posted by richie15 View Post
    Well I have got it and from what I can see no banding at the minute, albeit I have only taken a few shots. What I would say is that in 16:9 mode I prefer it to the G1.
    I've seen a fair number of negative comments about the GH1 banding, etc, from people who have seen or tried the GH1. However, the great majority of GH1 owners seem to be very happy with their purchase .

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