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Thread: Does the Panasonic GF1 retain manual focus with LCD off?

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    Does the Panasonic GF1 retain manual focus with LCD off?

    Hello all. New to the forum. I am considering purchasing a Panasonic GF1 primarily for time lapse shooting. As time lapse can potentially be quite draining on the batteries, I plan to shoot with the LCD screen turned "off". Initially, I will compose, set the focus, exposure and white balance etc with the LCD screen turned "on", and then switch it to "off" and begin shooting. However, asking all those GF1 owners out there, I would like to know if manual focus, manual exposure and white balance settings are retained with the LCD off? Incidentally, this is something that is not possible with the Canon Powershot cameras. They revert to auto focus as soon as the LCD screen is turned "off".
    Last edited by tribal-warrior; 7th May 2011 at 06:47.

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    Re: Does the Panasonic GF1 retain manual focus with LCD off?

    Seeing as though the stock zoom lens on the GF1 has a manual focus ring, I would assume that manual focus would be retained after the LCD screen is turned "off." However, I note that the aperture / shutter speed and the white balance are selected on the camera body so I'm still unclear as whether these user-selected settings would be maintained after the LCD goes blank or whether they switch to auto. For all the GF1 owners out there, what have your experiences been in this regard?

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    Re: Does the Panasonic GF1 retain manual focus with LCD off?

    Okay, I'm just about ready to purchase one. Any input relating to my above questions would be greatly appreciated.

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    Re: Does the Panasonic GF1 retain manual focus with LCD off?

    not with AF lenses, as far as I know: none of the m4/3 cameras do with AF lenses

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    Re: Does the Panasonic GF1 retain manual focus with LCD off?

    Quote Originally Posted by pellicle View Post
    not with AF lenses, as far as I know: none of the m4/3 cameras do with AF lenses
    Ugh...the painful truth comes out. Though would manual exposure and white balance settings be maintained with the LCD screen turned "off"? Regarding full time manual focus, that leaves me with the older manual focus lenses via adapters. And this would serve me fine for 'standard' and 'telephoto' lenses but what on earth can I do about 'wide angle' lenses??

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    Re: Does the Panasonic GF1 retain manual focus with LCD off?

    Hi

    Quote Originally Posted by tribal-warrior View Post
    Though would manual exposure and white balance settings be maintained with the LCD screen turned "off"?
    seem to be, although I don't understand what using the LCD screen has to to with the colour balance set by the user any more than LCD screen does with the chosen shutter speed

    Regarding full time manual focus, that leaves me with the older manual focus lenses via adapters. And this would serve me fine for 'standard' and 'telephoto' lenses but what on earth can I do about 'wide angle' lenses??
    exactly a point I've been making for some time. I have been using a 12mm C-mount which is nice but vignetts. It could be suitable and if you don't mind the loss of pixels (and essentially making a smaller format) then it can be good too. It works out about the same as the 14-45, but at least its manual focus (and aperture is f1.3)


    P1030892 by obakesan, on Flickr

    After a comment by Godfrey on the cycling at powerup of the lenses in the m4/3 standard some years or so ago I sus'ed it out on my 14-45 and found it to be true there. I do not recall what happened with the Olympus 9-18 std 4/3 zoom I used to have. Perhaps you could ask if anyone out there would test and confirm that?

    I must say I'm tempted to get that lens again as I really liked it

    coloseumHDR3 by obakesan, on Flickr

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    Re: Does the Panasonic GF1 retain manual focus with LCD off?

    Quote Originally Posted by pellicle View Post
    .seem to be, although I don't understand what using the LCD screen has to to with the colour balance set by the user any more than LCD screen does with the chosen shutter speed
    And I don’t understand what the turning on and off of the LCD screen has to do with the focus adjustment of the lens. After all, the stock 14-45mm zoom lens has a manual focus ring and I assume that the camera has some sort of switch to choose between manual and auto focus. Must be the engineers at Panasonic wanting to restrict full manual control from the user, much in the same way that many point and shoot compacts do. Hmmm…I wonder if there’s some sort of trick one can try to disengage the auto focus when the LCD screen is turned off.

    That's a nice looking 12mm C mount lens you have there. Out of curiosity, what brand is it? Any issues with focusing at far or near distances? With the time lapse photography, the eventual plan will be to convert the stills to HD video. Considering that HD is not all that high resolution anyway, I could shoot at the highest res setting on the GF1 and crop the images to 16:9 in post. Then again, if this lens is designed for SD video, it may not look that stellar in HD.
    Last edited by tribal-warrior; 12th May 2011 at 20:23.

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    Re: Does the Panasonic GF1 retain manual focus with LCD off?

    Without the LCD there is no way to focus unless you buy the aux. EVF. I'm assuming this is why you can't turn the LCD completely off. On the GF1 there are 2 ways to manual focus with a native MFT or 4/3 lens. You can set AF/MF to on or off in the menu. If it is on then when you touch the focus ring while 1/2 pressing the shutter button the camera immediately switches to magnified manual view and you can tweak your focus. You can also switch by a button on the back of the body to manual focus with no involvement of AF. With a legacy lens you can either press the back dial or roll from left 4 way button to OK button to get magnified view for manual focus. You can focus manually without using magnified view by simply turning the focus ring. Neglected to say you need manual focus assist on (menu) to use the magnified view with native lens.

    Not sure if this answers it but those are the ways I manual focus with the GF1. With the LCD off there would be no way to access the menus, no way to focus, etc. One possible workaround to maintain focus is to set AF with AFL, have auto moniter OFF and the focus will hold until the AFL is removed. This will not hold when powerd off completely.

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    Re: Does the Panasonic GF1 retain manual focus with LCD off?

    Quote Originally Posted by tribal-warrior View Post
    And I don’t understand what the turning on and off of the LCD screen has to do with the focus adjustment of the lens. After all, the stock 14-45mm zoom lens has a manual focus ring and I assume that the camera has some sort of switch to choose between manual and auto focus. Must be the engineers at Panasonic wanting to restrict full manual control from the user, much in the same way that many point and shoot compacts do. Hmmm…I wonder if there’s some sort of trick one can try to disengage the auto focus when the LCD screen is turned off.
    I think I saw it elsewhere ithis thread, but far as I'm aware there's no "camera functional, LCD/EVF disabled" mode on the GF1 (or any other Lumix G or Oly Pen) camera. The LCD is the viewfinder and camera control center, so it is always at least minimally active ... When you shut it down, the camera is off.

    Micro FourThirds lenses are all focus by servo, even when in Manual focus mode, and Panasonic always does a focus reset when the camera is powered down (Olympus often has a "no reset" override option, I use it on the SLRs when doing tabletop and street shooting).

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    Re: Does the Panasonic GF1 retain manual focus with LCD off?

    Quote Originally Posted by Diane B View Post
    Without the LCD there is no way to focus unless you buy the aux. EVF.
    Exactly. That is why I was planning to manually focus with the LCD screen switched "on" as well select the shutter speed and aperture, white balance setting, compose the shot etc, and then, when everything is finalised and ready to go, switch the LCD "off", begin shooting and hope that all those manual settings would still be retained. When the LCD screen is switched "on", and you manually focus the lens at a distance of 4 feet, and then turn the LCD screen "off", I just assumed (and hoped) that the lens would still be focused at a distance of 4 feet with no interference from the auto focus. Though I guess this is not the case...at least with the standard 4/3rd AF lenses.

    Seems like it's a similar case with the Canon Powershot G12 - that camera does allow you the option for manual focus but even if you do have that manual focus option selected with the LCD screen switched "on", the camera reverts to auto focus as soon as you switch the LCD screen "off." I was hoping that the Panasonic G12 would be more versatile in this regard.

    Quote Originally Posted by Diane B View Post
    I'm assuming this is why you can't turn the LCD completely off.
    There was another post on this forum where the poster stated that he had turned "off" the LCD screen and was able to shoot in this way but found that after every shot, the LCD screen would come back to life very briefly and then go blank again. Another forum member said that he turns off the 'shot preview' option in addition to turning the LCD screen "off" and this seems to do the trick of keeping the LCD screen "off."

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    Re: Does the Panasonic GF1 retain manual focus with LCD off?

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    I think I saw it elsewhere ithis thread, but far as I'm aware there's no "camera functional, LCD/EVF disabled" mode on the GF1 (or any other Lumix G or Oly Pen) camera.
    Darn. I thought I noticed in the Dpreview review on the GF1 that the LCD had an "off" setting. That's right...for the LCD screen, not an "off" setting for the camera. I just assumed that all settings would be retained with that "off" setting selected.

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    The LCD is the viewfinder and camera control center, so it is always at least minimally active .
    Even if the LCD screen was minimally active, would it still use up more power than say the EVF on the G1? If that is the case, then I might be swayed more towards the G1 instead of the GF1. Though even with the EVF, I'm still concerned about battery consumption for time lapse photography. For doing short interval times over several minutes, I guess it might be okay. However, there will be times where I will be shooting one photo once every minute over a two or three hour period. Realistic on one fully charged battery or unrealistic? I just hope when you use the EVF on the G1 that the LCD screen is completely "off"!

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    Re: Does the Panasonic GF1 retain manual focus with LCD off?

    I was just reading a review of the G1 on The Imaging Resource.

    http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/DMCG1/DMCG1A.HTM

    They stated that if you choose to leave the LCD screen off, the EVF will only display when you bring your eye close to it. So if the camera is mounted to a tripod and you were standing off to the side, the EVF would be blank the majority of the time. Well, I'm hoping once again that your manual focus settings etc won't be affected while the EVF is blank.

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    Re: Does the Panasonic GF1 retain manual focus with LCD off?

    The LCD can be fully off, but only when the EVF is on. That goes for both the GF1 and G1. If you don't have the EVF for the GF1, you can't turn the LCD off. The EVF uses less power, but I don't know about how long it can remain on for time lapse. Wouldn't it be easier to just rig up an external power source for the camera? You'd probably have to sacrifice a good battery to get at the control circuits, but supplying the actual power wouldn't be that big a deal. Get a case for 5 C or D batteries, and you're ready to go for a while.

    Henning

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    Re: Does the Panasonic GF1 retain manual focus with LCD off?

    Quote Originally Posted by henningw View Post
    .Wouldn't it be easier to just rig up an external power source for the camera? You'd probably have to sacrifice a good battery to get at the control circuits, but supplying the actual power wouldn't be that big a deal. Get a case for 5 C or D batteries, and you're ready to go for a while.

    Henning
    Yea realistically, this would be the best option. I'm not knowledgable about electronics but I'll see what can be done. A case for five C or D batteries....is that essentially the same as a battery pack or something with more capacity?

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    Re: Does the Panasonic GF1 retain manual focus with LCD off?

    Quote Originally Posted by henningw View Post
    The LCD can be fully off, but only when the EVF is on.
    Yea, that seems to be be the case with most of the reviews. However, that one particular view I linked above seems to suggest that both the LCD and EVF can be blank simultaneously (when your eye is physically no longer close to the EVF.) And that once again brought up my fears about the manual focus settings being disrupted. Still worried here!

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    Re: Does the Panasonic GF1 retain manual focus with LCD off?

    I was talking about the focus changing when power cycling the camera re reading your thread I can see you were not talking about turning the camera off only the screen so you can blame me for mis reading your post

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    Re: Does the Panasonic GF1 retain manual focus with LCD off?

    Quote Originally Posted by tribal-warrior View Post
    And that once again brought up my fears about the manual focus settings being disrupted. Still worried here!
    to attempt to be clear here, nothing I know of effects the focus of the micro 4/3 lenses except turning the camera off and on again (the camera, not the screen) and of course altering the lens focus ring. This explains why I was confused by your throwing in the white balance ... which is not effected by either turning camera on and off or screen on and off (though manual focus is effected by turning off the camera)

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    Re: Does the Panasonic GF1 retain manual focus with LCD off?

    Quote Originally Posted by tribal-warrior View Post
    ...
    That's a nice looking 12mm C mount lens you have there. Out of curiosity, what brand is it? Any issues with focusing at far or near distances?
    Computar

    took a wee bit of adptation to get it to fit an adaptor
    http://cjeastwd.blogspot.com/2009/06...fit-mount.html

    focuses close nicely and with a wee bit of extension in the mount (don't screw down tightly) it is surprisingly close

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    Re: Does the Panasonic GF1 retain manual focus with LCD off?

    There are quite a few people doing time lapse with the various Gs. Is there a particular reason you expect to have problems where others apparently are able to shoot over a period of hours and in some cases it appears for perhaps a full day? Just curious. Perhaps your fears about power usage by the EVFs or LCDs are misplaced. Are you using an intervalometer?

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    Re: Does the Panasonic GF1 retain manual focus with LCD off?

    Di

    this is very strange, I thought I had said exactly these points (recall typing them was about to say "I had already mentioned them" and then couldn't find them when double checking ... perhaps I didn't click the right thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Diane B View Post
    .. are able to shoot over a period of hours and in some cases it appears for perhaps a full day? Just curious. Perhaps your fears about power usage by the EVFs or LCDs are misplaced. Are you using an intervalometer?
    I will now add that I have done thousands (maybe 2 or 3) images using a G1 and manual focus lenses in copy stand work on a single battery. So (to the OP) if you are doing time lapse photography and you are using manual focus lenses I'd expect you could do the same (and are you using an intervalometer)

    I wonder if its preview post which I've inadvertently clicked?

    PS: sorry for causing grief caused by not reading "LCD off" carefully and answering about device off

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    Re: Does the Panasonic GF1 retain manual focus with LCD off?

    Quote Originally Posted by pellicle View Post
    I was talking about the focus changing when power cycling the camera re reading your thread I can see you were not talking about turning the camera off only the screen so you can blame me for mis reading your post
    Oops!

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    Re: Does the Panasonic GF1 retain manual focus with LCD off?

    Quote Originally Posted by Diane B View Post
    There are quite a few people doing time lapse with the various Gs.?
    Oh cool. I did hear about one individual who was using a G1 for time lapse but I didn't know anything about that person's power supply set up.

    Quote Originally Posted by Diane B View Post
    Perhaps your fears about power usage by the EVFs or LCDs are misplaced.
    Me paranoid? Lol. It's just common sense that an EVF and an LCD will draw more battery power than a camera using a purely optical viewfinder. In particular an LCD screen. I admit that I have never used a still camera that has an EVF. My only prior experience with EVFs are with video cameras and those things are intensely power hungry.

    Quote Originally Posted by Diane B View Post
    Are you using an intervalometer?
    Ive purchased a cheap Hong Kong intervalometer from eBay. Looks to be the same input socket. It works on my Canon EOS 30 35mm SLR. Though the main reason why I bought it was to use with my Canon 1014 Autozoom Electronic Super 8 motion picture film camera. It plugs into the movie camera okay but the interval timer does not work with that camera. I used to have the original interval timer that Canon made specifically for the 1014 (manufactured during the 1970s) but unfortunately that has disappeared.

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    Re: Does the Panasonic GF1 retain manual focus with LCD off?

    Sorry for hammering away at this topic! For quite a while, I was looking at a number of digital compacts from different brands as possible candidates for time lapse photography. From the specs, they all seemed quite impressive, versatile and had a great deal of manual control combined with good image quality. However, upon closer scrutiny, they all had some sort of restrictive short coming that would be a nuisance for time lapse shooting.

    For example, the Pentax Optio 550 has a built-in interval timer but there is a severe limit placed on the number of frames shot in this mode...you would only end up with something like 3 or 4 seconds of footage. There was another brand camera - possibly Toshiba but I can't recall exactly - that switches to automatic exposure when you're in time lapse mode (you have no choice in the matter.) And fairly recently, I was just about set to go out and buy a Canon G12 until I learned that as soon as you switch off the LCD screen (to save power) the lens reverts to auto focus (even though you previously selected manual focus when the LCD was active.)

    With the Panasonic G series cameras, I just wanted to be sure that they didn't have such annoying restrictions placed upon them. That explains my thorough persistance on this topic! Thanks everyone for your patience. It looks like now, they will be well suited to my needs, particularly the G1.

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    Re: Does the Panasonic GF1 retain manual focus with LCD off?

    Quote Originally Posted by tribal-warrior View Post
    I was looking at a number of digital compacts from different brands as possible candidates for time lapse photography. From the specs, they all seemed quite impressive, versatile and had a great deal of manual control combined with good image quality. However, upon closer scrutiny, they all had some sort of restrictive short coming that would be a nuisance for time lapse shooting.
    since you're at it, I thought I'd remind you that the G1 is no more a compact than the EOS Rebel series is. The major difference is they have an EVF over the optical pathway of the EOS. Both have similar sized sensors, similar shutter types and interchangable lenses. So compared to compacts (and real Prosumer seems to have disappeared) they're in a different league.

    Full frame 35mm film / sensor (blue), APS (in green) and all 4/3 including (G1) in yellow



    if you look at the front on below you can see the focusing screen (10D) and sensor (G1) and see they are more or less the same size.



    While the physical body size difference may lead you to thinking they are chalk and cheese, the sensor and other electronics are on the same page.



    of course they weigh differently on the same scale.

    Think of the G1 as being something like a Olympus E-510 with permanent live view in the viewfinder and on the rear screen and without the bulk

    /endSoapBox

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    Re: Does the Panasonic GF1 retain manual focus with LCD off?

    Pellicle, that's a nice little demo or presentation.

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    Re: Does the Panasonic GF1 retain manual focus with LCD off?

    Quote Originally Posted by pellicle View Post
    So compared to compacts (and real Prosumer seems to have disappeared) they're in a different league.
    Exactly. What I was getting at in my previous post was that I had basically given up even considering compacts for time lapse. I had shifted my focus over to DSLRs or perhaps something in between a compact and a DSLR. It was only fairly recently that I discovered about the micro 4/3rds format. I have seen a very similar diagram to the one in your post. Very good at illustrating the difference in sizes between the different formats.

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    Re: Does the Panasonic GF1 retain manual focus with LCD off?

    Quote Originally Posted by Diane B View Post
    Pellicle, that's a nice little demo or presentation.


    thanks for the positive feedback ... put it together in a blog post back when I had more time (and when I had both cameras).

    http://cjeastwd.blogspot.com/2009/03/panasonic-g1.html

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