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Thread: The G1 in low light conditions

  1. #1
    S2C
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    The G1 in low light conditions

    To G1 owners:

    How well does the G1 perform in low light conditions?

    I currently own an LX3 and I'm really happy with how well it performs in such conditions thanks to its 2.0 aperture, and am concerned if the G1 can do as well.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Per Ofverbeck's Avatar
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    Re: The G1 in low light conditions

    Quote Originally Posted by S2C View Post
    To G1 owners:

    How well does the G1 perform in low light conditions?

    I currently own an LX3 and I'm really happy with how well it performs in such conditions thanks to its ƒ2.0 aperture, and am concerned if the G1 can do as well.

    Thanks in advance!
    Living in Stockholm, where weve hardly even seen the sun since I bought my G1 on Nov 5 (), I feel, if not qualified so at least motivated to answer...

    As for the sensor, it beats the pants off any small sensors, even the LX3, at the same ISO settings.

    Thats not the whole story, however, at least right now when the slow kit lens is the only available optics (and this is one of the reasons for the great interest in 3rd part adapters). If you shoot the LX3 wide open (f 2.0) at ISO 200, and shoot the G1 wide open (f 3.5), you have to use ISO 400 or so to get the same shutter speed. And that eats some (but certainly not all) of the difference in noise. Personally, Ive all but stopped using my small sensor cameras since I bought the G1.

    When the 20/1.7 pancake arrives, and when at last those Leica adapters are out, it will be quite another story....

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    Senior Member Brian Mosley's Avatar
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    Re: The G1 in low light conditions

    Panasonic G1 + 4/3rds Adapter + ZD 14-35mm f2

    1/80s f/2.0 iso640


    This would print easily to 16" x 12" without any sign of noise.

    I'm extremely happy with the G1.

    Kind Regards

    Brian

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    Re: The G1 in low light conditions

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Mosley View Post
    Panasonic G1 + 4/3rds Adapter + ZD 14-35mm f2

    1/80s f/2.0 iso640


    This would print easily to 16" x 12" without any sign of noise.

    I'm extremely happy with the G1.

    Kind Regards

    Brian
    Lovely portrait Brian. Was that in auto ISO mode?

    Regards,
    Carl

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    Super Duper
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    Re: The G1 in low light conditions

    This is just a test of long exposure noise reduction (auto dark frame subtraction) on the G1. Single 10W light bulb next to snow covered walkway. G1 with CV 90mm f/3.5 APO Lanthar, ISO 100, f/5.6, 15 sec exposure.


  6. #6
    Senior Member Brian Mosley's Avatar
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    Re: The G1 in low light conditions

    Hi Carl,

    thank you, yes, I had it in Shutter Priority mode, Auto ISO.

    Kind Regards

    Brian

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    Senior Member Brian Mosley's Avatar
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    In even lower light...

    Having fun digging out more old Hexanon legacy lenses... here's a shot with the Hex 50mm f1.4 wide open.

    Panasonic G1 + 4/3rds Adapter + Hexanon 50mm f1.4
    1/60s f/1.4 iso800


    Kind Regards

    Brian

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    Re: The G1 in low light conditions

    Brian, have you discovered some good film mode settings for your portraits?
    Standard? Smooth? with adjustments? I'm doing a CD cover portrait next month and want to get the best settings for indoor with and without flash.

    Antara

  9. #9
    Senior Member Brian Mosley's Avatar
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    Re: The G1 in low light conditions

    Hi Antara,

    it's been a while since I set things up, but I'm using the following film mode :

    SMOOTH
    Contrast -2
    Sharpness +2
    Saturation 0
    Noise Reduction -2

    But I'm shooting entirely RAW at the moment, processing in Qimage Studio, exporting to jpeg for noise reduction in Bibble Pro and finishing off in LightZone.

    Ideally, I'd like for Bibble Pro to support the G1 native RAW files, but that will have to wait until February 2009 by the looks of it.

    I suppose I could always take a serious look at lightroom?

    Kind Regards

    Brian

  10. #10
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    Re: The G1 in low light conditions

    My first post since joining but I must comment.

    That portrait is so sharp on the girl's eyes I swear I can see her contact lens! Am I mistaken?

    Very nice work, either way.

  11. #11
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: The G1 in low light conditions

    Can somebody post ISO 1600 and 3200 images and crops?
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: The G1 in low light conditions

    Brian,
    Thanks for the settings. Those settings aren't really relevant if you are shooting raw, right?
    I'm beginning to use Lightroom more and more. Would save you all that software-hopping!
    Its a fun program to get to know and is really made for the photographer, as I'm sure you know.
    Happy Holidays!
    Antara

  13. #13
    Senior Member Brian Mosley's Avatar
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    Re: The G1 in low light conditions

    Quote Originally Posted by wblynch View Post
    My first post since joining but I must comment.

    That portrait is so sharp on the girl's eyes I swear I can see her contact lens! Am I mistaken?

    Very nice work, either way.
    Thanks, she has lovely long eyelashes - that's a shadow from the light above.

    The thing about the G1, is that you can get incredibly accurate manual focusing - this makes a huge difference imho.

    Kind Regards

    Brian

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    Senior Member Brian Mosley's Avatar
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    Re: The G1 in low light conditions

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    Can somebody post ISO 1600 and 3200 images and crops?
    Hi Jack,

    here's a tough test - incandescent lighting above and behind my daughter... the catchlights in her eyes are the TV.

    ISO 3200
    G1 + 4/3rds adapter + ZD 50mm f2 wide open, 1/60s


    ISO 3200 centre crop 1:1


    ISO1600
    G1 + 4/3rds adapter + ZD 50mm f2 wide open, 1/50s


    ISO1600 centre crop 1:1


    Hope that helps

    Kind Regards

    Brian

  15. #15
    Senior Member Brian Mosley's Avatar
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    Re: The G1 in low light conditions

    And just for fun, here's a shot with the ZD 50mm f2 plus built in pop-up flash.

    Panasonic G1 + 4/3rds Adapter + ZD 50mm f2
    1/25s f/2.0 at 50.0mm iso160


    Interestingly, f2 is so shallow dof at this range, that only one eye is in critical focus.

    Kind Regards

    Brian

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    Super Duper
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    Re: The G1 in low light conditions

    Brian, that iso 1600 looks incredibly useable compared to anything similarly sized, how did you process it? Is this a jpg? Contrary to the 3200 shot there is almost zero colour noise.
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

    Website: http://www.timelessjewishart.com

  17. #17
    Senior Member Brian Mosley's Avatar
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    Re: The G1 in low light conditions

    Hi Ben,

    I did the initial conversion using Qimage Studio, did the only noise reduction using Noise Ninja (built into Bibble Pro) and finished with levels and scaling / cropping using Lightzone.

    Ideally, Bibble Pro will get G1 support in the next few weeks, and I'll be able to do the whole thing in Bibble 5.

    The point is, you can get this end result with appropriate post processing.

    Kind Regards

    Brian

  18. #18
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: The G1 in low light conditions

    Brian,

    Thanks for posting these -- 1600 looks very usable and 3200 isn't horrible if you really need it.

    I took the liberty of running your 3200 crop through DFine. Realize this is not proper technique -- processing a jpeg post of an an already processed image, so like a 3rd generation result -- but wanted to give an idea of possibilities. Looking very promising to me!
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

  19. #19
    Senior Member kweide's Avatar
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    Re: The G1 in low light conditions

    Share the camera settings please....that little G1 seems to be a star...

  20. #20
    Senior Member Brian Mosley's Avatar
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    Re: The G1 in low light conditions

    Thanks Jack,

    while I'm waiting for Bibble 5 to be released, I'm wondering whether to give Lightroom a go... would Dfine work with Lightroom? I don't want to load up Photoshop... hate the idea of bloatware.

    Kind Regards

    Brian

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: The G1 in low light conditions

    I don't know Brian -- I don't use LR since I find it to be bloated LOLOLOL! I thought most CS plug-ins now worked in LR and if so then I don't see why DFine wouldn't. I imagine you can run it in trial mode and find out.
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

  22. #22
    Senior Member Brian Mosley's Avatar
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    Re: The G1 in low light conditions

    Thanks Jack... maybe I'll wait for Bibble 5

    Merry Christmas!

  23. #23
    Senior Member Amin's Avatar
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    Re: The G1 in low light conditions

    I'm finding about a slightly more than 2-stop difference in detail relative to noise when comparing the G1 and the Nikon D700.

    A couple examples, processed in Raw Developer with noise reduction disabled:



    Last edited by Amin; 25th December 2008 at 20:31.

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    Re: The G1 in low light conditions

    Interesting....which color is more true to reality? I'm looking at the reds in particular.

    Also, were your other settings the same (aperture and shutter)?

  25. #25
    Senior Member Amin's Avatar
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    Re: The G1 in low light conditions

    Hi Terry, I'm not sure which has the more accurate color in this comparison. For the sake of testing with an equal depth of field, the G1 lens was set to f/5.6 and the D700 lens to f/11. To match the angle of view of the D700 35mm lens, I had intended to set the G1 lens to 17.5mm but accidentally chose 16mm. At any given ISO, the G1 shutter speed was manually set to 4x the shutter speed of the D700 in order for the two cameras to have the same overall exposure in each comparison.

  26. #26
    Super Duper
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    Re: The G1 in low light conditions

    According to the Popphoto.com tests, the G1 scores the highest in color accuracy. And with regards to noise, if I read the Popphoto chart correctly, their results were ISO 6400 (D700) = ISO 800 (G1) (Chart posted by barjohn in this thread.)

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    Senior Member barjohn's Avatar
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    Re: The G1 in low light conditions

    Here are some ISO test shots done in daylight. Starts with ISO 3200, then 1600, 800, 400, and 200. All converted from raw in LR with default settings. I left off ISO 100.
    Last edited by barjohn; 9th August 2009 at 22:10.
    V/r John

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    Re: The G1 in low light conditions

    Again that iso 1600 looks very good relative to the 3200, reminds me of my 5D which has an incredibly useable 1600 and a horribly ugly 3200.

    I'm still going to pass on the G1, waiting for some pocket sized equivelents, but it does look very promising.
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

    Website: http://www.timelessjewishart.com

  29. #29
    Senior Member Brian Mosley's Avatar
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    Re: The G1 in low light conditions

    Hi Amin,

    Merry Christmas! I take it you finally caved in and got the G1 then?

    Just don't restrict yourself to the lumix kit lens - the G1 deserves a lens adapter!

    Kind Regards

    Brian

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    Senior Member Amin's Avatar
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    Re: The G1 in low light conditions

    Merry Christmas to you and yours, Brian!

    I haven't caved... yet . My dad was visiting for Christmas, and I shot some quick tests with his G1. If and when I do get a G1 or othe m43 lens, I will definitely get adapters for Four Thirds, Nikon F, and Leica M .

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: The G1 in low light conditions

    I have not caved yet either but each day it get's harder and harder to resist
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: The G1 in low light conditions

    Just make sure you get a black one. They focus faster and have better low ISO than the blue or red ones.

    These comparisons are useful, moreso than charts and numbers.

    Some might find this link interesting as well. It was posted on the L forum regarding quantitative noise comparisons: http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/noise.htm

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    Senior Member Amin's Avatar
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    Re: The G1 in low light conditions

    If anyone would like to play, here are the RAW files from the ISO shootout I did between the D700 and G1 -> LINK.

    There are four zip files there:
    D700 RAW 1-3.zip contains ISO 200, 400, and 800 D700 files.
    D700 RAW 4-6.zip has ISO 1600, 3200, and 6400 files.
    G1 RAW 1-3.zip has ISO 100, 200, and 400 G1 files.
    G1 RAW 4-6.zip has ISO 800, 1600, and 3200 files.
    Last edited by Amin; 26th December 2008 at 06:08.

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    Re: The G1 in low light conditions

    John, I think you put Pop Photo to shame! You're more thorough than they are!

    Monza, how on earth did you determine the black model focuses faster than either the red or blue one? Also, thanks for the useful link!

    And, Amin, Guy (and anyone else who hasn't succombed to this camera's charms), the G1 beckons....bwhaahahahahahahahahah..

    Happy Holidays to all,

    Peter
    Life is an infinite series of moments called..."now".
    My job is to capture them.

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    Re: The G1 in low light conditions

    John,

    Looking at your color charts again, maybe I'm seeing things but at 3200 and 1600 the 'noise' reminds me of the grain I used to see in Kodak's old 800 and 1600 T grain color films. I'd been shooting at 400 or less but now I'm going to explore some higher ISO's just for the effect of it.

    Peter
    Life is an infinite series of moments called..."now".
    My job is to capture them.

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    Re: The G1 in low light conditions

    Quote Originally Posted by Amin View Post
    If anyone would like to play, here are the RAW files from the ISO shootout I did between the D700 and G1.
    Hi Amin,

    what are your conclusions from the test?

  37. #37
    Workshop Member Woody Campbell's Avatar
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    Re: The G1 in low light conditions

    Quote Originally Posted by Amin View Post
    If anyone would like to play, here are the RAW files from the ISO shootout I did between the D700 and G1 -> LINK.

    There are four zip files there:
    D700 RAW 1-3.zip contains ISO 200, 400, and 800 D700 files.
    D700 RAW 4-6.zip has ISO 1600, 3200, and 6400 files.
    G1 RAW 1-3.zip has ISO 100, 200, and 400 G1 files.
    G1 RAW 4-6.zip has ISO 800, 1600, and 3200 files.
    These are very, very useful - thanks. This has sold me.

  38. #38
    Super Duper
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    Re: The G1 in low light conditions

    Quote Originally Posted by peterb View Post
    Monza, how on earth did you determine the black model focuses faster than either the red or blue one?
    Just like Kawasaki makes their green bikes faster, and Porsche makes their red 911s faster.

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    Re: The G1 in low light conditions

    Quote Originally Posted by monza View Post
    Just like Kawasaki makes their green bikes faster, and Porsche makes their red 911s faster.
    I thought that they just slowed down the red one for us "oldies"

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    Re: The G1 in low light conditions

    I forgot to mention that those were shot before the firmware upgrade. There was some comment about improved noise reduction in the latest firmware and I haven't compared the two.
    V/r John

  41. #41
    Senior Member Amin's Avatar
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    Re: The G1 in low light conditions

    Quote Originally Posted by peterv View Post
    Hi Amin,

    what are your conclusions from the test?
    Hi Peter, my impression is that for any given G1 ISO, the D700 has similar detail relative to noise at four times that ISO. The Nikon file has slightly less noise, but perhaps also slightly less detail when compared this way.

    It's about what I would have predicted given that the D700 sensor area is four times greater and suggests that the sensor quality per unit area is similar between these two cameras.

    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Campbell View Post
    These are very, very useful - thanks. This has sold me.
    I'm glad they were helpful, Woody.

    One thing you may notice is that using Lightroom or CS4, the G1 barrel distortion is automatically corrected, just as it would be with an in-camera JPEG. This adjustment cannot be disabled. Raw Developer leaves the barrel distortion intact, giving one the option to leave the wider angle of view that comes along with the distortion.

    Unfortunately, the Adobe DNG converter only gives the option of converting to a linear DNG with the barrel distortion correction applied, meaning that any DNG produced from a G1 file has gone through a demosaic process with the corrections irreversibly baked in. As such, I wouldn't recommend converting G1 RAW files to DNG for archival purposes, during Lightroom import or otherwise.
    Last edited by Amin; 26th December 2008 at 10:37.

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    Senior Member barjohn's Avatar
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    Re: The G1 in low light conditions

    Ok guys and gals, here is some more info to chew on. First, the Nikon D90 at ISO 3200.
    Last edited by barjohn; 9th August 2009 at 22:10.
    V/r John

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    Re: The G1 in low light conditions

    Next, I ran the D90 and the M8 at ISO 3200 through Raw Image Analyzer. One of the things you can check for is for raw pixel clipping. The M8 clips on every channel but especially on red. By the way the M8 shot was taken with a UV/IR filter. First the Leica pixel clipping view for each channel R, G & B.
    Last edited by barjohn; 9th August 2009 at 22:10.
    V/r John

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    Re: The G1 in low light conditions

    Next the Nikon D() at ISO 3200, each channel for clipping. With the last image being the M8 at ISO 1250.
    Last edited by barjohn; 9th August 2009 at 22:10.
    V/r John

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    Senior Member barjohn's Avatar
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    Re: The G1 in low light conditions

    Here is the G1 at ISO 3200 from the JPEG, followed by the JPEG converted to grey scale followed by the raw converted to grey scale. No other processing.
    Last edited by barjohn; 9th August 2009 at 22:10.
    V/r John

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    Senior Member peterb's Avatar
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    Re: The G1 in low light conditions

    Maybe it's me but the noise at 3200 on the G1 isn't as bad as I thought it might be (unless I look at images with a magnifying glass). The noise looks kinda grain-like.
    Life is an infinite series of moments called..."now".
    My job is to capture them.

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    Senior Member barjohn's Avatar
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    Re: The G1 in low light conditions

    It does look rather grain like to me too.
    V/r John

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