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Thread: G1 request for feedback - an idea to improve MF control

  1. #1
    Senior Member Brian Mosley's Avatar
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    G1 request for feedback - an idea to improve MF control

    Hello everyone,

    I'm looking for feedback on this idea, and if it's good... will be looking to encourage Panasonic to implement in their next firmware upgrade.

    As an idea to improve MF with legacy lenses...

    What if, when a legacy lens is mounted, each half press of the shutter release button were to toggle between magnified view and normal view?

    I've just checked, and it would be a blindingly fast, natural way to toggle views.

    Also, make the scroll wheel able to select a smooth range of zoomed views - not just the couple of steps at present.
    What do you think?

    Kind Regards

    Brian

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    Re: G1 request for feedback - an idea to improve MF control

    Two thumbs up from me.

  3. #3
    kiloran
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    Re: G1 request for feedback - an idea to improve MF control

    Been thinking about this myself and its the best way to implement in the current body and retain all other features. The current 2-button press isn't too bad per se, its just that the buttons are in a rubbish place. A dedicated button for it on the front of the camera would be ideal and seeing as we can't change the body using the shutter button (as an option of course) is the best we can do.

    A more complex option would be to work out what signal (if any) a turn of the focus ring sends to the body - if we knew that it might be possible for a 3rd party adapter manufacturer to make an intelligent adapter that would reproduce that signal.

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    Senior Member Brian Mosley's Avatar
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    Re: G1 request for feedback - an idea to improve MF control

    The current system is OK for slow shooting, but this method would make MF zoom assist a much more fluid and accessible tool...

    At the moment, you have to press the left arrow, then enter, then as soon as you half press the shutter release button you lose the zoomed view... back to pressing the left arrow, then enter to reactivate the zoomed view.

    Kind Regards

    Brian

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    Re: G1 request for feedback - an idea to improve MF control

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Mosley View Post
    The current system is OK for slow shooting, but this method would make MF zoom assist a much more fluid and accessible tool...

    At the moment, you have to press the left arrow, then enter, then as soon as you half press the shutter release button you lose the zoomed view... back to pressing the left arrow, then enter to reactivate the zoomed view.

    Kind Regards

    Brian
    Brian I responded to this on DPReview. I will have to have another go at the camera on a tripod but when you aren't working quickly I think this would be annoying. If my focus is set and I don't take a shot for a few minutes (as the sun is setting) the half press re-establishes my metering I don't know that I want it to jump back to my zoomed view.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Brian Mosley's Avatar
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    Re: G1 request for feedback - an idea to improve MF control

    Hi Terry,

    I'm sorry - I'm running this poll on both forums because there are different audiences... as I said over there, this would be an additional, optional mode for fast shooting.

    Kind Regards

    Brian

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    Senior Member peterb's Avatar
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    Re: G1 request for feedback - an idea to improve MF control

    I like the toggle idea. But when you're in 'wide' view how about a focus assist indication (like utilizing that center focus assist square that's used there already) that tells you when the legacy (or any non Panasonic-linked) lens is in focus? Wouldn't that be faster still?

    Peter
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    My job is to capture them.

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    Senior Member Brian Mosley's Avatar
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    Re: G1 request for feedback - an idea to improve MF control

    Unfortunately, I don't think the camera can tell when you're in focus without being able to finely rack the lens focus back and forth to compare... so this wouldn't be possible with a manually focused lens.

    Kind Regards

    Brian

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    Re: G1 request for feedback - an idea to improve MF control

    Sounds like a good idea to me Brian. By the way, is that hole on the right side of the G1 a Focus assist light, or just a screw hole?

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    Re: G1 request for feedback - an idea to improve MF control

    I think I would prefer it as an option to the AF/AE lock button. It is a more natural location and wouldn't interfere as much with use of the shutter button. Another alternative would be that when you put the camera in MF mode it would create a magnified area in the center of the image that could be zoomed up and down in magnification using the front scroll wheel. No need to push any buttons. One position of the scroll wheel is to magnify or reduce and click it in and it controls shutter speed.
    V/r John

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    Re: G1 request for feedback - an idea to improve MF control

    I'm sorry im not trying to be negative on this thread but i was not a fan of the magnified view in manual focus mode on some of the other panny cameras. I do like to be able to toggle back and forth from magnified to wide. This camers is able to be focused in wide mode in some situations and that is the fastest way to work.

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    Senior Member barjohn's Avatar
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    Re: G1 request for feedback - an idea to improve MF control

    Terry,
    Then you should like my idea since the central area could go from 0 magnification to the 16x supported by the camera. You would control it never having to take your eye from the EVF.
    V/r John

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    Senior Member Brian Mosley's Avatar
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    Re: G1 request for feedback - an idea to improve MF control

    It's OK Terry, I want a robust discussion... but in the end, I think a really simple solution will have the best chance of being implemented.

    John, I seriously considered the AF/AE lock button, but that would still be slower than this proposed method... I'm looking for the absolute fastest, simplest method to toggle MF zoom. I'm all for having that zoom factor controlled by the scroll wheel.

    Kind Regards

    Brian

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    Re: G1 request for feedback - an idea to improve MF control

    Quote Originally Posted by barjohn View Post
    Terry,
    Then you should like my idea since the central area could go from 0 magnification to the 16x supported by the camera. You would control it never having to take your eye from the EVF.
    Well, just going back to how I've been using the camera, on my bridges shots most of my shots were not using the center portion of the frame for precise focus. I moved the focus box to the bridge wires, lights, etc. The key being that none were in the center.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Brian Mosley's Avatar
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    Re: G1 request for feedback - an idea to improve MF control

    Terry - this is how I've been using the camera on the tripod, and I agree it works extremely well - especially with that fantastic articulating lcd.

    Kind Regards

    Brian

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    Senior Member Per Ofverbeck's Avatar
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    Re: G1 request for feedback - an idea to improve MF control

    OK, I got my Novoflex adapter just over 1 hour ago - so of course I have lots of experience to contribute with...

    After trying it out with (mainly) a Summicron 50, I see that I underestimated the problem of pressing those two (awkwardly placed) buttons in order to get the magnified view. For relaxed shooting with stationary subjects, no problem; on a tripod, it works great (together with the easily moveable area). But so far, I canīt really do it while holding the camera up to my eye, so I canīt get a flow when shooting this way.

    This means that for, say running dogs & c, I donīt really think it will work, so Iīm open to other ideas.

    I think Brianīs initial suggestion (toggling by half-press) would work great - only, I wouldnīt want it this way when using a tripod, so it should be an option.

    Johnīs idea of dedicating the AF/AE lock button might be even better, since it will replace 2 (awkwardly placed) buttons with one (much better placed).

    For me, shooting only raw, the film mode button is just a waste of real estate; I never use it. So that might be another candidate.

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    Senior Member Brian Mosley's Avatar
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    Re: G1 request for feedback - an idea to improve MF control

    Thanks Per, and congratulations... I wish I had a Summicron 50

    Using *any* other button to toggle the MF zoomed view will involve changing your holding position on the camera - this is an instantaneous way of switching AF zoom on/off for more fluid manual focus shooting.

    At the moment, it takes several keypresses - this method reduces that to effectively zero - as the MF zoom becomes integral to the shutter release control.

    Kind Regards

    Brian

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    Re: G1 request for feedback - an idea to improve MF control

    Panasonic implemented changes with MF in the firmware update, and hopefully will make further improvements.

    I've become somewhat adept at the two button press method. It certainly makes sense for tripod use, to press the first button to bring up the box, and then use the arrow to move the box around. But for handheld use, there is probably a better method. On the D700 there is a tripod mode and a handheld mode for live view, maybe they could have some similar setting.

    I was thinking along the same lines as John, maybe just have the center part of the image be magnified, and if the front dial is turned, it could zoom in stages until the entire image is magnified.

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    Senior Member barjohn's Avatar
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    Re: G1 request for feedback - an idea to improve MF control

    I think my last method was misunderstood. My last method uses no buttons. Just put the camera in MF with the dial. A small square of approximately 30% of the viewing area is outlined and can be moved with the arrow keys. Magnification is initially zero. Using the front scroll wheel the area in the square can be magnified up to 16x. This has the advantage that you can always see the entire image frame. Further you can control the magnified area via the scroll wheel and it can be moved around to select the desired focus point. No other buttons are needed, just a firmware modification. Shutter speed can still be changed using the dial by clicking on it. Clicking on it again takes you back to magnification control. Simple and effective.
    V/r John

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    Senior Member Per Ofverbeck's Avatar
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    Re: G1 request for feedback - an idea to improve MF control

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Mosley View Post
    ....Using *any* other button to toggle the MF zoomed view will involve changing your holding position on the camera - this is an instantaneous way of switching AF zoom on/off for more fluid manual focus shooting.

    At the moment, it takes several keypresses - this method reduces that to effectively zero - as the MF zoom becomes integral to the shutter release control.
    ....
    Yes, I think youīre right there; for real fast shooting, nothing could beat using the same button. But, as Terry said, there are times when one doesnīt want this toggling every time one touches the release.

    When i used a Nikon D200, I was one of those people who moved AF actuation from the release to the dedicated button on the back. It did take a short while to learn, but it meant that I could pre-focus, re-compose, and wait a while for an action, and then press the shutter, WITHOUT the camera starting to re-focus. At other times, focussing and releasing followed immediately upon each other, and once one got used to it, it was very fast and reliable.

    And, it worked just as well on a tripod. An initial AF, if necessary followed by a manual adjustment, and then one could just wait for the right moment and press the cable release without further concern for the focus.

    Now, on the G1, the AF/AE lock button is placed similarly to the AF actuation button on that Nikon: right under your right thumb when holding the camera.

    But, since weīre talking firmware and custom functions, why not have it all these ways? One custom function with three choices: 1) leave it as is, 2) use Brianīs toggle idea, or 3) move it to the AF/AE lock button.

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    Re: G1 request for feedback - an idea to improve MF control

    Brian, I think this is a great idea! I would use it all the time. If this were an option in the menu, I can't see anyone objecting to this.

    I also agree that the release button would be the best place for this, because of speed and practicallity.

    Thanks, Peter

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    Re: G1 request for feedback - an idea to improve MF control

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Mosley View Post
    Thanks Per, and congratulations... I wish I had a Summicron 50

    Using *any* other button to toggle the MF zoomed view will involve changing your holding position on the camera - this is an instantaneous way of switching AF zoom on/off for more fluid manual focus shooting.

    At the moment, it takes several keypresses - this method reduces that to effectively zero - as the MF zoom becomes integral to the shutter release control.

    Kind Regards

    Brian
    Hey Brian

    I have four 50mm lenses for the M system,one of which is the cron. (A mint chrome silver version) I just bought a Konica Hexanon 1.2 version so I now need to cut back. So my Cron is for sale. PM if you have any interest

    Woody

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    Senior Member Brian Mosley's Avatar
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    Re: G1 request for feedback - an idea to improve MF control

    Hi Woody,

    that's a shame - I've got a spare 57mm f1.2, we could have considered a part-ex... I've got too many lenses myself at the moment, but I'll bear it in mind.

    Kind Regards

    Brian

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    Re: G1 request for feedback - an idea to improve MF control

    Quote Originally Posted by Per Ofverbeck View Post

    But, since weīre talking firmware and custom functions, why not have it all these ways? One custom function with three choices: 1) leave it as is, 2) use Brianīs toggle idea, or 3) move it to the AF/AE lock button.
    That's the beauty of firmware. Once you write it, you can make anything anything you want.

    I like the idea of what everyone is saying plus the added control via the menu as to how to put it into affect so the Brian's of the world could have things his way while the Terry's of the world could have things hers.

    Still I don't see why the firmware couldn't turn light up the green rectangle in the center of the EVF as it is now when focus is achieved effectively turning it into a focus affirmation light once focus with a non-coupled lens is used.

    Peter
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    Re: G1 request for feedback - an idea to improve MF control

    The more I think about it, the more I like this idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by barjohn View Post
    I think my last method was misunderstood. My last method uses no buttons. Just put the camera in MF with the dial. A small square of approximately 30% of the viewing area is outlined and can be moved with the arrow keys. Magnification is initially zero. Using the front scroll wheel the area in the square can be magnified up to 16x. This has the advantage that you can always see the entire image frame. Further you can control the magnified area via the scroll wheel and it can be moved around to select the desired focus point. No other buttons are needed, just a firmware modification. Shutter speed can still be changed using the dial by clicking on it. Clicking on it again takes you back to magnification control. Simple and effective.

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    Senior Member Per Ofverbeck's Avatar
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    Re: G1 request for feedback - an idea to improve MF control

    Quote Originally Posted by barjohn View Post
    I think my last method was misunderstood. My last method uses no buttons. Just put the camera in MF with the dial. A small square of approximately 30% of the viewing area is outlined and can be moved with the arrow keys. Magnification is initially zero. Using the front scroll wheel the area in the square can be magnified up to 16x. This has the advantage that you can always see the entire image frame. Further you can control the magnified area via the scroll wheel and it can be moved around to select the desired focus point. No other buttons are needed, just a firmware modification. Shutter speed can still be changed using the dial by clicking on it. Clicking on it again takes you back to magnification control. Simple and effective.
    Quote Originally Posted by monza View Post
    The more I think about it, the more I like this idea.
    Indeed, now I get it. Sounds very good indeed. As Iīve written elsewhere, I have reservations about the ergonomy of that wheel, but this one may be worth the effort to control oneīs fingers....

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    Re: G1 request for feedback - an idea to improve MF control

    Quote Originally Posted by barjohn View Post
    I think my last method was misunderstood. My last method uses no buttons. Just put the camera in MF with the dial. A small square of approximately 30% of the viewing area is outlined and can be moved with the arrow keys. Magnification is initially zero. Using the front scroll wheel the area in the square can be magnified up to 16x. This has the advantage that you can always see the entire image frame. Further you can control the magnified area via the scroll wheel and it can be moved around to select the desired focus point. No other buttons are needed, just a firmware modification. Shutter speed can still be changed using the dial by clicking on it. Clicking on it again takes you back to magnification control. Simple and effective.
    I like this idea the best. And of course whatever changes are made, they should be made optional so we can choose what works best for each person.

    Bill

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    Senior Member barjohn's Avatar
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    Re: G1 request for feedback - an idea to improve MF control

    A simple menu item could be added that either turns on or off the feature on the focus dial when MF is selected.
    V/r John

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    Senior Member Brian Mosley's Avatar
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    Re: G1 request for feedback - an idea to improve MF control

    John, all... John's suggestion seems like a good alternative - one I had initially considered and discarder due to the separate control... if this is the favoured option I'm happy to put it forward to Panasonic.

    Cheers

    Brian

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    Senior Member Brian Mosley's Avatar
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    Re: G1 request for feedback - an idea to improve MF control

    The suggestion above has been put forward... fingers crossed we'll see the result asap. I will report if I get any feedback before the next firmware issue (but it's more likely we'll just see it arrive, as if by magic

    Kind Regards

    Brian

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    Re: G1 request for feedback - an idea to improve MF control

    I understand John's idea. But Brian's original idea sounds much more strait forward to me.
    Point, half press, focus, half press, shoot. Very simple, just a quick zoom in for focus.

    I Like it very much.

    Brian, you think we could have both?

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    Senior Member Brian Mosley's Avatar
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    Re: G1 request for feedback - an idea to improve MF control

    Bloody hell, I thought I was outnumbered!

    ( that's not a salute, it's me slapping my forehead )

    I'll put both suggestions forward and let Panasonic decide...

    Cheers

    Brian

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    Re: G1 request for feedback - an idea to improve MF control

    I guess I still don't understand the method that was put forward. If you simply move the scroll wheel in MF mode how do you change the Aperture, Shutter or EV. Generally one of those is highlighted in and is the active setting when moving the scroll wheel.

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    Re: G1 request for feedback - an idea to improve MF control

    I like the half press of the shutter to switch it on and off, but clearly there needs to be a menu option to switch the facility on and off.

    But, to be honest, any option where it was a single click would be a help.

    Just this guy you know

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    Senior Member Brian Mosley's Avatar
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    Re: G1 request for feedback - an idea to improve MF control

    Hi Terry,

    with a manual legacy lens, you set the aperture on the lens - so you'd be in Aperture Priority mode ideally... pressing the scroll wheel only affects the EV - likewise, if you're in Manual mode, you only have control of the shutter speed.

    Kind Regards

    Brian

  36. #36
    Senior Member Brian Mosley's Avatar
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    Re: G1 request for feedback - an idea to improve MF control

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    I like the half press of the shutter to switch it on and off, but clearly there needs to be a menu option to switch the facility on and off.

    But, to be honest, any option where it was a single click would be a help.
    Thanks Jono, I've got everything crossed that we can get this upgrade - it would make live shooting much more responsive imho.

    Kind Regards

    Brian

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    Re: G1 request for feedback - an idea to improve MF control

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Mosley View Post
    Thanks Jono, I've got everything crossed that we can get this upgrade - it would make live shooting much more responsive imho.
    Absolutely - I quite agree, almost as responsive as an M8

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: G1 request for feedback - an idea to improve MF control

    OK Brian call me dense but I still don't completely get it....
    With a legacy lens that has an aperture ring yes, we agree that you need to set the aperture.
    What happens with an Oly 4/3 lens w/o aperture ring that doesn't MF on the G1. How does one then change a setting if you are using the scroll wheel for focus?
    Are you suggesting that instead of two choices between aperture and EV you would add a third which is MF?

    I am all in favor of having something easier than 2 button pushes. The two we have now work great for tripod but not faster shooting. I still think the one button that you can set yourself Fn is the answer. It was offered up early on as a solution and is extremely easy to implement without making other functions too complex or changing some things that right now are working well. How often do you use that function button now?

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    Re: G1 request for feedback - an idea to improve MF control

    Terry,

    Since I haven't tried an Oly 4/3 lens w/o aperture ring can you please describe how one uses such a lens? Doesn't it have a focus ring and doesn't the camera auto detect when the focus ring is moved like a regular M4/3 lens? If the lens can't AF but the other controls work such as electronically changing the aperture, one might have to give up the zoom magnification function since the dial is limited to two functions.
    V/r John

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    Re: G1 request for feedback - an idea to improve MF control

    Brian,
    I appreciate you putting this forward to Panasonic. I took about 300 photos yesterday with two manual focus lenses. I can't tell you how many times I did the two button press scenario. The two button press is very fiddly when you are at an event and not on a tripod. I like your idea of the shutter press, because I use the front wheel so much to change exposure compensation and aperture (with non legacy lenses), but I would think Panasonic could implement a choice like they do for the function button and we could try both your idea, Johns idea and Terry's FN button idea.
    When I use a legacy lens, I move the yellow focus point box around a lot (but not on every shot). With your method, would we still be able to do that with the left arrow button?
    Cindy

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    Re: G1 request for feedback - an idea to improve MF control

    John,
    I'm not sure if the MF automatically engages for these lenses? Someone with Oly glass needs to chime in here.

    I am just trying to think past what lenses I use to what I might use and how using different lenses then has a different operation and then operating free hand vs a tripod would be different. It can get confusing in the field when there are too many different variations and we are a small sample size on this forum. Just looking for ways to keep it simple.

  42. #42
    Senior Member Brian Mosley's Avatar
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    Re: G1 request for feedback - an idea to improve MF control

    Hi Terry,

    I think you have spotted a hole in John's proposed method... I hadn't considered that, the scroll wheel would have to cycle through three functions - aperture, EV compensation, and focus zoom...

    My proposal is as simple as possible - perhaps use the Fn button to enable/disable?

    Kind Regards

    Brian

  43. #43
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    Re: G1 request for feedback - an idea to improve MF control

    I like the shutter half press if the Fn button with one touch (not having to go from Fn to a menu) turns the half press option on and off. You can easily get to to the function button with your thumb and be fast.

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    Re: G1 request for feedback - an idea to improve MF control

    Quote Originally Posted by TEBnewyork View Post
    I like the shutter half press if the Fn button with one touch (not having to go from Fn to a menu) turns the half press option on and off. You can easily get to to the function button with your thumb and be fast.
    I like this solution also. I currently don't have any of these lenses but its likely at some point that I will so I am following this.

    Diane

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    Senior Member Per Ofverbeck's Avatar
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    Re: G1 request for feedback - an idea to improve MF control

    Quote Originally Posted by TEBnewyork View Post
    I like the shutter half press if the Fn button with one touch (not having to go from Fn to a menu) turns the half press option on and off. You can easily get to to the function button with your thumb and be fast.
    By now, I have an uneasy feeling Iīve agreed to each one of the suggestions at one time or other.....

    But this one sounds quite good. That Fn button is easier to reach than either the left arrow or the center button, so getting in and out of the half-press mode would be far faster than having to use a custom function in the menus.

    I think it would satisfy most of us, really. In any case, Iīve discovered, after 30 hours with the adapter, that the currently used method is just too fiddly for anything but studio work (in a wider sense); as soon as things get moving, one is hopelessly left behind....

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    Senior Member Brian Mosley's Avatar
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    Re: G1 request for feedback - an idea to improve MF control

    Hi Per, that's my feeling exactly - the current method is OK for landscape / stills but I'm looking for the easiest, fastest method to access MF assist zoom when shooting live...

    This was really triggered by Sean Reid's excellent first part of his G1 review, where he highlighted how many button presses were required to access MF assist zoom.

    This will be a big deal for anyone considering the G1 as a (part) replacement for their digital rangefinder... it needs to be fast and fluid - a part of the natural shooting process.

    Kind Regards

    Brian

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    Re: G1 request for feedback - an idea to improve MF control

    What ever method Panasonic engineers would find that avoided the two button sequence currently used would be a big improvement. I still want a focus patch that lets me continue to see the entire image. I find it disconcerting that as soon as I have the object focused and 1/2 press the shutter button it jumps to the full unmagnified image. Since I am handholding the camera and there is always some slight movement, I can no longer tell if I am still in focus of make last moment corrections without going through the two button sequence all over again.
    V/r John

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    Senior Member Brian Mosley's Avatar
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    Re: G1 request for feedback - an idea to improve MF control

    I agree John - a magnified patch would be great as an option.

    Kind Regards

    Brian

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    Re: G1 request for feedback - an idea to improve MF control

    Quote Originally Posted by barjohn View Post
    I still want a focus patch that lets me continue to see the entire image. I find it disconcerting that as soon as I have the object focused and 1/2 press the shutter button it jumps to the full unmagnified image.
    I agree completely with barjohn's criticism and suggestion. Some kind of magnified "loupe" view in the center of the finder image would be a great improvement; you could focus and still make sure you hadn't lost your framing.

    I made this simulation of such a feature using an image I borrowed from the dcresource review of the G1. Whaddaya think?


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    Re: G1 request for feedback - an idea to improve MF control

    Just flip up the magnifier on the waist level finder of the Rolleif..uh, oh. Nevermind.

    The magnified central area is cool. Could it be moved around, or would it always be in the center, requiring a focus-then-reframe sequence?

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