1 Guy's G 2 Rambling after 3 Days

Started Jul 11, 2010 | Discussions thread
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1 Guy's G 2 Rambling after 3 Days
Jul 11, 2010

First off, thanks to many helpful people in this forum who offered advice and experience before I got the G2, a Pana 14-45 and a proper memory card!

1 guy's G 2 ramblings after 3 days. I'm a G series newbie and technophobian. Mistakes are likely here - and I will happily read all your corrections, especially on my major objections:

Major Objections 1: LCD, Don't Lie to Me

The lcd doesn't show the resulting pic exposure, neither in full manual mode (which I mostly use) nor in PAS. Instead, the "live view" shows how some anonymous Panasonic engineer sees fit the scene should look like.

Example 1: I go out in bright daylight and set exposure time to 60 seconds. This is a drastic over exposure, the image will be pure white. So, the lcd live preview should show pure white; but no, in live preview I see a lovely detailed pic and a fully stretched-out live histogram; I press the shutter button to snap and now get a white picture - not indicated by the previous "live view". That's illegal behaviour on the camera's side.

Example 2: I use fixed time and aperture and have in live view 80 percent meadow, 20 percent sky. The meadow looks ok, they sky too bright. I pan up so that the sky fills 80 percent of the screen, the meadow only 20 percent. Now the sky looks ok, the landscape too dark - even though time and exposure haven't been changed by only 1/3 EV.

This behaviour renders the camera about useless - I can't use anonymous Panasonic engineers interfering with my creative vision. I don't trust any auto exposure and fully rely on manual mode and a 1:1 live view of the resulting pic (which was no problem whatsoever on my Canon Powershots since 2002, they always showed exactly the resulting pic) (yes, I noted the tiny exposure scale on the G2 and know of spot metering and its alternatives, but it doesn't really help)

Major Objections 2: More Ramblings

  • in auto modes, you can't lock exposure by half-pressing the shutter button; you have to use the separate AE-AF lock button, which results in finger dancing and twisting

  • in playback, you cannot show the image full-screen and see a small histogram overlaid . A histogram in playback is only available while the image itself only fills a fifth of the screen. But why - in recording mode the live histogram is there above the large preview image itself. If in playback you admire your snapshot in full-screen with no overlays at all, you need to click three more times onto "Disp" until reaching the small pic with 4 histograms on the side - a nuisance. I'd also love to see the four different histograms tucked into one - see Photoshop or Photoshop Elements how this could look.

More Objections: Things I Miss

  • panorama assistant (surprising)

  • true HDR assist (let's say bracketing from -5 to +5 EV in a very fast row; some control over whether time or aperture are bracketed)

  • small raw and excerpt raw recording (around 5 mp)

  • auto-focus-check in replay (automatically 10x magnify the most-in-focus part of the image)

  • apply full IPTC texts in-camera (IPTC texts produced on the PC, fed to camera via cable or SD card, three different IPTC sets (ideally Photoshop xmp), optionally apply one of them or none at all) (I noted you can type an image title on the G2 screen)

  • record DNG instead of proprietary raw

  • flash exposure control in quick menu (omit intelligent resolution and intelligent exposure for that)

  • a useful manual. The paper block delivered is trash: obviously written by maybe engineers or professional doc writers, but surely not by seasoned photography teachers; next thing they write instructions for a microwave stove; the German translators work hard to bring the manual's usefulness even further down, and succeed beautifully; they've never read as much as a camera ad and use ridiculous wording translated 1:1 from English (for instance, "Kamerak√∂rper" for "camera body"); to vaguely understand I.R (intelligent resolution) I had to read the (bland) G2 review at Photography Blog; but this is a cam with some learning curve ahead and highly interesting options and I for one would consult a worthwhile manual. (I read every single page on three consecutive afternoons.) (Do you know any thorough web info? (Not just an extensive description of every knob and button.))

Minor Objections: Things I'd Like to Achieve by Firmware Tweak

  • wish: no instructional screen first (hiding the image) when changing to replay mode; no display of date and time first (hiding exposure settings) when changing to record mode

  • wish: a 4 or 5 megapixel JPEG output (the available 6 and 3 megapixel outputs are not ideally sized)

  • wish: in instant record review, finger-tapping triggers zoom-in, not a switch back to recording

  • wish: a little more "show time" before camera monitor is turned off or camera changes to "sleep" (have set to longest values already)

Handling 1

  • this reviewer personally likes the touch-screen a lot for snapping. Flowers on the meadow snapped-to-focus nicely by just tapping them on-screen; only after that I framed the final image composition, while focus track kept the relevant tiny flower strictly in focus - fantastic. Tap-changing a few settings on-screen is a breeze (I only miss flash adjustment in the on-screen quick menu, too bad); the change between focus-by-tapping vs. focus-and-record-by-tapping is another (tapped) breeze.

  • I expected, but did not note too much grease on the screen. A free pro tip for you though: while wiping the lcd with your shirt, touch sensitivity should not be active

  • just very occasionally I thought my fingers are too fat for the tapping task at hand; onto the camera strap, I have attached the plastic pen provided by Panasonic for tapping on-screen, but never felt the need to use it

(continued in next two posts)

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