Panasonic Lumix GH2 Settings Tips

Started Jan 24, 2013 | Discussions thread
RickPick
Contributing MemberPosts: 776Gear list
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Re: Panasonic Lumix GH2 Settings Tips
In reply to motionfull, Jan 25, 2013

The 14-140 is primarily a lens for outdoor use, because its maximum aperture isn't wide enough to take shots in low light with a fast enough shutter speed to avoid the effects of camera shake. Give it enough light though, and you can get excellent shots with it. It is very versatile with its great zoom range and is silent in operation making it good for video.

Blurred shots come from camera shake and/or movement of the subject combined with a shutter speed too slow for the focal length and aperture you are working with. First try shooting in good outdoor light. Set the focus drive lever on the left shoulder of the camera to SAF and select spot focus (white square in a box) with the focus dial. Set the mode dial on the right to A - aperture priority. Set white balance to auto and ISO to 160. Rotate the thumbwheel to select the widest aperture available, the smallest number it will go to - yellow number at bottom of the viewfinder or screen. Point at something that is well lit and half press the shutter.

Next to the aperture number, say 5.6, the shutter speed selected by the camera will be displayed. 250 means 1/250 second for example. Now rotate the thumbwheel to the right, increasing the aperture number, which means actually you are making the aperture smaller, stopping down. Half press again and point at the same subject and you will see the shutter speed is now longer than before, maybe 125. Because you made the aperture smaller, reducing the light hitting the sensor, the camera reduced the shutter speed to allow more light in.

At the wide end of your lens you can get a sharp picture with a slower shutter than at the long end (140), because any shake of your hands is magnified by the telescopic effect. Ensure the OIS switch on the lens is on, especially for longer shots. You might get good shots at the wide end with a shutter speed of 30 (1/30 second), whereas at the long end you might need 300.

This is basic stuff, but read up on it and practise until you get a good understanding. Compared to a point and shoot, the GH2 is a very sophisticated tool, so it takes time to master. The options left when you cannot achieve a fast enough shutter and you're at max aperture are either raise the ISO, give the subject more light, eg flash or fit a lens with a wider maximum aperture. There are now a number of good fixed focal length lenses for this system which go to low f-stops such as 1.4 and 1.7.

Of course, the GH2 does have a point and shoot mode, the red iA on the mode dial.

Video is another subject. One site I can recommend for this is eoshd.com. This forum is also a great resource.

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Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 Olympus PEN E-P1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-45mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH OIS +4 more
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