Odd AE lock & preview behavior of GX1

Started Feb 9, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Jacques Cornell
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Odd AE lock & preview behavior of GX1
Feb 9, 2013

While setting up my relatively new LX7 and GX1 to make their AF and AE behavior similar, I discovered an odd difference between them, and the GX1's behavior seems counterintuitive. When set to AFS, the GX1 locks both AF and AE when I press the shutter halfway. However, in AFC mode, a half-press of the shutter does not lock AE. Weird. AFS on the GX1 is the same as the LX7, which has no AFC mode, so at least the two camera's AFS behavior is consistent. But, there's another inconsistency, and it's in the GX1 display's preview behavior. When AF & AE are locked by a half-pressed shutter (in AFS mode), if I point the camera at a lighter or darker area, the display's brightness changes to show what a proper exposure would look like, despite the fact that the AE is not changing. However, if I lock AF & AE with the AF/AE Lock button, the display's brightness does not change as I reframe - it shows what the locked exposure will look like, which makes more sense.

So, to summarize, the GX1 locks AE with a half-press of the shutter when AF is set to "single", but doesn't lock AE when AF is set to "continuous". And, the screen shows a preview of the locked AE when AE is locked with the AF/AE Lock button, but doesn't when it's locked with a half-press of the shutter.

Anyone else out there noticed this and find it annoying? I was on the phone with Panasonic for an hour today, and nobody could explain or understand it, and I was promised an investigation and a reply from their engineers.

To get the LX7 and GX1 to handle similarly, I put the GX1 in AFS mode, use 1-Area AF, set the AF/AE Lock buttons to lock only AE, and set the LX7 Fn button to mimic the AF Mode button on the GX1 (both in the left position on the 4-way controller). I'm avoiding Tracking AF for now, because the button presses involved in using it are different on the two cameras (rats!).

These two cameras, individually, are amazingly capable and well-organized, but getting them to work in tandem is a major chore, no thanks to the seemingly minor differences in their button positions and menu options. I wish Panasonic would make up their minds on a layout and menu system and make it consistent across the range. For my event work I use a 1D3 and 1Ds3 precisely because their buttons, menus and handling are virtually identical and I can quickly switch between them without getting flummoxed by unexpected behavior. More and more pros are using MFT these days, and it's time for Panasonic to start thinking of their product range as a system, not a collection of loosely related one-offs.

Would love to hear from any of you with related experiences.

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'No matter where you go, there you are.'

 Jacques Cornell's gear list:Jacques Cornell's gear list
Canon EOS-1D Mark III Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G6 +33 more
Canon EOS-1D Canon EOS-1Ds Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7
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