GX7 owners contribute tips for camera setup

Started 5 months ago | Discussions
robonrome
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GX7 owners contribute tips for camera setup
5 months ago

Just got my GX7 and would be interested to hear from those who have had the camera a while any tips or tricks or hidden gems they'd like to share for setting the camera up.

I've tried to replicate as far as possible the setup on my GH3 with an aim to rarely if ever need to dive into menus having everything of the function buttons or other preset buttons… at least with the screen always open the soft functions are truly useful here.

thanks in advance for your suggestions, insights etc.

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SF Photo Gal
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Re: GX7 owners contribute tips for camera setup
In reply to robonrome, 5 months ago

Still playing, but here's what I have:

Photo Style: Vivid, Contrast +1 Sharpness -1 Saturation 0 NR -1

Fn buttons 1 Quick Menu 2 Silent Mode 3 Metering Mode 4 Flash Adjust.

Fn4 is really hard to get at even with my petite fingers, so kind of useless.

SF Photo Gal aka Faggurl

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nevada5
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Re: GX7 owners contribute tips for camera setup
In reply to robonrome, 5 months ago

I have function 2 assigned to Focus Area Set. This is a button I don't hit by mistake, but I can easily find it when I want to use touch focus.  So looking through the VF, if I want to move the AF point I can just press Fn 2 then touch the screen to move the AF point.

In the menu go to Touch Settings, then set Touch Pad AF to "Offset."

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GK in the UK
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Re: GX7 owners contribute tips for camera setup
In reply to robonrome, 5 months ago

Recent GX7 user here. My assignments are:

Fn2 - Metering mode
Fn3 - Silent mode

C1 - My usual Aperture Priority mode
C2 - Disables focus on half press shutter. Sets Focus to pinpoint, centre and AF button to set it.
C3(1) - HD mode
C3(2) - Panorama mode

I don't often use the soft Fn buttons but I have:

Fn5 - Wireless
Fn6 - Curves
Fn7 - Shutter preview
Fn8 - Grid Lines
Fn9 - Histogram

With regard to pinpoint focus mode, there seems to be a bug whereby the point often appears bottom right so I specifically set it to the centre before assigning my C2 mode, this seems to work consistently, plus of course I can re-position it with finger touch.

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Hen3ry
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Re: GX7 owners contribute tips for camera setup
In reply to SF Photo Gal, 5 months ago

SF Photo Gal wrote:

Still playing, but here's what I have:

Photo Style: Vivid, Contrast +1 Sharpness -1 Saturation 0 NR -1

That's intersting, Gal. I had my GM1 with the same sensor set to Vivid and found it a bit, well, Vivid. Actually a bit contrasty. And you have contrast at +1 too. Hmmm.

I've just dialled my GM1 back to Natural but switched on iDynamic.

Cheers, geoff

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http://pngtimetraveller.blogspot.com/2011/10/return-to-karai-komana_31.html

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Isabel Cutler
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Slight Off Topic, but...
In reply to SF Photo Gal, 5 months ago

SF Photo Gal wrote:

Still playing, but here's what I have:

Photo Style: Vivid, Contrast +1 Sharpness -1 Saturation 0 NR -1

Fn buttons 1 Quick Menu 2 Silent Mode 3 Metering Mode 4 Flash Adjust.

Fn4 is really hard to get at even with my petite fingers, so kind of useless.

SF Photo Gal aka Faggurl

How are you finding the OOC skin tones as compared with what you get with the GH2?

Isabel

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robonrome
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Re: GX7 owners contribute tips for camera setup
In reply to GK in the UK, 5 months ago

thanks all keep em coming.

while on the GH3 I had a function button setup to select to focus box for movement and resizing, but here with the GX7 I've fallen back to what I used to do with the G5 which adds a step, but works by default… simply left button then down button, then i can move/resize. Disp button takes the box back to centre (so long as it's in this move/resize mode.

Something else I just learned, Lumix Link doesn't work with the GX7 (at least not fully) but a newer app called Panasonic Image App works a treat.

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MrWalrusGumboot
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Re: GX7 owners contribute tips for camera setup
In reply to robonrome, 5 months ago

Just got my GX7 and would be interested to hear from those who have had the camera a while any tips or tricks or hidden gems they'd like to share for setting the camera up.

I've tried to replicate as far as possible the setup on my GH3 with an aim to rarely if ever need to dive into menus having everything of the function buttons or other preset buttons… at least with the screen always open the soft functions are truly useful here.

thanks in advance for your suggestions, insights etc.

Some of my settings:
I generally use face detection focus mode, it gives you access to 3 types of focusing within that mode. If there's a face obviously it'll prioritise it. If there's no face it uses 23 area and if you touch the screen you get single area. For me it's the fastest way to work and get 3 focusing modes without even changing the mode. Try it out if you haven't.

Turn AF+MF on. If you find a subject that's difficult and the camera is focusing on the subject you don't want, like shooting through glass. When you half shutter, turn the lens, focus peaking kicks in and you'll nail your subject. Much quicker than flicking over to manual focus.

Touch Pad AF - offset. It's great using the LCD while using the viewfinder to set focus points. I'm a right eye shooter but if you're a left eye shooter try tilting the viewfinder up a little and you'll find your nose won't trigger the touch pad AF.

Save your Wi-Fi networks as favorites. You don't have to go through the whole process of setting up each time.

In the dial set menu - assign exposure compensation to the shutter control dial. I can't understand why anyone would want front and rear dials controlling the same setting in A or S modes. And in manual mode I've assigned the shutter control dial to change the shutter (not aperture as it is by default - seems logical right?)

For physical fn buttons - silent mode, touch ae, wifi, focus peaking
For soft fn buttons - histogram, level gauge, photo style, highlight/shadow, stabilizer

Constant preview on - much better in manual mode. Shows a true representation of what your shot will look like. Beware though for very long shutter speeds it will take that length for your live view to update and show you your shot.

I like auto review set to 'Hold'. Simply continuing to shoot moves the image away and it doesn't slow me down. I regularly photograph people where I want to show them the shot, with hold on it's always on the screen ready for me. It's also simple to quickly zoom in to check sharpness.

Eye sensor - low

I turn off all beeps - drives me crazy

In settings menu - exposure comp reset - turn this to on, helps if you forget to reset your exposure comp and does it automatically when you switch the camera off or change modes.

Playback menu - rotate disp - I set to off. If I'm shooting in portrait mode, when I view it I want the image to show the same way I'm holding the camera. This also maximizes the screen for portrait shots. Also more impress when I show the subjects their shot.

Hmmmm that'll do for now, sure there's more though.

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tnphoto
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Re: GX7 owners contribute tips for camera setup
In reply to robonrome, 5 months ago

I set C2 to auto-bracket, 5 shots at 1-stop increments, for HDR. C3-1 I use for when I hand the camera to someone to shoot: Program mode, auto ISO, face detect focus.

Here are a few other preferences I have:
http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/53367791
Back button autofocus can be very useful, and with my settings you can still use traditional half-press to focus.

David Thorpe has an e-book on the GX7's menu system. Here's a link:
http://www.amazon.com/The-Panasonic-Menu-System-Simplified-ebook/dp/B00G3J8M16/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1396745926&sr=8-1&keywords=gx7+manual

That's all for now.
Tom

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Laszlo13
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Re: GX7 owners contribute tips for camera setup
In reply to Hen3ry, 5 months ago

Hen3ry wrote:

SF Photo Gal wrote:

Still playing, but here's what I have:

Photo Style: Vivid, Contrast +1 Sharpness -1 Saturation 0 NR -1

That's intersting, Gal. I had my GM1 with the same sensor set to Vivid and found it a bit, well, Vivid. Actually a bit contrasty. And you have contrast at +1 too. Hmmm.

I've just dialled my GM1 back to Natural but switched on iDynamic.

Cheers, geoff

-- hide signature --

Geoffrey Heard
Down and out in Rabaul in the South Pacific
http://pngtimetraveller.blogspot.com/2011/10/return-to-karai-komana_31.html

I was just thinking the same Geoff, but I guess to each his/her own.  I went back to natural, and find that even that is over sharpened.   Vivid was really over sharpened (and contrasty).  Oh well, I shoot RAW + JPEG, and usually keep the RAW.

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robonrome
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Re: GX7 owners contribute tips for camera setup
In reply to MrWalrusGumboot, 5 months ago

MrWalrusGumboot wrote:

Just got my GX7 and would be interested to hear from those who have had the camera a while any tips or tricks or hidden gems they'd like to share for setting the camera up.

I've tried to replicate as far as possible the setup on my GH3 with an aim to rarely if ever need to dive into menus having everything of the function buttons or other preset buttons… at least with the screen always open the soft functions are truly useful here.

thanks in advance for your suggestions, insights etc.

Some of my settings:
I generally use face detection focus mode, it gives you access to 3 types of focusing within that mode. If there's a face obviously it'll prioritise it. If there's no face it uses 23 area and if you touch the screen you get single area. For me it's the fastest way to work and get 3 focusing modes without even changing the mode. Try it out if you haven't.

Turn AF+MF on. If you find a subject that's difficult and the camera is focusing on the subject you don't want, like shooting through glass. When you half shutter, turn the lens, focus peaking kicks in and you'll nail your subject. Much quicker than flicking over to manual focus.

Touch Pad AF - offset. It's great using the LCD while using the viewfinder to set focus points. I'm a right eye shooter but if you're a left eye shooter try tilting the viewfinder up a little and you'll find your nose won't trigger the touch pad AF.

Save your Wi-Fi networks as favorites. You don't have to go through the whole process of setting up each time.

In the dial set menu - assign exposure compensation to the shutter control dial. I can't understand why anyone would want front and rear dials controlling the same setting in A or S modes. And in manual mode I've assigned the shutter control dial to change the shutter (not aperture as it is by default - seems logical right?)

For physical fn buttons - silent mode, touch ae, wifi, focus peaking
For soft fn buttons - histogram, level gauge, photo style, highlight/shadow, stabilizer

Constant preview on - much better in manual mode. Shows a true representation of what your shot will look like. Beware though for very long shutter speeds it will take that length for your live view to update and show you your shot.

I like auto review set to 'Hold'. Simply continuing to shoot moves the image away and it doesn't slow me down. I regularly photograph people where I want to show them the shot, with hold on it's always on the screen ready for me. It's also simple to quickly zoom in to check sharpness.

Eye sensor - low

I turn off all beeps - drives me crazy

In settings menu - exposure comp reset - turn this to on, helps if you forget to reset your exposure comp and does it automatically when you switch the camera off or change modes.

Playback menu - rotate disp - I set to off. If I'm shooting in portrait mode, when I view it I want the image to show the same way I'm holding the camera. This also maximizes the screen for portrait shots. Also more impress when I show the subjects their shot.

Hmmmm that'll do for now, sure there's more though.

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Let the light guide you...

some excellent suggestions here, thanks for taking the time to put these down - i'll have to try the face detect default, never occurred to me to use it except for candid street stuff on the fly.

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Ontario Gone
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Re: GX7 owners contribute tips for camera setup
In reply to robonrome, 5 months ago

Tip #1: Save Silent shutter/ Electronic shutter to your favorite button and learn to use it as often as you can. You don't want to use it for action or in fluorescent light, besides that it's perfect. Less vibration means sharper photos, potentially. Less shutter actuations means longer lasting shutter. Less noise means better candids and more natural portraits, if that's what you're after.

Tip #2: Buy more batteries. Not the worst battery life of all mirrorless, but it goes fast. OEMs are not too spendy, i have a couple extra 3rd party, they work well and last about the same.

Amazon.com

Tip #3: Learn PP. The files are not horrible when the come to noise (in raw) but they respond very well to NR and other PP. Not sure if you have software, it's a good idea to have.

Tip #4: Buy fast primes. While not quite a match for Oly 5 axis, the GX7 IBIS is good and i have taken some pretty slow SS shots. I think ive had success as low as 1/8, although my subjects don't usually allow that (toddler, family, pets ect). Being able to use fast primes without sacrificing stabilization is nice. FYI IBIS doesn't work with video.

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EDIT: seeing the post above mine reminded me of another.

Tip #5: Learn the AF modes, specifically pinpoint AF and face detect. Pinpoint takes a half a second since it zooms in real fast as it locks, but it allows you to be so accurate. Face detect is nice too. When using it, you can press the back button (Fn2) followed by center button (set) and it will pull up center point without having to change AF mode. Two quick button presses and center point is active. If you need to go back to face detect, hit the center button once more. It makes it very fast to adapt to the situation, and face detection works very well.

I use this all the time for my toddler running around. Sometimes she is facing me, a moment later running away or turned around. Very quick and easy, no menu surfing.

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robonrome
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Re: GX7 owners contribute tips for camera setup
In reply to Ontario Gone, 5 months ago

Thanks very much tips 2 and 5 especially.

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IanYorke
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Re: GX7 owners contribute tips for camera setup
In reply to robonrome, 5 months ago

I love the fully customisable Custom Memory settings, one twist of the dial and I am all set up for a particular task:

C1 – Panorama

Manual Mode – for panorama

Electronic shutter – there is not going to be anything moving fast in a pano

Shutter button decoupled from AF – don’t want the camera focussing each time you take a shot

AE lock button used to Auto Focus – back button to set the focus point

Fn2 – ISO – quick access if needed

Fn3 – One Push AE – you need manual mode for panorama but one push AE gets you quickly in to the ball park for exposure and then you can fine tune

Single Grid Lines in Viewfinder – guide helps you maintain camera position on e.g. horizon when doing hand held pano’s

C2 – HDR

Aperture Priority

Shutter button decoupled from AF – don’t want the camera focussing each time you take a shot

AE lock button used to Auto Focus – back button to set the focus point

Auto Bracket – 5 point 1EV

Electronic shutter - there is not going to be anything moving fast if you are doing HDR and being able to take a 5 bracket set without everyone around turning to look at who’s using a machine gun is priceless J

Fn2 – ISO – quick access if needed

Burst Rate – High – viewfinder does not refresh but this is no problem with HDR

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robonrome
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Re: GX7 owners contribute tips for camera setup
In reply to IanYorke, 5 months ago

I love the fully customisable Custom Memory settings, one twist of the dial and I am all set up for a particular task:

C1 – Panorama

Manual Mode – for panorama

Electronic shutter – there is not going to be anything moving fast in a pano

Shutter button decoupled from AF – don’t want the camera focussing each time you take a shot

AE lock button used to Auto Focus – back button to set the focus point

Fn2 – ISO – quick access if needed

Fn3 – One Push AE – you need manual mode for panorama but one push AE gets you quickly in to the ball park for exposure and then you can fine tune

Single Grid Lines in Viewfinder – guide helps you maintain camera position on e.g. horizon when doing hand held pano’s

C2 – HDR

Aperture Priority

Shutter button decoupled from AF – don’t want the camera focussing each time you take a shot

AE lock button used to Auto Focus – back button to set the focus point

Auto Bracket – 5 point 1EV

Electronic shutter - there is not going to be anything moving fast if you are doing HDR and being able to take a 5 bracket set without everyone around turning to look at who’s using a machine gun is priceless J

Fn2 – ISO – quick access if needed

Burst Rate – High – viewfinder does not refresh but this is no problem with HDR

Thanks for this. Is there any advantage for setting F2 to ISO though when there's already an ISO button?

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Roberto Angelo
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Re: GX7 owners contribute tips for camera setup
In reply to robonrome, 5 months ago

Would like to set the mode dial C1 -- on my GM1 -- to do HDR.  So I've changed to JPG for that mode and can assign HDR to a touch on-screen fn button. Works fine. Touch the button, put on HDR. However, I can't get it to stick. If I change modes, or turn off the camera, the touch fn button goes blank. Can't get the setting memorized.

Thanks for any help.

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robonrome
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Re: GX7 owners contribute tips for camera setup
In reply to Roberto Angelo, 5 months ago

Would like to set the mode dial C1 -- on my GM1 -- to do HDR.  So I've changed to JPG for that mode and can assign HDR to a touch on-screen fn button. Works fine. Touch the button, put on HDR. However, I can't get it to stick. If I change modes, or turn off the camera, the touch fn button goes blank. Can't get the setting memorized.

Thanks for any help.

Not sure I fully understand - if you change mode then presumably you go back to Raw or Raw + jpeg whatever is your default and so HDR won't work?

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IanYorke
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Re: GX7 owners contribute tips for camera setup
In reply to robonrome, 5 months ago

robonrome wrote:

I love the fully customisable Custom Memory settings, one twist of the dial and I am all set up for a particular task:

C1 – Panorama

Manual Mode – for panorama

Electronic shutter – there is not going to be anything moving fast in a pano

Shutter button decoupled from AF – don’t want the camera focussing each time you take a shot

AE lock button used to Auto Focus – back button to set the focus point

Fn2 – ISO – quick access if needed

Fn3 – One Push AE – you need manual mode for panorama but one push AE gets you quickly in to the ball park for exposure and then you can fine tune

Single Grid Lines in Viewfinder – guide helps you maintain camera position on e.g. horizon when doing hand held pano’s

C2 – HDR

Aperture Priority

Shutter button decoupled from AF – don’t want the camera focussing each time you take a shot

AE lock button used to Auto Focus – back button to set the focus point

Auto Bracket – 5 point 1EV

Electronic shutter - there is not going to be anything moving fast if you are doing HDR and being able to take a 5 bracket set without everyone around turning to look at who’s using a machine gun is priceless J

Fn2 – ISO – quick access if needed

Burst Rate – High – viewfinder does not refresh but this is no problem with HDR

Thanks for this. Is there any advantage for setting F2 to ISO though when there's already an ISO button?

Good catch, I am on direct AF movement on the direction pad.  One of the advantages of mirrorless is the full screen coverage of AF points.  I avoid the need to push a button to activate and prefer direct movement as on my DSLR.

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robonrome
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Re: GX7 owners contribute tips for camera setup
In reply to IanYorke, 5 months ago

robonrome wrote:

I love the fully customisable Custom Memory settings, one twist of the dial and I am all set up for a particular task:

C1 – Panorama

Manual Mode – for panorama

Electronic shutter – there is not going to be anything moving fast in a pano

Shutter button decoupled from AF – don’t want the camera focussing each time you take a shot

AE lock button used to Auto Focus – back button to set the focus point

Fn2 – ISO – quick access if needed

Fn3 – One Push AE – you need manual mode for panorama but one push AE gets you quickly in to the ball park for exposure and then you can fine tune

Single Grid Lines in Viewfinder – guide helps you maintain camera position on e.g. horizon when doing hand held pano’s

C2 – HDR

Aperture Priority

Shutter button decoupled from AF – don’t want the camera focussing each time you take a shot

AE lock button used to Auto Focus – back button to set the focus point

Auto Bracket – 5 point 1EV

Electronic shutter - there is not going to be anything moving fast if you are doing HDR and being able to take a 5 bracket set without everyone around turning to look at who’s using a machine gun is priceless J

Fn2 – ISO – quick access if needed

Burst Rate – High – viewfinder does not refresh but this is no problem with HDR

Thanks for this. Is there any advantage for setting F2 to ISO though when there's already an ISO button?

Good catch, I am on direct AF movement on the direction pad.  One of the advantages of mirrorless is the full screen coverage of AF points.  I avoid the need to push a button to activate and prefer direct movement as on my DSLR.

Ah. That makes sense thanks.

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Roberto Angelo
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Re: GX7 owners contribute tips for camera setup
In reply to robonrome, 5 months ago

I solved the problem this morning. Setting changes made while you are in a custom mode are not saved (C1, for example) You must go back to Custom Set Mem and say "yes" to "overwrite camera settings with custom set". Didn't know about this last step.

Thanks

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