Image parameters (contd.)
Color saturation adjustment
Saturation adjustment allows you to control the strength of color in the final image. It appears Panasonic still haven't learned from the complaints we originally made in our review of the DMC-L1 (their first foray into DSLRs), such a narrow range of adjustment which is available from -2 to +2 is simply pointless (a point sample on the blue crayon below goes from 63% saturation at -2 to 68% at +2).
As we have previously observed from Panasonic cameras the DMC-G1's default sharpening appears to be pretty conservative. Unfortunately just like other parameter adjustments changing sharpness has very little effect on the final output, so you could safely use +2 and get a bit more detail although don't expect miracles. It's a pity because RAW shows that the camera is capturing a fairly sharp image, it's just that whatever the G1 is doing in its imaging pipeline (NR and/or sharpness) isn't bringing this forward in JPEGs.
|Sharpness: 0 (default)|
We've covered the effects of the noise reduction settings on higher ISO shots elsewhere but we thought we'd better check to see if there were any significant effects on detail or sharpness at base ISO. Interestingly there is a difference between -2, 0 and +2, it's subtle (and mostly in shadow / darker detail) but certainly exists. If you want the very most detail from your images at base sensitivity (ISO 100) then it's definitely worth turning noise reduction down to -2 (and possibly increasing sharpness too).
|Noise reduction -2|
|Noise reduction 0 (default)|
|Noise reduction +2|