GX1 - thoughts after a week of intense use from a Nikon shooter

Started Dec 10, 2012 | Discussions thread
OP Spotpuff Regular Member • Posts: 102
Re: GX1 - thoughts after a week of intense use from a Nikon shooter

tnphoto wrote:

I agree pretty much though as a RAW-only shooter I find the noise quite acceptable. A test I like to do is to shoot the same scene on a tripod at all ISOs, then make a composite image with strips of each ISO. I print that at full resolution, 300ppi. At over 11x14" the print shows that noise is barely noticeable at ISO 1600, slightly worse at 3200 and 6400, and pretty grainy at 12,800. If I was shooting 35mm film, I'd expect worse graininess. Topaz DeNoise handles all of them, though at 12,800 it gives a plastic-y look.

It might just be because I don't print much.  Certainly at downsized image sizes the noise becomes significantly less pronounced and while some colour strangeness remains at high ISO, the noise is a lot less intrusive.  When editing at 100% though it was certainly a bit of a step back compared to Sony sensor equipped cams.  One thing I found weird is the behaviour in low light (and bright light, explained below) was that the live view image is amplified, but then when you half press the shutter for AF the live view image would dim considerably and then when the focus was locked (or not) the image woudl be amplified again (at lower refresh). I would prefer if the dimmer image at higher refresh was what was displayed. I'll have to give topaz denoise a look; not sure how it works with lightroom.

The thing I find most annoying about the GX1 is exposure. In RAW, I have to overexpose by 1 stop to get correct exposure. The histogram, amazingly, doesn't show the tones at the exposure I set, merely what the camera would see if I used an auto exposure without exposure compensation. In use, I have to shoot a few shots in aperture mode and review them on the LCD before setting a manual exposure. The tiny histogram is not much help.

This is something I noticed that was strange about the GX1 live view behaviour as well.  The live view image, even when you dial in exposure compensation, still has clipped highlights.  So the image is being processed off the sensor the same way but then it's being "dimmed" rather than dimming first.  Maybe this is a function of the aperture being the only thing that can control the back image and it always stays at maximum aperture, so exposure compensation has to be "simulated", but i still found it weird. When I actually took the picture it looked fine, but when composing the clipped highlights looked weird. It reminded me of shooting a RAW with severely blown highlights, and then pulling the exposure down in lightroom.  The highlights don't quite look right.

Fast auto-exposure is the standout feature. In moderate-to-good light, you can just bang away. The viewfinder shows a review image but if you half-press the shutter button, live preview returns. After using it for awhile, I bought the EVF and it makes it a whole different camera. Much more SLR-like and more stable to shoot with. I like being able to toggle between EVF and LCD with the button on the back of the EVF. When you shoot, the image freezes in place -- disconcerting for an old SLR shooter like me -- but you get used to it. Half-press the shutter to restore live view.

The camera is my knocking-around-town and vacation camera and it fills that role perfectly.

I haven't tried the EVF, though the GX1 is small enough that even a viewfinder hump wouldn't be too out of place.  I had fun using it as is though and am not sure if I would want to invest $200 in an EVF if I am going to get the EM6 or whatever that will have one built in later (or the gx3 )

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