GF1 goes to work (pics!)

Started Sep 25, 2009 | Discussions
Chez Wimpy
Chez Wimpy Veteran Member • Posts: 9,051
GF1 goes to work (pics!)

I took the GF1/G1 and the 20/14-45/45-200 to work today.

First the camera "comparison" images:

There is my handstrap (for now, I might get a slightly tighter one next time I am in Sapporo)

Here is the GF1 compared with my Oly rangefinder... same aperture lens, same (more or less) effective FOV, completely different DOF characteristics :

With 14-45, in the hand (I love the balance):

Stylish mid 90's carrying case! (The 14-45 just fits in the front pocket, the GF1 with 20 fits in the main part)

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よしよし、今日も生きのいい魂が手に入ったな

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mpgxsvcd Veteran Member • Posts: 8,094
Re: GF1 goes to work (pics!)

You are lucky. That camera is delayed almost a month at amazon in the US now. Thanks for the pics. Can you post some videos.

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Chez Wimpy
OP Chez Wimpy Veteran Member • Posts: 9,051
In the field (pics)

I shoot candids, lots of them. My main camera is the Canon 5D mark 2, and I know micro 4/3rds can't replace my kit for serious low light work... but I need something for travel, and if the GF1 + 20 can even hint at the quality I get with my Canon, then I will be satisfied.

With the 20:

Here with the 45-200:

and the 14-45:

More with the 20:

One thing I can already see - ISO1600 is beyond what I am prepared to accept. I know, I shouldn't expect miracles from a sensor only 1/4 the size of FF... but yeah, for me this camera stops at ISO800 (pretty close to 3200 on the 5D2 quality wise) unless I want to go B&W.

I haven't dealt with high ISO noise like this since my old 300D. Of course, this camera does have 2x the pixels, so it really isn't that bad downsized (or with NR). I will try and shoot to the right, keeping in mind the slightly lower headroom on the sensor makes it a bit riskier.

The face-recognition is good, but not perfect. It shows incredible potential, I can shoot my candids without being behind the camera... truly "from the hip" (I will experiment with this further). It doesn't always lock on though, so misfocus can happen. That one extreme closeup of the boy writing I had to switch to center-point focus because his face wouldn't take (it actually locked on his pen). In general AF is slower (on the 20) than with a prime lens on my 5D2. No surprise there, but you see all those V (peace) signs above? I wasn't intentionally waiting for them!

LCD viewing outside is pretty tough. It took me a while to figure out the bright mode, but even then, I think the LCD and on the 5D2 is much easier to see. With extremely strong backlighting the face recognition would completely fail, and I had to go to spot metering to get the camera to adjust the exposure to the point where it could find a face (weird, but true).

4/3 ratio... too bad it couldn't have had the GH1 sensor for 3:2. Still portrait orientation looks much more natural with this AR. Speaking of which, is the orientation sensor... in the lens?!? The 14-45 and 45-200 pictures were all auto-rotated, but the 20/1.7 I had to do one at a time!

I am really enjoying the experience though, and considering the two cameras + three lenses cost about 140,000yen altogether (a cool $1k less than my 24TSE-II lens, so IMNSHO), this is a steal The DP2 couldn't manage a single one of these pictures, so for what I do, I am indeed happy with the purchase.

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vcl Forum Member • Posts: 92
Re: GF1 goes to work (pics!)

Hi Chez,
Yes! would like to see your comment and pic sample for GF1.

btw, I saw some website have 7-14mm f/4 blur index tested record, this lens seem quite good?

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Chez Wimpy
OP Chez Wimpy Veteran Member • Posts: 9,051
Re: GF1 goes to work (pics!)

mpgxsvcd wrote:

You are lucky. That camera is delayed almost a month at amazon in the US now. Thanks for the pics.

Lucky... hehe. I am lucky that the latest update of Camera Raw supports the GF1... otherwise I was preparing to wait for a long time before I could begin with image editing. Not lucky that the RAW's EXIF data doesn't help my image management software (I guess any embedded thumbnails are not obviously visible) so it means a lot of manual work every time I want to dump some data.

Can you post some videos.

I took a couple during the choir practice today... and watching them on my HD set, not the most impressive I have seen (the 5D2 is of course in another universe) but the IS in the lens helps with handheld shots tremendously. I deleted them before I could even consider downsizing or posting... but I think the samples from the initial Berlin show (on youtube) are better, and they actually do the video function justice. Oh, the "anti-wind" setting on medium did wonders with an outdoor rehearsal. I will try and take more vids in the future.

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Chez Wimpy
OP Chez Wimpy Veteran Member • Posts: 9,051
Re: GF1 goes to work (pics!)

vcl wrote:

btw, I saw some website have 7-14mm f/4 blur index tested record, this lens seem quite good?

Yes, it seems very good... but also somewhat out of my price range. I will wait and see what Olympus releases next spring before I decide on anything sub-14mm.

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Diane B Forum Pro • Posts: 20,700
Re: In the field (pics)

Chez Wimpy wrote:

One thing I can already see - ISO1600 is beyond what I am prepared to accept. I know, I shouldn't expect miracles from a sensor only 1/4 the size of FF... but yeah, for me this camera stops at ISO800 (pretty close to 3200 on the 5D2 quality wise) unless I want to go B&W.

I still shoot wtih the 5D and I rarely go above ISO 800 there with fast primes so I've been okay with the ISO800 on my G1--its been said here before that ISO800 is underrated quite a bit--but can't remember the specifics. AIR I think you do a lot of very shallow DOF shooting also--I know that the m4/3rds doesn't give that, but you are getting some pretty decent shots with the 20 in regards to shallower DOF (of course, some of those are close up with BG further away). The boy writing is a nice example.

The face-recognition is good, but not perfect. It shows incredible potential, I can shoot my candids without being behind the camera... truly "from the hip" (I will experiment with this further). It doesn't always lock on though, so misfocus can happen. That one extreme closeup of the boy writing I had to switch to center-point focus because his face wouldn't take (it actually locked on his pen). In general AF is slower (on the 20) than with a prime lens on my 5D2. No surprise there, but you see all those V (peace) signs above? I wasn't intentionally waiting for them!

I read somewhere that face detection (can't remember if this was specifically Panny's version) did far better if the 'face' was full rather than turned. IOW--face forward LOL. I know you do a lot of candids so it could be really helpful for you in that regard.

LCD viewing outside is pretty tough. It took me a while to figure out the bright mode, but even then, I think the LCD and on the 5D2 is much easier to see. With extremely strong backlighting the face recognition would completely fail, and I had to go to spot metering to get the camera to adjust the exposure to the point where it could find a face (weird, but true).

This was/is my concern. I have a G9--haven't used it in a long while and basically turned it over to my husband who only shoots with P & S. I do have a CV 35mm VF which works well for 20. I also have the EVF on order--I know it isn't nearly as good as the G1's, but feel it has to be helpful when I would normally just get frustrated with the LCD only.

Thanks for your little field review. Mine is due Wed. I shoot a lot with my G1--in fact a lot more than with my 5D these days. Part of that is because I've been enjoying shooting with MF lenses, but also because I can carry a full kit for about 1/4 the weight of my 5D kit. I'm guessing the GF1 will be my "carry it with me when I have no specific shooting in mind" camera--plus second body for travel.

Diane
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mpgxsvcd Veteran Member • Posts: 8,094
Re: GF1 goes to work (pics!)

Very nice shots! Especially the 20 mm ones. That lens is something special considering its size.

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Alkan Contributing Member • Posts: 553
Re: In the field (pics)

...thanks for posting these photos, for the kinds of photos and portraits I want to take - your photos have been the most useful pictures I've seen taken with the 20mm yet.

Chez Wimpy
OP Chez Wimpy Veteran Member • Posts: 9,051
Re: In the field (pics)

Diane B wrote:

I still shoot wtih the 5D and I rarely go above ISO 800 there with fast primes so I've been okay with the ISO800 on my G1--its been said here before that ISO800 is underrated quite a bit--but can't remember the specifics.

ISO800 on the GF1 is fine, no, I won't hesitate to use it. There seems to be a cliff just beyond though (I can spot the ISO1600 pictures on the camera LCD, and forget about ISO3200!).

AIR I think you do a lot of very shallow DOF shooting also--I know that the m4/3rds doesn't give that, but you are getting some pretty decent shots with the 20 in regards to shallower DOF (of course, some of those are close up with BG further away). The boy writing is a nice example.

I don't quite have the Joe Mama compulsion to use shallow DOF... for the sake of shallow DOF (if anything, it becomes a crutch for bad framing). Using wider apertures means never seeing noise, avoiding subject motion, avoiding flash, and (on FF) natural vignetting adds DR to images and aids in my PP routine (outdoors, I don't always have time for PL filters, or even getting them in the right orientation). Getting to f1.4 at 24mm on FF is a revelation... but a f1.7 normal is perfectly fine for me on m43 so long as it means flash-free can be (somewhat) noise-free.

I read somewhere that face detection (can't remember if this was specifically Panny's version) did far better if the 'face' was full rather than turned. IOW--face forward LOL. I know you do a lot of candids so it could be really helpful for you in that regard.

Of course, by the time they are face-forward... its usually game over I did notice this today, and the tendency to lock on a distant face if the one nearest the camera is slightly off angle. I should pull out the PDF, because the biggest annoyance so far is the yellow-box (face to be focused upon) vs white-box struggle. How do you favor one face over another?

I also have the EVF on order--I know it isn't nearly as good as the G1's, but feel it has to be helpful when I would normally just get frustrated with the LCD only.

I actually thought of your comments as I struggled to make it work... I guess the G1 EVF is a little more than "optional" afterall Luckily I have both cameras, so I can pack them both (or just the G1) when I head for sunny climes, but yes, in these situations, even a bad EVF is better than a mostly washed out LCD. Stick it in the pocket, and you are set.

I'm guessing the GF1 will be my "carry it with me when I have no specific shooting in mind" camera--plus second body for travel.

Indeed. If I ever find myself without camera when I am out and about from here on... I will only have myself to blame.

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Chez Wimpy
OP Chez Wimpy Veteran Member • Posts: 9,051
Re: In the field (pics)

Alkan wrote:

...thanks for posting these photos, for the kinds of photos and portraits I want to take - your photos have been the most useful pictures I've seen taken with the 20mm yet.

Thank you! I pulled those few from the batch I posted on flickr...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/86658347@N00/

I shot about 300 images today, but I was falling asleep PPing (a five day weekend and a two day work-week without sleep is not conducive to RAW processing), so I will upload a few more as the weekend progresses.

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Brian Mosley Forum Pro • Posts: 20,714
Excellent experience report Chez,

Very much in line with my expectations.

Great IQ though, some nice candids, and who really stresses too much about noise? it adds character!

Cheers

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Chez Wimpy
OP Chez Wimpy Veteran Member • Posts: 9,051
Re: Excellent experience report Chez,

Brian Mosley wrote:

and who really stresses too much about noise? it adds character!

As long as you are willing to trade me EP1 noise for that on my GF1... why, sure

Joking aside, I only have experience with the EP1 jpegs (they seemed obviously cleaner at ISO1600+), though I guess its about time to shoot side by side with my friends EP1 in RAW now that CS4 supports it. He didn't even get the pancake this week! After seeing how it worked for me in low light today, he assured me "This weekend. But really, you sure it doesn't require any adapter?"

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Chez Wimpy
OP Chez Wimpy Veteran Member • Posts: 9,051
Re: GF1 goes to work (pics!)

mpgxsvcd wrote:

Very nice shots! Especially the 20 mm ones. That lens is something special considering its size.

Thanks. Today was the first time I ever carried a lens in the pocket of a pair of slacks. Now if only a 40/50mm f1.4~f2 portrait prime (something with a similiar build) were in the works... I like brightness, but I will take compactness over brightness when mounting it on m43. That, a 12/2.8 (or 10/4), and I will be set.

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peppermonkey Veteran Member • Posts: 5,147
Re: In the field (pics)

Great shots. Photos like these are solidifying my choice for getting the GF1 (the only concern is not the viewfinder ;)). I love taking candid shots so shots like these are what I'm looking for

Btw, do you teach at a school? It was funny but was shocked that the girl in the second last photo looks almost exactly like my cousin (also in Japan, albeit when she was much younger).
Oh, and I like your quote

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newlens Contributing Member • Posts: 617
Re: GF1 goes to work (pics!)

H there

Thank you for your original post... the GF-1 looks great and your post was very informative. Since you have the G1 also, have you been able to compare the Image Quality between the two cameras?

Thanks again!

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Chez Wimpy
OP Chez Wimpy Veteran Member • Posts: 9,051
Re: In the field (pics)

peppermonkey wrote:

I love taking candid shots so shots like these are what I'm looking for

The GF1+20 combo is good... not as good as a DSLR and f1.4 prime (faster to capture), but the "small size" + face-recognition does allow for some previously impossible shots. The last B&W there was most definitely caught without the subject aware.

Btw, do you teach at a school?

On paper For two years I did teach (elementary school), workload at the point where my DPReview participation, and photography in general, fell off... but with my current contract, I consider it a "grant" that funds photos for future publication. 75,000 and counting. Next year I retire to seriously work on the book(s) and begin to seriously work on landscapes.

It was funny but was shocked that the girl in the second last photo looks almost exactly like my cousin (also in Japan, albeit when she was much younger).

I never even noticed (till yesterday actually) that her surname is "Webster" (being the smallest kid in her grade, I suppose it fits ). All Kanji on the class rolls, and with no preternatural English ability to speak of... I would never have noticed by her looks (there is a student who is half-black at the same school, and she clearly wouldn't "pass"). Probably an interesting story there.

Oh, and I like your quote

Stealing souls since 2003... you are the first to put 2 and 2 together

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Chez Wimpy
OP Chez Wimpy Veteran Member • Posts: 9,051
Re: GF1 goes to work (pics!)

newlens wrote:

Since you have the G1 also, have you been able to compare the Image Quality between the two cameras?

That Red G1 has taken all of five pictures since un-boxing - including the two GF1 vs Rangefinder shots in the first post. A coworker has had one since spring though, and I have shot pretty extensively with it (rather than be a total blowhard on these forums, I did try to get some real-world experience ). So far I am not seeing any difference, not that there should be, but I don't think I ever went to 1600ISO on her camera.

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mpgxsvcd Veteran Member • Posts: 8,094
Re: GF1 goes to work (pics!)

I assume you are in Japan since the 20 mm and 14-45 are not available separately in the States yet. Or did you get the 14-45 with the G1 and the 20 mm with the GF1?

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mpgxsvcd Veteran Member • Posts: 8,094
Re: GF1 goes to work (pics!)

I assume the picture of the GF1 in your hand was with the Canon 5D MKII? What lens was used? This picture looks great.

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