How Does the G1 Stand Up?

Started Dec 1, 2011 | Discussions
Lobalobo
Lobalobo Senior Member • Posts: 2,458
How Does the G1 Stand Up?

Have for years owned a Panasonic G1, but it has remained mostly in a drawer because when I have time to set up a shot I still shoot film (4x5 in a Graflex press camera) and when I don't, typically while traveling, I almost always need to put the camera I'm using in my pocket or a side pouch and can't fiddle with changing lenses--for me that's meant a ZS3 or ZS7 and I'm likely to purchase an LX5 for better image quality.

So I've sold my Panasonic lenses for the G1 and bought an adapter to use it with a fast 50mm Minolta legacy lens I have from when I was a kid. My plan is to use this with the G1 and some off-camera speedlights for shooting portraits (of my kids mostly). But here's the question: the G1 is now 5-years old, and even though the way I'll be using it makes focusing speed and shot-to-shot speed irrelevant, I wonder about image quality. Is the G1's image quality seriously inferior to the new m4/3 cameras, the G3, e.g.?

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Diane B Forum Pro • Posts: 20,701
Re: How Does the G1 Stand Up?

The G1 is actually just about 3 years old. I bought mine as one of the first in Dec 2008 so its not THAT old LOL.

I have been shooting with a G3 since June. The biggest difference for me is shooting low light--the G3 is much better in using higher ISOs and I feel comfortable shooting up to 1600 whereas I felt 800 was a stretch for the G1. Quite a number of other changes but not directly important for your uses I don't think. Likely for your use you will be happy with the IQ of the G1. Many are still shooting with it and the GF1 which has the same sensor.

Diane
Lobalobo wrote:
.

So I've sold my Panasonic lenses for the G1 and bought an adapter to use it with a fast 50mm Minolta legacy lens I have from when I was a kid. My plan is to use this with the G1 and some off-camera speedlights for shooting portraits (of my kids mostly). But here's the question: the G1 is now 5-years old, and even though the way I'll be using it makes focusing speed and shot-to-shot speed irrelevant, I wonder about image quality. Is the G1's image quality seriously inferior to the new m4/3 cameras, the G3, e.g.?

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Lobalobo
OP Lobalobo Senior Member • Posts: 2,458
Re: How Does the G1 Stand Up?

Diane B wrote:

I have been shooting with a G3 since June. The biggest difference for me is > shooting low light--the G3 is much better in using higher ISOs.

Thanks for the quick and informative reply (and as for the camera being only 3 years old, glad that time isn't flying quite as fast as I had thought). Since I'll be shooting only at base ISO (for portraits with lighting), then from what you say, I probably would not notice the difference between the G1 and the G3. I'll stick to my plan. Thanks again.

phlowtography Regular Member • Posts: 376
Re: How Does the G1 Stand Up?

I bought a G1 used a few weeks ago (in favor of an E-PL1). IQ wise I am very satisfied, but I only shoot RAW in sufficient light.

If you check with DPR's reviews, the RAW output of the G1 isn't worse than the newer sensors (e.g. G3). According to DPRs charts, it's a bit better. The things where the newer sensors excel are jpeg and low light shooting, but with mFT I try to keep base ISO anyway (ISO 400 is what those cameras have as default ISO limit when set to auto. Which has got to mean something, doesn't it?). So I don't care for that.

Since you said, you "set up" shots with proper lighting and don't need high fps, it's a perfectly good camera. Using mine too with legacy lenses. Zuiko 50/1.8; 50/3.5; 70-210/4. Especially my Zuiko 50/1.8 (the good "made in Japan" batch) is amazing for portraits.

Trafford
Trafford Veteran Member • Posts: 8,255
Re: How Does the G1 Stand Up?

Lobalobo wrote:

Diane B wrote:

I have been shooting with a G3 since June. The biggest difference for me is > shooting low light--the G3 is much better in using higher ISOs.

Thanks for the quick and informative reply (and as for the camera being only 3 years old, glad that time isn't flying quite as fast as I had thought). Since I'll be shooting only at base ISO (for portraits with lighting), then from what you say, I probably would not notice the difference between the G1 and the G3. I'll stick to my plan. Thanks again.

It was Dianne's photos taken with the G1 posted on the GPI Forums
that swayed me into getting a G1, I still use it and find it a good camera
for my needs, my pocket camera is a Ricoh CX3 which is used almost
every day.

ADSinger Senior Member • Posts: 1,707
Re: How Does the G1 Stand Up?

I bought my G1 right after the GH1 was announced as the prices had dropped. My thought was to use it a bit then trade up to newer model. However the quality of the images I get is so excellent and the camera so well built and sturdy feeling that I have kept it. I just bought a GF3 but it's a supplement, not a replacement. If the ergonomics suit you, keep the G1, it will serve you well.

alan.
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Jorginho Forum Pro • Posts: 15,362
Re: How Does the G1 Stand Up?

I don't know where you get that info, but in RAW the Gh2 at least (and G3 most likely too) are definately better. GH2 has visible better DR, helped by better exposure. Noisewise it is noticable better too. So...G1 is still a very nice cam with very good IQ, the newer sensored cams (G3, Gh2 and GX1) do perform noticable better, but the difference is not huge. An evolution, not a revolution.

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phlowtography Regular Member • Posts: 376
DPR charts

I compared G1/G3/GH2, that's where I got it.
GH2 best RAW output. GH2> G1> G3 (each by a margin though, but still)

Since we are talking RAW capabilities, and neither JPEG, nor Low-Light/High-ISO has to be put into the equation (where the newer sensors admittedly exel by quite a bit), the G1 wins IMO, seeing that he already owns one.

bobbarber Contributing Member • Posts: 786
Re: How Does the G1 Stand Up?

I have this camera and like it a lot, although right now it is loaned to somebody.

I also bought the G2, but only for video.

To be honest, the way I shoot, I think the G1 will serve me for the next ten years or so, if it lasts that long. The G1 will print at 13x19 easily, and I rarely print above 8x10. I don't think that I'll see much, if any, improvement at 8x10 by going to a "better" camera.

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Lobalobo
OP Lobalobo Senior Member • Posts: 2,458
Re: How Does the G1 Stand Up?

Thanks to all for the informative supplies. I'm going to keep the G1 and use it for portraits, upgrading to the then m4/3 state of the art once my kids are old enough not to need my supervision when we travel (leaving me free to stop and change lenses, e.g.)

imabel Contributing Member • Posts: 891
Re: How Does the G1 Stand Up?

I liked my first G1 so well I bought a second body so I could travel with the family and not spend an great deal of time changing lens. I use one body for the 14-45 and the other body the 45-200. One in the hand and one in the bag. I use two extra batteries and one extra shared 16 gig card. I use mine mostly for landscape and family (grandkids, etc) shots and it is a great combo. I looked at the G3, while it is an excellent camera every bit the equal of the G1 it is to small for me and I am only 5ft 8 and have small hands. I do not shoot video, never have and probably never will. I leave it up my kids and grandkids with their iPhone cameras or their point and shoot. The G1 will serve you well, and you will be amazed at the quality of the pictures once you master the camera.
Mike

grzybu Regular Member • Posts: 155
Re: How Does the G1 Stand Up?

I still have G1, too.
When I compared G3 with my old G1 I realized that G3 is bit too small for me.
Looking at last GH2 prices drop I'm beginning to thinking about upgrade
But I can wait month or two...

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Regards
Grzegorz Rakoczy

StillHaveMyDiana Contributing Member • Posts: 611
G1 vs. G3 features

I love my G1, no plans to upgrade as I don't shoot video or high ISO. I'd rather spend money on lenses and wait a few more years on a new body.

Also, the G3 lacks 2 important features (for me): AF/AE lock button and eye sensor.

tzf30 Regular Member • Posts: 434
Re: G1 vs. G3 features

StillHaveMyDiana wrote:

I love my G1, no plans to upgrade as I don't shoot video or high ISO. I'd rather spend money on lenses and wait a few more years on a new body.

Also, the G3 lacks 2 important features (for me): AF/AE lock button and eye sensor.

I've had the G1 for about two years and like it a lot. Recently I bought the G3 for several reasons: better high ISO performance, faster AF, video capability (I don't usually shoot video but when the opportunity arises, I don't have to switch cameras) and size (although the G1 is not that big). I never used the eye sensor on my G1 since I always use the EVF for shooting and checking the pictures I just took. As for the AF/AE lock, yes, there is no dedicated button but the G3 has two buttons one can customize (Disp Fn1 and C.menu Fn2). At first I set the Fn1 button to lock the exposure but this is a flushed button and sometimes I could not lock the exposure quick enough (I also use spot metering so I can find the best exposure based on what I want to accomplish and then lock the exposure), so I made the Fn2 button the AE lock and that works real well because this button is out of the way so I never push it inadvertently. The g3 is a much snappier camera and shutter lag is virtually non-existent. The G1 is not bad but the G3 is far better with that regards. What I do miss, though, is some of the film modes available on the G1 (Smooth, Dynamic, Dynamic B&W, etc.).

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Jorginho Forum Pro • Posts: 15,362
? Dr is important too. And I own both.

It is rerally simpleL The G3 and Gh2 are better, at base ISO especially GH2. Besides we have better exposure which is not related to the sensor. And we have moviemode, G3 has the best detail, higher pixelcount so when you downsize the difference becomes bigger everstill.

I liked the G1 a lot and I think it is great but no matter what ISO mode you shoot in, the G3 and Gh2 are the better cams.

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rrr_hhh Veteran Member • Posts: 6,024
Re: G1 vs. G3 features

StillHaveMyDiana wrote:

I love my G1, no plans to upgrade as I don't shoot video or high ISO. I'd rather spend money on lenses and wait a few more years on a new body.

Also, the G3 lacks 2 important features (for me): AF/AE lock button and eye sensor.

At the beginning I also hated the G3 recessed Fn1 button, but then, after reading that some other had glued a little foam on the button, I did the same too. I feared that it could come off with use and create problems, but it is still perfect after several months of use. Those twi mm just makes it another camera. You should try it too. The eye sensor was mre of a problem for me and I had already deactivated it on the G1. I have the camera set to put the reviewed pictures on the LCD and as soon as you hit the play button, the camera switch to the LCD automatically, which is enough for my needs.

But to return to the original question : I didn't see as much IQ differences as I was expecting when I upgraded from the G1 to the G3.
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Diane B Forum Pro • Posts: 20,701
but......

This has been discussed at length before but it is your opinion. For me, assigning AF/AE to the Fn 2 button is quite good, in fact better ergonomically than where the button is on the G1. I'm guessing the majority of us with a G3 coming from a G1 find the lack of a sensor not much of an irritation either. If you want to use the LCD for review it automatically switches to the LCD when you hit the review button. It also automatically switches from EVF to LCD when you open the LCD so I have never missed the eye sensor as these are the two ways I used the EVF to LCD with the G1.

Diane

StillHaveMyDiana wrote:

I love my G1, no plans to upgrade as I don't shoot video or high ISO. I'd rather spend money on lenses and wait a few more years on a new body.

Also, the G3 lacks 2 important features (for me): AF/AE lock button and eye sensor.

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