Camera settings and information display

Shooting mode displays

Commendably, the behavior in all three screen modes is remarkably consistent - the command dial controls exposure compensation in most 'scene' modes, or one of the shooting parameters in the 'P, A, S and M' modes. In these modes, pressing the command dial toggles to control exposure compensation, the other shooting shooting parameter or program shift, depending on the mode. Accessing the other settings just requires pressing the Q.Menu button at which point the arrow keys or command dial allow navigation and a press of the 'set' button or command dial engages the setting.

Note that not all settings are available in all modes (Scene modes and Intelligent Auto modes have a reduced set of options).

'Finder' mode. Using Q.Menu brings up a horizontal array of icons for each setting.

In LCD mode. Q.Menu brings up vertical lists of settings, with a description at the bottom of the screen.

One really neat feature is the ability to position the live histogram anywhere in the frame. You can also add framing guides (including custom guides you position yourself).

The live view can, naturally, be magnified.

Status panel display

The status panel acts much like it does on most modern DSLRs - all the most important settings are displayed using icons. Press the Q.Menu button and use the front dial (or arrow keys) to select the setting you want to change. Press the dial to change the setting (this brings up a dedicated sub-menu). It's a fast and efficient way to use the camera (note that the EVF continues to show the live view when you're using the Status Panel display mode on the main screen, so you can use the camera much as you would a conventional SLR.

Pressing the front dial toggles between the main setting (in this case aperture, since we're in Aperture Priority mode) and AE compensation. Turning the dial changes the setting.
Press the Q.Menu button to switch focus to the bank of settings on the left. Use the dial or arrow keys to select the parameter you want to change. Press the dial again (or the SET button) to bring up a screen of options, select the setting you want (again using the dial or arrow keys) and simply press the dial or SET button to set it. It's fast, fluid and simple - and if you raise the camera to your eye the display switches to the viewfinder, back in normal live view mode.
There's a total of three different color options for the status panel display.

Record Review

You cannot change the type of record review screen (it doesn't for example match the current play mode display setting), but you can choose to have the record review 'zoom in' to maximum magnification and can set the duration of the thumbnail and magnified displays independently (i.e. you can say 'show the full image for 3 seconds followed by the magnified image for 1 second).

Other options

The introduction of live view to SLRs has seen an increase in the prevalence of compact camera-like features and the ability to preview parameter changes on the image. The G1, as the first live view only system camera, has more than its fair share of toys and (inevitably, this being Panasonic) a plethora of scene and subject modes (most of which have been lifted directly from the L10 DSLR).

Pressing the Film Mode button brings up this menu from where you can choose one of six color and three black & white color modes. In each case you can also change the contrast, sharpness, saturation (color modes only) and noise reduction in 5 steps (from -2 to +2). There are two 'My Film' memory registers for creating and saving custom color modes. A final 'Multi Film' mode offers film mode 'bracketing' (up to three shots in your choice of film mode). My Color mode (accessed from the main mode dial) offers a quick way to experiment with three tonal parameters; Color (hue), Brightness and Saturation. In each case you get an 11 step (-5 to +5) range to play with.
As with the L10 (and most recent Panasonic compacts) there are five 'Advanced Scene Modes' (again accessed from the mode dial) - Portrait, Scenery, Sports, Close-up and Night Portrait. Each of these has four or five sub sections with more specialized subject modes. With any scene mode selected pressing the DISPLAY button brings up a short description of the mode. The Scene mode (SCN on the mode dial) offers five rather specialized options: Sunset, Party, Baby 1, Baby 2 and Pet (the last three give the option to overlay the age of the child or chihuahua on the shot).


Display modes

The G1 provides four different display modes in playback, press the DISPLAY button to cycle through them. You can have blinking highlights (this in an option you have to turn on in the setup menu) and RGB histograms and the usual array of shooting information.

1. Full screen image with no information 2. Full screen image with information overlaid
3: Small image, full shooting information 4. Small image, basic shooting information and R,G,B and Luminance histograms

Play magnification

In play mode the front control wheel is used to change the magnification (up to 16 steps) and the arrow keys to scroll around the magnified image.

Play thumbnail index

Turn the command dial counter-clockwise to switch to thumbnail index views, there are three different index views; 12 images (3x4), 30 images (6x5) and a useful calendar view which allows you to browse your images by the date they were taken.