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Author Topic: Panasonic G1  (Read 5756 times)

Caleb

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« on: December 12, 2008, 05:53:19 am »

Perhaps I overlooked it, but I didn't see a thread for the G1, so I'm starting one.

I'm curious to know if the photos in the review were all taken in RAW.  To my eyes, all the 100% crops look grainy, including the ones at 100 ISO.  My opinion from other reviews is that the JPG output of the camera is muddy at best, so I'm curious to know how your photos were taken.

I do wish you would post all your sample photos at their original size.
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michael

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« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2008, 07:03:22 am »

I only ever shoot raw.

The images have no problematic grain. Not sure what you're seeing

Moral - don't judge cameras and lenses by what you see on screen. Not ever. Not no how (unless they're really bad).

The only way to judge is on screen at 100% from a full resolution file or on a large print made by someone whose file prep ability you trust.

Michael

Ps: In my opinion people are way too hung up on the grain (digital noise issue). It's highly overrated as a concern. I haven't seen a camera in years that has serious noise issues up to ISO 1600 that can't be easily dealt with in post processing. Over 1600 is specialized territory and some clearly do better than others.

There are many more significant factors to look for when considering image quality, it's just that digital noise is so easy for pixel peepers to fixate on.

PPs: Many photographers shooting film would develop their film to accentuate grain because it adds texture to certain kinds of photographs, thus increasing apparent sharpness. If you're using less than the best glass a bit of grain actually is beneficial on a final print.

I think I'll write an essay on grain neurosis. (No personal dig intended just an opportunity for me to get on a soapbox).
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DonWeston

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« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2008, 07:35:52 am »

There are sites also that have sample full size images for downloading and self evaluation. Having done so, I can say limited to this only, that they enlarge quite well, maybe not 5D  equivalent, but very nice. Only during pixel peeping do the images appear grainy on monitor.  One other thing I have read online but not confirmed, is someone is making a Leica M lens adapter for this camera, this sounds very cool. I guess we have to start looking at the entire feature set with cameras to judge whether it is right for us. The G1 seems to be a great small travel camera, that should appeal to many who don't like to lug tons of gear, and who don't need 8fps amongst other specialized needs. Right now my XSi fits the bill for this and is a good backup for my current 50D and maybe future 5D2. JMHO...YMMV...
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picnic

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« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2008, 09:01:42 am »

Quote from: DonWeston
There are sites also that have sample full size images for downloading and self evaluation. Having done so, I can say limited to this only, that they enlarge quite well, maybe not 5D  equivalent, but very nice. Only during pixel peeping do the images appear grainy on monitor.  One other thing I have read online but not confirmed, is someone is making a Leica M lens adapter for this camera, this sounds very cool. I guess we have to start looking at the entire feature set with cameras to judge whether it is right for us. The G1 seems to be a great small travel camera, that should appeal to many who don't like to lug tons of gear, and who don't need 8fps amongst other specialized needs. Right now my XSi fits the bill for this and is a good backup for my current 50D and maybe future 5D2. JMHO...YMMV...

There is actually quite a lot of talk about the M adaptors.  Novoflex in Germany has one starting to be available, there is one introduced in Japan I believe, and you can get on a list at Camera Quest (Stephen Gandy) for one to be available in January.  

I bought a used 400D/XTi this summer as my small camera instead of my G9 which I never liked using (primarily issues with light/LCD which don't seem to bother some as much as they do me) but I'm still using Canon mount lenses and unless I use, for instance, a 28 f/1.8 and 50 f/1.4 I'm back to relatively large lenses.  The appeal for me to begin with is the size/weight but as I follow the camera in others' hands, it appears that there may be more things to like.  It looks as though it will be a fun camera to shoot with and a nice complementary system to my 5D.

Diane
« Last Edit: December 13, 2008, 08:59:07 am by picnic »
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Caleb

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« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2008, 11:22:03 pm »

I fully admit that I'm a pixel-peeper, and perhaps I also have "grain neurosis".  I had an almost transcendental experience when I looked at the RAW output of the Sigma cameras -- the images are so astonishingly clean, without any visible muddying of any sort (at low ISOs) -- and now I want that kind of image quality in whatever camera I buy.  The problem is, I want good live view (I don't like using the viewfinder with glasses).  Also, the Sigma DP1 has too many issues, and the image size -- less than 5 MP -- is getting pretty small by today's standards.  So this is why I'm looking for a non-Sigma camera with really clean image quality.  Let me add that I have my 17" monitor set to 800 x 600 resolution, and that makes any grain more visible.

It's my guess that more than 95% of all images are viewed only on screen, so I think that images need to look good on screen (when viewed at 100%).  I understand, of course, that there are a lot of poor monitors out there, and that monitors in general don't have the dynamic range of printers.  I photograph products.  About 95% of the pictures I take are never used, and the remainder are fixed up for the web and never printed.  In fact, I estimate that perhaps .1% of the pictures I take are eventually printed.  The problem with judging picture quality from a printed photo is that, unless the photo is poster-sized, the defects disappear when the photo is compressed for printing.  So I do think that the way photos look on screen is important.
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Jim Pascoe

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« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2008, 05:50:41 am »

Quote from: Caleb
It's my guess that more than 95% of all images are viewed only on screen, so I think that images need to look good on screen (when viewed at 100%).  I understand, of course, that there are a lot of poor monitors out there, and that monitors in general don't have the dynamic range of printers.  I photograph products.  About 95% of the pictures I take are never used, and the remainder are fixed up for the web and never printed.  In fact, I estimate that perhaps .1% of the pictures I take are eventually printed.  The problem with judging picture quality from a printed photo is that, unless the photo is poster-sized, the defects disappear when the photo is compressed for printing.  So I do think that the way photos look on screen is important.

Whilst it may be true that 95% of all images are only viewed on screen, that it is no reason why they have to look good at 100%.  Surely the test is that they have to look good at their final output, whether print or screen.  If the image is going to be used for the web, surely no end-user is going to be viewing at 100%.  Likewise, if the final print is going to be A3 in size (12x16), why do we need to see a poster size enlargement?  Even if you just want to look at slideshows on your monitor, why would they need to look good at 100% if you are only say looking at them at 30%?  Perhaps I have missed your point though.
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Caleb

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« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2008, 06:56:26 am »

I think what I'm saying is just that I like to look at my photos at 100% to see the details.  Sometimes I zoom out and look at the whole photo, but often I look at the details, and I like the details to be clean.  I don't want to have to print a photo in order to appreciate it.  I should say also that I don't just take product photographs; I also photograph for pleasure.

I guess a photo doesn't have to be printed at poster size to see the details -- that was just an exaggeration on my part.

I see that there is a G1 thread on another board.  I guess this thread should have gone on that board too.
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Jim Pascoe

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« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2008, 07:29:05 am »

I can see where you are coming from.  We are all probably a bit guilty of looking at 100% and hoping for perfection!  It is just that as megapixel counts increase, any noise or defects become much less of a nuisance at normal viewing.  It would be a shame not to buy a good camera just because when viewed at high magnification the images have a bit of noise in them.  The G1 interests me too.  Perhaps I will have a look at one when I have time!

Jim
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250swb

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« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2008, 07:47:29 am »

I'm an old guy who shot film. And on that basis have never been overly obsessed with how clean an image is regarding noise, simply because grain of some sort was always present, and photo's that were good enough then are still good enough now. The sensor of a 5d does not obliterate photographic history just because images are now 'clean' (and some may say, myself included) sterile. In any case, I see more 'improvement' in using good lenses rather than more pixels.

The whole concept of choosing a film because of the grain (noise) characteristics seems to have proverbially left the building, and I don't see anything replacing what was a key ingredient of self expression in any alternative's offered by 'pixel peepers'. It is clean or nothing. Which makes me wonder, do they throw away and delete their older noisier images, or always have to explain them away by saying 'of course my camera wasn't as good in those days'?

Photography and self expression is going to hell in a handcart if the spec of a Canon or Nikon dictates what is suitable as a top quality image.

Steve

P.S. I should have declared my interest in the G1, which I hope to be adding to my kit soon. The idea of a set of excellent lenses (especially when Olympus release their offerings) that can be interchanged between bodies offering different characteristics is the true revolution on offer here, not the pixel count. It gets back to the idea of choosing tools as a means of self expression around a common element, much as your Tri-X could have been loaded into a Sinar, Nikon F, a Leica M3, or an Olympus Pen. And other photographers somehow recognised that you made these choices on purpose, not as a response to needing the latest camera. Perhaps it will help photographers grow up, and once again embrace the democracy of photography, where a grainless Stephen Shore can exist on the same wall as a grainy Bresson.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2008, 08:03:51 am by 250swb »
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michael

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« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2008, 08:32:18 am »

SWB,

Your comments should be engraved on the foreheads of anyone that now does photography who didn't have the experience of shooting film.

Sterile is just the word. That's one of the reasons that I like the Sony A900 so much it's files have character.

Michael

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HickersonJasonC

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« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2008, 11:34:07 am »

Quote from: michael
SWB,

Your comments should be engraved on the foreheads of anyone that now does photography who didn't have the experience of shooting film.

Sterile is just the word. That's one of the reasons that I like the Sony A900 so much it's files have character.

Michael

All it would take would be for LR3 to ship with a couple of "film grain" sliders, and perhaps for Michael to write an article about it, for this to be the next big (overused) thing in photography.

I find that my favorite images are ones I've taken with my 20D set to ISO1600 and converted to B&W (after a bit of chroma noise reduction). Looks better, IMO, than anything I ever shot on medium format film. I think maybe it reminds me of the first decent print I made, of a table my grandfather built by hand, on TMX 1600.
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Morris Taub

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« Reply #11 on: December 14, 2008, 04:36:38 am »

Quote from: 250swb
I'm an old guy who shot film. And on that basis have never been overly obsessed with how clean an image is regarding noise, simply because grain of some sort was always present, and photo's that were good enough then are still good enough now. The sensor of a 5d does not obliterate photographic history just because images are now 'clean' (and some may say, myself included) sterile. In any case, I see more 'improvement' in using good lenses rather than more pixels.

The whole concept of choosing a film because of the grain (noise) characteristics seems to have proverbially left the building, and I don't see anything replacing what was a key ingredient of self expression in any alternative's offered by 'pixel peepers'. It is clean or nothing. Which makes me wonder, do they throw away and delete their older noisier images, or always have to explain them away by saying 'of course my camera wasn't as good in those days'?

Photography and self expression is going to hell in a handcart if the spec of a Canon or Nikon dictates what is suitable as a top quality image.

Steve

P.S. I should have declared my interest in the G1, which I hope to be adding to my kit soon. The idea of a set of excellent lenses (especially when Olympus release their offerings) that can be interchanged between bodies offering different characteristics is the true revolution on offer here, not the pixel count. It gets back to the idea of choosing tools as a means of self expression around a common element, much as your Tri-X could have been loaded into a Sinar, Nikon F, a Leica M3, or an Olympus Pen. And other photographers somehow recognised that you made these choices on purpose, not as a response to needing the latest camera. Perhaps it will help photographers grow up, and once again embrace the democracy of photography, where a grainless Stephen Shore can exist on the same wall as a grainy Bresson.

Thanks Steve...this puts into words a lot of what I've been feeling about digital shooting...I miss picking my film type, though not the darkroom work or having someone else 'develop' my images for me...I do love digital but I'm not in love with having to push iso speed to achieve a semblance of grain in my work...I even put a question to the Lightroom aficionados recently about the possibility of film grain/emulsion simulations for the program...today, I personally feel that's a missing piece of the digital darkroom...I am thinking to buy Nik's Silver Efex Pro to add to Photoshop so I have some options right away...

http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/index....showtopic=29414

madmanchan says 'not yet'....fingers crossed that maybe for iteration 'Lightroom 3' we might get some grain to play with...

add me to the list of potential G1/G2 buyers...I think I'll wait till spring when Panasonic said they might have a G2 with video...and maybe a few other improvements?...but on the whole I like the quality I'm seeing off the sensor, it's a relatively small, light weight body, you can 'eventually' pick your lenses which are also small and light, (more lenses coming from Panasonic and Olympus)...and I love the articulating LCD...I prefer that now to a viewfinder to frame my images...I've been shooting with a Canon A630 for a while and just love how you can be shooting and people hardly pay attention...as soon as I bring the dslr up to my face the heads turn...

I wonder if one day the G1 system will make its way into full frame bodies like the D3x or A900, etc...if it's possible that the system can be made as fast and accurate as the reflex system...giving us lighter, smaller full frame bodies to use with our nikon, canon, sony glass...

I can't afford the M8 from Leica so I keep hoping for a full frame rangefinder with similar (or better) image quality at a price point that enables me to buy in...maybe $2500.00?...whatever...drifting off topic, sorry...but for the street shooting that i love to do it would be a dream cam for me...

kind regards

M




Caleb

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« Reply #12 on: December 14, 2008, 05:38:34 am »

I just want to add that grain is the least of my objections when it comes to image quality.  Far more objectionable to me is the odd poster effect that you get from heavy noise reduction.  I only recently learned to recognize diffraction distortion, which is pretty horrid.  Many cameras over-cook their JPG images, usually by adding too much contrast and sharpening.  To my eyes, the JPG output of the G1 looks soft and muddy, but the RAW output also looks a little muddy.  It's an odd look that I find unpleasant.

But maybe I'm asking for too much.  Bayer technology doesn't allow for truly sharp images, and maybe I just need to get used to that.
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250swb

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« Reply #13 on: December 14, 2008, 07:58:46 am »

Quote
I am thinking to buy Nik's Silver Efex Pro to add to Photoshop

I recommend it momo2, Silver Efex Pro is a hoot! I'm using it with CS3. Even if you ignore the superb grain that can be generated and go for 'clean' images the B&W tools are superb, and to my mind improve upon the various ways of converting an image to B&W in Photoshop. The short videos Nik have on their web site are very instructive.

Steve


Morris Taub

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« Reply #14 on: December 15, 2008, 07:47:32 am »

Quote from: 250swb
I recommend it momo2, Silver Efex Pro is a hoot! I'm using it with CS3. Even if you ignore the superb grain that can be generated and go for 'clean' images the B&W tools are superb, and to my mind improve upon the various ways of converting an image to B&W in Photoshop. The short videos Nik have on their web site are very instructive.

Steve

I played with the demo about a month ago...it is impressive...that said, I really enjoy the b&w conversion possibilities in Lightroom 2,...it's just an incredible program as is Photoshop...so much possibility it's almost overwhelming, and the split toning is just too sweet...would just like to stay in LR for all the b&w work, a grain simulator in there someplace like Nik's would be great...

I'm gonna take a look at their videos Steve, didn't do that...also see about getting a second demo if that's possible...I didn't play much with the U point stuff...

kind regards

M
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