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Thread: Hands on with the Lumix GF3

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    Re: Hands on with the Lumix GF3

    The low-light performance of all of those cameras will be very similar. The choice of lens will make much more of a difference. As you noted, a large-aperture prime lens will work better in low light than a kit zoom. Any of these cameras with the right lens and the right settings (e.g. using a high ISO to avoid shutter speeds that are too slow) can produce good results, much better than a compact camera. So the choice really comes down to which style of camera suits your preferences and photography style. On this forum, we are obviously biased towards four-thirds and micro four-thirds. So most advice here would favor the G-3 or GF-3. Image quality of the two is identical, so the main differences are in the size and handling--the shape, presence or absence of a viewfinder, external controls, etc. The Nikon is a good entry-level SLR with a wide range of lenses and accessories. Its AF system may be better at tracking moving subjects (for action photography), but it is larger than the Panasonics and lacks the advantages of the excellent live view of micro four-thirds.

    - Hal -
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    Re: Hands on with the Lumix GF3

    Quote Originally Posted by dutchdodo View Post
    Thank you for the relevant shutter-speed remark.
    Still i'm wondering if under the same conditions a G3 or Nikon D3100 would have performed better.

    I often shoot in low light situations. For now i'm still considering trading up for
    A) GF3 pancake-lens
    B) G3
    C) Nikon D3100

    What would your advice be for someone living in the Netherlands + shooting lots of indoor images
    As Ian and Reggie mentioned these are slow shutter speeds when people are the subject. No matter how good the IS of any camera it won't do a thing about subject movement. You can get sharp pictures of people at these speeds but that relies on the subject remaining dead motionless, so improve your chances by shooting lots of frames. Also, you can still get camera shake even with IS if you wobble too much yourself; it's very effective but it's not magic! I once got a sharp picture at 1/8th second of a boy sitting, staring into a camp fire. It was the only sharp frame out of about 25, though!

    I see you used ISO 800 for these. It makes sense to keep ISO as low as possible, except for situations like this when there is a big risk of subject blur. You could easily have selected ISO 1600 or even 3200 and given yourself a much better chance of a sharp picture.

    When shooting similar pictures with your compact, did you use the same sort of settings, or did you use flash?

    To conclude, non of the cameras you mention have any real advantages over the others from a pure technical point of view in this type of situation, it's more about handling and which one best suits you. A pancake lens would definitely help - the 20mm f1.7 would have given a shutter speed of about 1/100th of a second instead of 1/20th and that's a huge difference!
    View my ebook, The Light Fantastic, at: http://store.blurb.co.uk/ebooks/3026...ight-fantastic

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    Re: Hands on with the Lumix GF3

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    Nobody has picked up on the fact that these were taken at 1/20th and 1/13th second shutter speeds. These are very slow shutter speeds. There is lots of obvious subject movement that will not be countered by IS (that only corrects camera shake). Considering the conditions I think the sharpness is pretty good.

    This is not a fair test of the lens or camera at all.

    Ian
    I did, and said so.

    You also have to realize that you have a more shallow DoF with the larger sensor (actually a result of the relative focal length of the lenses that you use with the larger sensors). This will be the case with any larger sensor camera, including that Nikon you are eyeing. Do some reading on depth of field, it will really help your photography.
    ~Reggie

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    Re: Hands on with the Lumix GF3

    As you will have noticed by now, there is no 'magic bullet' that will give you what you want, in any situation.
    it is down to the experience of the photographer more than camera gear in the ratio of 80% photographer 20% equipment
    Unfortunately, for compact/Point and shoot cameras it is usually the reverse .
    You can have the most expensive camera gear in the world, but if you don't know how to use it, it will be of no benefit to you.
    Understanding the basic principles of light, aperture, shutter speed, ISO and DOF and their interaction, is essential to get the results that you want (or at least a compromise).
    Something, those moving from compacts, usually struggle to get to grips with.
    It can be a steep learning curve, but well worth it.
    You will certainly get all the help you need on this and other similar forums, this one especially, is very friendly and full of advice based on vast experience.

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    Question Re: Hands on with the Lumix GF3

    I have just bought a GF3, am thrilled with it, but last night set it on the auto timer and now cannot exit it help please

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    Re: Hands on with the Lumix GF3

    There are several ways to access the Auto-Timer function.

    If you go here:

    http://service.us.panasonic.com/OPERMANPDF/DMCGF3.PDF

    and download the Operation Manual. Then go to the bottom of page 9, it explains the easiest way.


    Sam

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    Re: Hands on with the Lumix GF3

    Quote Originally Posted by dutchdodo View Post
    Thank you for the relevant shutter-speed remark.
    Still i'm wondering if under the same conditions a G3 or Nikon D3100 would have performed better.

    I often shoot in low light situations. For now i'm still considering trading up for
    A) GF3 pancake-lens
    B) G3
    C) Nikon D3100

    What would your advice be for someone living in the Netherlands + shooting lots of indoor images
    Camera shake is camera shake whatever brand is used. The only real way to TEST how good the lens is. Mount the camera on a tripod, use a remote shutter release and use a static object to focus on. Alternatively in low light use a flash which will freeze any movement providing there is not enough ambient light to effect the image. In other words eliminate anything than can reduce sharpness.
    If after this you feel the lens is soft then go ahead and change it. I personally see no reason to start over again with another brand, just purchase the better Panasonic or Olympus. Lenses.
    I'm new to 4/3 being a Canon user for many years and bought a G3 almost two weeks ago, I found the 14-42 kit lens reasonably good, but decidedly cheaply constructed. Traded it for a 14-140 different altogether, beautifully made and performs well, another alternative to consider would be the 14-45 reported to be all together better than the 14-42.

    I shall post one or two pictures later today from the 14-140.

    Patrick

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    Re: Hands on with the Lumix GF3

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick View Post
    Camera shake is camera shake whatever brand is used. The only real way to TEST how good the lens is. Mount the camera on a tripod, use a remote shutter release and use a static object to focus on. Alternatively in low light use a flash which will freeze any movement providing there is not enough ambient light to effect the image. In other words eliminate anything than can reduce sharpness.
    If after this you feel the lens is soft then go ahead and change it. I personally see no reason to start over again with another brand, just purchase the better Panasonic or Olympus. Lenses.
    I'm new to 4/3 being a Canon user for many years and bought a G3 almost two weeks ago, I found the 14-42 kit lens reasonably good, but decidedly cheaply constructed. Traded it for a 14-140 different altogether, beautifully made and performs well, another alternative to consider would be the 14-45 reported to be all together better than the 14-42.

    I shall post one or two pictures later today from the 14-140.

    Patrick
    If he shoots a lot in low light the frequency of keepers will probably be determined more by image stabilisation and noise control, although optical quality should of course be a factor.

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    Re: Hands on with the Lumix GF3

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    If he shoots a lot in low light the frequency of keepers will probably be determined more by image stabilisation and noise control, although optical quality should of course be a factor.

    Ian
    My suggested method is simply to test the lens, to establish what sharpness the lens is capable of giving, if by following this the images are still soft then the low light shooting stands little chance with or without stabilisation & noise control.
    I personally think a wider aperture lens is the answer, accepting the very narrow depth of field when used wide open.

    Patrick

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    Re: Hands on with the Lumix GF3

    I decided to buy a new camera recently and compared some pictures (resolution, colors, lighting, long exposure, etc) and the GF3 in overall was better.

    I charged my credit card with this cameras. (my wife wasn't happy about it but some of them got returned ) I need it to test them side by side.

    1) Already owned D3000 (great resolution but no video) Sold it
    2) Already owned Canon XSi (the d3000 had better resolution) Sold it
    3) Nikon j1 (pictures were very decent, video was awesome) Returned
    4) Nikon p510 (awesome zoom and lots of features but resolution and zoom focus could be better) Returned
    5) Loaned Canon 60D (great pictures but to expensive) Returned
    6) Panasonic DMC-GF3 (fastest autofocus in my opinion and great resolution)

    I choosed the GF3 because from all of the above the GF3 took faster and better pictures than all the others (Canon 60D has better resolution but not worth the extra money) Once you play with the manual focus on the GF3 I got excellent night sky long exposures pictures.

    I also tested video on all the ones that had the option and I must say the Nikon J1 has the best video of all and I'm not talking about the 400fps feature, I'm talking about 1080p@60fps is the smoothest, best color and sharpest of all the cameras with great autofocus. and has internal intervalometer a feature I wanted but picture resolution were not that great compared to the GF3.

    For I was looking for, a easy to use camera for family pictures, occasional long exposure pictures, compact with lots of manual controls the GF3 filled my bill.

    Here is a picture of my daughter using flash (picture was re-sized using power toys image resizer and then uploaded to imageshack, original picture is way better)


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