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PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:41 pm 
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Hi everyone, just a quick note to let you know we've just published our full review of the Lumix G1 complete with an HD video tour, here:

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Panas ... ix_DMC_G1/

Gordon


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 6:38 am 
As always, excellent review Gordon!

Now that the E-620 has been announced, I have my doubts about the marketability of the G1. The E-620 is just slightly larger, but has all the capabilities of the G1, and a much wider lens selection that will auto focus with the camera. Plus, the E-620 has in body IS.

On the other hand, once Panny releases the G1 with HD video capability, Panny may be able to attract more interest on its line of M4/3 cameras. Of course, IF Panny would just make the G1 available to retail stores in the Houston area, it would certainly go a long way in helping to sell a few more units.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 7:19 am 
I haven't read all the posts (too many!). I just want to add my opinion that the image quality of the G1 isn't very good. To my eyes it has a soft, muddy quality. When I first saw images from this camera, I was hoping that the RAW files would be much cleaner, but they are almost worse than the JPGs. I've heard that there are other RAW editors that do a better job, but I haven't seen examples yet.

If the image quality were good, this would be the perfect camera for me. The body may not be that small, but that's only because Panasonic wanted to make the body DSLR-like so people would take the camera seriously. The potential of the Micro 4/3 format is huge -- a large sensor in a compact body, the perfect combination. But they'll have to do a better job on IQ.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 7:30 am 
On some other reviews around the internet (I will not mention the site, but it's one of the big boys of digital camera reviews), I've seen some very sharp photos taken with the G1. However, those photos were taken with the Olympus 50mm f/2.0 lens. The photos with the G1's kit lens were less impressive. So the softness that you are seeing might be more the lens than the camera itself.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 9:56 am 
Perhaps the problem is the lens. However, there is a distinctive look to G1 pictures which I really hate. They aren't just soft, they're muddy. It doesn't look like a lens issue to me; it looks like a processing issue.

I've found a better RAW converter, and it is free: www.rawtherapee.com


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 11:19 am 
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I have a possible reason for the image quality, at least with the kit lens. See here. Basically it sounds like some raw converters are automatically correcting for the lens distortion, so I have to wonder if this would be implemented in the camera jpeg too.

I'm still very interested in the technology that might also be used in future products, just not this particular implementation.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2009 9:22 pm 
Gordon Laing wrote:
Hi everyone, just a quick note to let you know we've just published our full review of the Lumix G1 complete with an HD video tour, here:

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Panas ... ix_DMC_G1/

Gordon


In your Review you state:

Above you can see samples complete with Histograms showing the same composition taken with Intelligent Exposure Off, then set to its maximum High option – and as you can see, the two images look essentially identical. Certainly there was no brightening of the dark areas or greater protection for those which had become saturated.


I think you MAY have made a mistake.

With the G1 the Intelligent Exposure works in a way that some may find counter-intuitive.

When you set the Intelligent Exposure to say High, the Intelligent Exposure is NOT applied to your images simply because you set Intelligent Exposure. Rather, the CAMERA determines whether or not Intelligent Exposure is needed/would be helpful and then applies it based on the level (Low, Standard, or High) you have previously chosen.

You can tell if Intelligent Exposure is being applied to a particular scene by looking at the Intelligent Exposure indicator in the EVF/LCD; if it turns orange then it means Intelligent Exposure is about to be applied to your image capture.

Intelligent Exposure seems to need a scene that has lot of highlight area or extremely strong highlight within the scene. Looking at the church scene upon which you tested the Intelligent Exposure feature, from my experience there simply wasn't enough highlight area as a percentage of the overall scene for Intelligent Exposure to kick in. If you look at this image from DPReview you will see the kind of scene that causes Intelligent Exposure to kick in (they describe the result as subtle but it look more than subtle to me): http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/panason ... page21.asp

I have tested Intelligent Exposure by taking a shot of bright ceiling bulb within a shade and there is a marked difference between Intelligent Exposure High and Intelligent Exposure Off.

It should also be noted that the difference between Intelligent Exposure kicking in and Intelligent Exposure not being activated can be down to a shift of composition of as little as a few centimetres.

I hope my comments are helpful.

Regards,


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 8:43 pm 
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Hi plevyadophy, welcome on-board. I believe you're right concerning the way IE works by judging the scene, but I'd say our church shot has significant areas of backlighting and also shadow portions, so I'd personally want to see shots like these being compensated.

I agree it is possible to trick the system into working more if you point it at the right subjects, but I prefer to test these things out on more typical scenes to see how it handles them - that's our policy here: a bias towards real-life tests rather than studio-based tests.

Be great to see your own example showing it in action though. We prefer not to link to dpreview here because they aggressively block cameralabs on their forum.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 10:23 pm 
Gordon Laing wrote:
We prefer not to link to dpreview here because they aggressively block cameralabs on their forum.


Total cheese from dpreview, I must say.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 10:40 pm 
Gordon Laing wrote:
Hi plevyadophy, welcome on-board. I believe you're right concerning the way IE works by judging the scene, but I'd say our church shot has significant areas of backlighting and also shadow portions, so I'd personally want to see shots like these being compensated.

I agree it is possible to trick the system into working more if you point it at the right subjects, but I prefer to test these things out on more typical scenes to see how it handles them - that's our policy here: a bias towards real-life tests rather than studio-based tests.

Be great to see your own example showing it in action though. We prefer not to link to dpreview here because they aggressively block cameralabs on their forum.


Hi,

And thanks for the welcome.

Whilst I can well understand your reasoning, I think the problem with what you have done with the G1 is given the impression that the iEx (Intelligent Exposure) doesn't work at all (it's certainly how I read it).

I think it would have been better if you had provided a variety of images under a variety of circumstances so that readers can see the situations in which it DOES work and the situations in which it fails. It's particularly interesting to note, as I said earlier, that sometimes you have to shift your composition by just a few centimetres or millimetres for the camera to assess the scene as being one in need of iEx.

Here's two test images to show the differences:


Image 01 -
(Program Mode (f4.6,1/125s), 200mm (35mm equiv), AUTO ISO (ISO 400), AWB, Multi Metering, iEX=Off)


Image




Image 02 -
(Program Mode (f4.6,1/125s), 200mm (35mm equiv), AUTO ISO (ISO 640), AWB, Multi Metering, iEX=High)

Image


Regards,


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 3:51 pm 
Caleb Murdock wrote:
Perhaps the problem is the lens. However, there is a distinctive look to G1 pictures which I really hate. They aren't just soft, they're muddy.


Murdoc,
Could you explain more what do you mean by muddy IQ. To my eyes G1 takes good images in low light, but in outdoors all images luck livelyness IMO. Even images taken in a sunny day look like a cloudy day. Is it only my impression or my PC screen's shortcoming? However, the same screen and my eyes show me more accurate colors in Canon XSI images.

Gordon, what's you're opinion on this? Is this something that can be corrected through G1 settings or modes?


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 8:25 pm 
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I agree they're lacking the punchiness straight out the camera of other consumer models, but I was still very satisfied with the image quality personally, and if desired, you could always boost some of the settings. But it is of course a personal choice.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 9:18 pm 
Thanks Gordon for sharing your points.

I think the impression of muddy IQ is related to the WB. I saw a comparison of two images of which one was set to AWB and the other set manually, using a white paper. The first shot was bluish and "muddy", but the latter shot looked arguably better and accurate comparing with the shot of Canon 40D (really impressive). G1 was used after updating the firmware (1.2), which was supposed to correct the WB issue, but rather failed.

So IMO, if one doesn't mind using the manual WB setting most of the time instead of automatic WB, the G1 is capable of delivering very high quality images up to ISO 400.

What is your experience in this regard, G1 folks? Do you prefer using manual WB or the AWB?

Armen


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 10:35 pm 
Armen wrote:
Thanks Gordon for sharing your points.

I think the impression of muddy IQ is related to the WB. I saw a comparison of two images of which one was set to AWB and the other set manually, using a white paper. The first shot was bluish and "muddy", but the latter shot looked arguably better and accurate comparing with the shot of Canon 40D (really impressive). G1 was used after updating the firmware (1.2), which was supposed to correct the WB issue, but rather failed.

So IMO, if one doesn't mind using the manual WB setting most of the time instead of automatic WB, the G1 is capable of delivering very high quality images up to ISO 400.

What is your experience in this regard, G1 folks? Do you prefer using manual WB or the AWB?

Armen


Just took my G1 on holiday for the first time up the Northwest of Scotland and having taken a look at the images I am definately going to be shooting in RAW all the time from now on. Using Silkypix to view the RAW files the difference in image quality between them and the corresponding JPEGS is astounding! Also, I agree that the AWB is a bit dodgy and having the ability to alter it at a later date would appear to be a must.

G1 users, go RAW!


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 2:23 am 
Thanks for sharing your experience. I decided to go with G1 too that seems to have some features more suitable for my needs than 450D, which is a superb camera though. It is scheduled to arrive on Monday. So once I have it in my hands, I'll have more idea on ways of getting the best outputs it's capable of delivering.


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