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a little bit of everything…


Travis sent me the video and wrote the following text:
Here is a video showing the issue with the Auto and Intelligent ISO settings in the GF1. The issue is that those settings will use ISO 100 unless the shutter speed is 1/30 of a second or less in Picture priority, Aperture Priority, and Full manual modes.

The only mode that Auto ISO works in is the shutter priority mode which is not available with manual focus lenses.

The interesting thing is that the “Sports Scene” mode uses Intelligent ISO and it works perfectly. It doesn’t start using ISO 100 until the shutter speed is faster than at least 1/100 of a second. It works with MF lenses. However, it does not offer the some other settings that the P.A.S.M modes do.

Hopefully, Panasonic will issue firmware to correct this problem for the GF1.
Four nice MicroFourThirds and third-party lenses:
1) On dpreview Brian Mosley posted some nice pictures of the E-P2 + Hexanon 57mm f/1.2.
2) E-P2, E-PL1, GF-1 body comparison (dpreview forum)
3) Pen And Carl Zeiss 50mm Pancolar (M42) (dpreview forum)
4) Barrett Brown posted some nice E-P1 + Voigtländer Nokton 50mm f/1.5images. (dpreview forum)
Do you need a 196 Megapixels? (Photographyblog)
Focus Numerique Über-comparison (E-P2 vs NX10 vs D90 vx K7 vs X1 vs DP2)

  • Elvis

    Interesting video by Travis. I will not buy a GF1 unless this is fixed. Keep us posted on that one!

  • David Mayer

    “The issue is that those settings will use ISO 100 unless the shutter speed is 1/30 of a second or less in Picture priority, Aperture Priority, and Full manual modes.”

    Isn’t this the point of auto ISO? To minimize noise, ISO is kept as low as possible until shutter speed is low enough to see picture degradation from hand shake. I don’t know if the lowest shutter speed is adjustable on the GF-1, but this is how auto ISO works on Nikons.

    Besides the above point, you state you are using a manual focus lens. Judging from the display which shows f=0.0, the camera doesn’t communicate with this lens, so how is the camera supposed to adjust the meter based of aperture value? Adjusting the exposure on the camera will not adjust the aperture in this case. You are really trying to tell the camera to adjust exposure compensation without adjusting the aperture which the camera doesn’t know and assumes is fixed at 0. It then has to adjust shutter speed or ISO. Not the way one uses Aperture priority normally. Why is this a flaw? Am I missing something here?

  • mpxsvcd

    There are a couple of key points that I don’t think I made clear in the video.

    1. I used both m4/3s lenses and manual focus lenses in the video. For the Picture priority, Aperture Priority, and Full manual modes the Auto ISO and Intelligent ISO will raise the ISO at 1/30 of a second unless it is an m4/3s lens with a focal length over 30mm.

    2. For m4/3s lenses the GF1 uses the 1/focal length rule to determine when to start raising the ISO unless the focal length is less than 30mm. Therefore, if the focal length is 40 then it will start raising ISO at 1/40 of a second.

    3. The problem is that Panasonic does not include the crop factor in the equation. They should have made the rule 1/ (2 times the focal length) and the base limit should have been 1/60 of a second.

    4. All of the reviews of the camera have shown that there is very little difference in noise for ISO 100 vs. ISO 400. Shooting at 1/30 of second with an ISO of 100 makes no sense when you could raise the ISO a couple of stops, increase the shutter speed, and not introduce any perceptible noise.

    5. Camera shake is not the only thing that causes blurring. A moving subject actually causes more blurring. At 1/30 of a second you will not be able to shoot a moving subject like children. 1/60 of a second would be better but 1/120 and above is ideal.

    If Panasonic changes the limit to 1/60 of a second and 1/(2 times focal length) if the focal length is above 30mm for m4/3s lenses then it will resolve the issue.

  • David Mayer

    Thanks for clearing that up, though I’m still confused about using A priority with a manual lens; it may work, but not necessarily the way you think it will.

    The 1/f-stop is a general rule of thumb that doesn’t apply to everyone, and applies to hand/camera shake and not, as you mention, subject motion. It also doesn’t necessarily apply when you have IS (which you wouldn’t have with the manual lenses without in-body IS).

    What you want is an auto ISO function where you can set maximum ISO’s as well as the minimum shutter speed (and possibly minimum ISO). This should be easy to implement through firmware. (My Nikon dslr’s all work this way, and I’m pretty sure my Panny LX-1 did too, but I don’t have it anymore. I’m assuming my Oly EP-1 does too, but now I’ll have to check to be sure).

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