This week: Panasonic Lumix G cameras
So you think you know how to use your digital camera? Like many of us, you may have a DSLR or compact system camera but tend to use only a handful of its features.
In our ongoing review of some of the more popular current and ‘out of date’ digital cameras, we want to help you better harness the creative potential of your Panasonic Lumix G camera.
Call them camera tips, or call it a user’s guide to your favourite digital camera. The 5 tips below come from experts at Panasonic who have developed and use Panasonic Lumix G cameras and know this range inside and out, but the rest we’d like to come from you.
If you have your own Panasonic camera tips you’d like to share, post them in the comments below – or send them firstname.lastname@example.org. What we want to build is an ever-growing user’s guide of Pansonic camera tips that come not from a press release or a lab test, but from the photographers who shoot with these cameras.
We want to inspire you to twist the mode dial and move beyond your favourite settings and functions and get more out of your Lumix G camera starting today! So without further ado…
Panasonic Lumix G: tips for using your digital camera
Panasonic Lumix G Tip 1: Focus anywhere
Many system cameras allow you to choose a focus point within the frame from a number of pre-set positions. Panasonic Lumix G cameras allow you to select any point in the frame to be your focus point. Simply enter the AF Mode menu (right button) and select single area. Then just touch the screen where you would like to focus. If that is not precise enough, try Pinpoint mode from the AF Mode menu. The focus area will be magnified to allow you to select the precise point.
Panasonic Lumix G Tip 2: Improve your 3D photos
The 3D lens available for Lumix G cameras offers some unique photo opportunities: here are a few tips to get the best results. Imagine the frame is a TV screen – a subject 1m away will appear to be at screen level. Anything closer will seem to be leaping out of the screen. If your subject is 2m or further away it will give a feeling of depth.
Compose your photo with objects both close and far away, to enhance the feeling of depth. The most effective “leaping out” effects are objects in the centre of the frame – objects that leap out from the edge can look strange in 3D.
Panasonic Lumix G Tip 3: Pull focus in Movie Mode
By using the touch screen in conjunction with the movie mode on Panasonic Lumix G cameras, you can give your videos a professional feel. You can change focus from foreground to background – or between two people in a frame – simply by touching the screen. This produces a much slicker and smoother result than attempting to manually pull focus by turning the ring on the lens. For the smoothest results, use a tripod to minimise the chance of the camera moving when you touch the screen. Practise before shooting your video clip.
Panasonic Lumix G Tip 4: Use the GX1’s hidden function buttons
The Panasonic Lumix GX1 is popular with camera enthusiasts because of its classic camera style and control. Put simply, it has more dials and buttons than most Compact System Cameras and for many photographers, that’s a good thing. There are 2 function (Fn.) buttons on the body of the camera, but did you know there are 2 more hidden on the touch screen?
Simply press the arrow tab on the right side of the touch screen and Fn. 3 and Fn. 4 appear. They are pre-set to “Level Gauge” and “Histogram” respectively, but – just like any function button – you can set them to whatever function you need.
Panasonic Lumix G Tip 5: Maximise your AF speed
Lumix G cameras are known for their ultra-fast Auto Focus speed and accuracy, making it easier to capture those fleeting moments. But it is not just the camera body that determines the speed of the auto focus – the lens plays an important part too.
If you want to speed up your AF even further, look for Lumix G lenses with the “HD” logo. This means they are ideal for HD movies, but it also means they are ultra fast at focusing – for both stills and movies. For the fastest possible result, pair up the GX1 camera with a power zoom “X Series” Lumix G lens – and focus in 0.09 seconds!