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  • Q&A: Whats the longest possible exposure on the Lumix G2?

    2011 - 08.27

    4 minutes! Just set it to bulb mode (B) and you can take exposures for a maximum of 4 minutes.

    News: Panasonic Announce Two New Micro 4/3 Lenses

    2011 - 08.26

    Panasonic have today announced two new Micro Four Third lenses compatible with the Lumix G2. A 14-42mm zoom lens (LUMIX G X H-PS14042) and

    Panasonic Lumix 14-42mm Lens

    Panasonic Lumix 14-42mm Lens

    a 45-175mm tele-zoom (LUMIX GX H-PS45175), both part of a new ‘X’ range for Lumix G’s that are marked as being ‘a new breed of the highest quality zoom lenses’.

    Boasting silent zoom and Power O.I.S, while being more light weight and compact than the standard kit lens, they are looking pretty nice.

    They have also resolved an annoying issue with their previous lenses where dust was sucked into them like a vacuum with new ‘Multi-Actuator Floating Inner Focus System’ technology (sounds fancy!).

    Both lenses will be available in either black or silver.

    Personally, I will be looking at the 14-42mm lens to replace the standard kit lens, and to fill the gap between my 20mm pancake lens, and my 45-200mm zoom lens.

    Panasonic Lumix 45-175mm Lens

    Panasonic Lumix 45-175mm Lens

    The price? The 14-42mm will set you back $399 or about £333, and the 45-175mm is $450, or around £372.

    For more info, check out the Panasonic release

     

     

     

    Tip: Turning Off The Front Red Light

    2011 - 08.26

    Ever been at the theatre and wanted to take a photo but worried that the little red light on the front of the camera was going to go off? Or trying to take a sneaky pic of someone and fear you may give the game away when they get a big red laser beam in their face? Well, that is easily remedied!

    The red light is used to illuminate the subject to make life easier for the auto focus, as it will struggle in low light situations, so you may find it best to use manual focus if you are turning this setting off.

    Press ‘Menu/Select’ on the back of the camera, go down to the third page, and go into ‘AF Assist Lamp’ and switch it to off.

    Voilà! No more red laser beam!

     

    Taking a HDR photo on the Lumix G2

    2011 - 08.18

    Taking a High Dynamic Range photo (HDR) on your Panasonic Lumix G2 is a simple process, it’s just a matter of knowing where the settings are, and a few best practice guidelines to follow to ensure you take a great photo. I am assuming you already know the concept behind HDR images, so I wont go into detail on what they are and what to do with them once you have them, this tutorial will just explain how to take the set of images at different exposures, what you do afterwards is up to you. If you would like a tutorial on what HDR images are and how to process them, please let me know in the comments below.

    Firstly, flip the dial round on the top of the camera so that it is on the +/- option, this puts the G2 into ‘Auto Bracket’ mode, as in the image below.

    Auto Bracket Dial Option

    Now, you will want to set how your camera takes HDR images, so press ‘Menu/Select’ on the back of the camera to go into the settings, and make sure you are in the ‘REC’ group, then go down to the 4th screen, where you will find ‘Auto Bracket’. Within this menu there are two main options, ‘Setup’ and ‘Sequence’. The first, ‘Setup’, sets how many photos are taken, and at what exposure levels they are taken. The numbers are displayed like 5-2/3, 7-2/3 etc. The first number is the amount of photos that will be taken, and the second part, the fraction, is the difference in exposure they will be to each other (in stops). In the screenshot  below ‘Auto Bracket Options’ I have selected 5-2/3, this means that the camera will take 5 photos, each at 2/3′s of a stop apart on the exposure dial. If you were to select 7-2/3 then 7 photos would be taken, each at 2/3′s of a stop apart.

    So, as in the example above, if we select the 5-2/3 option, you will end up with 5 photos:

    • 1 at 1 and 1/3 under exposed
    • 1 at 2/3′s under exposed (2/3′s up from the previous photo)
    • 1 with normal exposure (again, 2/3′s up from the previous photo)
    • 1 at 2/3′s over exposed (2/3′s up again)
    • 1 at 1 and 1/3 over exposed (2/3′s up again)

    This is handily displayed at the bottom of the menu, with the exposure scale. As you change the values in the ‘Setup’ menu you will notice that the numbers with arrows below the scale change, this is just a visual display of at what point on the scale the photos will be taken.

    Auto Bracket Options

    Auto Bracket Options

    The numbers within these little pointers relate to the order in which they will be taken. So as displayed in the image to the left, the photos will be taken in ascending order from under exposed to over exposed. This order can be changed by selecting 0/-/+ in the ‘Sequence’ menu. This will then start the photo sequence by taking the first photo at 0 on the exposure scale, then moving down to under exposed and then to an over exposed, back down to under exposed and finishing on over exposed.

    Once you have selected the options on how many and in what order you want to take your HDR images, now we can actually take the photo!

    But first, a few words of advice.

    1) Make sure the Aperture is set, either using manual mode or Aperture priority mode. Otherwise as you take your set of HDR photos the Aperture will change, so when you merge your photos together to create your final image the depth of field will probably be different in each photo, making for a weird photo. Putting the camera into Aperture priority mode will mean the shutter speed will adjust accordingly, which shouldn’t cause us issues.

    2) Use a tripod. As you are taking several photos in a row, no matter how still you may stand, or how steady your hands may be, there is always room for camera shake, and as with the Aperture change above, when you merge these images together, the shake will spoil your image. (There is software out there that counteracts the movement between images, but its still best to use a tripod if possible)

    3) Use a remote shutter. In order to take this sequence of photos you have to keep the shutter button held down, so again there is potential for camera shake, a remote shutter should help stop this.

    So, you have your settings sorted, you are on a tripod with a remote shutter and your Aperture is set, we are now really ready to take the photo!

    When your subject is all set & ready, hold down the shutter until all of the images are taken at the different exposure levels (the camera will stop taking the photos automatically). You will then have your set of HDR images ready to be merged!

    As I say, I won’t go into detail on what to do with the images now, there are plenty of tutorials out there, but if you would like me to write one, please say so below!

    Happy HDR taking!

    External Flashes On The Lumix G2

    2011 - 08.11

    So, you want an external flash for your G2? Well, you have a few options.

    Lumix G2 Flash - DMW-FL360

    Lumix G2 Flash - DMW-FL360

    If you are after an upgrade to your flash, but don’t want to spend much over £100, then consider the DMW-FL220E. Light weight and powered by AA batteries (so will help save your camera battery power), it is certainly worth a look. The main downside of this flash is that you cannot direct the light, so, like the onboard flash, it is still a direct flash.

    If you want to splash out a bit more cash and gain the ability to direct the flash, then you can get the DMW-FL360 (about £200) or the DMW-FL500 (Around £300). These flashes will allow you to direct the flash, so you can get some bounce back off a ceiling or wall to soften the light on your subject.

    Lumix G2 External Flash DM-FL500

    Lumix G2 External Flash DM-FL500

    Another thing to note, as these flashes dock onto the top of the camera in the cameras hot shoe, they will automatically adjust the light required by reading from the camera. These flashes will also change how they project the light as you zoom, the more you zoom in on a subject the more direct the flash will become so that it covers the area you are focusing on. If you go for a wide angle photo then the flash will adjust to ensure it covers the area the lens sees.

    Already have an Olympus flash? Check to see if it will be compatible with your G2 on the Panasonic website (towards the bottom)

    Own any of these flashes? Let me know what you think in the comments below

    Third party lenses with the Lumix G2

    2011 - 08.10

    Can I use third party (non Panasonic) lenses with the G2?

    Short answer: Yes

    Longer Answer: Although you can use third party lenses, such as the Olympus 70-300mm lens, you will lose some of the functionality, such as the Image Stabilisation (IS) (which in the case of a 300mm lens, is essential – unless you want blurry images of course).

    The DMW-MA1 Adapter

    This is because in Olympus cameras the body of the camera takes care of the IS, whereas in Panasonic bodies the IS is done in the lens. So when you connect an Olympus lens to a Panasonic body, they both think the IS is going to be done by the other part, meaning you will get a blurry image. Likewise, when you connect a Panasonic lens to an Olympus body, you essentially get double IS as both the lens and body have IS.

    If you have an Olympus lens that won’t require IS, like the 17mm Pancakes Lens, then you should be fine.

    The main thing to note is that to use a non-Panasonic lens on the G2 body, you need the DMW-MA1 adapter, this will then allow you to connect Olympus or Leica Micro 4/3 lenses to the G2, whilst still being able to use Auto Focus & Auto Exposure (although this is not possible for all lenses)

    For a full list provided by Panasonic on the functions that are available with different lenses, you can view that here


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