Monday, July 26, 2010

Panasonic Lumix GF1 Tips

More of a reminder to myself rather than a blog, might be useful to other GF1 owners as well:


Aspect Ratio - set to 4:3 as it retains the most pixels (the aspect ratio of the GF1 sensor is 4:3), other modes e.g. 3:2 and 16:9 crop pixels.

Auto ISO - set to max ISO800 or in a pinch ISO1600 (really pushing the boundaries)

AF Mode - call it habit or whatever, I tend to use the GF1 in single AF mode (the rectangle with a large black square). The most predictable mode in terms of locking on a subject.

Film Mode - typically have this set to DYNAMIC for both colour and also B&W as a personal preference.

Mode Dial - primarily use the A mode (aperture priority). Flick the thumbwheel right and left to set the aperture to control depth of field.

Shoot w/o Lens - as I sometimes use Nikon lenses on the GF1 (with an adapter), set to ON.

Video - since I only have the 20mm lens right now, I have CONTINUOUS AF set as OFF and if I want to AF, I would set the AF target and half press the shutter release button. As most users of the GF1 would know, you can activate video recording using the "motion picture button" or using the "Motion Picture P mode". I would recommend the latter method most of the time as you would have full control of aperture and exposure compensation. Preferred focussing mode is MF.


Carrying the GF1 - my personal preference is to use a wrist strap vs a shoulder strap for the GF1 and treat the camera more like a large point and shoot (since it doesnt have a builtin viewfinder anyway), makes the grip that much more secure.

GF1 Grip - I dont have large hands but the GF1 grip seems small and slippery for me - what I did was to gaffer most of the grippable areas of the camera to enhance the grip. About a 8inch roll of gaffer table should suffice. I cant understand pp who pay good money for ready made "leatherette" stickers when good ol gaffer tape would do..

GF1 Flash - I didnt want to buy too many accessories for the GF1, therefore I reused my Nikon flashes for the camera e.g. if you decide to use flash using a SB-22s, just set to M mode on the GF1 and use the setting of  1/125 and an aperture of f.6 and set the flash accordingly. Works for me. One tip if you use the onboard flash - set the ISO a bit higher e.g. ISO 400-800 to boost the flash range.

GF1 Bag - The GF1 with a 20mm is small enough and light enough (442g) that it fits in a small backpack or a ladies handbag without any problems. I think if you want a dedicated bag for just the GF1 and the 20mm, a Lowepro Apex 60AW would be a good choice. Due to the fact that I cant find this bag around in stores, I decided to use an old Hedgren shoulder bag that I had lying around. Slightly padded and very non-descript. You get the picture.