Lumix GM1 User Review by Colin Freeman Part 2

Part 2 – High ISO and Low Light

Please note that all the GM1 images this month taken at the zoo are using ISO speeds of 1600 and above and the jpegs are the lower quality setting because I shoot Raw plus low quality jpeg. These images are the jpegs as they came out the camera with no post processing.

I have abandoned the idea of transporting it around in a jacket pocket in favour of a Lowepro Dashpoint 20 carry case that will fit on to my belt. The Lowepro is so much kinder to the rear screen than a jacket pocket and I became very self-conscious of just how many knocks and bumps a jacket pocket takes. Plus when the weather is kind it is far too hot for a jacket. I’ve also ditched the neck strap in favour of a wrist strap made by Op/tech. It has a plastic buckle to make it easily detachable for tripod mounting but made of neoprene so an unfortunate side effect is it makes your wrist sweat.

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I’m looking at challenging lighting conditions this month and I’m going to start with a dull drizzling day at the zoo. It should be a good test for the GM1 pushing the iso up but the vibrancy of the colours should benefit from the soft light.

The photograph below is at iso 2500 and only 1/40 second an indication of the poor light but the GM1 focused quickly and exposed well.

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ISO 2500 f5.6 1/40sec

Indoors in very dim light the camera did hunt for focus but understandably so. The Rhino enclosure at Chester zoo was a difficult challenge, there was very little light – no artificial at all, only weak natural light. The only sources I could see was a small skylight way off to the left and the doorway exit into the paddock on the right. Under these challenging conditions the GM1 did seem to perform marginally better than my G6.
Because the GM1 combined with a 45-150mm lens is so small and light you are not subject to the usual muscle strain or fatigue you get from a heavier camera. Yes you could use a monopod but it’s just more to carry around. Being light means that I am able to hand hold the GM1 down to about 1/8th of a second. The image below is of a young Rhino stood inside the enclosure facing the exit and at ISO 1600, f5.6 it gave a shutter speed of 1/8th of a second.

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ISO 1600 F5.6 1/8 Second

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ISO 2500 F4.5 1/200 sec

100 zoom on frog

100% zoom

 

The frogs were under terrible artificial lighting and shot through dirty glass covered with the sticky finger prints of a gazillion kids but even so the results are not bad.

 

See the Lumix GM1

 

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