Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 Review

 
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Panasonic DMC-G1 Modes and Menus

Capture Modes: When powered on, the Panasonic G1 defaults to Record mode. The Exposure Mode dial on top of the camera sets the main shooting mode, with the following options:

  • Intelligent Auto: This mode places the camera entirely in control of the exposure, though the user can adjust the exposure compensation and determine the flash mode.
  •  Program AE (with Shift): This mode places the camera in control of both aperture and shutter speed, while the user has access to all other menu functions. Once the camera's exposure system has been activated by half-pressing the shutter button, the user can shift the aperture value and shutter time by rotating the front dial. (The overall exposure remains the same, but you can ask the camera to use a larger or smaller aperture or faster/slower shutter speed.)
  •  Aperture Priority: Lets the user control the aperture setting while the camera selects the best shutter speed. (The aperture range varies with the lens in use.)
  •  Shutter Priority: The opposite of Aperture Priority, allows the user to set the shutter speed, from 1/4,000 to 60 seconds, while the camera selects the most appropriate aperture setting.
  •  Manual: Provides complete user control over the exposure, including both aperture and shutter speed settings. A Bulb shutter setting also becomes available in this mode, allowing variable length exposures for as long as you hold down the shutter button, to a maximum exposure time of four minutes.
  • Custom: Up to three sets of shooting modes and settings can be stored, and are accessed quickly in this mode.
  • My Color Mode: Lets you adjust color, brightness, or saturation of the image on-screen. (That is, the preview image shown on the LCD will reflect the color adjustments you've selected.)
  • Scene Mode: Adjusts camera settings (color rendering, flash mode, etc.) to optimize for different subject types: Sunset, Party, Babies (including keeping track of birthdays for two different children, so the Panasonic software can display the child's age along with the photo), and Pets.
  • Night Portrait: Allows slower shutter speeds to be used with flash. Balances the foreground subject illuminated by flash with the ambient light of the background. Sub-options include Night Portrait, Night Scenery, Illuminations (outdoor lighting at night), and Creative Night Scenery, which allows changes in the aperture value for special effects.
  • Sports: Adjusts ISO and controls shutter speed to freeze fast-moving subjects. Sub-options include Normal Sports (intelligent ISO control & high shutter speeds), Outdoor Sports (the same, but lower ISOs for shooting in good lighting), Indoor Sports (favors higher ISO speeds for indoor lighting), and Creative Sports (allows direct control of shutter speed).
  • Macro: This mode is for close-up pictures of small objects, enhancing color in flowers, etc. Sub-options include Flower, Food, Object and Creative.
  • Scenery: Optimizes settings to produce sharp, colorful landscapes. Sub-options include Normal, Nature, Architecture and Creative, the latter allowing control of the shutter speed. (Perhaps for deliberately blurring motion of waterfalls, fountains, etc.)
  • Portrait: Optimizes camera settings to reproduce warm, soft skin tones against a slightly blurred background. Sub-options include Normal Portrait (large aperture and soft skin tones), Soft Skin (introducing additional color-based blurring of skin areas by the camera's processor), Outdoor Portrait (compensates for backlighting), Indoor Portrait (intelligent ISO control to prevent blurring) and Creative Portrait (allows direct control of aperture setting).

 

Playback Mode: The Playback button on the rear panel accesses Playback mode, where you can review captured images. The left and right arrow keys, as well as the up and down keys, scroll through the images on the card. You can enlarge captured images or display them in an index format for quick viewing.

 

Panasonic G1 Menus

Pressing the Menu button provides access to the camera's full menu system. The following options are available in most camera modes as menu tabs down the left side of the display. (Full auto mode greatly reduces the available options, to simplify camera operation.)

Panasonic G1 Record Menu:

Panasonic G1 full Record menu layout
(note, large download for dialup users)

Record Menu 1 Options
Top-Level
Selection
Second-Level
Notes
Aspect Ratio
- 4:3
- 3:2
- 16:9
Select normal, 35mm film or HDTV wide screen aspect ratios for images. (Maximum image width is always 4,000 pixels, wide/short aspect ratios just crop top and bottom.)
Picture Size
- L
- M
- S
Specifies the pixel dimensions of the pictures you will take. (Options are roughly 12, 6, and 3 megapixels in 4:3 aspect ratio mode.)
Quality
- Fine
- Standard
- RAW & Fine JPEG
- RAW & Std JPEG
- RAW (no JPEG)
Specifies the compression level and file type of images.
Metering Mode
- Multi-pattern
- Center-Weighted
- Spot
Stabilizer
- Mode 1
- Mode 2
- Mode 3
Optical Image Stabilizer modes. Mode 1 is continuous, Mode 2 is on when the shutter is pressed, Mode 3 is used when panning. (Mode 3 only compensates for up/down motion of the camera.)

 

Panasonic G1 full Record menu layout
(note, large download for dialup users)

Record Menu 2 Options
Top-Level
Selection
Second-Level
Notes
Flash
- Auto Flash
- Auto Flash w/red-eye reduction
- Forced Flash on
- Forced Flash on w/red-eye reduction
- Slow Sync.
- Slow Sync. w/red-eye reduction
Selects the flash mode.
D. Red-Eye
- Off
- On
Dynamic Red-Eye reduction. If this option is enabled and the flash is in any of the red-eye reduction modes, the camera will examine the captured images and remove any red-eye that it finds.
Flash Synchro
- 1st
- 2nd
Select either first or second shutter curtain sync. (Use second-curtain sync for motion trails that follow your subjects, rather than lead them.)
Flash Adjust
- +/-2 EV scale
Adjusts flash power higher or lower, in 1/3 EV steps.
I. Exposure
- Off
- Low
- Standard
- High
Intelligent Exposure mode adjusts contrast and exposure to handle high-contrast subjects. This menu option varies the amount of the effect applied to your photos.

 

Panasonic G1 full Record menu layout
(note, large download for dialup users)

Record Menu 3 Options
Top-Level
Selection
Second-Level
Notes
Ex. Opt. Zoom
- On
- Off
When shooting at less than maximum image size, integrates an intelligent digital zoom with the lens' zoom ring, providing a greater zoom range without pixel interpolation.
Digital Zoom
- Off
- 2X
- 4X
Adds a fixed digital magnification (w/lower image quality) of 2x or 4x.
Burst Rate
- H
- L
High or Low speed burst rate. High speed is 3 frames/second, low speed is 2 frames/second.
Auto Bracket
- Step
- Sequence
Shoot groups of 3, 5 or 7 pictures with user selectable EV steps (1/3 or 2/3 EV between shots). The sequence of the bracketed shots (under/nominal/over) can also be set by the user.
Self Timer
- 10 Seconds
- 10 Seconds/3 pics
- 2 Seconds
Configures the Self Timer mode. The 10 second/3 pic mode shoots a sequence of 3 shots after an initial 10-second delay, with a couple of seconds between shots in the sequence.

 

Panasonic G1 full Record menu layout
(note, large download for dialup users)

Record Menu 4 Options
Top-Level
Selection
Second-Level
Notes
Color Space
- sRGB
- Adobe RGB
Select the color space for images to be recorded in.
Long Shutter NR
- On
- Off
If enabled, the camera will shoot a "dark frame" for noise subtraction on long exposures. This doubles the time for each shot for long exposures, but reduces image noise.
ISO Limit Set
- Off
- 200
- 400
- 800
- 1600
Sets maximum Auto ISO limit or can be set to Off. When set to Off, Auto ISO is limited to 400 by default.
ISO Increment
- 1/3 EV
- 1 EV

 

 

Panasonic G1 Playback Menu:

Panasonic G1 full Playback menu layout
(note, large download for dialup users)

Playback Menu 1 Options
Top-Level
Selection
Second-Level
Notes
Slide Show
- All
- Favorites
- Start
- Duration X Sec.
Starts the slide show. Duration lets you see each photo for X seconds (1, 2, 3, or 5) or you can run the slide show manually. When running, top arrow button plays/pauses, bottom arrow button stops. When paused, left/right arrow buttons step forward or back.
Favorite
- On
- Off
- Cancel
In Favorite mode, you can mark images as your "Favorites", and then choose to show only those images in slide shows. When enabled, the down-arrow button marks/unmarks favorites in playback mode.
Rotate
- Clockwise
- Counter-clockwise
Allows you to manually rotate the selected picture.
Rotate Disp.
- On
- Off
When enabled, if a picture was shot with the camera held vertically, it will be displayed on the LCD vertically. (NOTE that the G1 always tags portrait-format files in the EXIF header, this menu option just controls how they're displayed by the camera.)
DPOF Print
- Single
- Multi
- Cancel
Selects pictures for printing on a DPOF-compatible printer. Cancel cancels all DPOF settings. When tagging images for DPOF printing, the Display button toggles date overprinting on/off.

 

Panasonic G1 full Playback menu layout
(note, large download for dialup users)

Playback Menu 2 Options
Top-Level
Selection
Second-Level
Notes
Protect
- Single
- Multi
- Cancel
Protect pictures that you do not want deleted. (Note though, that they aren't protected against memory card reformatting.)
Resize
- Displays picture
Allows you to resize your pictures. (Only resizes down to smaller sizes.)
Trimming
- Displays picture
Lets you crop pictures by zooming in until you have the framing you want, then pressing the shutter button. Only provides for about a 2x zoom, regardless of image resolution, but you can zoom & trim multiple times.
Aspect Conv.
- 3:2
- 4:3
Lets you change the aspect ratio of 16:9 images.

 

 

Panasonic G1 Custom Menu:

Panasonic G1 full Custom menu layout
(note, large download for dialup users)

Custom Menu 1 Options
Top-Level
Selection
Second-Level
Notes
Cust. Set Mem.
- C1 Set1
- C2 Set2
- C3 Set3
You can maintain up to 3 separate custom shooting profiles. They can then be quickly accessed via the CUST option on the mode dial.
LVF Disp. Style
- Viewfinder style
- LCD monitor style
Viewfinder style shrinks the EVF viewfinder display, puts the shooting information at the bottom, LCD monitor style lets the viewfinder display cover the full area of the screen, overlays the shooting information over the live image.
LCD Disp. Style
- Viewfinder style
- LCD monitor style
Same as the above, only for the rear-panel LCD screen.)
LCD Info. Disp.
- Off
- 1 (Blue)
- 2 (Red)
- 3 (Black)
Selects the color scheme for the rear-panel LCD info display. Choices are blue, red, and grey, to match the three body colors available for the G1.
LVF/LCD Auto
- Off
- On
Controls the eye sensor for the electronic viewfinder. When enabled, the viewfinder display will switch to the EVF automatically when you hold the camera to your eye.

 

Panasonic G1 full Custom menu layout
(note, large download for dialup users)

Custom Menu 2 Options
Top-Level
Selection
Second-Level
Notes
Histogram
- Off
- On
Display live histogram in Record Mode. You can position the histogram display anywhere within a horizontal band covering about 70% of the display area. (Histogram can't overlap with shooting information overlay areas.)
Guide Line
- Off
- Grid
- Grid + Star
- Positionable horiz/vertical lines
Select grid overlay pattern. The fourth option lets you position single horizontal and vertical lines anywhere in the frame you want.
AF/AE Lock
- AE
- AF
- AF/AE
Controls the AF/AE lock button's function. When pressed, lock the Auto exposure, Auto Focus or both.
AF/AE Lock Hold
- Off
- On
Normally, the AF/AE Lock button locks exposure/focus only while you're holding it down. With this option selected, pressing the AF/AE Lock button toggles the lock. (That is, once it's been pressed, the lock remains in effect until you press it again to release it.)
Preview Hold
- Off
- On
Controls the Preview display option in Record mode. (For previewing effects of exposure, depth of field, and shutter speed.) When Preview Hold is enabled, the Preview button toggles the mode on and off. Otherwise, the Preview function is only active while you're pressing the Preview button.

 

Panasonic G1 full Custom menu layout
(note, large download for dialup users)

Custom Menu 3 Options
Top-Level
Selection
Second-Level
Notes
Pre AF
- Off
- Q-AF (Quick-AF)
- C-AF (Continuous-AF)
Quick AF focuses automatically whenever the camera stops moving, Continuous AF adjusts the AF all the time. Either mode will reduce AF times when you're switching between close and distant subjects, but both will use more battery power. (Continuous more so than Quick.)
Direct AF Area
- Off
- On
When enabled, lets you modify the position and size of the AF area while shooting. Arrow keys move the AF area around, control dial adjusts the size.
Focus Priority
- Off
- On
When enabled, the camera will only open the shutter when the subject is in focus.
AF Assist Lamp
- Off
- On
When enabled, AF assist light will illuminate when shooting in dim lighting.
AF + MF
- Off
- On
Allows manual focusing after autofocus is done.

 

Panasonic G1 full Custom menu layout
(note, large download for dialup users)

Custom Menu 3 Options
Top-Level
Selection
Second-Level
Notes
MF Assist
- Off
- On
Enables automatic zoom of the viewfinder image whenever the manual focus ring is moved. (While the shutter button is still being held down.) (Zoom is selectable between 5x and 10x, by rotating front dial.)
Expo. Settings
- Switch by pressing front dial
- Switch by pressing LVF/LCD button
Normally, you switch between aperture and shutter speed (in manual mode) or EV adjust and program shift by pressing in on the front control dial. This option lets you also make that switch with the LVF/LCD button on the camera's back.
Dial Guide
- Off
- On
When enabled, the camera momentarily displays an icon telling you to push the front dial to switch between exposure settings.
Menu Resume
- Off
- On
If set on, the camera will remember the last menu screen you were using, even if the camera is turned off.
Pixel Refresh
- Yes
- No
Maps-out bad sensor pixels. Panasonic recommends doing this once a year.

 

Panasonic G1 full Custom menu layout
(note, large download for dialup users)

Custom Menu 3 Options
Top-Level
Selection
Second-Level
Notes
Shoot W/O Lens
- Off
- On
If set on, you can activate the shutter button without a lens mounted. (Useful for sensor cleaning, with Bulb exposure?)

 

 

Panasonic G1 Setup Menu:

Panasonic G1 full Setup menu layout
(note, large download for dialup users)

Setup Menu 1 Options
Top-Level
Selection
Second-Level
Notes
Clock Set

- Hr/min/M/D/Y
Sets cameras time and date.
World Time
- Destination
- Home
Lets you quickly switch time/date between two locations, "Home" and "Destination".
Fn Button Set
- Aspect Ratio
- Quality
- Metering mode
- I. Exposure
- Guide Line
Selects what the Fn Button does. (Fn button doubles as down-arrow key.)
Auto Review
Review:
- Off
- 1 Sec
- 3 Sec
- 5 Sec
- Hold

Zoom:
- Off
- 1 Sec
- 3 Sec
- 5 Sec

Selects the time that an image is displayed on the LCD monitor after the picture is taken. Camera can also automatically display a 4x zoomed review. Same options for Review and Zoom, both can be enabled at the same time (will display first normal, then zoomed review image).
Highlight
- Off
- On
If on, any blown highlight areas will blink when the image is played back on the LCD screen.

 

Panasonic G1 full Setup menu layout
(note, large download for dialup users)

Setup Menu 2 Options
Top-Level
Selection
Second-Level
Notes
Economy
Power Save:
- Off
- 1 Min
- 2 Min
- 5 Min
- 10 Min

Auto LCD Off:
- Off
- 15 Sec
- 30 Sec
Turns camera and LCD monitor off after a specified period of inactivity.
Monitor / Viewfinder
Adjust brightness and/or contrast & saturation in 7 steps
Adjusts LCD when LCD in use, EVF when EVF is in use.
LCD Mode
- Off
- A*
- *
Enables auto brightness adjustment of LCD screen in response to bright surroundings. Alternatively the "*" option increases brightness all the time.
No. Reset
- Yes
- No
Resets the file numbers.
Reset
- Yes
- No
Resets most menu options back to their default settings.

 

Panasonic G1 full Setup menu layout
(note, large download for dialup users)

Setup Menu 3 Options
Top-Level
Selection
Second-Level
Notes
Beep
- Muted
- Low
- High
Sets the beep volume for the focus confirmation, self-timer and the alarm.
Video Out
- NTSC
- PAL
Selects video output signal timing (NTSC for the US & Japan, PAL for most of the rest of the world.) NOTE - only appears when video cable is connected.
TV Aspect
- 16:9
- 4:3
Matches the video output's aspect ratio to that of your TV.
HDMI Mode
- Auto
- 1080i
- 480p/576p
Selects the HD video output format. 480p is available if NTSC is selected, 576p for PAL.
Viera Link
- Off
- On
When enabled, the G1 can be controlled by other Panasonic Viera home electronics (TVs, projectors, home theater systems) its connected to via its HDMI link.
Language
- English
- Francais
- Espanol
- Portugues
Select the menu language. (US models only: Units sold in other parts of the world will have different language menu options.)

 

Panasonic G1 full Setup menu layout
(note, large download for dialup users)

Setup Menu 4 Options
Top-Level
Selection
Second-Level
Notes
Version Disp.
- Body Firmware
- Lens Firmware
Displays the version of firmware in the body and lens.
Scene Menu
- Off
- Auto
Chooses whether or not the sub-option menu automatically appears when the camera is switched into one of its scene modes.
USB Mode
- Select on connection
- PC
- PictBridge
Selects how the camera connects with your computer or printer. Set to always appear as a storage-class device (PC) or as a PictBridge controller, or to select each time the camera is connected.
Format
- Yes
- No
Formats the memory card.

 

 

Panasonic G1 My Menu:

Panasonic G1 My Menu layout
(note, large download for dialup users)

The Panasonic DMC-G1's My Menu shows the five most recently-used menu options, handy for accessing frequently-used controls quickly. Unlike some My Menu features, you can't explicitly assign controls to this menu, rather, the most-recently used ones appear here automatically.

 

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