Who's a spoiled kitty?

Who's a spoiled kitty?, originally uploaded by john m flores.
It's shot like these that continue to surprise me. F2.0, 1/50, ISO 1600. The light source are three dim LED lights and the dual monitors of the computer - check out Nate's right eye. In Lightroom, all I did was place the white balance eye dropper on the cat's nose and that's it.

The Panasonic GH2 is doing well here. ISO1600 is holding up well. There's very little grain in the well lit areas, and the grain that shows up in the shadows is tight and mostly luma noise. It's just as clean as my ISO1600 shots from my K20d, maybe even a hair cleaner because there's less color blotchy chroma noise.

And if you notice, this was a one-handed shot, as my left hand is in the frame making the cat happy. I shoot in M mode, and was able to adjust aperture and shutter speed with one hand. The rear dial (there is no front dial) clicks as well as scrolls, and in Manual mode, the clicking toggles you between setting aperture and setting shutter speed. The system works well - my initial impression is that it works just as well as the more traditional front-rear dial setup.

I wish setting ISO was as nice. Mind you, it's not bad - you click the ISO button (top of the 4-way pad) and a grid of ISO values overlays the image. Scroll to the one you want with either the rear dial or 4-way pad and click Set. You can do it via the Q.Menu (I think that stands for Quick Menu) as well, but neither are as elegant as setting T and A. My Ricoh GX100 (RIP) had a similar rear dial/clicker and a neat feature - you could customize which settings it controlled. A similar feature on the Panasonic could put T, A and ISO all under the rear dial. That would be neat - the three most adjusted settings under a single controller. Panasonic, are you listening?

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the rear EVF. Under low light, the camera amps up the signal for increased brightness. While it certainly aids composition and is a great help when manually focusing adapted lenses, it adds noise to the otherwise excellent display. And while I rationally know that the amped-up, noisy image that I see in the EVF is not representative of the image, it feels artificial and more like a video camera. So while it's functionally cool, it's haptically not.

I'll be writing more about the EVF in future posts, as it seems to be the one thing that puts off traditional (optical) photographers. Until then, meow.

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