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Panasonic LUMIX G / GF / GH / GX Series
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Old December 15th, 2011, 03:29 PM   #1
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HELP THE NEWBIES THREAD.....please.

Ive got a zillion questions...the manual seems to have been written by my worst enemy. Maybe someone from Sony. ha

Ive got a lot of questions and I dont want to bore everyone with newbie questions. For those that want to help those of us that are basically starting from scratch with the GH2...thanks.

Gotta go right now, but will post questions tonight.

Jeff Hinson
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Old December 15th, 2011, 03:48 PM   #2
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Re: HELP THE NEWBIES THREAD.....please.

Search first then post if an answer isn't available.
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Old December 15th, 2011, 06:44 PM   #3
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Re: HELP THE NEWBIES THREAD.....please.

First, make the manual your friend. If you read it cover to cover, with your camera close for testing, this thread will be very short.
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Old December 15th, 2011, 09:38 PM   #4
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Re: HELP THE NEWBIES THREAD.....please.

I haven't updated this for the new firmware update, but attached to the post below is a summary from what I learned from the GH2 manual:

http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/panasoni...o-cameras.html
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Old December 15th, 2011, 09:44 PM   #5
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Re: HELP THE NEWBIES THREAD.....please.

James,

Many thanks. Looks much better organized than the manual.

D
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Old December 15th, 2011, 11:35 PM   #6
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Re: HELP THE NEWBIES THREAD.....please.

As someone who has been in your position, my advice would be to begin with the settings we discussed earlier, and then shooing every thing you can. Closeups, handheld, whatever. Then download the footage and edit it. The editing is where you learn the most about using your camera, as you see all of your mistakes there. It also helped me learn how to deal with the footage, as I was very inexperienced with HD footage.

I started out getting shots of my cat, and I went to the park a LOT and shot flowers, waterfalls, the sky, people milling around everything. I made little music videos out of the footage, posted them on Vimeo. It was such a novelty at the time, the footage was so clear and nice. I once shot video of a family playing Frisbee, that was really difficult, but helpful.

Focusing is paramount, obviously. I use the setting that gives me a square focus area onscreen, and focus by depressing the shutter halfway. As I change subjects, I push the shutter to focus as needed. I personally do NOT use auto focus, hardly ever, almost never. You turn that off in the menu, and I think on the stage left side dial, you put it on AFS, I believe, not AFC, but whatever, the main thing for me is I don't use manual focus as much, as it's too imprecise while rolling with that little screen, for me.

Anyway, we have all been where you've been, so don't feel like the lone ranger.

I should add there are guys here that are much better shooters than I, and they likely use the camera differently than me, but that's ok. I had to have a system that was simple and helped me to not miss shots, and while not a perfect methodology, it will work in a pinch.
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Old December 16th, 2011, 03:03 AM   #7
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Re: HELP THE NEWBIES THREAD.....please.

?

Just a few posts and it's already helping me and others too, Im sure.

I am where most of you were sometime back...so "any tip" certainly helps.

Im learning the importance of "custom" white balance rather than using the preset. The little WB button is great on the GH2, scroll with the wheelie thing, and 'sample" the actual light hitting the subject for WB.

Im using the 1.1 update, HBR 30P setting for now.
I think I did set the focus to AFC...so will change that today.

A note on the "exposure" while using Program mode. Im assuming the GH2 sets exposure, but gives you the latitude to adjust plus or minus 3 steps.

I don't like the "video record start" being on the shutter button. But I can probably change that in the menu somewhere. Its too easy to hit the shutter button to focus, and stop the recording.

Great advice and thanks much.
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.......did I say Im up at 3am taking clips of the blinking lights on the Christmas tree?....it's driving the AF crazy....a quick flip to manual focus, now to find the exposure lock button. : ? O

JH

Last edited by Jeff Hinson; December 16th, 2011 at 03:15 AM. Reason: it's 3 a.m.
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Old December 16th, 2011, 08:29 AM   #8
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Re: HELP THE NEWBIES THREAD.....please.

You can't turn off using the shutter button, but you can use the button with a red dot as your record button. But for focusing while recording you will learn eventually learn how to push the shutter halfway without turning recording off, or more importantly you will learn how to double check to make sure you didn't stop recording when you focused using the shutter button.

After you've missed a first dance because you accidentally turned off recording, you'll remember to double check a lot better. This is one reason at the beginning I ran up to five cameras, shooting with these cameras can be tricky. You'll feel particularly foolish to have been focusing, following a subject, only to find you were not recording at all. After a time or two of that you'll be good, and your eyes will instinctively go to look for the red dot every time you focus using the shutter button. But be careful, because when you stop recording the dot doesn't disappear right away, and it can fool you into thinking your recording, but in reality you've just turned it off. Ideally after you've focused, wait before you leave the camera unattended and watch for a few secs to make sure it's still running.

Long story short use the tiny record button for stop and start. After you focus using shutter button, make sure you didn't stop recording by accident.

Last edited by Jeff Harper; December 16th, 2011 at 01:38 PM.
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Old December 16th, 2011, 01:30 PM   #9
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Re: HELP THE NEWBIES THREAD.....please.

Quote:
Originally Posted by James Campbell View Post
I haven't updated this for the new firmware update, but attached to the post below is a summary from what I learned from the GH2 manual:

http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/panasoni...o-cameras.html
James, do you plan to update your cheat sheet for the new firmware? Any time soon? Pretty please? ;-)

D
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Old December 16th, 2011, 04:46 PM   #10
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Re: HELP THE NEWBIES THREAD.....please.

Yeah...found out I "cant" shut off the shutter button start/stop function.
But that's OK....been messing with cam today, and ALL your suggestions have really helped me take some cool video.
Im actually getting pretty good with the shutter/focus button.
I have an interview shoot next week and Im gonna use the GH2 with external recorder. I tried natural light and LED light on cam today. The P mode and WB, worked well with both.

Moving along...confidence is building.

Thanks,
Jeff H.
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Old December 16th, 2011, 09:22 PM   #11
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Re: HELP THE NEWBIES THREAD.....please.

Great, glad you're feeling better. You can experiment with running in other modes anytime. For now you can actually use the camera, and that's the primary thing.

A slightly more complicated feature, but very helpful is the AE/AF button that Nigle B recommends a lot. If you're outside, or anywhere say in a backlit situation, you can aim the camera at a spot that will give you proper exposure, push AE/AF lock, and you're set. It's not exactly that simple, but that's kind of how it works. You have to choose in the menu if you want both Focus and Exposure locked when your use the button, as you have a choice, but you get the general idea. It kind of gives you a kind of manual control without using manual settings, and can be a huge help when running in Program mode.
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Old December 16th, 2011, 10:29 PM   #12
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Re: HELP THE NEWBIES THREAD.....please.

Dennis,
It wouldn't be that difficult to update for the new firmware... I'm just not seeing that much to change: 1) in NTSC land, just adding the 30p "High Bit Rate", 2) I'm trying to grasp the Half Press Release feature, 3) the Touch Screen On/Off feature, 4) and the ETC mode for both photo/video now. Other than that -- and the power zoom features which I can't access as I don't have the zoom lenses -- there really isn't much to note unless I missed something.
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Old December 17th, 2011, 03:04 AM   #13
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Re: HELP THE NEWBIES THREAD.....please.

With the 1.1 Update mine turns on instantly now instead of a couple seconds as it was before.
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Old December 17th, 2011, 04:53 AM   #14
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Re: HELP THE NEWBIES THREAD.....please.

Quote:
Originally Posted by James Campbell View Post
Dennis,
It wouldn't be that difficult to update for the new firmware... I'm just not seeing that much to change: 1) in NTSC land, just adding the 30p "High Bit Rate", 2) I'm trying to grasp the Half Press Release feature, 3) the Touch Screen On/Off feature, 4) and the ETC mode for both photo/video now. Other than that -- and the power zoom features which I can't access as I don't have the zoom lenses -- there really isn't much to note unless I missed something.
The new V1.1 firmware also improves AF, powers on more quickly & has reduced colour shift on the LCD when engaging record. It's well worth upgrading.
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Old December 17th, 2011, 07:05 AM   #15
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Re: HELP THE NEWBIES THREAD.....please.

So ETC now works for photos also? That is VERY cool, didn't know that. All in all, I highly doubt that there has ever been an update that increased usability to any camera this extensively before. It seems to be almost groundbreaking in that way.
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