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Panasonic LUMIX G / GF / GH / GX Series
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Old March 11th, 2014, 04:34 AM   #1
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who has problems with disappearing display

Seems there's two schools of thought - those that don't need/want a congested screen display and those that can't do without it
Me, I like the clear screen and if it does disappear after 10 seconds no big deal. Others froth at the mouth and feel Panasonic are deliberately crippling cameras with this and other non-features.
All conspiracy theories welcome.
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Old March 11th, 2014, 08:59 AM   #2
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Re: who has problems with disappearing display

This is simple. Ergonomics can be tested and evaluated.

If you test the GH3 ergonomics on this issue, you will find there are people that want the displays on. Some that don't. Now what? Looking further, you will find it's not an on/off personal preference alone but rather, there are also situations that determine it one way or the other. That is, it isn't a matter of frothing at the mouth or not caring/knowing better. Rather, the shooter that normally wants them off ends up in a situation where having them on is desirable for whatever reason. And vice versa.

This is exactly what preferences are for. Cameras provide them for just these kinds of issues. But the GH3 does not allow users to override the default of 10 seconds. It has a DISPLAY button to cycle through 4 modes but no way to control the display duration. No matter what Panasonic's reason, it's poor ergonomic design.
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Old March 11th, 2014, 12:02 PM   #3
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Re: who has problems with disappearing display

If you constantly need to monitor audio then it might be a problem, for my use it's not a issue and I can bring up the screen data if I want to during record. It is my first camera ever (and probably the only one I know of) that has the screen data disappear by itself, I read somewhere it has to do with preventing the data to burn into the screen but why do other manufacturers don't have this issue, is it a inferior lcd screen? We"ll never know for sure.
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Old March 11th, 2014, 02:26 PM   #4
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Re: who has problems with disappearing display

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Originally Posted by Chris Duczynski View Post
... those that don't need/want a congested screen display and those that can't do without it...
The point being raised is, the camera shouldn't force its own workflow on the user. Instead, the camera should support whatever workflow the user chooses.

The GH3/4 forces its own workflow on the user. There's not a lot more to say about it.
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Old March 11th, 2014, 09:07 PM   #5
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Re: who has problems with disappearing display

The camera does support my workflow. I use the GH3 pretty well every day commercially and am so familiar with it that I know what my settings are without a constant reminder on a display that I'm shooting mov on manual WB at f1.8 and my batteries half full. I want to concentrate on what I'm shooting.
I also think cameras are ridiculously over-menued these days. Do I really need a histogram while shooting, or dynamic set to low, or do I even want to use the touch screen to pull focus...seriously. Do I need all those profile options - they're cheap add-ons with little value for people who know zero about cameras. They distract from the real day to day of shooting well composed, well thought out, properly exposed and focussed footage.
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Old March 11th, 2014, 10:34 PM   #6
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Re: who has problems with disappearing display

This has been discussed over and over. For some, they can't imagine having displays always on. Others say that reflects a lack of imagination/experience. Still you and others know clearly you want to monitor audio visually. Others can't imagine why. Other cameras accommodate the "OFF" crowd with a button that takes them off. The GH3 has such a display mode button yet still forces the displays off after 10 seconds when you are in the mode that's supposed to have them on.

So who's to say on or off? A good designer will punt that to the user. It's a significant flaw in the design of the GH3 and interferes with the record button in a way that can cause loss of a shot; especially if you aren't (ironically) paying attention to the displays. It's not a trivial setting hardly anyone uses. It makes the camera non-deterministic for record tasks which is one of the most important and frequent tasks ... all of which is bad in ergonomic tests. It might be THE most criticized feature of the camera.
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Old March 12th, 2014, 12:11 AM   #7
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Re: who has problems with disappearing display

It has been discussed robustly vt and more sensibly in this forum. Unfortunately it didn't help the Gh4 deliver it. I notice the price has gone up on the GH4 as well, so I'm not sure what that extra costing has gone into.
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Old March 12th, 2014, 02:46 AM   #8
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Re: who has problems with disappearing display

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Originally Posted by Les Wilson View Post
It's a significant flaw in the design of the GH3 and interferes with the record button in a way that can cause loss of a shot; especially if you aren't (ironically) paying attention to the displays.
And not to forget the fact that you have to press the rec button twice if the camera is in standby and when the info is off the screen, first push brings the info back on and second push starts recording , however, missing a shot is not a matter of a flaw in the design, the red rec button continues to flash, you continue to have the time recorded and the time left on your card, so if you miss a shot you weren't paying attention to the screen, it's all there.
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Old March 12th, 2014, 07:30 AM   #9
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Re: who has problems with disappearing display

The defense of removing the displays is made with "I want to concentrate on what I'm shooting". And now the claim is made the record button behavior doesn't result in missed shots with "so if you miss a shot you weren't paying attention to the screen". You can't have it both ways.

How a shot was missed was documented the previous time the three of us discussed this. Nothing has changed but I'll add another scenario due to the Custom Settings that don't work.

You miss a shot when the thing you wanted to film passed into history as you were busy playing with the record button pressing it twice (too fast and it won't take). It also happens when you abandoned the useless Record button and use Switch to Movie Mode then use the shutter button routine ... then realize you are filming using the shutter speed of the last still photo you took.

To recap the lost footage due to the flawed record button:
Scenario 1:
You see something happening keeping an eye on focus and exposure
You press record and the camera displays the overlays but doesn't record
The thing happens
You press record and record what happened missing the beginning second or so due to the lag in the double tap

Scenario 2:
You see something happening keeping an eye on focus and exposure
You press record before the 10 second timer turns off the displays
The thing happens
You press record a second time and recording stops
You end up with a second of footage

It's a design flaw that increases the cognitive load for one of the most critical and frequent tasks: Start Recording. Increased cognitive load for camera operation decreases cognitive ability available for the creative side. Therefore, for one of the most critical and frequent tasks, the design should implement it with a reliable and deterministic action with low cognitive load. The GH3 scores poorly in this regard.

The fact that one can disable the record button and use the shutter salvages things somewhat except you have to make sure you've flipped to Movie mode which is a delay that can result in lost footage as well as possibly require tilting the camera to see what mode it's in. Otherwise you take a photo, realize what's wrong, switch to Movie mode and, well, missed several seconds of what you wanted. And it gets worse when you discover that you are filming video with a high shutter speed leftover from the still mode you were in. So you've missed more.

And then there's the 3 Custom Settings that solve this problem on the Canon design but on the GH3, it doesn't. GH3 Custom Settings don't save the exposure settings. So while you may setup one of them for filming video with the shutter speed fixed for the recording format you film in, it's not actually stored in the Custom Setting. The camera uses the exposure settings from whatever you were doing last.
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Old March 12th, 2014, 01:06 PM   #10
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Re: who has problems with disappearing display

Not saying the screeninfo and the having to press twice sometimes is ok, it's not and it's a design flaw, but after having used the gh3 for a while now I don't see any issue to start or to stop recording, it just takes some getting used to, you only need to watch the screen info carefully but that you need to do with any camera, no matter if it is or isn't recording, I at least have not missed any moment because of this on my recent weddings.

This reminds me of my father, he had a Sony fx1000 and as he was still shooting weddings when he was almost 70 he had more issues keeping focused, many times I saw footage of him running around filming the floor and then raising the camera pointing at what he wanted to shoot and the recording stopped. :) That camera didn't have any issues with screen info disappearing but he made that mistake often because he was not looking at all screen info as soon as he pressed record, something which has become second nature to me (to check the screen many times).
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Old March 12th, 2014, 05:51 PM   #11
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Re: who has problems with disappearing display

There is nothing in any of this discussion which clears Panasonic of a clear & (to some) painful omission in not allowing the display info to be user-determined. Really - there is no getting around this. If you don't mind the disappearance, fine. If you do (as I do, and find it perhaps the worst non-feature of the camera), it's terrible.

As has been asked so many times - give us the choice in a firmware update, Panasonic!
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Old March 12th, 2014, 10:22 PM   #12
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Re: who has problems with disappearing display

Sorry Keith. The firmware update came and went without a fix to this. I noticed the other day that hardly anyone rated the camera poorly on Amazon let alone mentioned it's flaws. SO Panasonic was given a pass by the fans there. Panasonic moved development over to the follow-on products like the GH4 which Im waiting to hear about if it has the same flaw. GH3 owners are stuck with it. I sold mine and will think twice about Panasonic. They are now below JVC in my book.
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Old March 12th, 2014, 10:27 PM   #13
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Re: who has problems with disappearing display

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Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
...This reminds me of my father, ... many times I saw footage of him running around filming the floor and then raising the camera pointing at what he wanted to shoot and the recording stopped. :) ...
This has happened to everyone since the beginning of camcorders. Its a different issue. That is the issue of tactile feedback in the record button. You think you hit it hard enough to turn off and then go about getting ready for the next thing. Of course you aren't looking at the screen. You are looking at what you are doing or where you are going. Then when you are ready, you press record which stops it when you wanted to record. At that point, good shooters check for the red light and discover their harmless mistake.Bad shooters don't. Camcorders with record buttons that are hard to press or mushy tend to have this more than those that are "just right".
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Old March 13th, 2014, 02:32 AM   #14
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Re: who has problems with disappearing display

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good shooters check for the red light
I rest my case

:)
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Old March 13th, 2014, 05:36 AM   #15
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Re: who has problems with disappearing display

No amount of checking the red light will go back in time and bring home what you missed because of the badly implemented GH3 button or what you missed fiddling with the controls to put the shutter speed back to video speed or fix the crap stuff filmed at a stupid fast shutter speed all due to poor GH3 design.
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