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Why Panasonic exposure so simple and limited?
  • GH3, GH4 and other high end/professional Panasonic cameras has severe limitation in video exposure options and features. Many pocket cameras and cell phones has more versatile exposure. Why Panasonic has decided to leave many basic exposure tools out of the tool box? Lets look the GH4:

    -not showing basic exposure information (aperture, shutter and iso).

    -no auto iso in M with EV comp although it has a dedicated EV comp button. In fact I can not find any other reasonable use for that button than EV comp with auto iso in M.

    -no iso limit like in photo modes.

    -AE lock button works crippled.

    -full auto uses very high shutter speeds.

    -no shutter speed limit.

    -all special features like long shutter speeds or slow motion works only after everything (AE+AF) is in manual.

    -all Panasonic objectives has stepping aperture.

    It cant be a lack of knowledge. Panasonic has limited exposure options in purpose. But why?

  • 109 Replies sorted by
  • Because this is how things work. You need some manager to collect all this issues, later he must spend like 2 months of his life defending them to have any chance of implementing, and even after this all can be never done.

  • GH3/GH4 are not Panasonics "high end / professional" cameras, they offer far more expensive cameras for professional use. And that is already explaining why you won't see many (even trivial to realize) features in "consumer price range" cameras: Such features are intentionally kept away from the less expensive cameras to separate markets and to create incentives to buy the extremely pricy "professional" models.

    You can bet Panasonics product managers spend only half as much time on thinking what great new features to include into some future camera as they spend on thinking what existing features not to include in which new model to justify the pricing of the more expensive models.

  • GH4 has some unusual "professional" exposure features like shutter speed in degrees, flicker decrease and synchro scan. And a league of frame rates from 2 to 96.

    I dont consider showing aperture, shutter and iso very sophisticated or professional. I dont think they will loose many pro camera customers if GH4 could show that info or use auto iso in M.

    I have never used those special exposure aids but every time I go shooting I am frustrated because I dont know what exposure values I am using.

  • I must be doing something wrong. I see shutter speed, aperture, and ISO on my GH4 when I shoot video.

    Fran

  • @Fran_Guidry

    Try S, A or P or auto iso. I must dial to photo mode and check what the automatic values may be and then back to video mode.

  • I must be doing something wrong. I see shutter speed, aperture, and ISO on my GH4 when I shoot video in Movie mode or in S, A or P photo modes. In P mode I need to adjust the aperture/shutter dial on the camera to activate the display.

  • S-priority set to 180 degree shutter (1/50 for 24p) is an easy way to shoot AE video on a panasonic body.

  • @caveport

    I am talking about video modes A,S,P,M via video menu. If using photo modes (dial) the video is always automatic and uses program mode P. The values you see are for current photo mode but not for video. After starting recording using the red button GH4 is not showing aperture and shutter and it uses very high shutter speeds in good light. GH4 is not using traditional 180 degree rule when it uses auto exposure for video. With auto exposure for video you can never know what the camera is doing.

    I think Panasonic has thought not to confuse user by showing changing auto value but the results is opposite. The user is confused because he has no idea what is happening. With S one may use happily aperture f22 and wonder why GH4 videos are so soft (I have done it). With A user may have completely odd shutter speed and with auto iso the GH4 may use iso6400 and the user wonders why videos are so noisy etc, etc...

    It is funny that I must use Exiftool to check later at home what exposure values I was using during shooting.

  • @Vesku OK. I understand. It does not bother me as I nearly always shoot in manual movie mode. I think changing values in varying light conditions would not be good to have displayed. It would be nice to have a full auto mode with 180 deg shutter setting.

  • I see the values on my phone. But no auto ISO in full manual is a bummer.

  • Well, FULL manual is exactly what it is!

  • @vesku - Agree completely. Its so short sighted of Panasonic to not include these options / display aids.

    As to the comments, the GH3/GH4 are not high end / professional camera. Panasonic would disagree. http://pro-av.panasonic.net/en/gh4u/index.html

    I think it shows that unless you run it full manual, the GUI developers think you are stupid, so shouldn't know what the camera is doing.

  • GH4:

    Auto iso limit is already there - they removed it from video

    Auto iso in M is already there - they removed it from video

    Exposure values are visible in photo mode - they removed values from video

    Program exposure shift is there - they removed it from video

    They have done additional programming work to make GH4 worse??

  • On my GH4:

    Auto iso limit works in video.

    Auto iso in M works in video.

    Program exposure shift works in video, even during recording.

    Maybe you should play with your GH4 a little more....

  • @caveport.

    If the camera is in Creative Movie Mode (top dial) and you set the Exposure (either using the touchscreen, or via the Menu > Motion Picture > Exposure Mode) to [M] - AutoISO is not available, nor is AutoISO Limit.

    Full Manual I agree is 'full manual' - alas they include AutoISO for 'full manual' in still modes, why not creative movie mode?

    I've learned just to shoot in Shutter Priority (1/50) and ISO800 if shooting in changing light. Not ideal, but close enough.

  • I just switch to the appropriate photo mode, set the menu options and make a preset for the top dial 'C' settings. Now I have all the options I want instantly.

  • Unfortunately in all mode dial photo modes (A,S,P and M) the video recording uses always fully automatic program (P) exposure. You can choose other exposure modes for video only when the mode dial is in Creative Video Mode and you must choose those exposure modes via video menu.

    It is quite confusing. The camera should tell that the video exposure is fully automatic (P) and not what the mode the dial shows. If the camera would show exposure values the user could instantly figure that thing.

  • One way to get around the automatic video is to use the Flicker Reduction feature. I use it on my G7 all the time. Then I can set my shutter speed to 1/50 or 1/60 always, even when pressing the video start button without entering manual video mode.

  • This isn't available on the GH4. (On the GH3 yes, but they removed it from the GH4 for some reason)..

  • One way to get around the automatic video is to use the Flicker Reduction feature..

    It leads to jumpy exposure because the aperture works in steps. Also 1/50s or 1/60s gives you easily soft video outdoors because the aperture goes to f22.

  • How can it lead to jumpy exposure when the camera does not have the flicker reduction feature?

  • How can it lead to jumpy exposure when the camera does not have the flicker reduction feature?

    It was a surprise for me that the GH4 has removed the flicker reduction but GH3 and G7 has it (maybe others too). Still the major issue with Panasonic is to shoot without exposure information. That leads to many troubles and confusion.

  • So you want exposure compensation in manual mode.... euhm.... in manual mode you decide with your settings to over- or under expose. Thats the thing with manual mode isn't it?

    And about "not showing basic exposure information (aperture, shutter and iso)"... I really don't get that. You shoot film in several situations and by the looks of all your topics about settings and functions I assume you tailored your C1-3-settings to your needs (thats what why they are there, customise). I see all these parameters in my c modes while filming.

  • It is not really about the Manual mode and I think that is partly why it is confusing to discuss.

    It is about locking down the shutter and aperture you want for aesthetics while letting the camera control iso as the third element in the exposure triangle. Without exposure compensation in this configuration, you give up the ability to very quickly correct for the default camera exposure. My old Nikon D100 had this, so did my D7000, some higher end Canons, and recent Sony mirrorless too. etc. I believe Pentax has a mode (but not called manual) just for this use case. I remember Panasonic didn't even have auto iso in M until after the GX7 so I think the next step is to allow exposure compensation as an option. The GX85 also doesn't have EV comp as mentioned by Richard Wong. http://www.photobyrichard.com/reviewbyrichard/panasonic-lumix-gx85-review/

    It is really useful in high speed photography situations like BIF, airshows, etc and could be harder to understand for people who don't do these things. Aperture priority and program priority don't replace this feature and this has been discussed ad-infinitum in many other places. It is about giving the user (who might come from other systems) the option to choose and Panasonic could leave it as disabled by default out of the box if they worry about confusing those who don't care.

  • @alexanderkooistra

    So you want exposure compensation in manual mode.... euhm.... in manual mode you decide with your settings to over- or under expose. Thats the thing with manual mode isn't it?

    This is exactly what Panasonic thinks. Panasonic and you should think it again :)

    And about "not showing basic exposure information (aperture, shutter and iso)"... I really don't get that. You shoot film in several situations and by the looks of all your topics about settings and functions I assume you tailored your C1-3-settings to your needs (thats what why they are there, customise). I see all these parameters in my c modes while filming.

    In S video mode you cant see the aperture, in A video mode you cant see the shutter speed, in P video mode you cant see anything, in auto iso you cant see the iso... and so on. C-memories do nothing for that. Still the camera saves all the values to video exif and shows all those values while using photo modes. What is the logic behind that. Removing important values user needs during filming ?? GH4 is not a beginners pocket camera.