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Old Sunday 1st February 2009, 06:40   #1
Neil
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Panasonic Lumix G1 at last - what a gem for digiscoping

As it is my birthday soon I was able to get hold of the much anticipated Lumix G1 yesterday for the grand price of US770 with the kit lens and an 8 gig card. I went out this morning very early without having a chance to read the manual so will update with all the features later.
The good news for digiscoping is that the kit zoom (14 - 45 ) lens is internally focusing and has a 52 mm thread. My DCA adapter screwed straight in and as the camera/lens combo is light I was able to use it unsupported. Vignetting was only slight on the Swarovski 30x eyepiece ( 20 mm of ER ) and disappeared with one zoom click at 18 mm (42 mm in the old money or 1260 mm ) . Auto focus seemed to work well using the Electronic Viewfinder as well as the LCD screen as you would expect. I took this image at iso 400 as light levels were low when I started but there is still no apparent noise. I took photos down to iso 100 and all steps in-between, but I didn't try higher today. The shrike was at iso 160, flycatcher at iso 400 and the wagtail at iso 100 .
A nice feature is that when you move your eye up to the viewfinder the lcd screen cuts off automatically.
I shot some RAW images as well but haven't processed them yet. The camera does slow down when shooting RAW but you can get a short series of shots first before it needs to process which takes some time.
I got the maroon colored one which makes a change from boring black.
I was interested in the Olympus 50/2.0 Macro lens for this but no-one had stock and they didn't have the adapter either but I'm quite impressed with the kit zoom.
The old 8400 has a worthy successor.
Neil

Panasonci Lumix G1 plus Swarovski STS80HD scope and SW 30x eyepiece and DCA adapter

Lamma Island,
Hong Kong,
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February 2009
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Old Sunday 1st February 2009, 11:27   #2
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Question Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1+Kowa 883?

Hi Neil

Thanks for a great initial review. I am about to take the plunge and order a P6000 and would be interested to hear if you have any thoughts or comparisons between the two cameras.

If I understand your review correctly you simply pushed the camera/lens/DCA over the eyepiece to take the images? At 580g with lens it's almost twice as heavy as the P6000, was stability an issue?

Reviews suggest it has a much faster shot to shot time than the P6000 (1 sec vs almost 6 secs in RAW) . This is v-e-r-y s-l-o-w and the main drwaback to the P6000 as far as I am concerned. maybe I should consider the G1

Of course I don't yet know if anyone has tried the G1 with the Kowa 883 yet?

all insights gratefully recieved!

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Old Sunday 1st February 2009, 11:41   #3
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Nice one Neil, I look forward to more reports.

Prices are coming down in the UK (450 with lens) so the camera is tempting but the prices of micro 4/3 adapters are too high for me to seriously consider it at the moment.

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Old Sunday 1st February 2009, 12:16   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Hawkins View Post
Hi Neil

Thanks for a great initial review. I am about to take the plunge and order a P6000 and would be interested to hear if you have any thoughts or comparisons between the two cameras.

If I understand your review correctly you simply pushed the camera/lens/DCA over the eyepiece to take the images? At 580g with lens it's almost twice as heavy as the P6000, was stability an issue?

Reviews suggest it has a much faster shot to shot time than the P6000 (1 sec vs almost 6 secs in RAW) . This is v-e-r-y s-l-o-w and the main drwaback to the P6000 as far as I am concerned. maybe I should consider the G1

Of course I don't yet know if anyone has tried the G1 with the Kowa 883 yet?

all insights gratefully recieved!

Dave
Dave,
The kit zoom lens on the G1 will work with most eyepieces, even some zooms . Any eyepiece adapter with a 52 mm thread will just screw into the front of the lens and the connection is strong enough so you don't need a camera support. There's no adapter on the camera. The DA Kowa adapter would be the go. I just shoot in Continuous Mode so stability wasn't much of an issue.
It's very fast compared to the P6000 and the noise handling is much better. The screen is excellent too. But it's not cheap.
Neil.

Last edited by Neil : Sunday 1st February 2009 at 12:41.
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Old Sunday 1st February 2009, 12:38   #5
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Very nice pictures Neil - extremely sharp ! Congrads on your purchase.

It looks like a serious contender for the Nikon P&S series. It will be most welcomed since those Nikons are not very well rated except for digiscoping.

The G1 is generating a lot of interest with good reason. The second generation will surely be most interesting with video added and hopefully longer lenses. Panasonic is coming along strong and may very well give Canon and Nikon a run for their money in the coming years.
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Old Sunday 1st February 2009, 13:57   #6
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How do you find the electronic viewfinder Neil? I read on some forums that the image freezes in the viewfinder while it writes to the card and the lag gets progressively worse on multiple shots as the buffer fills up. This could make it poor for anything but static shots.

I see Olympus are making an even smaller micro 4/3 camera, looks just like a point and shoot in the prototype version with no viewfinder.

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Old Sunday 1st February 2009, 16:24   #7
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Neil
Thanks for the report looking forward to more. This Camera is very tempting considering the results you are getting. The kit lens is internal focus, does the front element rotate?

I have the 8400 and now looking for an upgrade. I tried digiscoping with DSLR with poor results to date. The match up with my 30x Nikon eyepiece and the sigma 30mm is poor.

I wonder what alternative lens are available to suit digiscoping.

Again, thanks Neil
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Old Sunday 1st February 2009, 17:41   #8
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Originally Posted by birdsgalway View Post
Neil
Thanks for the report looking forward to more. This Camera is very tempting considering the results you are getting. The kit lens is internal focus, does the front element rotate?

I have the 8400 and now looking for an upgrade. I tried digiscoping with DSLR with poor results to date. The match up with my 30x Nikon eyepiece and the sigma 30mm is poor.

I wonder what alternative lens are available to suit digiscoping.

Again, thanks Neil
Tom
The camera is compatible with Olympus Zuiko Digital 14-42mm 1:3.5-5.6. Autofocus it works with this lens (I found this information on a romanian site). It is also compatible (with autofocus working) with Olympus Zuiko Digital 40-150 mm 4.0 - 5.6.
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Old Monday 2nd February 2009, 15:50   #9
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I'm still getting to grips with the way the camera works and will give more details tomorrow. I've been out all day with the camera and tried lots of things today at much longer distances than my first images. Here are a few more. The flying ducks were taken into the sun at 250 metres at iso 640 and 1/4000 second. The AF seemed to work ok.
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Old Tuesday 3rd February 2009, 03:47   #10
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Neil,

Finally! This may close the book on the interminable thread on the P5100.

I think you've stage a real coup here, being the first to post such impressive results with the G1. I'm inspired by all your posted photos, and especially by your two photos showing birds on the wing. I assume your Swarovski 80HD is too heavy to use as a hand-held telephoto, but your results have me thinking about this as a possibility with a lighter scope, such as my Pentax PF65.
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Old Tuesday 3rd February 2009, 11:29   #11
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Good work again Neil. Would like to know what you think about the mechanics of the camera, the evf lag on multiple exposures, how noisy the efv is in low light and what the evf refresh rate is like in low light. These are the main things I've read about from users reviews. No denying the image quality, looks pretty good.

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Old Tuesday 3rd February 2009, 12:10   #12
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Good work again Neil. Would like to know what you think about the mechanics of the camera, the evf lag on multiple exposures, how noisy the efv is in low light and what the evf refresh rate is like in low light. These are the main things I've read about from users reviews. No denying the image quality, looks pretty good.

Paul.
Paul,
I've now shot about 20 gigs with it and am enjoying it. You can take 7 frames in RAW/Jpeg and then there is a longish wait for downloading to the card. In Jpeg (fine ) you can get about 20 frames at 3/fps and then it slows to 1 fps until the card is full. This is not too bad and enabled me to get some nice action shots today which I'll post soon. The EVF is better than the 8400 and I've noticed no problem with it but I haven't tried it in low light yet ( the battery runs out about 3.00 pm ). It's nice to see the histogram right there. The AF is very fast in both modes which I like.
The kit lens does a reasonable job up close and personal (less than 30 metres) but suffers a bit on the longer distances, particularly if light is not optimum. I would recommend a decent prime, like a 35 mm or 50 mm.
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Old Tuesday 3rd February 2009, 14:00   #13
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One of the features I like about the G1 is the much faster frame rate compared to normal digicams ( 7 frames in RAW and unlimited in Jpeg (20 at 3fps and then 1fps ) ).
I was able to get a sequence of the pond heron capturing a mudskipper today . I had taken about 200 frames before I got the strike sequence.
Neil

Panasonic Lumix G1 plus Swarovski STS80Hdscope and Sw 30x eyepiece and DCA adapter

Mai Po Nature Reserve,
Hong Kong,
China.
February 2009
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Old Tuesday 3rd February 2009, 14:03   #14
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The detail from the kit zoom is quite impressive at close distance. This series was taken at about 7 metres under camouflage in a hide. Neil.
ps details as before.
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Old Tuesday 3rd February 2009, 18:34   #15
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I've not yet taken the plunge and got a G1, but, for future reference, is there an SLR adapter compatible with a Leica 62mm scope?
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Old Tuesday 3rd February 2009, 20:37   #16
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Quote:
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The detail from the kit zoom is quite impressive at close distance. This series was taken at about 7 metres under camouflage in a hide. Neil.
ps details as before.
Hi Neil,
Very impressed with your shots using the G1! can you tell me if it has a remote socket or IR remote?
Cheers
Brian
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Old Tuesday 3rd February 2009, 22:29   #17
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Neil.

Do you use manual mode or Apeture Priority mode?
Also is a support bracket nec to take stress of the Eyepiece?


One other thing in the past it was said with DSLR and Digiscoping the Auto-Focus was to much for the Scope Cmera connection, so Manual focus was the way to go does that apply with the G1.


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Old Wednesday 4th February 2009, 10:36   #18
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I've not yet taken the plunge and got a G1, but, for future reference, is there an SLR adapter compatible with a Leica 62mm scope?
John,
You would probably get a better response to this in the Adapter Forum
http://www.birdforum.net/forumdisplay.php?f=307

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Old Wednesday 4th February 2009, 16:21   #19
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Very interesting Neil. Does the G1 have a mounting screw hole. At the moment in Warehouse express the camera is nearly 500 so seems a mite expensive for digiscoping if one wants to keep a DSLR and long lens. Not clear on what other lense are available, any info at your end.
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Old Thursday 12th February 2009, 05:32   #20
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I took the G1 down to our local park to digiscope the flamingos which make nice test subjects. They were bathing and grooming near the fence in overhead shade at a distance of about 10 - 20 metres.
The AF seems to work better than any other digicam I have tested and being able to use iso 400 with no noise is a big advantage. The big , bright screen makes it easy to get the focus right with the scope too.
Neil.
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Old Thursday 12th February 2009, 05:39   #21
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Very interesting Neil. Does the G1 have a mounting screw hole. At the moment in Warehouse express the camera is nearly 500 so seems a mite expensive for digiscoping if one wants to keep a DSLR and long lens. Not clear on what other lense are available, any info at your end.
Robert,
There is a center tripod mount screw.
These are the lenses from Panasonic at the moment -
http://www.outdoorphotographer.com/c...ds-lenses.html
but there will be more and you can use existing lenses with an adapter.
http://www.engadget.com/tag/micro%20four%20thirds
I'm hoping to be able to use my Leica M lenses on it.

Neil.
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Old Thursday 12th February 2009, 08:00   #22
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This site has a lot of adapters for mounting most types of lenses on the G1 like those from Canon, Nikon, Pentax etc. I guess at manual focus only.

http://www.sciencecenter.net/hutech/...arts/index.htm

Some info here also on what combination of rings are needed etc.

http://digiborg.wordpress.com/2009/0...anasonic-g1-2/

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Old Tuesday 17th February 2009, 04:26   #23
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I've started processing some RAW files from the G1 after loading the software (Silkypix) that came with the camera. The first composite shows a Tiff file on the left and the adjusted CS2 file on the right (iso 400). The second shows an adjusted CS2 file on the left and then processed in Noiseware on the right (iso 500). The last image is a CS2 processed image (iso400 )
Neil

Panasonic Lumix G1 plus Swarovski STS80HD scope and Sw 30x eyepiece and DCA adapter

Hong Kong,
China.
February 2009
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Old Tuesday 17th February 2009, 10:16   #24
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Very nice work Neil, congrads !
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Old Tuesday 17th February 2009, 15:10   #25
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I had to go to Panasonic today to get the adapter for the four third lenses. As this was near the typhoon shelter I popped down to digiscope the night herons that hand around there. Dull overcast conditions so was happy to be able to use the iso 400. Distance was from 15 - 20 metres. All these were taken in RAW and converted to Tiffs in Panasonics Silkypix software and then processed in CS2.
Neil

Panasonic Lumix G1 plus Swarovski STS80HD scope and Sw 30x eyepiece and DCA adapter

Causeway Bay Typhoon Shelter,
Hong Kong,
China.
February 2009
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