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View Full Version : How's the GH1 LCD for manual focusing?



djkarn105
05-22-2009, 11:40 AM
I'm planning to shoot a short on the GH1 in Early July.
Since live monitoring from the camera is not an option is seems like a waste to rent an external HD monitor.
How's the built in LCD for focus pulling?

QTI
05-25-2009, 03:30 AM
I'm planning to shoot a short on the GH1 in Early July.
Since live monitoring from the camera is not an option is seems like a waste to rent an external HD monitor.
How's the built in LCD for focus pulling?

I spent more than 10 years on MF cameras and I find it quite difficult to use GH-1's MF. Its not just the LCD - I find it hard to get a feeling of the focusing ring - focus distance relative to how much I have turned. I haven't spent a lot of time on it and I hope it would improve with time, but given that I think I still can manually focus reasonably fast with Nikon/Canon DSLRs, I kind of expected that MF would not be an issue to me.

There is a "MF assist" mode (I think its what its called) and if turned on (I think default is on) it will give you an enlarged view of a small area whenever the focusing ring is even slightly turned. I myself find the assist mode confusing and I think its probably not gonna be very useful unless you have the camera set on a tripod (you can use the keys to move the target zoom area so it doesn't have to be pointing directly at the target right in the centre, but I find the control not very handy/elegant). I have turned MF assist off as I find it confusing (touch focus ring - "huh what am I looking at", forgetting that there's this special function, or still have no idea what I am looking at even if I didn't forget) - again may be its something that I have to find a way to get use to as MF on the LCD is definitely not easy.

sirk
05-25-2009, 04:37 AM
may it be the lens which is hard to focus? or would you say its hard to focus even if you use a nikon/canon lens?

QTI
05-25-2009, 05:19 AM
that I don't know - may well be. will report back since I have a Nikon -> m4/3 on the way from China.

upshot
05-25-2009, 06:33 AM
You get used to it in time. I'm getting better at MF on my G1 every time I go out! The focus assist is great when you want to nail your focus and you'll get faster and better at it as you use it. At this point I can call up the focus assist get it to my target and zoom in a matter of seconds. The LCD and EVF have the resolution to get very close so if your stopping down at all it gets much easier.

noelsphoto
05-25-2009, 02:17 PM
Does all focus assists functions work with 3rd party lenses?

Kholi
05-25-2009, 02:24 PM
I have no single issue focusing with the LCD.

The Kit lens (if I remember right) focuses the right way for cinema application, or what we've been using in narrative, commercial and documentary video and film production for years. That's the first thing that'll throw someone off.

Second, the kit lens doesn't have hard stops on the focus, so that'll make it a bit tougher.

If you come from 35mm Adapter world and Video, it should be the same situation you experienced there.

I rarely ever used an external monitor for anything I shot with my original HVX200 + Redrock adapter and we all know how bad that LCD was.

Mileage may vary, but you can always use the eye-piece/EVF. That makes focusing even easier.

noelsphoto
05-25-2009, 03:09 PM
We're you able to magnify the lcd when you used nikon or other type lenses? when manual focusing? Thanx for your reply.

Kholi
05-25-2009, 03:25 PM
You can magnify the view before you record but not during. With the Kit lens, it works during recording as well when you touch the manual focus ring. You can choose to turn this off as well.

QTI
05-25-2009, 06:26 PM
Thanks for the info Kholi. I have basically no experience with the video world - good to have learnt something.


I have no single issue focusing with the LCD.

The Kit lens (if I remember right) focuses the right way for cinema application, or what we've been using in narrative, commercial and documentary video and film production for years. That's the first thing that'll throw someone off.

Second, the kit lens doesn't have hard stops on the focus, so that'll make it a bit tougher.

If you come from 35mm Adapter world and Video, it should be the same situation you experienced there.

I rarely ever used an external monitor for anything I shot with my original HVX200 + Redrock adapter and we all know how bad that LCD was.

Mileage may vary, but you can always use the eye-piece/EVF. That makes focusing even easier.

Kholi
05-25-2009, 06:38 PM
QTI -- Try using the Eyepiece if you're having trouble with the LCD. That should make it much easier.

D.R. Gates
02-10-2011, 06:36 PM
You can magnify the view before you record but not during.

I'd love if it was accessible during recording. Not everything stays where you want it when recording, and to be able to zoom in to do a finer tweak would be sweet (without having to stop the recording).

woodcarver
02-10-2011, 06:49 PM
I think the LCD works well enough in most situations. Run and gun in low light is difficult, but that would be true no matter what set up you had. I used to shoot documentary stuff with an HVX and a ride along Marshall monitor, but then I came to realize how much I was giving up in terms of mobility and set-up time (not to mention being hugely conspicuous). I'd rather get the shot with it a little out of focus than miss it completely.