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Learn how to set up the Panasonic G1/GH1 for basic pictures in this digital Photography tutorial from LBGuides.
Tags:Panasonic G1/GH1 Getting Started - Part 1,basic picture,Better Pictures,camera,digital camera guide,digital camera tutorial,Digital Photography,g1,gh1,lbguides,panasonic,setup
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Let’s start by covering some of the basics on the camera. Here you have your mode dial and what I’ll recommend is setting this to P, this stands for program and what this is going to do is very similar to the auto mode. It’ll set the shutter speed and aperture for you so you don’t have to think about that. But you do have the option of setting the ISO and the white balance which is very important for better quality pictures. So I recommend sticking to the program mode.
This is your quick menu button and this is something you’re going to use very frequently to change some of the settings. This dial you’re going to be using also frequently to change many of the camera settings. This is your drive mode switch and this allows you to choose between single shot, continuous, bracketing, or timer. Off the flash by moving this switch over, this flash is good for about 15 feet. Anything farther away than 15 feet and you want to avoid using this flash, if you want you can choose to use a larger flash, place it on your hot shoe, this flash will be a lot more powerful than the built in flash and it should get up to even 50 feet. This switch activates the optical image stabilization and this is something that I turn on and leave on all the time. However, in the menu I changed the stabilization option to save a little bit of battery and I’ll show you that in a second.
The navigation buttons are here, down, up, right and left. These are what you use to navigate the main menu as well as the quick menu. You can see these buttons also act as quickies to the most frequently used menu items such as white balance, ISO, focusing and this one is function which means that you can actually set this and I’ll do that in a bit. Your LCD screen. This is a very, very handy feature. You can turn it in this direction to look down at the screen when the camera is low to the ground or the opposite to hold the camera above your head and look up at the screen. Or I like to tilt it back this way and just have it as a normal camera most of the time.
Let’s go ahead and turn the camera on, access the main menu by pressing the menu button right here in the center. Most of the default settings are really just fine and you don’t need to change any of them. But I would recommend changing some of them. For example, you go down to the stabilizer. This is what I mentioned before, press to the right and go down to choose mode two. This will only activate the image stabilization when the shutter button is pressed halfway. And this will save some battery power. Press set, go down to flash. By default this is set to automatic. Go ahead and press to the right and go down to flash on. Press set. These are all things that you can set up in the quick menu as well but as long as we’re already here in the main menu I’ll just get this out of the way so I don’t have to do it later on.
Now, if you go down to page four, I just want to make you aware of something, your color space by default is set to SRGB and this is something that I highly recommend leaving as SRGB. If you press to the right you’ll see that the other option is Adobe RGB and you may have heard that Adobe RGB is a better color space to work with. It’s not better to work with if you don’t have a calibrated monitor and a calibrated printer. So unless you really know what you’re doing when it comes to color management I will highly recommend just taking to SRGB. Go ahead and press set, go down one more to the long shutter noise reduction. By default this is turned on and this is something that I really don’t see the value in. I don’t think that it reduces the noise very much and on top of that it softens the image. So I prefer turning this off, go ahead and press the right button. Go up to off and press set. And go to the left to escape this menu, go down to the set up menu and press the right navigation button to enter this menu. Go down to the function button set and this is what I was talking about earlier. This here is your function button. You can see your other three buttons are already set to different options. If I go to the right I’ll see my different options for this function button. By pressing this button we’re in the standard record mode, I can quickly access anyone of these options.
All of these options except for guidelines are pretty easily accessed via the quick menu button up here. So I don’t really need any of them. The guideline is something that I use sometimes when I’m composing using the rule of thirds. So I’ll choose guideline by pressing set. Now, I can go ahead and escape the main menu by pressing the said button again. And I’ll show you that right now and if I press the function button I can quickly access guideline and choose the guideline of my choice. Let’s say I want this one, press set and I have guidelines that can help me with the rule of thirds. Press function then move back to off, press it again, it’ll escape.
Now, there's one more thing that I want to set up and you can quickly access it either via the quick menu right here or even faster right here with this button. The left navigation button also acts as a quick key to the focusing options, press that and you’ll get to the auto focus mode. Now, by default it’s set to the multi-auto focus mode which means the camera is going to guess where you want to focus. Instead of this, move over to the right, choose the single area focus and now if I press it down you can see down here, you can press down and I can actually use my arrow keys to move that around which I don’t want to do in this case because most of my pictures I like having it right in the center. But what I can also do is use my dial, this dial right here if you change the size of the focus point.
I like the default settings so I’m not going to change it but if you want it, you can change it to a smaller setting if you need to or even a larger setting. I’m going to stick to the default setting and press set. Now the camera is set up very nicely to take just about any picture.
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