I’ve had occasion to be downtown in the evenings several times this week with a friend (hi MG :-) and am trying to carry the fairly compact GF3 and its wonderful 14-42 X power OIS zoom lens with me as often as possible now. I also carry a really small travel tripod that expands out like an old car’s antenna and can (barely) hold this rig up quite high. At least 3 feet off the ground.
This allows me to set up night shots that would be otherwise impossible when just puttering around somewhere without carrying anything heavy. Of course, I think I need a more stable platform, but as you will see, these shots are tack sharp, so I really have nothing to complain about.
A few nights ago, the hill and Peace Tower were lit in a fairly standard yellow light. Nice, and it goes well with the Centennial Flame in the foreground.
I stopped down pretty far in order to maximize sharpness and to use longer shutter speeds. The risk of using a long shutter speed on a barely stable platform like this tiny tripod is counter balanced by the risk of shooting faster exposures that are potentially blurred by “shutter shock” … an issue with many mirrorless cameras because of their fairly clunky mechanical shutters. Kind of ironic that they managed to have problems like mirror slap without a mirror.
The image darkens considerably when you try to include a close up of the flame itself. Four young people are enjoying a visit to the flame. It was fairly warm this night, so I enjoyed standing there and shooting a lot of images.
Moving in closer, we’re getting some nice detail on the provincial coats of arms in the flame’s pool.
I then turned my attention to the Ontario coat of arms. Very nice light by the flame. I shot it several times and decided to show you them all, since the changes every second with a large flame like this.
Dropping the shutter now to get more definition in the flame for the next few shots.
If that series does not convince you to shoot several images of the same static scene, then I don’t know what will.
Next, I turn to face east and capture the huge scaffolding tent that presumably covers some façade work in progress. Greta lighting on the building I think …
So tonight I stopped in again and was really surprised to see that the color scheme has completely changed. I was hoping to shoot the wet pavement tonight, but this was a major bonus.
I noticed another photographer standing near the road, so I set up beside him to avoid blocking his line of sight. In fact, he finished his shooting and then invited me to take his spot, which I gladly did.
I really like this shot. The colors and sharpness are very pleasing. What a change from the very warm tones above!
It was windy, though, so I did not shoot too many images. Here, I am at the long end of the zoom and the camera is being buffeted by wind, as is the flame. So I choose to stand on the windward side of the camera to block the wind from wrecking the shot with blur and again the result works.
I only shot about 5 or 6 images before the biting cold sent me packing. I really liked seeing the building in cool colors. I hope they keep these around for a while.
So how did the Panasonic GF3 shoot at night? Very well I think. The darkest sections (sky) were tough to handle, but a noise reduction and the judicious use of sharpening allow the images to appear sharp, yet reasonably smooth.