Sunday, December 16, 2012

Panasonic G5 Low Light Video Test and images of Parliament Hill in Winter

There I was on Parliament Hill when I noticed this huge fire juxtaposed against the snow flakes covering the buildings … and I thought why not shoot a test to see how the G5 shoots video in its two modes?

It has three modes that are activated by setting the camera to specific shooting modes (in a fit of complexity that really was not necessary.) They mapping is thus:


I tested only two of the three because, frankly, I could not remember what mappings were there except for PASM modes being “normal” and “Clear Night Portrait” being one of the Low Light Mode triggers. Since everything is automatic with G5 video, this seems overly complex. However, one presumes that there might be slight tweaks to the modes depending on the specific shooting setting. I suppose a more formal test is in order in the future.

Before I show the resulting video, I should mention that exposure compensation is known to work, but only if you set it before starting the video. (Too bad, as that would be really useful in real time … but Panasonic are as annoying as Nikon in the features they choose to reserve for the most expensive cameras.) Anyway, I note in the video that the result is much brighter in PASM and I forgot that I had been playing with compensation while around the flame. So it is entirely possible that there is some +EV in the PASM video.

So here is the video … enjoy:

Before I actually walked across Wellington to the Parliament grounds, I walked the other way for a block and shot a beautiful set of lit trees that were reflecting in the windows of one of the office buildings.

As I crossed the Sparks Street Mall, I shot an image along the mall facing east towards Elgin.

Panasonic G5 + Sigma 19mm 2.8  160iso  f/3.5  1/4

Note the low ISO. I carry a compact tripod on the car now, so I had the camera mounted on the tripod and just carried the whole thing around town. The camera and tripod probably way 2 or 3 pounds, pretty tiny when you consider what I am used to.

Panasonic G5 + Sigma 19mm 2.8  160iso  f/3.5  1”

At this point I should note that these are all shot in JPEG because I forgot to change the camera back after some experimentation the other day. Sheesh … but do note the clean and crisp presentation of the branches at night. I am really impressed by the G5’s JPEG engine … Panasonic has come a long, long way.

I’ll stop showing exposure info now … 160 ISO was the standard for the evening so all exposures are pretty similar.

This line of 5 Royal Canadian Mounted Police cars was quite interesting. Nice parking job Smile

This was the building in front of which the cars were parked. I picked up the whole rig and popped off this shot hand held at 1/10s, which I think is pretty good when you consider that the lens and body are unstabilized.

On the way to the hill now …

A photographer was walking beside me until he felt the need to run ahead and claim his spot in front of the flame. Since I always like the flame in my shots of the Peace Tower, I gladly relinquished the inferior location :-)

Cold night plus running water means steam …

Of course, cutting the exposure and processing for contrast can eliminate some of that … so can the wind :-)

On the way back, I shoot east on Wellington towards the Chateau Laurier Fairmont and the War Memorial.

The only disappointment with the Sigma lenses is their strange flare. I also note this on other lenses with m4/3 so there may be a subtle flaw in the overall optical designs. Not quite sure.

I head over to the war memorial and tour the Sparks Street Mall after this, but that is the subject for another post …