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Thread: New Camera - One Step Up, Two Steps Back

  1. #1
    Boatman's Avatar
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    Homer

    New Camera - One Step Up, Two Steps Back

    I received my long awaited Panasonic GH2 yesterday to replace my aged Minolta A2. In many ways the GH2 is the perfect upgrade to the A2; very similar features and functions but a decade's worth of technology improvement. I anticipated a learning curve for the camera, but I'm not sure I was ready for the learning curve for the things I already know in post processing.

    First, just the sheer size of the files is scary. The A2 has an 11MB RAW file; the GH2 (in DNG format) has a 60MB RAW file. Add a couple of layers and you are quickly getting into the quarter gigabyte file size. I've got a decent computer but I can see trouble brewing.

    Then all the comfortable settings for RAW conversion, contrast sharpening, output sharpening with the A2 do nothing for the GH2. It will take a while to find out where the best starting points for all these settings will be. Right now I'm of the opinion that the camera's JPG images are better than what I can do in RAW conversion. Better do RAW and JPG for a while! (The good news here is that the GH2 is fast enough to do this comfortably. With the A2, RAW and JPG took about 15 seconds to write to file.)

    So I'm up against a double learning curve, maybe a triple learning curve if you throw in printing. But I will be starting with much better images and with time I trust I can get some decent prints.

    And if this looks a bit grainy, it is. I let the auto-ISO wander up to 800, which is a bit of a push, and the photo is cropped. Also, Noise Ninja didn't want to take the grain out without a significant loss of detail. Just another tool to re-learn!

    New Camera - One Step Up, Two Steps Back

  2. #2
    vicphotog's Avatar
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    Rachel

    Re: New Camera - One Step Up, Two Steps Back

    the slightly grainy appearance works very well with this photo! it will look great printed and framed, and that's one of the great benefits of the huge file size too....
    I bought a 250GB external hard drive for about $100 as there's no way my macbook can store more than 200 or so RAW files of that size... everything goes on the other drive now

  3. #3
    PicsbyChance's Avatar
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    Mike

    Re: New Camera - One Step Up, Two Steps Back

    Homer, congratulations on the new camera! From the looks of it, we should be seeing some great work from you here on the forum. It may be a bit of a learning experience, but isn't that the fun part?

  4. #4
    Boatman's Avatar
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    Homer

    Re: New Camera - One Step Up, Two Steps Back

    Thanks for the enocouraging comments. I'm not frustrated, just a bit overwhelmed by the differences in post processing procedures. Later last night I discovered that the GH2 likes a bit of luminance and contrast noise reduction in RAW conversion. The A2 never needed that though it couldn't shoot above ISO400 and 200 was the acceptable limit LOL! It will all be fun.

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