GH-1 does sport

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  • 10-12-2009, 03:57 PM
    4 Attachment(s)
    GH-1 does sport
    Having hurt my shoulder, I travelled to Homestead with only the E-P1 and GH-1.
    Because of the EVF, I spent most of my time using the GH-1 at the track.
    These are shot in raw then converted in Lightroom.
    I have not corrected the WB or made any adjustments yet, what you see is what I got.
  • 10-13-2009, 12:37 AM
    Re: GH-1 does sport
    Alright, I don't mean to be a buzzkill, but any camera can have a fast shutter speed on a bright day. It seems the first picture you posted has got the idea down almost all the way, but the second picture looks no different than a stationary car parked on a track.

    What I want to see is panning shots with slower shutters. I can imagine it being very difficult to do on the small camera.

    But the fact remains that the images you've posted are not really the best examples of racing photography. I'll be completely honest and say that those could have all been taken with a point and shoot.
  • 10-13-2009, 03:31 AM
    Greg McCary
    Re: GH-1 does sport
    I really like the second shot Paul, perfect timing. Do you get pit passes to all races?
  • 10-13-2009, 09:58 AM
    Continuous AF & EVF Blackout?
    My biggest questions are the performance of the GH1 with continuous AF and whether the EVF blackout time has been improved. I never tried to shoot any action using the continuous AF with the G1. I just didn't trust it. For a lot of the stuff I shoot, pre-focusing is a better bet, anyway. But I'd like to know how it worked for you.

    The biggest issue I had shooting action with the G1 was the EVF blackout. When I shot bursts I couldn't see anything in the EVF. This made it nearly impossible to pan accurately while shooting bursts. That really hamstrung the G1 as a potentially serious compact sports camera. I've heard that the blackout time has been minimized, though. What did you find with the GH1?

    Did you shoot any video?
  • 10-13-2009, 02:42 PM
    Re: GH-1 does sport

    the second picture looks no different than a stationary car parked on a track
    Well, one photographer I talked to told me that was the style of shots he sells.
    I don't see why his editor wants the tyre logos to be readable, but motion blurred, but I thought I'd try it.
    Certainly makes panning shots easier, because at 1/400 a slight inaccuracy in pan speed won't show.


    those could have all been taken with a point and shoot.
    Probably not with most, because you wouldn't have the shutter speed control, and unless it had a viewfinder and not a screen on the back then panning would be almost impossible.
    The rear shot of the pit stop could be done with any camera with a 400mm lens.


    What I want to see is panning shots with slower shutters
    What, just those?
    And what shutter speed?
    Shutter speed is relative to the car speed; while 1/400 will be fast in a corner, it's slow when they're on the straight at 180mph.

    Another thing I was told (by an agency) is that editors usually want the whole car, or what part you've got in the frame to be sharp (they're assuming it's an editorial/news shot).
    A big problem with panning at slow shutter speeds is you don't get that sharpness, particularly with cars on corners or if they're not exactly at 90 degrees to you on the straight.

    There the slow shutter speed works against you as the driver's head bobs about in the corner, or the car body moves over the bumps, and your subject is blurred.
    Or the movement of the front and rear in and out of the plane of focus creates really odd effects while the driver is in focus.

    You can see a bit of that on your shot, the pan appears to be centred on the headlight, or the canard, and movement out of that plane affects the sharpness of the rest of the car. That may explain why the driver's helmet isn't sharp, as well as his head moving in the corner.

    Slow shutter speed can be great creatively.
    But not many of those sell, only a few photographers seem to be able to get those features in magazines. Then the requirements are different for features than editorial.


    the fact remains that the images you've posted are not really the best examples of racing photograph
    True - if I wanted that, I'd have lugged out the 1DmkIIN and 1DSmkII and the 300mm f/2.8 and wrecked my shoulder some more :(
    My intention was to show what the micro 4/3 cameras can do.
  • 10-13-2009, 03:01 PM
    Re: GH-1 does sport
    Viewfinder or screen blackout is a problem with both the GH-1 and E-P1.
    I wouldn't call either camera capable of bursts in RAW mode.
    The GH-1 only manages 3 frames before it stops, the E-P1 I could get 5 or 6.
    But the rate is so slow that there's no time to get more than one of a moving car!

    Autofocus is useless on both cameras at speed.
    Really useless.
    I couldn't get the Olympus to work in C-AF at all. I'm so long sighted that the rear screen is a blur without glasses and the car is a blur with glasses.
    Add to that the slight update delay on the screen and what you see isn't what's happening at racing speed.
    So I thought they were in focus with C-AF because the blurry screen didn''t look much more blurry, but it turns out that almost none of them were.
    I'm not convinced that C-AF actually worked at all to be honest, because when I left the camera in that mode it wasn't focussing on closer subjects after a half-press.
    Maybe I need to re-read the manual, but there is only one Info display mode where you can see the C-AF rectangle on the screen and in other display modes the C-AF may not work.

    Because of the shooting angle (they wouldn't let me stand on pit wall) I had to use the smallest AF spot size on the Panasonic to work with the 200mm lens and still focus on the car and not the wall.
    I got some success with it getting AF confirm on the cars in C-AF mode and then it all got too hectic to register whether the green spot was there as I took the shot.
    Problem is that the C-AF is too slow with a race car, from leaving the turn 4 banking to getting level with me ther was a 50-50 chance I'd get lock.

    So I settled for a percentage shot, manual AF on the middle of the track at 90 degrees to me and shoot there. That got a better keeper rate provided the cars were obliging and happened to be on that part of the track.
    Anyone on the low or high line and they were less sharp, though probably still acceptable at web resolution I know that it wasn't good enough.

    I did some attempts using bursts, and found that the best technique was to line the car in the VF or screen and use my other eye to see the car around the camera. Then establish the panning speed and the relative position of the car in the VF and my normal sight, and twist my body to pan with it by eye - not using the camera.

    Like working with my SLRs, after a few minutes I got a feel for the shot, and could tell whether a pan had worked or not. But the need to use C-AF meant the burst rate was about 0.5 fps - a useful as a chocolate teapot.

    Bottom line is that you can get racing shots with these cameras, but it's hard work.
    Harder with the E-P1 than the GH-1, and forget burst mode.
  • 10-22-2009, 08:26 AM
    Re: GH-1 does sport
    I think the pitstop photo is pretty cool !