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Posted: 7/11/2018 11:35:08 AM EDT
There was a photography thread in GD where I mentioned that I got a "decent for what I'll do with it" camera that I'm learning on and @Zack3g said I ought to pop in here and talk about it so...here I am

Its a Lumix G7 that I got for Fathers day. I primarily got it for its 4K video recording ability, and to take better pictures than what we have with our old Nikon Coolpix or our phones.

Here's the package that I got.

Amazon Product
  • This K&M Camera Bundle comes with All Standard Panasonic Supplied Accessories + 1 Year Panasonic USA Limited Warranty.
  • Camera Box Includes: Panasonic Lumix DMC-G7 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera with 14-42mm Lens (Black), Lumix G Vario 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 II APSH. MEGA O.I.S. Lens (Black), Front Lens Cap, Rear Lens Cap, Lens Hood, Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery, Battery Charger, Body Cap, Hot Shoe Cover, Shoulder Strap, USB Connection Cable, AC Cable, Software DVD-ROM.
  • Photo Accessory Bundle Includes: 32GB SD Card, Holster Bag, 6" Handgrip / Tripod, Cap Keeper, Fiber Cloth, 3Pc Cleaning Kit, 2 Screen Protectors, Dust Blower, Lens Cleaning Pen and Memory Card Case.
Price TBD
I've also got an old Minolta 200mm telephoto lens that I can use with an adapter. I've only messed with it once and photo quality was noticeably worse than with the proprietary lens.

So...what cool things do I need to know?

I really don't know much about photography.
Link Posted: 7/11/2018 11:55:30 AM EDT
f8 and be there
Link Posted: 7/11/2018 11:59:36 AM EDT
Welcome.

To start - if you haven't already, take a look at this thread. Some good recommendations in there WRT resources for learning.

https://www.ar15.com/forums/General/Intro-to-Photography-and-Photoshop-Resource-Guide/121-994304/
Link Posted: 7/11/2018 5:31:34 PM EDT
Tagging. I’ll post once I get to my pc tonight
Link Posted: 7/11/2018 6:58:35 PM EDT
First thing you should do is buy and read Peterson's Understanding Exposure

Then you should get out there and take pictures. Lots and lots of pictures. Don't have to be "good" or "cool", just get some serious quality time behind the shutter. Start noticing what you like about some of your shots, then look at the EXIF to see what the shutter/aperture/ISO/focal length were.

Couple basics:
Shutter, aperture, and ISO are the three settings that affect your exposure.

Increase shutter speed to freeze motion

Female Ruby-Throated Hover by FredMan, on Flickr

Increase aperture (f-stop) to decrease depth of field (how much of the frame is in focus). The bigger the f-stop the smaller the aperture. (and the greater the depth of field). Big aperture (small f-stop) gives you that nice blurry background, the quality of that blurry background is something we call bokeh.

Caillie Sunbath by FredMan, on Flickr

Randall 28 by FredMan, on Flickr

ISO adjusts the light-sensitivity of the sensor. Big ISO numbers let you shoot in lower light conditions, at the expense of increased noise. Sometimes you want a particular shutter or aperture and there's not enough light, so you boost ISO to get the exposure correct.

ISO 102,400
ChickenChopper High ISO by FredMan, on Flickr

ISO 51,200
ChickenChopper High ISO-1 by FredMan, on Flickr
Link Posted: 7/11/2018 7:06:02 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By JAFFE:
Welcome.

To start - if you haven't already, take a look at this thread. Some good recommendations in there WRT resources for learning.

https://www.ar15.com/forums/General/Intro-to-Photography-and-Photoshop-Resource-Guide/121-994304/
View Quote
I have not looked at that thread yet, but I will. Thanks!
Link Posted: 7/11/2018 7:07:32 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By NorthPolar:
Tagging. I’ll post once I get to my pc tonight
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Cool. I've really enjoyed your picture threads. I'd be very interested in your thoughts.
Link Posted: 7/11/2018 7:10:13 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By FredMan:
First thing you should do is buy and read Peterson's Understanding Exposure

Then you should get out there and take pictures. Lots and lots of pictures. Don't have to be "good" or "cool", just get some serious quality time behind the shutter. Start noticing what you like about some of your shots, then look at the EXIF to see what the shutter/aperture/ISO/focal length were.

Couple basics:
Shutter, aperture, and ISO are the three settings that affect your exposure.

Increase shutter speed to freeze motion

https://farm1.staticflickr.com/958/42211117581_59971b1ab0_b.jpgFemale Ruby-Throated Hover by FredMan, on Flickr

Increase aperture (f-stop) to decrease depth of field (how much of the frame is in focus). The bigger the f-stop the smaller the aperture. (and the greater the depth of field). Big aperture (small f-stop) gives you that nice blurry background, the quality of that blurry background is something we call bokeh.

https://farm1.staticflickr.com/869/41460938321_868dcb3779_b.jpgCaillie Sunbath by FredMan, on Flickr

https://farm1.staticflickr.com/864/41459220951_cd9fa04cee_b.jpgRandall 28 by FredMan, on Flickr

ISO adjusts the light-sensitivity of the sensor. Big ISO numbers let you shoot in lower light conditions, at the expense of increased noise. Sometimes you want a particular shutter or aperture and there's not enough light, so you boost ISO to get the exposure correct.

ISO 102,400
https://farm1.staticflickr.com/682/32024897296_998b175790_b.jpgChickenChopper High ISO by FredMan, on Flickr

ISO 51,200
https://farm1.staticflickr.com/370/31946530041_39fe4f3a02_b.jpgChickenChopper High ISO-1 by FredMan, on Flickr
View Quote
Awesome post, thank you!

I've mostly been playing with shutter speeds, and a little with the aperture, but ISO loses me.

Your ISO explanation is very helpful.
Link Posted: 7/11/2018 9:36:49 PM EDT
I've found YouTube to be a really helpful resource too:



There are tons of videos and tutorials out there, so if one person's presentation doesn't make sense, there should be countless others to try.
Link Posted: 7/11/2018 10:10:55 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By NoVAR:
I've found YouTube to be a really helpful resource too:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_B8pVoANyY

There are tons of videos and tutorials out there, so if one person's presentation doesn't make sense, there should be countless others to try.
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As time has presented itself, I’ve been working through this guys videos. They’ve been very helpful.

Link Posted: 7/11/2018 11:22:57 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By JAD762:
Cool. I've really enjoyed your picture threads. I'd be very interested in your thoughts.
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Originally Posted By JAD762:
Originally Posted By NorthPolar:
Tagging. I’ll post once I get to my pc tonight
Cool. I've really enjoyed your picture threads. I'd be very interested in your thoughts.
All in all, they are a solid camera. Mind you, nobody up here carries Pentax so I've never personally handled one. From the specs, it looks solid though. DPreview says that the shutter makes photos a bit softer around 1/100 shutter speeds, but that's really the only thing I've noticed to be aware of honestly.

Youtube, Understanding Exposure, etc are all great resources. IMO depending on what you want to photograph, you might want to pick up a tripod at some point. Knowing what changes what makes a huge world of difference. Once you can run a camera on manual, you can do everything with it. It seems a lot more complex but it's the same as shooting film, just with more electronic goodies. Enjoy the new camera.

The only thing I'd toss in the 'necessary' group is a decent rocket blower and set of lens pens to keep crud off of or out of the camera/lenses. Bare minimum kit from amazon is $8 if you click the coupon. Personally, toss the lens paper and brush. The blower and pen are all you're looking for really. For starting out, that's all I'd recommend anyhow. The carbon tip on the other end of the lens pen is a wear item, since it picks crud up. Scratching lenses is bad and all, m'kay.

Amazon Product
  • The Altura Photo Cleaning Kit is composed of carefully selected tools and materials to safely and effectively clean your camera and any other delicate optics. Includes: Lens Cleaning Pen System + High Quality Lens Brush + Air Blower Cleaner + 50 Sheets Lens Tissue Paper + Handy Empty Spray Bottle + 3 Premium MagicFiber Microfiber Cleaning Cloths
  • Each item included in your Altura Photo Cleaning kit is inspected for quality assurance before shipping.
  • Digital Goja is the only seller of the Altura Photo cleaning kit. Please be careful purchasing similar looking kits that may contain low quality items that can damage your camera.
$8.99
Link Posted: 7/11/2018 11:33:21 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By NorthPolar:
All in all, they are a solid camera. Mind you, nobody up here carries Pentax so I've never personally handled one. From the specs, it looks solid though. DPreview says that the shutter makes photos a bit softer around 1/100 shutter speeds, but that's really the only thing I've noticed to be aware of honestly.

Youtube, Understanding Exposure, etc are all great resources. IMO depending on what you want to photograph, you might want to pick up a tripod at some point. Knowing what changes what makes a huge world of difference. Once you can run a camera on manual, you can do everything with it. It seems a lot more complex but it's the same as shooting film, just with more electronic goodies. Enjoy the new camera.

The only thing I'd toss in the 'necessary' group is a decent rocket blower and set of lens pens to keep crud off of or out of the camera/lenses. Bare minimum kit from amazon is $8 if you click the coupon. Personally, toss the lens paper and brush. The blower and pen are all you're looking for really. For starting out, that's all I'd recommend anyhow. The carbon tip on the other end of the lens pen is a wear item, since it picks crud up. Scratching lenses is bad and all, m'kay.

www.amazon.com/dp/B0080JH3YE
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By NorthPolar:
Originally Posted By JAD762:
Originally Posted By NorthPolar:
Tagging. I’ll post once I get to my pc tonight
Cool. I've really enjoyed your picture threads. I'd be very interested in your thoughts.
All in all, they are a solid camera. Mind you, nobody up here carries Pentax so I've never personally handled one. From the specs, it looks solid though. DPreview says that the shutter makes photos a bit softer around 1/100 shutter speeds, but that's really the only thing I've noticed to be aware of honestly.

Youtube, Understanding Exposure, etc are all great resources. IMO depending on what you want to photograph, you might want to pick up a tripod at some point. Knowing what changes what makes a huge world of difference. Once you can run a camera on manual, you can do everything with it. It seems a lot more complex but it's the same as shooting film, just with more electronic goodies. Enjoy the new camera.

The only thing I'd toss in the 'necessary' group is a decent rocket blower and set of lens pens to keep crud off of or out of the camera/lenses. Bare minimum kit from amazon is $8 if you click the coupon. Personally, toss the lens paper and brush. The blower and pen are all you're looking for really. For starting out, that's all I'd recommend anyhow. The carbon tip on the other end of the lens pen is a wear item, since it picks crud up. Scratching lenses is bad and all, m'kay.

www.amazon.com/dp/B0080JH3YE
Thank you.

From your other threads, I understand that you do a lot with photoshop? I have premiere elements 7, but haven’t ever really done anything with it.

Is it worth the time/energy to learn, or would I be better served with something else?

Also, on a somewhat related note, I bought this primarily to do a bit of Youtubing with.

What’s a good consumer grade video editing software? I also have the video version of elements 7, but it sucks for YouTube videos.
Link Posted: 7/12/2018 12:01:55 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By JAD762:

Thank you.

From your other threads, I understand that you do a lot with photoshop? I have premiere elements 7, but haven’t ever really done anything with it.

Is it worth the time/energy to learn, or would I be better served with something else?

Also, on a somewhat related note, I bought this primarily to do a bit of Youtubing with.

What’s a good consumer grade video editing software? I also have the video version of elements 7, but it sucks for YouTube videos.
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No problem :) And I try to keep my editing minimal, but some shots do need some work to really 'pop' when done. Personally I think it is definitely worth learning, although I have no idea if you'll need to upgrade to a newer version of the software to read your cameras files. On that note, shooting in RAW instead of jpg really opens up your options. The files will be larger, but it's all the raw data from the sensor when the image was taken. So you get a lot more leeway on editing things.

Unfortunately, I know fuckall about video so I'll let someone else take that one.
Link Posted: 7/12/2018 9:04:10 PM EDT
What’s a good consumer grade video editing software? I also have the video version of elements 7, but it sucks for YouTube videos.
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I recently downloaded HitFilm Express for video; it's free.

Haven't really dug into it yet but if looks quite capable.
Link Posted: 7/13/2018 10:12:53 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By JAD762:
From your other threads, I understand that you do a lot with photoshop? I have [color=#ff0000]premiere elements 7[/color], but haven't ever really done anything with it.

Is it worth the time/energy to learn, or would I be better served with something else?
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Originally Posted By JAD762:
From your other threads, I understand that you do a lot with photoshop? I have [color=#ff0000]premiere elements 7[/color], but haven't ever really done anything with it.

Is it worth the time/energy to learn, or would I be better served with something else?
Premiere Elements is a video editor (which is what I think you referenced below), so assuming you meant to say Photoshop Elements, you may need to upgrade in order to import your G7's raw files (saved with a file extension of "RW2"). Another option is to import your RW2s using Adobe DNG Converter which will convert the RW2 file to a DNG (Adobe Digital NeGative) format that can be used in Elements 7.

Frankly, if you're truly brand new to photography with a "real" camera, it's perfectly OK to start off saving your photos in JPEG. A better option would be "RAW+JPEG" so you have the RW2 files to explore later as your skill improves, but let's be clear: JPEGs need no post-processing (or at least far less) to be "useable" while raw format files require post-processing to get good results. Yes, raw images can be useable straight out of camera [SOOC], but they are generally flat with low contrast and somewhat less appealing than the default JPEG version of the same image created by the camera. FWIW, I shoot RAW+JPEG and that's only to have the JPEG as a backup on a second card in the camera in case the main memory card fails in the field. All the images I keep are raw files - and I have to process each one of them (even if only using Lightroom's "auto-develop" feature). For beginners, I think it's better to start with JPEG files, learn exposure, and then, as one begins to feel "constrained" with what's coming out of the camera, graduate to the wonderful world of raw processing.

Peterson covers this very well in his book, so I won't repeat much here, but you really can start on manual mode and avoid the "intelligent auto" feature. I'm a firm believer that starting on manual mode will help you learn and understand how ISO, shutter, and aperture affect your image. I admit, if you're looking to take your new G7 immediately to your child's sporting event, using manual mode without knowing about the importance of shutter speed (and perhaps shutter priority mode) is very likely to leave you frustrated with your results, so using auto mode is fine in that and similar cases. However, I encourage new photographers to experiment with the camera in low pressure scenarios to explore how locking two of the variables (say ISO and aperture) and changing the remaining one (shutter) affects the image (ranging from over- to under-exposed). Then lock one of the variables (say, ISO) and adjust the other two to keep a "proper" exposure and observe how smaller apertures require longer shutters and the effect on background and motion blur.

Also, on a somewhat related note, I bought this primarily to do a bit of Youtubing with.

What's a good consumer grade video editing software? I also have the video version of elements 7, but it sucks for YouTube videos.
There are some free video editors with Shotcut seeming to get the most positive feedback (at least the last time I looked ~summer 2017). My issue with free editors is you generally get what you pay for. It's either a very watered down version of a paid product (where you get the bare minimum feature set that a beginner would be able to use) or it's a difficult to use bundle of bolted-on features developed, maintained, and generally usable by the developers and not the public.

On the other hand, there are consumer-grade editors ranging from $80-$100 that will give you all the features a YouTuber needs to build a following (e.g., multiple video and audio tracks, good titles, a range of popular formats for export, and - perhaps most importantly - good usability and product support).

Keep in mind that I am not an avid YouTuber nor a professional videographer. I've used Pinnacle Studio for over 10 years and still find it suits my needs (currently using Ultimate v21). I periodically survey the market for a cost-competitive alternative, but I've not found another editor good enough to cause me to switch. This point needs to be considered with the appropriate perspective: Switching video editors is much like switching camera systems after you've invested heavily in a given system. A feature-by-feature comparison will show that nearly all the "prosumer"-grade editors have a very similar feature set and general usability (user experience). Over the years, I've played with VideoStudio, PowerDirector, Premiere Elements, Nero Video, and (of course) Pinnacle Studio. I think any of these would work just fine for a beginner and most of them offer trial versions so you can decide which one offers the best fit for your needs.
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