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Top Deck

Lesson 2 from: Panasonic GH-3 Fast Start

John Greengo

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Lesson Info

2. Top Deck

Get more out of your Panasonic GH-3 with this guide to the buttons and dials on your camera.

Lesson Info

Top Deck

So we're going to be going around doing a tour of duty on the outside of the camera, seeing what's there and talking about everything that we have to talk about, so just really basic stuff go ahead and turn your camera on so that we can use it. The shed a release is going to be used for waking up your camera right in front, you know where that is, right? The front dial of camera and the rear dial are kind of the two main controls that you're going to use for changing shutter speeds, apertures menu settings and tons of other things it's not that they do one specific thing, they do lots of different things and they can be customized is I'll talk about a little bit later on the back of the camera, we have a controlled ill which is also going to be used, which is really nice, having a third dial for controlling yet another function. Now, if you are like me and you've been turning the style and you're kind of feel like, well, this is kind of hard to turn. It's not easy to grip. Yes, panason...

ic has made a mistake on this dial, in my opinion, and they have not made the ridge easy enough. So that you can spin it around and it's kind of hard to get in and you could only get into it on one corner I don't like it and a lot of other people have expressed that it's a little hard to work with their thumb a swell inside the middle of that is the set, but this is kind of like the enter button on your keyboard when you have a feature that you want to say yes, this is what I want you're going to hit that set button to kind of confirm you're setting adjustment we're going to talk about these special buttons later, but just to be aware this camera has I think mohr function buttons than any other camera that I've dealt with it has what do we have here? There's five hard buttons and two more soft buttons on the elektronik display on the back and these function buttons can be reprogrammed to a wide variety of options. Most of them can be reprogrammed to one of forty different options. So if you have something very specific you were doing with your camera and you need to turn a couple of features on and off on a regular basis, you can create shortcuts using these buttons in the can so they could be very handy for people who are highly customized and need to quickly change things and don't like diving through the menu to find their items all right, so we're gonna start on the top of the camera and to start off with we have are often button. And when you turn the camera on the camera has a filter that vibrates at eighty thousand times a second to knock dust off the sensor and dust on the sensor is a major issue because it ends up being a little black spot, usually right in the middle of the sky for a lot of us photographers and it's very, very irritating. Now, the automatic cleaning system does work quite well and eliminates the need of cleaning the camera. Most of the time, however, it's still quite possible that you will get dust on the sensor. One of the things that I don't like about marylise cameras is that when you take the lens off there is the sensor right inside. So let me do a little live demo for the camera here. So when I take my lens off when you look inside that camera, hopefully you guys could see that that is the center right there. And if this was a really dusty environment, dust would most likely being starting to collect on the inside of that camera. But we have a very clean room here, so I'm not concerned about that too much right now, and so do be careful about changing lenses, because that does stay exposed for quite some time. Uh, it's all talked more about cleaning later on in the menu said it. Next up we have our shutter release. Of course, you know, you take pictures with that, but what you need to know is that by pressing halfway down it's, how you get the camera, auto focus, how you get the meter turned on and because the camera is very dependent on batteries, too, take pictures. It powers down very quickly. And so photographers are constantly pressing down halfway to make sure their cameras active alive, wait, woken up and ready to go. So just make sure that if you were trying to make a setting adjustment on the camera and you've let it sit for a while, just tap halfway down on the shutter release button and then all the way down for taking pictures. Of course. Now this camera also has a touch screen in back, which allows you to touch the screen to make a lot of different changes. One of the options you can do is that you can take pictures using the touch screen. And tell you what let's do a live demo so let me turn my camera around headed in the wrong mode ok? So let's get back to a regular screen here so we can just touch the screen if we want to focus in fact, it will actually pick up let me, uh get something here to focus on the little lens here and I compress down here and it focuses down below it automatically focus up above and so it's pretty quick about focusing and firing with the touch cheddar show it's just an additional way of working with the camera so and you're both both focusing and taking the picture by touching one thing yeah, one touch any time now if you don't like that, you can disable it and that's something we'll talk about us we get in there too so you can see on screen there is a option to have an active or you khun not want to use it if you don't like using a firm since if you just want to focus with it, you can do that. All right? The big old dial on the top of the camera is the modal this is what controls shutter speeds, apertures and a whole lot of other stuff so let's get in and talk a little bit more in depth about the mod ill we're going to start off with the most basic setting, which is the I a city that stands for intelligent auto mode. And this means that shutter speeds, apertures and a whole bunch of other stuff are going to be chosen for you, it's going to be choosing white balance and a variety of other options for you. Now you can choose between intelligent auto and intelligent auto plus mode, and in the plus mode you can get in and make additional changes to the camera. Were you control the color and the brightness of this and the way that you would get in and do that two different ways? One is you compress the set button and you will see options over on the left, where you can navigate up on down and let me do a quick little live demo on this. So I will press the menu button on this camera to get in the menu. Actually, I don't have it in the I am not following my own rules. Okay, so I'm gonna go over to the left. I'm going to go up to I a and I have the choice of going into I a or a plus. I could also use the touch screen on this I could touch the aye aye, appear and go to the plus setting. And then when I get into the plus setting, I can go in and I can change additional features about how I can choose portrait scenery, macro and what's happening here is actually I'm not choosing it said that wrong, the camera is going to choose it for you and so it's going to determine whether you're focusing up close that's probably macro work there's a person's face in it that's probably a baby shot, and so it's, where the camera is choosing a lot of features for you, and I think anyone who's really into photography doesn't really like the camera doing everything for you. So this is something I'm not going to spend a lot of time on, but this might be a very effective mode if you want to put the camera in that when you hand the camera off to somebody else to use who doesn't know how to use your camera and you don't want to messing it up. And so the idea is just a basic automotive. The plus is looking for different types of information in orderto glean a little bit of idea of what you're actually shooting play around with him a lot. We're not going to get into it too much here, and we did talk about the touch screen you could simply touch the screen, obviously, to switch back and forth between the two all right so we're gonna move on the little paint brush all right what we have here is the creative control mode and this is where you khun do creative things in your camera and have unusual results I'm not going to get into this too much it's not really centered on getting the highest quality image from the camera really kind of fine and the way that you do this is put it into the creative mode and then by hitting the set button you can hit it set button twice and then you will die a ll through to see some of the different options you can also use the touch screen and hit the little paintbrush and you can get the options for going into find to controlling it let me give you a quick little demo here so I do have the camera in the little creative let me get it positioned up here so if I hit the menu button twice I can scroll through and you can actually see the different looks so you get a preview which is kind of nice and most of these I find completely useless however sometimes it's kind of fun when you forty gotten the good serious shot to play around and just see what else you can get I do like some of the black and white notes because they give you a nice preview of what it's going to look like in black and white you can also use the touch screen on this let's see if I can make this work this time let's say, and so you can just scroll through as well with your fingers on this, you know, let's see, come on okay, good enough, so that is the creative mode next up, we're going to go to the scene mode in the scene mode has one look at that list it has a fairly lengthy list of different types of scenarios that the camera will modified the adjustments on the camera for and so once again, I don't recommend this for anyone who really wants to get in manually control their camera, but it's a quick and easy way to have the camera set up as well as it can be for those situations if you're not real familiar on how to use the camera. One of the things I do want to make really clear about these modes is that the camera is not doing anything you can't do on your own one if you know what you're doing and so any a little thing that it does it's not holding that bacchus faras a manual option there's no secret mojo that it's going in and doing and so this is once again pretty good in the handoff mode you're gonna hand it off to your kid or something like that who doesn't know how to work your camera completely put it in one of the modes that it's appropriate for what they're doing and it's going to give them a pretty good general picture taking, but I think for anyone who wants to get in and really learn this camera, you're gonna want more out of it and the way that you would do this is you can either use the money menu button and press set or you can use the touch screen. We'll do a little live demo on this here by putting it in the scene mode we compress the set button and we can scroll through all the different options in here. We could also use the touch screen, look at the different examples and go that's what I want to dio and hit the set button and have the camera set up for that particular mode and so what's nice about the camera is that you can use the touch screen if you like it. If you don't like it, you don't need to use it at all. All right? Let's get into the slightly more serious moments the program mode but my camera over to the p mode here program we'll set shutter speeds and apertures, but it won't play any other games it's not going to change in the other major settings on your camera, one of the great things that you can do in the program melodies that you can just the shutter speeds and apertures that have been chosen to a different set that still lead in the correct amount of light by either turning the front dialogue or the back tile. What you will want to notice is in the viewfinder or in the bottom left of the lcds just display is a yellow pea with an angled arrow up and down, which means that you have adjusted the shutter speed and aperture to something else. So let's, do a little live demo with this, and I'm going tio secretly adjust my eyes so to something appropriate for the room that we're in and I'm gonna point my camera out and let's take a look we've the camera has chosen f two point two at one two hundredth of a second, and so by turning my program dial, I can get more depth of field if I wanted let me go extreme here f sixteen one quarter of a second, I could choose using the back tail or the front dial. I could go down to shallow depth of field at one point four at five hundredth of a second, and any time I take a picture in the program note it's adjusting the light and making sure that the correct amount of light is coming in the camera, so no matter where I set this, the results let me play these back. I am playing images back they look fairly similar and so this is a pretty good quick walkaround mode where you want to make a quick change now one of the problems with this moat is that when you turn the camera off and you turn it back on it's going to lose the settings that you might have had you might have adjusted the program mode to f eleven but when you turn it back on its going toe kind of restart up from zero again and so any time you're involved in shooting a subject that is under consistent lighting for a siri's of shots I would want to go to one of the more manual modes full manual or apertura shutter priority because things tend to drift and shift in the program note but it's a very good quick mode when you're not sure what your next shot is going to be in use you're willing to make just a slight little adjustment with the dials next up is a for aperture priority this is one of my favorite modes on the camera and I know a lot of photographers who used this mode quite a bit it's very easy motive this honest which my camera a moat and in this moment you are obviously controlling the aperture you can do that with the front dial or the back tile, whatever you want, whatever is easiest and you can change the app archer to any setting. Now, with just the way cameras are, there is a limited collection of aperture settings and there is a lot more shutter speeds. So pretty much any scenario you find yourself in, you could choose any aperture and the there's a really good chance that the camera will have an appropriate cheddar speed and so let's do ah, little live check right here in the studio, so I'm going to turn the camera around and I'm gonna well, the camera right now is at an aperture of f one point four, we're getting a shutter speed of one five hundredth of a second if we go to the opposite extreme on this lens, which is going to be, I believe, sixteen there we go, I'll take another picture now I'm down at a quarter second that's a little low for hand holding, but I got the camera on a tripod I can still get a decent result. All right? Moving on to the next one, you'll see where that's a little different is in shutter priority. This is where you get to choose the shutter speed, the camera will choose the aperture. Now, if I'm going to go back and do the same live demo with this one, I'm going to turn the camera to its highest shutter speed. Actually, I should probably put it in the s mode to start with there we go, all right? So I'm going to go to the highest shutter speed on this camera is one four thousandth of a second let's, take a look at how the image comes out and you'll notice it's a bit dark and that's because this lens is not fast enough or I don't have an s o set high enough to shoot a picture in here at one four thousandth of a second and let's go down in cheddar speed and I better not go to the longest one because that is sixty seconds and I just don't want to hang on dead air for sixty seconds but let's go to two seconds that seems reasonably long, so centers open, shutters closed and we're over exposed and that's because we have so many different shutter speed choices there's a limit to number of apertures, so if you do use the shutter priority mode, you really have to keep an eye on the information in the viewfinder as to whether your camera has an appropriate aperture. Now you could combine this with auto s so a little bit more advanced technique that we're not going to get a whole lot into, but I just want to warn you about using the shutter party mode I think for most beginners you should stick with it program aperture and the next mode I'm going to talk about manual but I tend to avoid shutter priority except in special circumstances you do have to be very skilled in using that properly next up is full on manual this is my favorite mode and I like it for the simple fact that when I set a shutter speed and aperture it doesn't change and usually I'm picking a subject whatever that subject maybe a portrait or a landscape or action and as long as the lights not changing I'm going to figure out the best combination of shutter speeds and apertures I'm going to die a women using the aperture on the top of the camera the shutter speed on the back of the camera and then I'm going to be looking at my light meter let's go ahead and give this a try down here they were us why don't you just throw it out throughout an aperture that you think I should shoot this picture out? Five point six okay, so I'm gonna change the aperture with the top dial actually I should change it into manual should follow my own class rules ok, so I'm going to change my appa cheer you said five point six and so we got that at five point six and now down here at the bottom we have a little light meter and I'm going to adjust my shutter speed until this little indicator gets toward zero and I've gone down to sixty seconds and that's the wrong direction and it doesn't seem to work so I'm gonna go back the other direction and I'm just going to keep going and going and going and going and I'm getting close and right there at one thirtieth of a second is the proper exposure if I was to keep going you'll see that I am becoming underexposed and so in this particular case five six one thirtieth of a second I can take a picture and we get proper exposure and so that's kind of the general set up on how you use manual exposure what I usually do is trying to figure out what's more important and shutter speeder aperture set that one first and then start working my way down towards the other one and then with ice oas well, so that's the manual mode on the camera next up we have the video mode creative motion picture mode now I will mention before even talk about this one that you can shoot video in all of the other modes without really without any problem at all. So any time you want to start shooting video there's a record button on the back of the camera that we will talk about in a little bit but what's nice about this note and I wish all cameras that shot video had this mode is suddenly it changes the whole dynamics of the camera and taylor's it towards shooting video and so there's a lot of things that you want to change from the way you see the image in the viewfinder to the different setups that you might have. And this is one of the reasons why videographers and people who shouldn't motion pictures like this cameras because they can get it out of the still mode and get it into the video mode so it has kind of the best of both features. Now, one of the things is that once it's in this mode? Well, it's not really obvious on how do I change from manual exposure to shutter priority or aperture priority or program? Well, that's going to be done with a menu setting, you're gonna have to dive into the menu into the motion picture setting page one of five under an item called exposure mode. Now you will see these little boxes come up throughout my class and this is kind of a short cut for anyone who is watching this class on tape. We are still using tapes, right? I'm sure the guys in back a recording, lots of big beta tapes of death for all for all of these, really, really yeah, yeah, so what this allows you to do is allows you to stop the class right here and dive into your menu setting and find that particular features so that you can turn it on or off or make the adjustment because I know a lot of people are watching this on tape and I'm going to talk about a feature and because of the nature of the linear nature of this class I should say I can only talk about one thing at a time and so this is allows you to jump ahead, make that change and then come back to where we are and continue on with the class so see though you'll soon be seeing lots more of those in this class and we'll be talking more about video much more a little bit later. Next up we have the c one two and three these air custom mode so that you can quickly change the camera to something that you have customised the camera if you like to use the camera and aperture priority with spot metering with the fastest motor drive possible well you could set your camera program it in and then have that as your custom one or two city now the custom three setting is unusual because you can get into custom three dash one three dash two three dash three so there's actually five custom modes that you can get to on the camera now the way that you would do this is that you would put the camera in custom three you would hit the set button and you would see the options. So let me do a little live demo for you. First awful put the camera in c three. One option is to hit the set button and you can see we have versions one two in three here, so versions two and three would be ones that you want to get to but aren't quite as important as the scene one or c two settings. I could also do it by touching the touch screen and going into the sea to see three and so touch screen or the set button allows you to bounce around those different modes. Now, if you want to control what is in these modes, what you need to do is first off. You need to set up the camera exactly the way that you want it set up, and then you dive into custom page one of eight the in the custom menu, and you can go ahead and basically program those features in. And as you see in that little box there, custom page one of eight one of the nice things that I do like about panasonic is that they have labeled their pages and there are some other companies is that won't remain nameless nikon, sony. And they just have this long scrolling list that goes down for dozens and dozens of items and this is just a little bit easier way to kind of categories where it is and so what I did is I took that information and I actually kind of blocked it off in my menu guide to show you where pages one two three four five six seven eight are so that you can quickly scan and find on that sheet where that particular feature is and that just kinda helps figure out because you can jump from page to page quite easily as well is you'll see is when we get into the menu system all right back on the top of the camera we have some of the most important controls on direct buttons that you compress on the top of the camera starting on the left of the three key controls we have white balance by pressing this button and turning any of the three dials you'll be able to change the white balance or color that you are recording under this ideally should be matched with the color of light source that you are currently working with this is measured on a kelvin scale that goes from red to blue and we'll have three different options for natural daylight sunny cloudy and shady conditions all have slightly different color temperatures artificial light sources will have a number of different we have incandescent and flash we also have a couple of other kind of manual settings that you can go in and set if you want you can go in and set the kelvin temperature yourself if you knew exactly what temperature it was, you could set it to that if you didn't know one of the things that you could do is you could photograph a white sheet of paper and have the camera figure out what the color balance is and then you can also choose auto white balance where the camera just tries to figure things out for you all right I'm going to try a dangerous live demo here I'm going to try to do a custom white balance in the studio here to see exactly what color temperature we're working with so let me get over to the camera I'm just going to throw it back into a program mode just for simply simplicity sake right now and I'm going to hit the white balance button and I could used to touch finger my fingers or I could use the dialogue I'm gonna use the dialogues that kind of like that I'm going to set up number one for my custom white balance number one for here in the studio and you see over here on the left side of the screen it says select white said so I'm gonna press up and I'm going to hold up a white sheet of paper and I'm going to press said and it takes a picture of that white piece of paper and is now color calibrated in customs setting number one when the double make sure I'm still in number one for the color of light that we are here in now while we're on the live demo, you can go in and you could do an adjustment to this if you said no I want it a little bit warmer I could set it down here I could set it a little bit cooler and this was simply by pressing up and down on this back wheel if we wanted to, we could do a bracket siri's where we're shooting a siri's of photos with different colors you know, if you shoot raw, this is not really important because you'll be able to adjust white balance later on, but you can go into any of these and you could start making adjustments to correct for the type of light source that you are in and I typically strangely enough like leaving my camera and auto white balance two good reasons number one I should wrong most of the time and in raw you don't need to worry too much about white balance because you can fix it later, but I always like getting things right in the field, so if I know that I'm going to be under a particular situation I know I'm outside and it's a cloudy day I'm gonna put my camera in cloudy if I have time and I think about it if I don't not a big deal if I'm shooting wrong if you shoot j peg you do need to be a little bit more aware about it the auto white balance setting does a pretty good job but it's not always one hundred percent perfect so if you do have the time make sure you said it if you shoot j peg stay on top of that because it is very important you can adjust it in j pegs it's just that you were slightly damaging the image and you may not have the range to adjust it that you would with a raw setting and I kind of already live demo this but you're gonna press down you can tweak and adjust any of the settings that they have there for you where this might come in real handy and say with incandescent lights there's a lot of different variables on different incandescent lights and if the lights in your house for instance are a little bit different than the incandescent that's in the camera you can go ahead and just tweak it in there and then once again rotating the back dial will allow you to bracket and then heading upwards will allow you to set those custom white points or physically set in a kelvin number for a particular image or particular setting excuse me all right, next up is s o this is the sensitivity of the sensor and the native sensitivity of this camera is s o two hundred it's where the camera is designed to get the best image quality off the sensor you can set it at a variety of different settings with a slight compromise to quality if you were working under low light conditions, you're going to be going upwards in isil four hundred eight hundred sixteen hundred and on upwards now this camera does have a limit and if you try to set it right now it'll only go to twelve thousand eight hundred doesn't allow you to get down to those ones I have the astrakhan at one twenty five twenty five thousand six hundred you have to go into the menu system in order to do this and so in general you're gonna hit the ice so button you're going to turn the dial in back to control it and if you want to control the auto setting because the camera has an auto eso which will automatically adjust the ice so according to your needs you can limit the top sitting by turning the front dial let's go ahead and do a live demo on this particular feature so on the camera I'm going to hit the sell button and I am going to turn the back dial and I can change throughout my different settings now you'll see on my camera my camera starts at two hundred I can't get down to one twenty five and I can go up to twelve thousand eight hundred and I can go down to auto if I turn the top dial you can see the iast so limit setting that I'm sitting over here on the right side so if I've done some tests with this camera and I realize that it's sixty four hundred it's unacceptable quality to me I would set my eyes so limit two thirty, two hundred and that way in in otto is so excuse me it'll never go above thirty, two hundred now this camera has something rather unusual it has and I I sl and you know I'm not sure if panasonic is infringing on apple's trademark but they're using a lot of I in a lot of their words and I'm not sure apple has bought the rights to the letter I but I I s o stands for intelligent isil which means the camera will look at but the cameras pointed at and try to judge whether it needs a higher or lower eyes so based on not just how bright the subject is by the content of the subject and so it's looking for movement and if it doesn't see movement and adjust the s o in a particular direction and if it does see move it movement it would have been in an upward direction for instance so it's arguably better but it's a little inconsistent for people who want something a little bit more predictable now when they bring up one more thing on screen here, so if you do want to get down toe one twenty five or twenty five thousand six hundred, you would have to go in to the extended esso and turn it on and just for kicks let's, turn this on justcause I'm showed you these shortcuts, so I'm going to press the menu and I need to be in the record mode for the record section, which is there on the left and you can switch these by turning the top dial and we can see over on the right hand side. This is page one of six and as my notes say, we need to get down to page four of six so I'm just going to hold down till we get to page four of six and in here is extended ice so it's currently turned off. I'm going to go in and I'm going to turn that on hit the shutter release just to back back out of it hit the ice so button and we will now see that I have won twenty five as well as twenty five thousand six hundred now I told you that two hundred was the native eyes so it's the best setting on the camera for image quality you can it's, for those of you with familiar with the days of film it's like pulling film in this particular case, you're shooting it at one twenty five and what happens the downside? The reason you don't want to do this is that you were losing some of the exposure range, and so you may have an issue with some of the highlights being clipped and what being lost there. And so using one twenty five his own is an emergency type situation. When would you possibly want to use it if you were trying to get a really slow shutter speed? For instance, if you're trying to photograph a waterfall and you want to get down to one second and your camera only goes down too roughly a half second and you've kind of maxed everything out, you're an f sixteen, you have the eyes so down it s o two hundred and you just can't get down there that would allow you to do it. You might also need it if you are using a really fast lens under bright sunlight conditions, so normally leave it at two hundred. I like to throw the cameras through a quick little test. This is not a review of the camera, but I do like to just kind of check out how good it is. And so I shot the camera at a variety of ice owes two hundred looks very, very clean, as does for an eight hundred it's. Only when you get to the pretty high numbers doesn't get interesting. Definitely a twenty five thousand. There is lots of noise does not look real good, which is kind of why they turn it off, get it from the get go on the set up of the camera. And so for those of you who maybe can't see your screen role, clearly twenty five thousand is very grainy. Twelve thousand is pretty rough as well. There's a noticeable jump better when it gets to sixty four. As you get lower, it always just consistently gets better, but thirty two hundred still looks quite clean, so I would really be wary of the twelve thousand and twenty five thousand and you might want to stay away from the sixty four hundred. But of course, like everything else in the photography just want to keep this as low as possible for the best quality. So that is the s o setting.

Class Materials

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Ratings and Reviews


For the time being, this may be the best way to learn more about other Panasonic models. There is very little good material on the FZ1000. This shows much of the dial and other functions. It is out of date as the current model is a DMC-GH4. I reviewed all the material available free; there are many features on my camera that are different. Johne Greengo is a phenomenal teacher! The best, clearest, most thorough and most motivating I have ever experienced. I am currently taking the Fundamentals of Photography, learned so much so far; bought the course. These "Fast Starts" are great and were mentioned in the class. Hope your camera is covered here.


waw, I could not ask for better explanation, nor better teacher in my hole life. Thank you john for your great class. I 'll say no more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Joanne Catapano

John is a great ! I learn so much from his classes, he has away of communicating that makes you feel like you're sitting in class live with him. The classes are so informative that each time I review them I keep learning more. I have the Lumix FZ1000, there is little out there. I found this class very helpful. John you are the best, keep the classes coming.

Student Work