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Panasonic GX7 Fast Start

Lesson 1 of 11

Class Overview

John Greengo

Panasonic GX7 Fast Start

John Greengo

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Lesson Info

1. Class Overview

Lesson Info

Class Overview

Welcome everybody to the gx seven fast start class in this class, we're going to be going through all the functions all the controls of the camera were going to be going through the full list of menu items available, and we're going to talking about general operation of the camera and giving you some of my best setups for different types of photography, like landscape or sports or people photography. And I think with all of that, you're going to end up with a really good knowledge of how to understand this camera in this camera, I'll have to admit it's it's, kind of a sneaker camera in that it's not generating a lot of buzz, but it is a pretty amazing camera first checked the specs out when it got introduced several months ago, and I thought this was a really, really good camera, and it is I say it's kind of a sleeper out there that not a lot of people are making a big, big noise about, but I think for somebody who's interested in a very small camera that has a lot of capabilities, it'...

s one of the best cameras that might be the best camera size weight cost out there on the market and in another very important contest, which is my family's. Get together! Last big family get together! This camera won the prize among about a dozen cameras for the best looking camera. They really like the small little silver. They thought that this is the type of camera that they would like to carry around and work with so let's, jump into this class and take a look at what we're going to be doing for the next few hours. In this class, we'll be giving you a little overview about the panasonic camera system will be talking just very briefly about some photography basics. This isn't a photography class, but I just want to go through a few things for everybody. Most of the class is going to be going through the controls on the camera. So the buttons, the dials, what did they used for howto best set them up for a variety of settings, and then a big part of the class he's going through the menu system. And this is where part of the class is that you get when you buy the class, you get the pdf download of kind of the outline of this class, and this was mostly designed for people that take notes as they watched the class so you can add your own little thoughts to what's going on as we go through this I have a lot of my graphics in here but most importantly towards the back there's a lot of pages in here I have the entire menu system and maybe I'll hold it up here so one of the other cameras could get a shot of it and what the menu system is here is it's all on one page and I love that because I'm a very visual person and I can just kind of scan around and look for the words that rhyme look hunting for and I also have my recommended set up in settings for the menu setting all the menu items in there and this is going to be a good setup for anyone who's getting started on the camera but you know these there are options in there for everyone else so I've included another page which has none of my recommendations is everything is blank so you can write in all your own settings ripped this out or printed out and then carry it around in your camera bag. So if you want to try to remember where things are how you like to have him set up for different situations I think that's really handy also somewhere we're very in the back will be going through the operation to the camera and there are my recommended settings for how to set the camera for sports landscape action things like that, and so that's going to be a part of the class when you buy, you get a pdf download of that, which is always nice to have something physical to take away from classes. Well, all right, so let's get started on the class and to begin with, this camera has two different instruction manual so basic manual, which goes through a really quick run through of simply how to use the camera, the advanced features go into a lot of them or cool stuff that will be talking quite a bit about in today's class. And so you could spend quite a bit of time paging through all that in formacion this class, however it's five hours in link. So how is it possible for me to cram sixteen hours of information into five hours? And the fact of the matter is, is I can't do that. The problem is, is that the camera instruction manual goes into a lot of things that we're not going to dive fully into the camera. Khun d'oh a lot of things that well, if you didn't have a computer and the kind of handy to have and we're going to skip over the slide show mode and we're going to skip over how to print directly from the camera. The goal in this class is to learn how to use the major features of the camera in order to get the highest quality images, and if it doesn't directly relate toe major features and highest quality images, we generally aren't going to speak quite a ce much about those particular features. In short, the instruction manuals are still important, and you may still need to reference them, but I think you'll be able to get a good running start by the end of this class. Next this class is not a photography one o one class, and if you have not taken a photography class it's a great way of becoming a better photographer in this class, however, we're going to be focusing solely on the panasonic gx seven and how to use it. I'll go through just a few little basics at the very beginning, but if you are looking for a good photography class, I will tell you about one a little bit later into the program. Okay? Panasonic does not have the greatest history of photography. They didn't really start out in cameras. They started out way back in nineteen eighteen, which is actually the oldest of any of the companies that are making cameras, and it was a also exciting lamp socket that they made they really didn't get into. Visual stuff until eighty five, when they started making video cameras, and in two thousand six, they made their first four thirds camera that had interchangeable lenses, and this four thirds camera used a sensor that was smaller than the thirty five millimeter our sensor, and it was they were able to make smaller size cameras. And so for quite a while, they made a bunch of these four thirds cameras, and they weren't selling real well. And so then two thousand eight, they launched what's called the micro for third system, which this is a part of, and since that time, the size of the cameras have come down quite a bit and they become much more popular, and I'm going to talk more about this four thirds versus micro four thirds in just a moment. We're actually maybe right now. So the four third system was started by a number of companies that decided to work together to have a common lens mount a system where you can mix and match bodies and lenses. And so they worked with olympus for the most part in a couple of other companies as well, and they decided on using a four thirds sensor, which was much smaller than thirty five millimeter film, or the thirty five millimeter full frame sensor and the reason they went with the small size sensor, was cost size and weight of the final product. They were able to make a much smaller size camera that would the appropriate for the average consumer in in size and weight and price. The other thing that's kind of different about it is that it's not the same aspect. Racially, it is a four by three aspect ratio, which is partly where it gets its name and it's a little bit more boxy, you might say, I don't particularly like it for landscapes because it is kind of boxy, but I think it's much better for vertical. So if you want something to match up with an eight by ten portrait, for instance, it works really, really well for that. Now. The other thing that's unique about the four third system is the lens mount on it. There is a four thirds lens mount, and it can get a little confusing because back in the early days, they made these four thirds cameras, and they made four thirds lenses. Well, they made, for instance, a twenty five millimeter lens, and they make a twenty five millimeter micro for thirds lands, and they have the same focal inc that kind of looked the same when you get pictures from him, but these work on different cameras, and so if you have this panasonic gx seven you want to look for the micro four thirds lenses, and you probably aren't going to want to use the older four thirds lenses you can with an adapter and let me explain why you need an adapter. So the first of the four thirds cameras mostly were from olympus. Panasonic had a few, and they worked on a traditional slr system, which means that it had a near that bounced the light upward through a prism system and out the viewfinder. The distance between the lounge lens mount and the image sensor was quite large, so they decided to take the mere out in the prism out, and they were able to reduce the size of the camera and reduce the size of the lenses, so they kept the sensor size the same, but the camera's reduced in size by probably about twenty five percent, maybe fifty percent in some cases. And so this is the difference between four thirds and micro for thirds, the micro four thirds is a mirror, lis camera and that's kind of an important thing. You don't see too much of the four thirds, but you'll do see occasionally for sale on ebay or craigslist used lenses. They have the same sensor between four thirds and micro four thirds. They have the same lens mt. However they have different lenses so you want to make sure that you get the appropriate lenses if you do have the older four thirds lenses you can buy this panasonic adapter it's the bmw m a one sells for about one hundred bucks and you can use any of the when we get the straight you can use any of the older lenses on the newer camera bodies you're not going to be able to use the new lenses on the old camera bodies all right next up one of the cool things about these marylise cameras is that you can use a lot of older lenses on the camera and so if you have an older olympus nikon cannons pentax like a system you can buy an adapter so that you can use your lenses now if their auto focus they're not going to auto focus anymore you may need to have manual aperture control and there's a lot of things very manual about it but you are still able to make use of these older lenses a new type of adapter that has come around which is the meta bones speed booster works like a tele converter in reverse in the sense that it kind of gives you a wider angle of you that are more rather than a more telephoto angle of you and so you're able to get your wide angle back that you kind of lose by going to the smaller sensor and these also gather because they kind of consolidate the light in a smaller area rather than spreading it out over a thirty five millimetre censor, its concentrated right on the fourth third censor, it actually increases the quantity of light hitting the sensor and itv boost the f stop by about one stop, so it actually helps you out in lower light situations and so it's a it's an interesting little device. There will be some drawbacks to always using adapter, potentially with this optics and sharpness and so forth. But it's one of the interesting possibilities with a muralist camera. Now, if you do want to do that sort of thing, one of the things that you're going to do is to make a little adjustment in the camera, and throughout this class, I'm going to have a number of shortcuts that come up on screen that will tell you where you can go in the camera. If you want to stop playing this class right now and jump ahead and get it set in your camera and then restart the cast classes you want to play along with it. You need tio enable a little feature in the custom menu that enable you enables you to shoot without a lens on the camera because these adapters register as no lens. And so you would need to enable that so keep an eye on these shortcuts as we go through this class especially designed for all the people that are watching this it's not live and so they're watching it on tape. All right? Panasonic is a kind of a new company two still photography they have a good collection of cameras that is growing on a regular basis. They have come out very quickly with a nice collection of amateur professional and in between lenses to fit a wide variety of needs. They have a small flat system that I think could stand a little bit of improvement in my opinion there's not a lot of options but there are some out there if you do want to add on an additional flash in it. One of the beauties of getting into this micro for third system is that you can use olympus lenses with one hundred percent compatibility. And so actually right now I have a little olympus lens on this camera because it's silver and matches the silver camera so well I thought it looked really good on camera s so it's really nice that you can go back and forth between panasonic and olympus lenses as well as other brands as well. Now as far as the lineup of panasonic cameras the gx seven ken if it's in the middle of the lineup they have two cameras above it that have viewfinders and that's, one of the cut offs that I make on how serious is a camera is? Does it have a view finder for me to hold it up to my eye and see? Because that is very important to me because I like to shoot outside during the daytime and it's really hard to see the screen on the back of the camera in most daylight situations, the gm one and the gf six do not have viewfinders to look through, and so I think that's kind of a major hindrance, and this is I don't know if it's technically the smallest, but it is one of the smallest cameras that you can get out there that has an optical viewfinder and interchangeable lenses. It's probably got the most feature packed scientifics controls in it, and so that's. Why it's one of my favorite little cameras now the history of the gx seven, I think, really goes back to the g f one, which was a very nice little camera, did not have a viewfinder, had a lot of manual controls and had a really nice style to it. And then panasonic decided to upgraded to a g f two, and they took off a bunch of the manual. Controls and direct operations and then they made it worse into a g f three and they were basically simplifying the camera line and it was really disappointing a lot of the photographers and they were kind of wishing for a g f one. Well, they went really created a new series called the g x one, which kind of came forward going back to the g f one and bringing that forward with new technology, and it took a little while, but then they came out, and they made such a radical change to this camera. They jumped all the way. That should have been the gx, too, but they decided to jump all the way up to the gx seven because it had so many differences in it, and so that's kind of the lineage of the predecessors that led up to the gx seven. All right, so as you get into this instruction manual, you'll notice that there's all sorts of warnings of things that you're not supposed to do with this camera in short, don't be stupid with it. Yes, we get that it's got him will built magnesium alloy frame on it, it's a strongly built camera, but be advised, the camera is not dust drip or waterproof, so if you are going toe shoot in the rain, I would do so very quickly and not stay out there there are not any weather seals around the lens mounts or around a lot of the other openings if it was raining and I wanted to go out and get a shot, I really wouldn't hesitate about going out and taking a shot. I just wanted dili deli and spend a lot of extra time out in the rain, but so do be careful when using this out in a wet environment so hopefully you have your camera ready for today's class I know last night I went in charged of the battery on my camera I want to have a full charge for today it's going to take about three and a half hours you're going to get about three hundred fifty still images you're going to get anywhere between an hour to three hours of video recording depending on some of the some of the setups that you're going tohave so hopefully you've got your lens attached you want to have a memory card in there, go ahead and turn the camera on, which is what I'm going to do right now. You know it kind of kills me to say this, but turn your camera to the I a setting on the top modi ill of the camera that's the intelligent auto mode and go ahead and take a picture I'm going to go ahead and take a picture of kanye hosting appear here we go just want to make sure everyone's cameras working usually when I teach a class, somebody invariably goes, oh, my battery's dead, and this is a great time to go through your camera battery on the charger, because we're going to go through a little section I call basics. And for those of you who know all about shutter speeds in apertures and s o, just kind of hang with me, or go brew up a pot of tea or something, come back in five minutes. I just want to go through some basics of photography for somebody, maybe who hasn't gone through any photography classes, and you want to know just some of the quick basics. So, first off, this is a mirror lis camera, so it's kind of a strange name for a camera naming it for the one thing it doesn't have, but in any case, we have high quality lenses. We have a variety of lenses will talk about lenses in a little bit later, section white angle, telephoto lenses, but without a mirror. The light comes straight into the lens, and the first control that it goes past is the aperture control. And so the aperture opens and closes, never completely shuts down, but let's in either mohr or less light by the f stop or the aperture setting. These kind of very traditional numbers here, these f stops let in either twice is much light or half assed, much like as we go from one setting to the next. So that's the first way of controlling light as it comes in the camera beyond just controlling how much light is leading through the lens, it also controls the depth of field you can shoot with very shallow depth of field. So just a little bit is it focus. And as you can see in this example, the red hash marks on the right side indicate the depth of focus or the depth of field. How much is in focus? And as we stop the aperture down, we see that the depth of field is growing, and so it's doing two things it's changing the amount of light let in as well as controlling the depth of field so that's what's happening in the lens. Now, in the marylise case, the light comes straight back to the image sensor and it sends the information back to the lcd display on the back of the camera. This is really handy for general composition. I like reviewing images like this. I get to see images with both eyes, which is very handy, and comfortable but it's hard to see under bright sunlight and it's hard to see sharpness. So for that bright sunlight, we haven't electronic mu finder and this camera kind of has an unusual viewfinder in that it tips up and down and it's the only camera that I know of that has this now there are some other cameras that have attachable ones that can do this. And I have seen a lot of people who have reviewed this camera and they go it's got a little flippy thing here isn't that nice? I don't know why you would need that. Well, it's. Pretty simple if you have your camera held up to your eye here and if you angle it, then you put it down here you can get your elbows tighter in your camera. We're into your body and you could hold the camera probably about one stop steadier then you could up here so it's, just a steady your position also, if you want to shoot outside and you want to look straight down, it's another option if you want to do that. But the camera also has a flip out lcd on the back, so it's kind of got the best of both worlds, so for getting into unusual camera angles, this is one of the better cameras on the market, in my opinion john, can I ask you a quick question about that? Is that the view finder? Is that removable or is it just is not removable? Okay, no, that would be so cool if I could just pop this off, hold it up to my eye mounted on my google glass. I don't have the google glass and so on and then point the camera. No, it is not removable. Nor is the back screen. Ok, but I would love that if somebody did that. I just think that's so cool. Because outside when it's so hard to see get the back of your own gender yeah that's really, really cool. I want to give a shadow to a guano who's here from hamburg, germany. John and he got one of these cameras around two months ago and he loves the little camera. So thanks for joining us. Let us know if you have questions, but excellent. Thank you. Ok, so back on the marylise cameras, so one of the things that I want to go in a little bit more detail about is what's going on at the image sensor. Normally, when you turn the camera on, when you see something through the view finder on the back of the camera, it means lights coming straight into the image sensor and that image is being sent back to you in order to take a picture there's a lot of work that needs to happen, what needs to happen is the first curtain needs to shut and cover up the sensor so that the sensor can charge and be ready for the image. And then this is our actual image as it opens up and the second curtain then closes now the image is done and the sensor has stopped recording, and then the second curtain needs to re open so that you can see what's going on. So every time you take a picture the sensor needs tio the shutter needs to close open, and then the second one needs to close and then open again. And so there's a lot of work going on every time a picture has taken now becoming more and more popular is a feature that this camera has that is known as an electronic shutter, sometimes referred to as a global shutter. And in this case, what's happening is that the sensor is receiving light and it's actually able to just cut the information on and off like a light switch, and suddenly you just say, start recording an image and stop recording an image. Now there are some troubles with this technically that I'm going to show you some examples up later in this class, but it's able to do this without any shutter sound at all and this is the first camera that I've ever used that has a silent mode that is truly, absolutely one hundred percent dead silent. And so if you needed to take pictures in a very quiet environment, whether it's a courtroom or a playhouse or something like that, you could be taking pictures with this camera and nobody would know it's really quite amazing, either. I'm going to show you a very interesting series of photos that it came in very handy, and I was shooting a track me where they quiet everybody down before the start, before they fire the gun, and I was able to fire the camera, shooting very rapid syriza pictures before the gun was fired, but nobody could hear that I was shooting pictures. So it's a secret little advantage on this camera that I haven't seen another cameras because everyone else makes a little bit of noise, but back to those shutter speeds, lots of different shutter speeds for stopping action or controlling the amount of light that's coming the camera. We have very fast shutter speeds like two thousandth of a second, which don't let in much light but also stop action a good key shutter speed for remembering his five hundredth of a second that's kind of the minimum shutter speed that you would want to have for stopping human action like dance or sport one hundred twenty fifth is a bit more of a casual shutter speed good enough for stopping these camels walking in the desert once we get down to a thirtieth of a second, we're starting to get to some slower shutter speeds and we'll get boring this if our subjects are moving at an eighth of a second, you can see that this bridge is sharp in focus and the people are blurry because they're walking at a pretty normal walking pace and that's how much blur you can expect in that situation if you like those blurry shots of waterfalls and rivers it's great if you could get down to one second it really makes that very, very clear and easy to see if you want to do nighttime photography, you might do something like a thirty second exposure and some light painting in this case taking a head lamp and swinging it around and the thirty seconds is long enough that we can see some of those stars in the background so as you can see there's a lot of things going on at the sensor level controlling the shutter speeds so that's the kind of real quick basics on how a muralist camera works it's a very, very popular new style a camera and I think we're going to see more and more of these in the future because we're able to get smaller size cameras that have incredible image quality one of the important things that's going on in these cameras is the size of the sensor that is in the camera now there's a lot of different cameras on the market and a lot of different sensor sizes, which is going to determine the overall capabilities of the camera and the quality of the images. In many cases, the four third system is not the largest system out there. For most of the photographers, the full frame system, which is based off of thirty five millimeter film, is going to be the largest common standard out there on the market today. And it's a great one for anyone who's really serious about photography and wants to get the absolute highest quality images it does cost more of the sensor cost more as well as all the lenses cost more, and everything is a little bit bigger in size. Comparing size is one of the ways that I find it easiest to compare is just measuring the size of the sensor from corner to corner, in this case it's forty three millimeters. The a p s system, which is used by a lot of cannons and nyu cons, and sony's and fuji's, arguably maybe the most popular size for interchangeable lens cameras. It's a little bit smaller at twenty eight millimeters and the four third system has a twenty two millimeter size sensor in it's a bit smaller than the rest and we'll talk a little bit more about this when we get into the lenses this first what lenses you want to choose for it but the smaller size basically means a more compact camera and with modern technology the four third sensor is going to be more than good enough for most people's needs on basic photography. If you were planning to be a professional commercial or wedding photographer, this may not be your first choice of cameras because the larger size sensors are going to give you better low light capabilities or maybe higher resolution. But I think for a lot of photographers this is going to make for a great camera or possibly a great second camera to somebody who already has a full size camera that wants a smaller lighter weight easier to travel around camera. I know that's why I first got into these and it's it's a great little thing to have because I can't take this I can take three lenses and I can put it in a bag that would be the same size bag I would carry a body and a single lens around it so there's just a lot more that you could do focal length wise with this that I really enjoy another quick little tip on connecting the camera strapped to your camera see a lot of people who don't have their camera strap attached properly and the key thing is, is that the tail of the strap should be kind of tucked on the underside as you loop it through the strap adjuster. That way, there's pressure on the top to make sure that that tail in doesn't slide out of there and haven't slipped off her shoulder in any way. If you want to grab your camera and put it in your hands, here's a little test, how do you hold the camera? Notice where you put your thumb is the thumb on the top or the bottom of the lens, because it should be on one, and the one that it should be on is on the top of the land, so I don't know how you ever remember thumbs up is good, and thumbs down is bad, but the advantage of holding the camera with the thumb on the top of the lands is that if you were to put your thumb on the bottom of the lands and hold it like this, this leaves an elbow kind of flapping out here in the wind and it's. Not very good support it's much better sport with your elbow down by your side so that you could hold it like this in a stand your position also with some of the longer lenses, or just on this camera you can put the camera in the palm of your hand and if you want to manually focus or zoom you have much finer control with your fingers because you're not supporting the weight of the camera you're just fine tuning the controls like that and so it's just a good technique that you'll see a lot of other provide professional photographers doing okay got a couple of words for you to look at on screen which one of these two words is your favorite do you like auto or do you like manual different people are going to have different choices here and there's a lot of different ways when we set this camera between auto and manual comes to focus exposure in many things beyond and so you're going to kind of have to make a decision on how much automatic you wanna have set and how much manual control you wanna have set a lot of this is going to depend on your time effort and knowledge with what you're doing I tend the like toe work things manually and my guess is that if you're taking a whole class on how to use this camera you're going to want to know how to do a lot of the stuff manual but occasionally throwing it in the automatic when you don't have the time or you just want to put in the effort at that certain time to use it and so there's you just kind of conceptual ideas you're going to have to run through as we go through this class so stuff that we've been talking about for the last five or ten minutes has all been totally stolen from another class of mine called fundamentals of digital photography. And if you would like to know more about the fundamentals, there is a downloadable class at creative live dot com. If you have any interest in another photography class that goes in not to the specifics of a camera, but photography in general, check in with general quick just to see if there's any questions up to this point? No question so far, john, I'm just asking folks in here in the chat rooms, whether they own this camera already or again, if they're looking to own it and what questions that they might have and I can't can adelaide in australia also has the camera, so it is great for carrying around but still is finding that he is mostly using his cannon dslr, so I was hoping to get encouraged by this class to use it more on dh. Then we've got a tache who is curious about how this is different than the g x one and how it compares to other micro forthe thirds, but I imagine you'll you'll get into, like who this camera is best for later. A little bit? Yeah, just real quickly on the gx won. The biggest difference for me is this has an optical viewfinder. They added just tons of features and controls to it the flip out screen, higher resolution but having an optical viewfinder from looking through or elektronik viewfinder, a viewfinder of some sort kind of takes us into a whole different realm. You know, a lot of people know that I teach classes here, creative life on cameras, one of my requirements for because I get request from people, would you do a class on such and such camera? My requirements are it has to have interchangeable lenses, it has to have manual control and it has to have a viewfinder, fox I think once you get a view finder, you are kind of you're saying, I'm pretty serious about this because if you don't have the viewfinder, it just makes the camera hard to work with in a lot of situations, I'm not saying that you can't do professional work for the camera without it is just another tool that helps a lot of photographers out many different ways, and that, for me was the real kicker and especially one that flipped as well as the lcd flipping was really nice.

Class Description

Knowing your camera is essential when you’re exploring photography.

Photography enthusiasts and beginners will get an in-depth introduction to the Panasonic® GX7 in this course. John Greengo will cover everything you need to know about the features, buttons, and menus on your camera. You’ll learn about taking full advantage of your camera’s versatility so you can get the shot you want, when you want it. You’ll also explore working with the GX7’s tilting LCD screen and viewfinder.

Make the most of your camera purchase by getting this comprehensive orientation to it’s features and functions.


a Creativelive Student

I bought a Panasonic G9 camera and couldn't find a good visual user guide anywhere. I've hunted through YouTube and online, only to waste hours scrubbing through off topic babble just to find bits of useful information, but there is nothing complete out there. I found John's Panasonic G7 presentation, and it's been immensely helpful. Though the camera button locations and handling are different from the G9, the menu system, and camera functions are mostly similar. I try reading user manuals, but it's easy to get lost and sometimes hard to relate to. John presents everything so clearly, logically, and in terms easy to relate to and follow. He puts in so much time to make everything look professional and make sense. I really appreciate all his hard work, and his love and passion to share his knowledge. I'm so thankful he creates videos like this, as modern cameras have so many features now, that they can get overwhelming to learn how to use. Watching him demo cameras is also really helpful. I've also taken his Fundamentals of Photography class, and it's phenomenal and foundational. It's helped me learn a lot. Thanks so much for these great quality classes.

Nhahanh Nguyen

Simply wow! Worth every penny. The whole course is totally professional and delivered in a classroom-like setting. The visual presentation and live demos are flawless and so helpful if you have your camera on and play along. I would never buy another expensive camera without taking a course like this! I've looked everywhere else online for camera-specific information like this in one place (I have no time to browse the poor manual that came with the camera). John also gives great information on basic photography. Highly recommend the class to all newbies to this camera. I will be much more comfortable using this little beast after finishing this course. Thank you!!

Guy Holt

I have had the GX7 for some time, and never fully understood how to use all the settings. This course was brilliant, clear and precise and easy to follow and interesting. Brilliant!