Re: Running with Vinny - 3D camera testing - 4. Panasonic Lumix 3D1

Rob Ellis

Regarding David's observation that you can get the 3D1 to do longer time exposures, I can explain what is happening. George was absolutely right in describing the 3D1's exposure compensation as the "little morsel of control we have with this camera" in 3D mode, and what I'm about to describe is the other morsel of control. The feature is hidden and non-intuitive, so most 3D1 users don't know about it.

The 3D1 does indeed contain a camera-motion sensor which tells the camera whether it is currently hand-held or is on a stable surface. When it detects that the camera is stable, the 3D1 drops its ISO setting to 100, which is the 3D1's lowest ISO. It will then allow longer exposures. I discovered this several years ago, and I have used this trick when the subject involves minimal motion and I've wanted the highest image quality I could coax out of the 3D1, and also for time exposures. (Obviously, the technique isn't necessary when shooting in bright light, as the ISO will already be 100.)

Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Place the 3D1 on a tripod or other stable surface. The motion sensor is extremely sensitive, so the camera must be truly stable; even some lightweight tripods may prevent this from working.
  2. Set the 3D1 to self-timer; 2 seconds is good enough. (Even though the exposure is set in the next step, the self-timer prevents motion blur when you remove your finger from the shutter release.)
  3. Gently half-press the shutter-release button and look at the ISO setting on the bottom-left of the display. If the ISO is any number higher than 100, lift your finger from the shutter release and then try again. Repeat until the display shows ISO 100.
  4. Press the shutter release the rest of the way down.

This technique produces 3D1 images with the lowest image noise / grain, and allows long exposures.

I hope this is helpful! And George, thanks for the wonderful series of posts!

Rob Ellis

David Starkman wrote:
Much to my surprise the camera made a MUCH LONGER exposure than when I was hand-holding the camera! So I got a much better exposure! I tested this by hand holding a similar shot, and then taking it again with the camera firmly on the flat surface. I can only surmise from this that the camera can sense when it is being hand-held, and when it is firmly not moving at all, as when on a tripod.

Join to automatically receive all group messages.