When I was exploring camera options back in the Fall one of the features I required was the ability to control the camera through my iPhone. I rolled my own WiFi camera control a couple of years ago, using DSLR Dashboard and a flashed portable router, but I was looking forward to having the feature built into the camera. Most cameras on the market today have some sort of smart phone connection to control the camera, but in the end I liked what I saw on Panasonic’s models the best 1.
With my holiday travels ended, I found some time to pull out a tripod and play with the WiFi capabilities of the G7. My goal was to test the camera in a low light situation, adjusting my aperture and shutter speed to achieve my desired look. As the G7 tends to develop a good amount of noise above ISO 400 2 I also tried to keep my ISO not much higher than that 3. I shot with my 25mm ƒ/1.7 lens.
My chosen subject was an ornament on our Star Wars tree 4. The only light sources near the tree were the lights on the tree itself, the candles we have in our front windows, and a table lamp on the other side of the room. It took be a bit of trial and error to achieve a depth of field which kept the entire ornament in focus while keep the shutter speed to a “reasonable” long exposure time to capture a decent exposure 5. In the end I set my f-stop at ƒ/7.1 and the shutter speed at 2.5 seconds. This produced an under-exposed image, but not one so dark I couldn’t adjust it in post. My favorite exposure is below.
Panasonic’s image app worked as advertised. I was able to set all my manual controls, and even access the camera’s quick menu settings, through the app. The live preview was low-latency, and the shutter button was responsive. I’m looking forward to making use of this setup for some sunrise or sunset photos in the near future 6.
There are only two issues I have with Panasonic’s app at present.
First, touching any setting on camera itself results in a processing delay in the app. This is understandable, given the amount of communication which has to be done between the camera and the app, but it’s a bit of a bummer so see the delay pop up every time I touch the focus dial.
Second, the app will not transfer Raw files to the phone. I suppose this is due to either due to speed or battery issues, but I’d love to be able to ditch the using either card reader or sync cable to transfer from the camera to either my phone or iPad. I hope, one day, this restriction will be removed.
- At least, in my price range. ↩
- Which cleans well in Lightroom, which I like, but it’s one of the shortcomings of Micro Four Thirds cameras. ↩
- During my experiments I went up to 640, and the noise did begin to creep in. ↩
- This is the type of thing which happens when people keep buying you Star Wars ornaments over the course of a couple of decades. ↩
- I have a teenage boy who cannot turn his head without causing the entire house to shake. Much over two seconds and something was going to make the ornament sway. ↩
- When it warms up a bit. ↩