After walking our dog last Saturday I was sitting on the porch at Moonbean Cafe in Briarcliff Manor, NY having my usual coffee. I noticed a number of sparrows flitting in and out of the tables, no doubt searching for crumbs left by the diners. Having, nothing else to do I decided to try and get some pictures of them.

It turned out to be more difficult than I thought, exposing perhaps a few problem areas with my newly acquired Panasonic Lumix GF-1 and Lumix G Vario 45-150mm f4.0-5.6.

It was rather dark under the porch and the sparrows tended to stay for the most part at ground level where it even darker. Also they’re quick little buggers, rarely staying in one place for more than a second or so. A review of this lens on Ephotozine states: “Autofocus is pretty quick in single focus mode in good light, although it may struggle to keep up when attempting to track moving subjects or for focusing in dim lighting conditions.” I can certainly confirm this. The continuous autofocus was next to useless. Also because of the dark conditions I had to “up” the ISO to 1600 to get a decent shutter speed. This introduced a lot of noise into the image – too much for me to correct it in Lightroom.

I like to bracket pictures and with other cameras I use I’m accustomed to pressing the shutter release and having the camera take three shots in rapid succession (click, click, click). With the the GF-1 you have to keep pressing the shutter release and there’s a noticeable pause (click…click…click) between the shots.

Of course this is now a rather old camera (2009 vintage) and I’ve only used it once before, and with a different lens. So it’s likely that some of the problems I encountered were the result of my lack of familiarity with this camera/lens combination.

Taken with a newly acquired Panasonic Lumix GF-1 and Lumix G Vario 45-150mm f4.0-5.6.

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