Panasonic GF1 and multi-image pictures.

Panasonic GF1 45mm f/2.8 Macro lens
Panasonic Lumix GF1 Leica DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm f/2.8 

Its easy to forget just what a good camera the Panasonic GF1 is. Sometimes I forget it too. Yesterday I took it out with my three Panasonic primes lenses. 14mm f/2.5, 20mm f/1.7 and 45mm f/2.8. In order to keep the file size up I shot a series of multi-images and stitched them together in Photoshop later. Most of these consisted of two separate images as in the picture at the top and the one below.

Panasonic GF1 45mm f/2.8 Macro lens
Panasonic Lumix GF1 Leica DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm f/2.8


Using only two images results in an image that doesn't look "panoramic" but has a greater resolution than a single shot. In both these cases the stitched file was 50MB+.

Here are the original shots used for these.  






As you can see there's nothing dramatic here, and no distortion created by the stitching. Whats created is a genuine higher resolution file, about equivalent to 18-19 MP. Its a simple technique and you end up with a finished image thats bigger than a single image created by the likes of a Canon 7D, NIkon D7000, Pentax K-5 etc. Obviously very useful for my library / stock work. 

They also look very impressive on the screen too. One of the reasons I use m4/3 so much is that by using this technique I end up with an image that I prefer to images taken with many of the DSLR's I use. In terms of colour, sharpness and overall look these stitched images are excellent. Putting more images together often results in more warping and the distortion created can tend to soften the image somewhat. Keeping it down to 2 or 3 images often results in a better quality file.

I also took some more conventional panoramic images using 3 or 4 different images.

Panasonic GF1 45mm f/2.8 Macro lens
Panasonic Lumix GF1 Leica DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm f/2.8 

Panasonic GF1 14mm f/2.5 Pancake 
Panasonic Lumix GF1 14mm f/2.5

Bigger file sizes still for the finished images. These can turn out to be 60-80MB.

So a simple way of getting higher resolution images from the GF1. With practice you can even include moving elements in the shots. 12MP needn't be the constraint on quality and resolution it seems to be. Yes it takes a little more work but not as much as you might think. Stitching 2 images together doesn't take Photoshop very long, particularly as you can do this with the raw files without even converting them. Just click on the ones you want to use in bridge, select photomerge and photoshop produces the stitched image. There's usually some cropping involved, but this doesn't take very long at all.


Finally a word about the 45mm f/2.8 macro. This really is a superb lens. Very sharp and crisp, even wide open. Used in a non-macro situation the AF is also very quick and precise. Slow AF is a criticism often levelled at this lens, but in the situations I use it, I have no problems at all.