Happy snapper

Time to reveal another small passion of mine, would that be a passionette? I enjoy photography.

I only mention this now because I’ve very recently (31st October) taken delivery of a Canon G9 and may lapse into the odd review type ramble on this camera as I slowly get to grips with the many and varied possibilities it offers.

After a few years lugging around a digital SLR + associate lenses, I have been since May 07 on a mission to find the best compact I can. One, at least, that will give me images that I am entirely happy with for my on-line gallery (link on the right somewhere) and that do not feed my desire to go out and buy a new SLR and more lenses.

Factors influential in the change from SLR to compact;

1/ I’ve found that I can reasonably easily live with the constraints of a fixed lens, especially as this means no sensor cleaning and 20kg less to carry. I was starting to take the D70 out with only a fixed prime lens anyway, which is even less flexibility than a compact zoom. The missing flexibility just makes selecting the scene and composition more of a challenge, but I like challenges. I do miss the wide angle possibilities of an SLR sometimes, but not enough to do something about it and if I like this G9 I could buy a wide angle converter at a later date. Mind you, I’m a little concerned about becoming one of those people who tries to turn a compact into an SLR.

2/ I don’t need the ego-boost of a large expensive camera around my neck.

3/ My photography tends to be what I might call “enhanced point & shoot” anyway. I very rarely take the time needed to get the shot ‘just right’, playing with settings, lenses, filters….etc. My photographs are something incidental to to my life, not my reason for being as many amateurs-with-good-cameras like to pretend. I live my life very often with a camera by my side but limit the photographic interruptions as much as possible. No more than a few times a year do I go out with the sole purpose of taking photographs. Even when I do, the results seem to be no better than the snatched opportunities! :)

4/ Over recent years, the image quality and features available from compacts have improved far more than in SLRs. Making the gap between them much smaller and meaning I can now get images from a compact that I’m happy with.

5/ Having recently discovered Noise Ninja, I’m not as concerned about noise from small sensors as I used to be. The noise is reducing anyway and what is left is easily dealt with.

So, here I am with a G9 and no bloody idea how most of it works! I can say up front that it is not a camera I would recommend to anyone who wants good results on automatic, true point & shoot method. Initial results suggest my Fuji f31fd is better at this, the newer f50fd even better I expect. This is a camera you need to work on to get the best out of it but the best you will get out of it will be much better than anything the Fuji could produce.

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5 thoughts on “Happy snapper

  1. These little cameras have their place and are getting better and better. As a micro stock photographer I’ve even sold a few shots taken with my Canon A640 but not without a lot of post processing work first.

    They’re especially handy when you don’t want to be seen as a photographer which happens a lot these days.

  2. My perfect digital camera is the Nikon D80 with 17-200mm lens. It’s ONE drawback is its size. Poles, an untrusting people, immediately assume that anyone toting a camera of this size is a) a photo-reporter doing a story about tax-dodgers, b) a tax inspector, c) an estate agent, d) a secret-service man, e) a general ne’er-do-well. The obvious answer, that the camera user is an artistic soul searching for Truth and Beauty, escapes most.

    I’d love a digital back and base for my Leica M rangefinders. They are ideal camera for Poland. Unobtrusive, mechanical, optically excellent. The digital M8 is nowhere near ready; too many flaws on Leica’s first proper digital rangefinder. So I wait. In the meantime, I have to drag my Nikon with me wherever I go!

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