It is currently Sun 27 Sep 2020 00:03 GMT
Change font size

Photographers and Artists

I've Gone to the Dark Side

Looks like we have a few photographers and artists in our midst so here's a place to talk about all photography, art, and related subjects.

I've Gone to the Dark Side

Postby Savannah_Alan » Tue 30 Mar 2010 16:43 GMT

Well, this die-hard Nikon fan has bought his first Canon product.

I was on the search for something more compact to take on the bike with me as I'm finding I'm not taking the shots I used to because I simply can't carry all that gear on the bike.

It seems Canon still rules the roost as far as compacts go, so I bought the Canon G11.

It's early days with it yet, but I'm visiting a lot of my old favourite photo locations with the new camera.

I LOVE the articulating screen. I really think that's going to encourage me to take more shots from different angles.
Image quality, while being about the best there is as far as compacts go, is inevitably not as good as can be achieved with a DSLR. Macro capability is amazing though. It will focus down to 1cm.

It was important for me to have a viewfinder. I hate this practice of holding the camera out in front of you to take shots. The viewfinder on this is pretty awful though. It only covers 77% of the frame and shows zero settings. Still, it's better than nothing.

For anybody coming from a DSLR, this is going to be an exercise in compromise. You have far less control of depth of field due to the smaller sensor. Forget making your subject stand out against a lovely bokeh.
On the other hand, I think I need to learn to play to the camera's strengths and use this massive depth of field to good purpose.

It does have some great manual control though - even great dedicated switches for exposure compensation, ISO setting and shooting mode. Yes, real metal dials like the "old days". It makes it feel like a "proper" camera. :-)

It has a built-in neutral density filter which I've yet to use yet, and has a great easy method for aiding you in creating stitched panorama shots.

Too many nice functions and gizmos to list - such as being able to recognise up to thirty five faces in a shot, and a nifty self-timer mode where it will wait until a human face comes into the shot, waitt two seconds, and take the shot... cute. :-)

Unlike my Nikon gear, I'm finding post-processing pretty much a moot point. With the D70s, I pretty much know that every single shot I take will need post-processing to make it good. Time and again with this, I load the G11 shots into Gimp and find there's absolutely nothing that needs doing to it.

Anyway, overall a really great piece of kit. I'm looking forward to visiting many old - and new - photo locations this spring and summer. The camera is a bit bigger than most compacts out there, but still just about pocketable.

No matter how good my other gear is, I'm working on the premise that the best camera in the world is the one you've got with you when you need it.
Don't forget, there's much going on at the main site: http://www.britishexpat.com
The Safe Scooter Riding blog. www.ScootSafely.com
Posted by:
User avatar
Savannah_Alan
Supporter
 
Posts: 1824
Joined: Thu 23 Jan 2003 00:46 GMT
Location: Dahlonega, Georgia, USA - Originally from Southend-On-Sea, Essex.

Postby ruggie » Tue 30 Mar 2010 20:26 GMT

Sounds great. I've been using an Olympus FE-310 for a while now. Nothing like as sophisticated as your Canon, and no viewfinder, but when everything I shoot ends up on a 1024 x 768 screen, I very rarely use an SLR now - especially since I still haven't bought a digital one.

And the compact even shoots acceptable video...
Whether you live in France, or just find the country interesting http://www.franceforfreebooters.com/201 ... nts-up-50/
Posted by:
ruggie
Supporter
 
Posts: 3196
Joined: Sun 28 Nov 2004 09:09 GMT
Location: France

Postby Kay » Wed 31 Mar 2010 07:46 GMT

I got a new lens recently (28-105 zoom) for my Canon D60 and am finding the camera a real burden to lug around now, so I can see where Alan is coming from when he says, "the best camera in the world is the one you've got with you when you need it".

We do have a digi compact but I just didn't like using it after being so used to my old SLR (Canon AE1, of course). When I wanted to have a new camera I decided it had to be a DSLR or nothing. Crikey! It's hard to believe that was at least seven years ago.
Not Delia - Foodie blog with lots of reviews and recipes.
Posted by:
User avatar
Kay
Site Admin
 
Posts: 15338
Joined: Wed 22 Jan 2003 13:06 GMT
Location: Kent for a couple of years

Postby Kay » Wed 31 Mar 2010 07:51 GMT

I forgot to say that technology has changed so much since we bought the digi compact so perhaps it's time for another look at them.

I'll look out for the G11. As you know, I've always been a Canon girl. :D
Not Delia - Foodie blog with lots of reviews and recipes.
Posted by:
User avatar
Kay
Site Admin
 
Posts: 15338
Joined: Wed 22 Jan 2003 13:06 GMT
Location: Kent for a couple of years

Postby Dave » Wed 31 Mar 2010 08:15 GMT

The digi compact was a Kodak DC3400. Massive beast of a thing, considering how small they are these days - and the picture resolution was pretty small at just 2.1 MP. Not much of a zoom facility either.

But it was reasonably up to date in 2001 when Kay bought it.
British Newspapers Online - your handy guide to the UK's national, regional and local press!
ErgoGuides - Great travel and business eBooks from British Expat!
Posted by:
User avatar
Dave
Site Admin
 
Posts: 7267
Joined: Tue 21 Jan 2003 15:04 GMT
Location: Currently UK

Postby ruggie » Wed 31 Mar 2010 14:21 GMT

And now any smartphone can easily better that, and do videos...
Whether you live in France, or just find the country interesting http://www.franceforfreebooters.com/201 ... nts-up-50/
Posted by:
ruggie
Supporter
 
Posts: 3196
Joined: Sun 28 Nov 2004 09:09 GMT
Location: France

Postby Savannah_Alan » Wed 31 Mar 2010 17:27 GMT

Well, mobile phones can "better" that as far as resolution goes but, as you know, actual resolution means little.

I was pleased that Canon, with the upgrade from the G10 to the G11, finally saw sense and REDUCED the resolution. The G10 was 14.xMpx, they reduced the G11 to 10Mpx.

One of the best quality cameras I own is the old Nikon D2h. 4Mpx, but it totally blows the new 10Mpx Canon out of the water as far as IQ goes.

As far as video goes, this side of things really doesn't interest me in the slightest. The G11 does do video. I could easily live without it.
Don't forget, there's much going on at the main site: http://www.britishexpat.com
The Safe Scooter Riding blog. www.ScootSafely.com
Posted by:
User avatar
Savannah_Alan
Supporter
 
Posts: 1824
Joined: Thu 23 Jan 2003 00:46 GMT
Location: Dahlonega, Georgia, USA - Originally from Southend-On-Sea, Essex.

Postby ruggie » Fri 2 Apr 2010 11:35 GMT

Video is useful for flowers on a windy day...

Agreed, number of pixels isn't a very useful measure - the quality of the embedded software that interpolates the output from the CCD is the deciding factor. But with the processors in things like iPhone and HTC Hero there seems little reason why they shouldn't produce very good output.

Of course, the design point for a smartphone is different. What amazes me is the power of an iPhone as a video recorder (but you can easily overload the audio input, as

my pal Matt Oliver demonstrates.

Don't be put of by the look of him - he's a very nice guy, and a man of many talents.
Whether you live in France, or just find the country interesting http://www.franceforfreebooters.com/201 ... nts-up-50/
Posted by:
ruggie
Supporter
 
Posts: 3196
Joined: Sun 28 Nov 2004 09:09 GMT
Location: France

Postby Savannah_Alan » Fri 2 Apr 2010 17:40 GMT

Mike, the biggest reason that small cameras - like compacts and mobile phones - can't compete is because of the SIZE of the sensor. The software does, secondarily, have something to do with it.

The bigger the sensor for a given pixel count, the larger the photosites can be, and the better their light-gathering abilities and useful resolution. It's also this small sensor size in small cameras and therefore the proximity of the lens to the sensor that causes the massive depth of field.
That's why it was such a silly thing for the camera manufacturers to chase the pixel count. I guess it was because, for the buying public, they just saw the bigger count as better. Personally, I don't have a need for anything past 6Mpx. Just impossible to find that nowadays. I'll settle for 10Mpx though.

Yes, the iPhone does amazingly well as a video recorder. Much better than as a stills camera. It will produce acceptable shots in very good light in optimum conditions though.

Alan.
Don't forget, there's much going on at the main site: http://www.britishexpat.com
The Safe Scooter Riding blog. www.ScootSafely.com
Posted by:
User avatar
Savannah_Alan
Supporter
 
Posts: 1824
Joined: Thu 23 Jan 2003 00:46 GMT
Location: Dahlonega, Georgia, USA - Originally from Southend-On-Sea, Essex.

Postby ruggie » Sat 3 Apr 2010 10:37 GMT

the larger the photosites can be, and the better their light-gathering abilities and useful resolution.


Doesn't make sense to me. A single photosite records a single color and intensity value, so it can't affect the amount of information available to be interpolated and feed into the pixels of the output.

Small photosites can, of course, not register anything because of insufficient light, or show bias because of uneven sensitivity to colours at low light levels. That will affect the dynamic range and tonal values, but not the resolution.

OK. Perhaps I understand your point: if half the photosites are unusable because they are below threshold or providing skewed output, there's no point in trying to interpolate to a higher resolution - the effect will be similar to using an editor to increase the resolution of a low-res image and then smooth it with gaussian blur.

This effect is well illustrated by the difference between my miniature DVRs (pen camera and clip-on 'sports' camera) and my proper compact HD camcorder. In bright light, both produce acceptable video at VGA resolution, but the sports camera has a faster frame rate and better exposure control than the pen camera. However, in shadow or as the daylight fades, only the proper camcorder still operates, having bumped its effective film rating up to around ISO 1600 in exchange for a grainier output. The firmware in the miniature DVRs doesn't even try to do this.
Whether you live in France, or just find the country interesting http://www.franceforfreebooters.com/201 ... nts-up-50/
Posted by:
ruggie
Supporter
 
Posts: 3196
Joined: Sun 28 Nov 2004 09:09 GMT
Location: France

Postby Savannah_Alan » Sun 4 Apr 2010 05:43 GMT

Yes, I did specify useful resolution. Maybe would have been better as perceived resolution.

I was trying to find the right word to describe it, but came up with nothing. It's more to do with rejection, selectivity. Yes, definitely dynamic range. The bigger the photosite, the more light-gathering ability per pixel.
Don't forget, there's much going on at the main site: http://www.britishexpat.com
The Safe Scooter Riding blog. www.ScootSafely.com
Posted by:
User avatar
Savannah_Alan
Supporter
 
Posts: 1824
Joined: Thu 23 Jan 2003 00:46 GMT
Location: Dahlonega, Georgia, USA - Originally from Southend-On-Sea, Essex.


Return to Photographers and Artists



cron