Friday, December 25, 2009

First Look: Canon PowerShot G11

Just got the new Canon PowerShot G11 point and shoot camera as an Christmas gift.

I wanted to have something with high-quality files, good low light performance without flash, yet still compact for shooting feature pics while working at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver this February.

While the G11 is only 10mp, unlike the 14.7 megapixel G10 - the designers of the G11 seemed to have looked at the features that really mattered, not just the megapixel race. Canon brought back the flip out LCD which has been around since the G1 - but disappeared a few generations back.

As a whole, the camera feels quite snappy [pun intended] - its quick and responsive with intuitive controls.

The controls on top are well laid out, with a dial for ISO from Auto up to 3200 as well as multiple shooting modes [P, Av, Tv, M], and an exposure compensation dial. I see myself shooting with this camera mostly in aperture priority, no flash, setting my ISO and my exposure compensation depending on the situation - if I am looking to expose for the foreground in a backlit situation or create a silhouette.

A backlit portrait at 3200 ISO, better than I expected from a point and shoot.

The other feature I have enjoyed is the "quickshot" mode, its fast, snappy, to the point - the idea being you don't miss the shot. You just use the optical viewfinder [or hip-fire it], it focuses quickly without flash and gets the shot

The movie mode, though not HD [a major disappointment] has good color and quality, even when recording at night. I'm interested in learning more about multimedia, until I can get a more powerful rig, I hope to use this to make cool movies just for fun as an exercise in this.

A solid Macro Mode has been fun to use so far - but also quite sharp - even at 3200 ISO

Photographed close up, in "Macro Mode" at 3200 ISO

Detail of noise, or lack thereof, at 3200 ISO, hand held, 50% quality.

A candle at the dinner table:

50% Crop of that candle:

The camera features a remote port to connect a pocketwizard cable release as well as a hot shoe that supports my Canon 580EX II. There is also a water housing available from Canon - I hope to try these out soon.

While it shoots RAW - it requires Photoshop CS4 to open the files, or using Adobe's DNG converter as a workaround to open - so looks like I will have something else to buy unless the DNG conversion works well.. ugh.

More macro action at the dinner table.

As a whole, I'm excited about the potential of the camera for shooting feature pictures in situations when a full DSLR is just not appropriate or allowed - my dad said the layout reminds him of his Leica - you could carry it anywhere, people would not think it is as powerful as it is, maybe the G11 can get close to that too.

No comments: