Saturday, June 20, 2009

G10 (first outing), 6.20.09

I like to take pictures and I like to ride bikes. I need to ride to help keep my body (such as it is) from falling apart. I'm going to Bend in a few weeks (as Soigneur and father), a land of great rides and visual splendor. But my photography kit -- a Canon 5D and a passel of lenses -- isn't bike-suitable. It doesn't go in a jersey pocket. I have a little old Nikon Coolpix point and shoot. It's serviceable, but with 3 Mb pixels and all, it didn't feel up to snuff. I test rode the Coolpix last weekend out in Poolesville and up and down Sugarloaf. The shots were pretty mediocre. So I traded in a summer's worth of kitchen points today and pulled down a Canon G10, a 15 Mb pixel gizmo that also shoots RAW. Everyone raves about it. $450 at Best Buy. (I lusted after the Leica Dlux 4, but at about $700 ... I couldn't walk that plank ...)

Today I did a quick walkabout with the G10, from Rosslyn across Key Bridge into Georgetown. My initial reaction to the work is not astounding. Obviously, I still have a lot to learn to optimize the shots (I need to re-read the instruction manual, for starters) ... but I was concerned that even with 15 Mb pixels some of the shots came out sort of grainy, a moire wash. Also, as I knew, the gizmo isn't much for action shots, taking more than a second to cycle through a capture. On the other hand, the color seems spot on and it can grab pretty sharp detail. I'll keep practicing and I'm pretty confident by the time I'm rolling about the Three Sisters or Crater, in Oregon, the shots will be snazzy.


Les Doerfler said...

Jim...I have a G10 also, bought for the same reason as you bought yours. It's also a cool camera to have in the car when you are driving around and see something interesting.

The controls do take some getting used to and are not that intuitive in my opinion.

It does offer great flexability though. I really like that I have exposure and flash compensation. You can darken your backgrounds nicely and add a touch of fill flash.

I am going to have to rig some sort of diffuser on the flash though, as it can be a bit harsh even dialed down.

I don't know if you shoot in RAW or not, but that gives you a lot of flexibility in post production that a JPG would not have.

All in all, a nice little box. I'm sure you will get some great shots with it on your trip.

Jim Wilson said...

Sounds pretty cool, Les. I think I need to drop the ISO a bit to improve rendering, then it'll saturate more like I expect. Thanks! -- Jim