9 Nov 2011


Whilst in the US recently I dropped my Canon G9 in a car park  .Although it fell face down it showed no sign of physical damage and I thought that my luck had held but it was not to be .It was not operating so I was faced with a dilemma -do I repair or replace?.It would be easy to just buy a G12 but there is something very appealing about the feel of the G9 which has ,I believe, been somewhat diluted in the G12. Many of the recent photos on this blog were taken with a Canon G7 or the Canon G9 . 
Between 1968 and 2007 I was a dedicated Leica user although during that time I also used an Olympus OM2 SLR and in the later years a Canon EOS 5 SLR .I dabbled in digital early on thanks to winning a very early Kodak digital camera in 2001 in a photo competition .I followed this up with a Leica Digilux 1- an early Leica/Panasonic digital camera -in 2003 but I was still using both my Leica M6 and Canon EOS 5 film cameras with their bag full of lenses for much of my photograph.

When the Canon G7 was announced in 2006 I decided to go digital ,downscale and never to carry a  heavy bag load of camera equipment around ever again so I purchased a new G7 and last year I bought a G9 -off ebay for $350 .

I sold my Leica M6 outfit in 2008 as I was not using it . I do some regrets about selling it as it was so beautiful but I know that I would have probably never used it again.
  Both Canons have proved to be great cameras --metal body- very robust ( well unless you drop them onto concrete)-- totally reliable -compact -a useful zoom range--with an optical viewfinder( very important to me ) and capable of turning out good images .
I love those Canons  and they have both served me very well --I have taken thousands of  photos with them.However if you are not concerned about the optical viewfinder and you need an even smaller camera than the G series friends have been getting great results --some of which have appeared on the blog--from the Canon S90 and the later S95 .In terms of performance/size/price both the S and G series cameras from Canon are outstanding  .

For me there are only really two issues with the Canons and the first is an issue common with almost all compact cameras is that they have very small sensors  and subsequently very short focal length lenses .The amount of data collected by these small sensors nowadays is extraordinary but in the end the sensors are a limitation on image quality as you can see when you compare a large photo taken on a large sensor DSLR camera with an image taken on a compact camera .This is true particularly on high speed settings in low light conditions where the sensors generate a lot of "noise" although  the G12 and the S90/95 apparently perform better than the G9 in those conditions.
The second issue is that the short focal length lenses fitted to compact cameras give great depth of field which is fine when you want everything in the photo to be sharp from foreground to distant horizon but not good when you don't .
Compact cameras are great but they are limiting if you are looking for absolute outstanding image quality and more photographic control particularly on depth of field but as with most things in life you don't get something for nothing and I'm over big camera bags .
To tackle the outstanding image quality issue I bought a Leica X1 earlier this year . My struggles with this camera have been documented earlier  see but it does produce extraordinary quality images. However for all round capability ,in particular having by not having a zoom lens, it does not come close to the Canons .
Luckily the G9 was fixed for a reasonable cost (A$160)so it lives to carry on taking  photos.

1 comment:

  1. I agree wholeheartedly John. I recently took the plunge with a G12. It got a great workout in monterey. I intially had some concerns, but have been blown away with the performance of the thing.