Monday, November 12, 2007

Ultralight Photography with the Canon G9

Our friend Darwin Wiggett sends us this report on how he's getting great images while packing light.

This past summer I spent a lot of time in the backcountry hauling my heavy Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II camera and assorted lenses. As much as I love the camera for its superb images and advanced capabilities, after several days of backpacking, the camera and lenses began to feel more like a burden than a joy. I thought about buying a smaller camera like a 40D or a Rebel but even then the weight savings would not be substantial and I would have to invest in a new wide angle zoom for these smaller sensor cameras. I did not have a great backpacking solution.

Fast forward to October and a family trip to Belgium, where I decided to take a point-n-shoot camera to make travel snaps. I picked up a Canon G9 which has nice specs (12.1 megapixels, a 35-210 image stabilized lens, and RAW capabilities) and an even nicer price (under $500).

What I thought would be a camera for memory shots soon proved to be a camera capable of professional quality photos. The camera has a list of professional features like manual mode, exposure compensation, a great macro mode, RAW capability, and a live histogram. Also the camera has an optional filter adapter and I could use my Singh-Ray filters on the camera. I am lost without filters and the ability to use my arsenal of camera filters on a point-n-shoot is really important to me.

Using filters on the G9 is easy. I just attach a Cokin P-holder with 58mm adapter onto the Canon LA-DC58H adapter and drop my favorite Singh-Ray filters into the holder. My most used filters are the Singh-Ray LB Warming Polarizer, the Gold-n-Blue Polarizer, the George Lepp 5-stop Solid ND filter, and Galen Rowell ND grad filters. The great thing about using filters on the G9 is that you immediately see the effect of the filter on the live display and with the histogram feature turned on you can adjust exposure on the fly for perfect shots.

After testing the G9 with filters I am convinced this combo will be my new solution for foreign travel, day hikes and backpacking trips. The camera produces professional results, is inconspicuous to use (I look like a tourist and not a pro) and I can continue to control the light as I always have using Singh-Ray filters.

Photo Captions (from top)

Photo 1 - Moose Meadows, Banff National Park – Singh-Ray LB Warming Polarizer and Singh-Ray Galen Rowell 2-stop hard-edge grad.

Photo 2 – Fall Colors in Belgium – Singh-Ray LB Warming Polarizer

Photo 3 – Grasses, fence and slough – Singh-Ray George Lepp 5-stop solid ND for long exposure effect (15 seconds at f2.8)

Photo 5 – Canal in Ghent, Belgium – Singh-Ray LB Warming Polarizer

1 comment:

Mr. Canon G9 Camera said...

So far, I'm very happy with my upgrade to the G9 from the G7