Friday, May 1, 2009

The Camera

For the SoFoBoMo, I'm using my Canon Powershot G9 point and shoot camera. It's a nice little camera and it mostly does everything I want.

I'm an amateur photographer. My first real camera was a Pentax K1000, a fully manual SLR. I had both a 50mm and 135mm lens, f2.0 and f2.8, respectively. I learned a lot with that camera. For various reasons, I broke away from photography for many years and now I'm getting back into it. I purchased the G9 in spring of 2008, choosing it over a DSLR, the main candidate of which was the Sony A200. In the last few months I've again been considering a DSLR. I may do it sometime but certainly not until after the SoFoBoMo event.

On the positive side, this camera satisfies a very important requirement for me. When I was looking last year, the camera needed to be one where I could "grab and go." Mostly the G9 beats that over a DSLR, though "grab and go" isn't without its planning. Batteries (of which I have a couple) must be charged before I'm ready to go. I've yet to go through a fully charged battery in one shoot, but I've come close. I'd shot 360 photos one afternoon, and the battery was about to die. I was ready to put a fresh one into the camera, but it wasn't needed.

Mostly I run the G9 in P or Program AE mode. At Gravelly Point however on my first time there, I found I needed to go fully manual with it - focus, shutter speed, and aperture. The G9 is designed to fight even that, overriding certain manual controls. Fortunately the owner's manual is good and the camera design is such that you can turn off those protections.

The only downside for me right now is that it isn't a DSLR. I expect I'll find weaknesses that matter to me in the G9, though after a year I haven't yet. I know lots of the arguments on point and shoot cameras versus DSLRs. I've also seen what I can do with it.

I'll shoot the SoFoBoMo with the G9. Afterward, I'll see what options make sense.


  1. Good luck with your project! I think you can do great things with a camera such as the G9.

    I'm also shooting with a compact nowadays (Panasonic LX3), although I still have my first SLR, a Minolta XG-1, with 50 mm f/1.7 and 135 mm f/3.5. And I'm every so often thinking about getting a DSLR. But for now, that idea is not at all interesting.

  2. I think it is good to put some limitations on the technical side. It keeps you thinking but also does away with a lot of see-sawing over the equipment.

  3. Graham, the best camera you can shoot is the one you have with you when you need it. If portability is important, and you're not going to be shooting hand-held in low light, then the G9 is more than enough. Don't let anyone make you think different.

    But if you do decide at some point that you want a DSLR, then go with something a Pentax! :-) In just under 1 month Pentax will announce their new flagship, the K-7, and it's building up to be something big...and small, all at once.

    Good luck with the SOFOBOMO!


  4. My last year's SoFoBoMo book, Signs of Spring, was shot with a G9. Good little camera.

  5. Thank you both!

    I've come to love and respect my little G9. However, today I saw the price drop on the Canon Rebel XSi and, well, it's now on order. It was a matter of economics. Ah the joys of a weird economy.

    My intention is to still use the G9 exclusively for the SoFoBoMo. I'll make no pronouncements however, one way or the other. :D