Friday, June 20, 2008

Canon Powershot G9 Notes

The Canon G9 is NOT a DSLR. I need to keep reminding myself of this. If I think of it as a DSLR I am going to be disappointed with my pictures.

I bought the Lensmate adapter and screwed on a haze filter and a polarizer. It now LOOKS like a squatty DSLR. "It's not a DSLR" I keep telling myself.

The reason this camera is liked by the DSLR crowd is that it takes very good pictures. However, when they need money shots they use their DSLRs, not their G9s. They know that the images simply aren't going to compare with its limited zoom range and small imager. For the money and portability the pictures are acceptable to them, and features like full manual control via DSLR-like controls and RAW make it a comfortable camera to use.

Professional photographers look at lighting, composition, interest, and create works of art through the lens. A camera is just a tool to them. Just like a professional saxophone player will covet their Selmer Mark VI alto sax, it's not the sax that makes them sound good--it is their talent. A talented musician can take a crappy Yamaha sax and make it sound beautiful.

I want to make photographs that look like the ones I see in magazines, but it is simply not possible with the G9. A professional could not get a full page picture published in NatGeo with a G9 either. It's not just the talent, but the quality of the resulting image that makes the difference. You want to see every hair on a bee's head without chromatic abberations? You'll need a large sensor, a true macro lens, and macro lights. Want to get a tack sharp frozen moment in time as a swimmer dives into the water, complete with perfect globules of water? You will need a monopod, a 400mm f2.8 zoom lens and a large sensor.

I need to stop trying to get the perfect spider or bee shot. No matter how close I get, I still have to crop the picture 400% or more to make the animal fill the image. At this point the pixels are so large that the image suffers. I could never submit these images to a stock photo company because of this.

I need to stop trying to take high-contrast landscape shots. The dynamic range and chromatic abberations are so bad that these will also never be accepted.

I need to stop trying to think I can make money selling photographs. I am not willing to commit the money or the time to do it right, and there are 1000's of others out there that ARE willing.

I need to just have fun and try to take shots that please me. I can continue to work on lighting, composition and interest so that if I ever DO buy a DSLR I will take better pictures from the start.

Canon Powershot G9 digital camera

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