Saturday, November 22, 2008

An epicurean point and shoot camera?

I posted a while ago, lamenting the fact that my DSLR (Nikon D300 with 17-55 2.8) was getting too burdensome on tour. Thus began many weeks of reading online, looking for the "perfect" point and shoot camera for bike touring.

(Yes, this image was taken with a point and shoot!)

I thought I had narrowed my choice to the Lumix LX3. In fact, I was ready to buy it, money in hand. It had lots of attractive features such as a Leica lens, 24mm wide angle and a fast 2.0 aperture.

Well, I went to the local independent camera store that had one (I had it on reserve) and played with it in the store. I also asked to see the Canon G10. I played with them side by side and the more I used the two, the more I gravitated towards the G10.

In fact, so much so, that I walked out the store with the G10.

The real clincher was the usability of the G10. I'm a Nikon guy. The thing I love about Nikons are that many of the controls are accessed with knobs and switches. The Canon G10 (despite being made by Canon) was very Nikon-esque this way. ISO can be changed with a knob (reminiscent of where the shutter speed dial would be placed on an old film camera), exposure compensation can also be accessed by a knob and on the back of the camera is a thumb wheel that allows you to quickly change aperture and shutter speed.

The Lumix, despite it's fast glass and wide angle, was a real displeasure (for me) to use. Lots of the controls were buried in menus. The little joystick (reminds me of the IBM ThinkPad eraser head) was usable, but not as quick as a thumb wheel. Changing ISO required fiddling with the menu and so did exposure compensation.

In the end, for me, the Canon had better controls. Both are leaf shutter cameras so I can synch my flash up to 1/2000th of a second (not something even my D300 can do!). I'm planning to use the Canon G10 on my next photo assignments to run it through its paces.


Tommy Williams said...

I think the G10 is going to be a real watermark camera for Canon. I have read report after report about how amazed people are with the quality and the experience of using the camera. Sure--it doesn't come close to even the lowliest DSLR at higher ISOs but down in the 80-200 range it is fantastic.

I look forward to your pictures and report.

My Dad just got one for his birthday and if I didn't have a 5D MkII on the way, I would probably buy one as well.

I have gotten used to the weight of a DSLR and lenses (Canon 20D for me) on my bike but I can't deny that it would be much more convenient to carry a Canon G10 in the Bento Box on my top tube rather than having to stop and get into the trunk bag on my rack.

RussRoca said...

Tommy....I'm pretty excited to put it through its paces, but am also realistic about what to expect...

I know that its sweet spot is 80-200...then 400 in black and white :)

We'll see how it works out...I'm hopeful..

Now if only Lightroom supported it's RAW format!

James said...

It's great. I was cycling with it today (well, the G9, but close enough).

Anonymous said...

i think you need to upgrade lightroom
for the latest camera raw. i use a canon g9 and ps cs2, cs2 camera raw does not see the g9 version of raw. so i first run the g9 cr2's thru adobe digital negative converter (free at it converts them to dng files that ps cs2 camera raw can now open. i archive the dng's, and sometimes the cr2's. congrats on the g10 purchase! come take a look some day -