I'm on a new breakfast ritual these days. I mix up a bowl of Muesli and 2% Milk Greek Yoghurt, sprinkle a handful of blackberries over the top and the crush a smaller handful
of walnuts over that. A small Turkish coffee makes everything just right.
Belinda is always happier when I rinse out my bowl....
I was excited last week to get my hands on a Canon G10 from yesteryear. It's a compact camera that I owned once, really liked and then sold off for no good reason. But here's the problem with reacquainting oneself with an older camera; you get to wade through all the comparisons to newer models and competitive models. I happened onto a series of articles about the Canon G15 and by the end of my brief re-introducftion to the G10 I had already convinced myself to also get a G15. Fewer megapixels in the newer camera, as well as a CMOS sensor instead of a CCD. The G15 sensor is a BSI CMOS and offers a much lower noise floor than its older sibling. It also has a much more powerful processor, faster AF, faster overall responses and it has full 1080p video. The icing on the cake is a very, very good version of lens-based image stabilization. So, at a used price of about $250 what's not to like?
I got the G15 via UPS on late Friday night and only had time to confirm that it worked and the battery would charge. I took it to Eeyore's Birthday Party at Pease Park on Saturday afternoon, after swim practice, but I was uninspired to shoot much this year. Maybe, after all these years, I'm losing my enthusiasm for the event. I did run into a number of my photographer friends there, including my buddy, John, who just had a photo book published by Twin Palms. He was blazing away with an older Leica M series film camera and seemed to be having a blast. I met his son who was shooting Super8 film in an ancient (but stout) Nikon R8 movie film camera. They were both having a blast.
When I got back home yesterday I started learning the G15 in earnest and by the time I fell into bed last night I thought I had the camera pretty well sussed out. Not too much change occurs in the Canon menus over the years and I think that's a good thing.
I set up the camera to use the AI-AF and it does a great job as long as the thing you'd like to have in focus is usually the closest thing to the camera. It helps if the object or person is near the center of the frame. I was worried about battery life with the G15 and have been going through and unusually difficult time getting replacement batteries from Blue Nook, via Amazon (and that's another story...) but I needn't have worried because I'm finding battery like to be just fine. I shoot about 500 images at Eeyore's yesterday and still had 2/3rds of my initial charge left when I finished up and headed over to Whole Foods for a hydration session with draft beer.
Today I drove to San Antonio to have lunch with my dad. His dementia isn't much worse but it's not any better. Still, he remembers each of us kids and he's nicely conversational at lunch. He seems fine and happy...
So when I got back to Austin in the late afternoon I was ready to go walk with the G15. Battery charged, 32 GB card installed and formatted. Comfortable shoes on. Glasses newly cleaned. I headed to my favorite parking spot a block from Whole Foods and then meandered through the metropolis. I agreed with nearly all of the camera's white balance selections but I will say that I think my most used dial on these smaller sensor cameras will be the exposure compensation dial as I find myself always tweaking exposure to keep from ever overexposing. I figure that when shooting RAW I can under exposure by 1/3 to 2/3rds of a stop and recover the file nicely in PhotoShop without sacrificing my highlights.
I went to full "stream of consciousness" shooting today, even using the camera all afternoon in the "P" setting. I'm very happy with the focal lengths (28-140mm equiv.) and the camera is nicely responsive.
Yes. It's just a fire hydrant but when I first looked at it I was struck by how effectively it blends in visually with the street. My next thought was that a fire hydrant should be painted red or yellow so that it really stands out in an emergency. Might also keep people intent on walking while viewing cellphones from overlooking it and colliding. But I guess that's too kind a thought to waste on cellphone abusers...
An "Alec Soth" wall.
A "Stephen Shore" wall.
Checking to see if the camera will focus on a slender object. Yes!
In this test I checked to see if the camera was responsive enough to quickly focus on a moving object(s). It is. Cute dog. I call this one, "Crossing Sixth Street."
One huge benefit of the small sensor and fast lens of the G15 is depth of field forever.
Of course, that is also its downside.
Beer and crawfish at one of the bars on Sixth St.
Surprised to see that Coors Light is still a thing. People still drink mass market beer?
I'd have never guessed it.
Yes, the lens has barrel distortion even after the automatic, in camera correction. I'm not
too comfortable recommending that you give up your shift lenses and downsize to the G15 for critical architectural work. Unless your client is indifferent to whether or not the edges of their creations are straight and true.
The G15 is capable of delivering nice blues.
Attack of the Scooter Hoodlums. Yes, they are still making even the sidewalks an adventure.
Good thing the camera is small and light. It helps me dodge them. God forbid I should be trying to work with an 8x10 inch view camera; or even one of those enormous full frame monsters....
Brick Wall Test. Passed.
Our city is so affluent that we even have "free" pizza right on the sidewalks bordering Sixth St.
Yours for the taking. Go ahead. I dare you....
My in color "Lee Freidlander" Pizza window.
When I swim at Barton Springs I always dream I'll hang out with mermaids. Really beautiful mermaids. But nice ones who won't try to drown me and steal my soul (the original Hans Christian Anderson version.....).
If you are in Austin on May 8th go and see my favorite Jim Jarmusch movie, "Stranger than Paradise." It's in black and white and five-D. It's amazing. Slow but amazing.
I think it's got that Winogrand tilt. I like to tilt the camera so I can see what things look like when tilted.
the Bermuda Triangle of color.
Well... How do I like the G15?
I think it's pretty cool.
More to come.
If I can just get the damn batteries here...