Thursday, August 27, 2009

The New Canon Powershot G11

Canon announced its new flagship compact camera.

The new G11 features an articulating screen (Great!!! Finally!!! Why the hell didn't they put it on G10? :(( and a new sensor that is only... 10 megapixels instead of G10's 14.5MP.

I think reducing megapixel count makes sense only if it dramatically increases high ISO quality and dynamic range. Canon claims 2 stop ISO improvement, whether it is true remains to be seen. Only 3 full size photos have been published so far, all shot at ISO 80. Pixel quality in my opinion isn't much different from G10's and there is still some noise in shadow areas. Under good lighting G10 will probably outresolve G11 and some people (esp. landscape shooters) may prefer the older model. I wonder if Canon will discontinue G10 or continue to produce both models.

Although 14 MP is good for large prints and cropping, 10 MP is enough for most applications, and the rotating screen gives lots of creative possibilities. If they manage to make ISO 800 and 1600 usable, it will beat Panasonic LX3 and will be a viable competitor to the new Olympus EP-1 (at half price!). But... there is one important thing missing that LX3 and EP-1 have – HD video! Both competitors have 720p and the G11 only has 'lousy' 640x480. Why they omitted it I can't really understand...

The problem of 'media tank' is finally solved

In addition to my previous post. Recently a whole bunch of new media players came out, but I was reluctant to try any of them after my fiasco with HDX 1000 NMT. I decided to buy the new Mac Mini instead (needed a backup computer anyway as my 'Big Mac' getting older). Connected it to the receiver thru optical, to the TV thru VGA cable, plugged in an external hard disk 'toaster', installed the VLC player for HD video and the Cog for HD audio. Voila! Now it does flawlessly everything the media tank failed to do. The only thing I'm missing is a full featured remote, the Mac has a very basic one. Some day I'll get a wireless keyboard & mouse and will be all set.

One can say it is not a fair comparison, considering 3x price difference, but this cute little box is not just a player, but a full featured computer that can do many other things :)