Friday, September 25, 2009

Canon G10 with a flip-out screen?

As I have written already, the most significant improvement of the G11 over G10 is the flip-out screen giving a photographer much more creative flexibility. However, not everyone would want to trade it for 4.7 megapixels, especially landscape shooters who appreciate every extra pixel under good light and don't care much about low light performance, which, however good, still sucks in comparison with a DSLR. Not to mention 10 years of "the more megapixels the better" propaganda has taken its effect that cannot be undone overnight.

I think Canon should make something like Powershot G10 Mark II with flip-out screen and the same 14.7MP sensor. No doubt, it would be a great hit!

Thursday, September 24, 2009


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Canon 20D, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5

Monday, September 21, 2009

New samples from Canon Powershot S90 has published a gallery of S90's photos:

The pictures don't look exciting to me – noisy, not very sharp and with quite a bit of purple fringing. PF was a plague of my old G5 and I'm happy that G10 almost doesn't have it. It's an unpleasant surprise to see it again.

Of course, it's good that ISO 800 and 1600 are usable now, but at low ISO pixel quality isn't any better than G10's, maybe even worse, and it's 10 MP, not 14.7 Since S90 and G11 share the same sensor and image processor, I expect similar quality from G11. Probably better, because of sharper lens, but not MUCH better.

Of course, those are JPEGs from the camera, not RAW conversions, but Canon's in camera processing is so good that I wouldn't expect much better results from computer RAW conversions. Maybe better and less aggressive noise reduction and little more detail.

So the only actual advantage of the new G11 is flip-out screen, which is very useful, but cannot really justify an upgrade from G10. Soon we will see whether my conclusions are true...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

How the Camera Controls Should Be

Look on top of your camera. What do you see? If it is a DSLR or advanced point & shoot you see a shooting mode dial with the letters: P, A (or Av), S (or Tv) and M. You know what it means: Program, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority and Manual. In Program mode the camera determines the aperture and shutter speed automatically; in Aperture Priority you turn some on camera wheel to set aperture value and the camera determines shutter speed; in Shutter Priority you use the same wheel to set a shutter speed; and in Manual mode you either use two different wheels (as on the Canon 20D-50D) or have to use one wheel and press some obscure button to switch between aperture and shutter adjustments (as on the Sigma SD14). A bit confusing, huh? Especially for beginners. Eventually, every photographer gets the hang of it, but I must say, it's not nearly the best possible layout.

Now look at the new Leica X1:

No mode dial! Just aperture and shutter speed dials. Simple, logical and brilliant! This layout makes the whole concept of shooting modes unnecessary. Set both to A and let the camera control exposure for you, or use all possible combinations to control it yourself. This layout saves you at least one extra movement every time you change settings. You don't need to look into the viewfinder or at the status LCD to see the exposure settings, one quick glance at the camera is enough. You can even adjust it when the camera is off. Just turn it on and shoot!

And finally, the medium format Pentax 645N:

In addition to aperture and shutter speed dials, it has the third dial – exposure compensation, which allows much finer tuning. This is by far the most logical, straightforward and easy control layout I have ever seen. It alone makes me want to buy this camera, even though I don't need it that much :)

Friday, September 11, 2009

Faces from Brazil Fest

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Sigma SD14, 70-200mm f/2.8

Leica Needs an Autofocus

I am not a Leica owner and will never be. Even if I had lots of money, I would find a better way of spending it. However, looking at some early sample galleries I can tell that the new full frame Leica M9 is a remarkable achievement not only in expensiveness and coolness but in actual image quality. No kidding. Especially wide and super wide angle shots are stunning. But... some photos are just not sharp enough. It seems to me the new 18-megapixel sensor outresolves... Leica's rangefinder. It was fine for film, but just isn't precise enough for hi-res digital.

Leica needs an autofocus with live view, contrast detect, central magnification and all that stuff – in addition to the rangefinder. Of course, they will have to make a new series of autofocus lenses and dig more money out of rich snobs' pockets.

Wonder if the M10 will be the first autofocus Leica M?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Toronto Harbour Evening

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Sigma SD14, 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Summer Is Over

Sigma SD14, 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5

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The 78 Rulez of Gawnophotography

The Gawno Magazine published 78 rules for beginning photographers:

As far as I remember, I deliberately violated the following rules: 4, 7, 13, 16, 19, 30, 37, 47, 53, 56, 58, 64, 75, 77, 78. Breaking the rule #37 got me one of my favourite pictures:

Guess I'm not that much of a gawnophotographer :)