Thursday, October 21, 2010

Canon G12 - Initial Impressions

I upgraded from my Canon G11 to a Canon G12 earlier this week.  I've really enjoyed shooting with the G11 for the short time that I've had it.  Although my time with the G11 was relatively short, I did take it all over the place with me... Las Vegas, India, etc.  I had ample time to get acquainted with the little Canon.

But soon after picking up my G11 Canon announced the G12.  I immediately checked out the specs of the G12 and decided it really wasn't a big enough upgrade in terms of features and capabilities to make the jump.  I planned on staying with my G11.

That was until my buddy decided he wanted to buy my G11 for his wife.  Ok, I'll do it now... why not?

Some of the key new features of the G12 that differentiate it from the G11 are:
  • New front wheel for making adjustments to either the aperture or shutter settings.
  • New 720p resolution video with stereo audio
  • New HDR mode (High Dynamic Range)
  • New ability to set ISO in 1/3rd stops
  • New auto-level that helps you keep your images perfectly horizontal
  • New image size modes:  3:2, 4:3, 1:1, 16:9 and 4:5 modes
  • New support for Eye-Fi wireless cards
My Thoughs:
First off, I'll say the G12 is almost identical to the G11 it replaces.  The image quality for still images is identical.  It uses the same DIGIC 4 processor and 10mp sensor as its predecessor.  The size and weight is identical although there have been some minor cosmetic changes.  I've noticed the texture of the G12 is more "rough" textured whereas the G11 is more "slick".  The G12 has slightly more rounded edges on the case as well.  The G12 also has a new thumb rest for your shooting hand which, believe it or not, is really nice.

I've only used the video a couple of times but honestly, I'm not impressed.  Unlike the new Nikon CoolPix P7000 the G12 lacks the ability to focus in real-time while shooting video.  You must compose the scene, half depress the shutter button to achieve focus, then record.  If the subject moves or you move to another subject, the video goes out of focus.  You can zoom in now while shooting, but again, you lose focus.  If you want the G12 for video,  consider buying the Nikon P7000 instead.

The new scroll wheel on the front of the camera is a nice addition.  This alone makes me prefer the G12 over the G11.  It's a minor thing to some, but for me, being a DSLR shooter it's quite comforting having it there.

I've have noticed an odd problem with the G12 that doesn't exist on the G11.  Any non-Canon accessory you attach to the hotshoe mount causes the screen to go black when you attempt to focus the camera.  Things like Pocket Wizards, CyberSyncs, eBay triggers, etc. cause this issue to occur.  I've shot short video that showcases this issue.

video 

I will admit, this issue is a bit annoying and I hope Canon addresses it in a future firmware update.  Aside from this annoyance, the G12 is still one amazing little camera.  It is small enough to go everywhere with you and powerful enough to not leave you yearning for your DSLR.  The image quality is ample for family photos and capturing those key moments while out and about.  The ability to control your manual settings quickly and easily really make this camera shine over the competition.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

New Canon 60D is Announced

Yesterday afternoon Canon announced the new 60D camera, the replacement for the 50D.  The suggested retail price is $1,099 without a kit lens and $1,399 with the 18-55mm kit lens.  The features include:

Along with the 60D Canon announced a new 70-300 f4-5.6L lens and a new  8-15mm f/4L fisheye lens.  Prices have not been mentioned for these new lenses as of this writing.

The specs on the new 60D seem a bit strange to me.  It is more Rebel like than xxD like.  First, they've done away with the CF cards and gone to SD cards.  This will prevent existing 50D owners from upgrading (if you can call it that).  They've also gone from a metal framed body to a Rebel like plastic body.  I'll have to wait for a few full reviews before passing judgment, but right now I can't say I'm all that excited about this new body.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Pushing the limits

Yesterday Canon announced that it had developed the worlds first 120 megapixel camera.  That's right, I didn't mistakenly add a zero to that figure, I said 120 megapixel.

The new sensor is 13,280 x 9,184 pixels and is 7.5 times larger than the previous king of APS-H sensors which checked in at 16.1 million pixels.

Canon claims that this new technology can write out 9.5 frames per second easily keeping pace with the 7D's 8fps and almost keeping pace with the 1D4's 10fps.

The new sensor can also shoot full HD video at 1,920 x 1,080 pixels but the press release doesn't mention at what frame rate.  One must assume given the claimed speed of the sensor that a full 30fps is likely possible.

What's to be seen is how this new sensor stacks up against more modestly sized sensors in terms of dynamic range and high ISO performance.  The press release doesn't mention any new advancements in these areas.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sneak Peek: Nikon D3100


Recently reviewers were given the opportunity to handle the new Nikon D3100. It features some slick new functionality including 1080 video that, get this, has continuous autofocus! It's about time!

While Canon has had 1080 HD video for a while now, my primary complaint about the 1D4, 7D and 5D2 has been that lacking continuous autofocus makes the devices mostly useless for me to capture video. I've never mastered the manual auto focusing while shooting video trick.

The new Nikon will shoot only 24fps in 1080 mode, but this isn't surprising for an entry level camera.  It will shoot 30fps in 720 mode.

I can't wait to see this new camera in action if for no other reason than the new AF system for shooting video.

The new camera boasts new ergonomics that are reportedly superior to the previous D3000 and even the D5000. While the body is still small, those who have handled them say the feel of the camera is much improved.

Other good news is that the D3100 will get Live View.  This is a totally new feature to the 3xxx series, one which will likely be welcomed by the masses.

The D3100 also features a new switch located by the enlarged dial that allows the user to quickly toggle between various shooting modes.

A new Live View trigger and video recording button are now on the body making accessing these features super simple.

The price is rumored to be around $699 which most likely includes the 18-55mm kit lens.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, August 20, 2010

New Canon 7DSV Camera

This week Canon announced the new 7DSV (Studio Version) which gives professional photographers new functionality.  The camera's announcement took the community by surprise.  We weren't inundated with speculative posts on sites such as Canonrumors.com, it just appeared.

The camera will allow up to 4 different levels of "locking".  This allows administrators to disable or enable certain features and protect them with a password.  The camera can then be used by the appropriate person on staff without concern that unnecessary features might be used.

It also has a new system allowing photographers to track images through their workflow by using a new "Barcode" technology.  Relevant client data will be embedded in the EXIF data and can be populated or accessed by scanning a barcode.

While not a major release in my opinion, it's a noteworthy release in that it puts Canon in a unique market position over its rival Nikon.  It will be interesting to see if this concept catches on and Nikon releases a similar system.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Impossible Project

Well, it looks like the Impossible Project was scheduled to start shipping their color film for those old Polaroids on August 2nd.  It's not going to be cheap, it's $44 for a starter pack of 3 packs, which hold 8 shots each.  That's a $1.80 a shot... but hey, don't we all have a Polaroid sitting in a closet somewhere that we would love to get running again?

Get your orders in now, I suspect there might be a run on this film for a while.

Canon 60D appears on DxO

The soon to be announced (we hope) Canon 60D has appeared in the DxO roadmap as you can see from the attached screen shot.  Does this mean DxO is in possession of a pre-production model for their testing?  We can only speculate.

Of course this mishap was quickly caught by the folks at DxO and all references to the new camera have been removed from their website.

According to various rumors we should see an official announcement from Canon in the next month or two.  Rumors mention an August/Sept time frame.