PowerShot powered up

Having received the replacement battery charger for my Canon PowerShot G11 it is now back in operation. A quick review of the tool kit here shows six cameras ‘in use’ and another six put away, including the Kodak P850 which had developed erratic operation. The ‘Mystery Camera’ still has this problem and may be relegated to inactive duty, but there’s still a chance for it – if the sensor swabs ever arrive.

Meanwhile no luck at securing a Canon 5D or SX60/70. Sometimes you gotta run what you brung, so here’s some pictures from the G11:

Cat-wrapping paper.
Raven overhead. I literally bent over backward for this shot.
Cranes.
Wild dogs foraging in the snow.
Up on the roof.
I’m walkin’, yes indeed!

I have not done as much ‘street photography’ with this camera as I had intended due to the fact that every time I need to go to town the weather is heavily gray and very cold so I just want to get the trip over with as quickly as possible. It has to get better someday, right?

Silly Dogs!

Marley: “I’m a silly dog!”
Duncan: “Yes, you are.”
Marley: “A very silly dog!”
Duncan: “Stop being so silly!”
Marley: “Silly! Silly! Silly!”
Duncan: “What are you looking at?”

How to talk yourself out of buying a camera

I recently came across a pretty good deal on a Panasonic Lumix GF2 camera: $80 plus shipping. Not bad. I thought maybe I’d buy it. But why? Uh … because it was cheap and I was bored, frankly. Do I really need to spend money on anything right now? Nope. Not a good idea. Okay, so far these arguments aren’t steering me away from the purchase. Time to try harder. Get some Con Points going!

1). It has no lens with it. Even the cheapest lenses for this MFT mount go for more money than the camera. We’re talking “you could buy a decent lens for the Canon with that cash” levels. Oh you might find one used eventually, but a camera without a lens is useless. The Lens Is The Camera. Any other peccadillos you can work around, but not a bad or missing lens. Option: lens adapter that lets me put an EOS lens on it. That’s another $30 and the Canon lenses I’ve got aren’t great. Could then adapt again to use the Takumars, but in either case it would be manual all the way. Hmm. This is a significant Con Point.

2). It had no viewfinder, just an LCD screen. Bleah. My only complaint against the little Fuji is its lack of viewfinder. Those screens are useless in daylight, which is where and when I shoot most pictures.

3). It’s a Panasonic Lumix which I haven’t been impressed with. My one foray into that brand was the worst photographic experience I’ve had so far, and that’s saying a lot. Other people have had great luck with different P-L models, but I am soured.

4). It’s micro four-thirds format. I’m not sure this is Pro or Con. I’d like to see what the format can do, but it doesn’t really hold much promise of adding to my repertoire. A full-frame sensor would be of more use to me.

5). It’s mirrorless. Ah, sensor covered with dust! In just a few experiments with the Canon I have seen how easy it is to bugger up the imager on an interchangeable lens camera. Mirrorless models have not even a mirror to help keep the dirt off. Definitely a point against. And for those who say “leave the lens on”, well what’s the point of being able to change lenses if you don’t do it?

6). It has a touchscreen for most of the controls. Ew. And yuck.

At this point I was pretty much resolved not to buy it. I honestly couldn’t think of anything in its favour other than it being relatively cheap and something to disturb the monotony. That’s not good enough. Especially when my last cheap purchase was less expensive and delivers some fine photos like these (all taken with the Fuji EXR):

Corvair on the go
Dogs pretending to be innocent
Cloudbow
Rose hips

 

Art on a budget

Or, the Further Adventures of the $6 Camera.

On a sunny day I went out to play. With the colour set to ‘vivid’ and the image quality at maximum size and ‘super fine’ resolution I was trying to see how much I could get from the PowerShot A70. I’ve kept the images fairly large this time to give the camera its due, and post-processed as needed to correct composition, framing, white balance, colour tone, and exposure (it still has trouble handling the difficult light here).

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Look Both Ways

Duncan and Marley, correctly exposed but the white balance was off. Well white snow illuminated by intense and high UV daylight under deep blue sky … there’s probably not one camera in ten that could get that right on its own.

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Almost Gone

The shutter response is slow. That is the last of a flat deck equipment trailer behind a semi truck. I pressed the release when the truck came into the frame, and this is what it captured. The truck wasn’t even speeding. Not a good camera for action shots!

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Sharp

The lens is sharp enough. This is about 100% image size here, and if you blow it up to 200% you’re into pixel-peeping land. I must remember to use that wild rose thorn for other lens tests.

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Now we get arty. Desaturating all but the yellow and red, which were increased to emphasize the contrast with the bleak surroundings. You see? You can get artistic with a cheap camera! Although I wouldn’t say the composition or framing are the best here, this one nevertheless looks like the type presented by some professional photographers’ works I’ve seen.

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Contours

A little something in pure monochrome. Shot in colour, I decided it would look better in black & white. I was right. I haven’t tried the camera’s B&W mode yet.

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Another Time

Here’s something of an attempt to create an ‘artsy’ feel to the colour. Although it started as vivid (which helps bring up the reds that it seems most cameras are reluctant to reproduce properly) I turned down the saturation, reduced the blue and cyan (everything looks blue up here right now) and adjusted brightness and contrast. Looks somewhat film-like, with more pronounced grain. A bit like the ‘reduced bleach’ colour processing some folk like.

That’s just a few examples of what can be done with a really cheap camera while traipsing around the yard in the dead of Winter. I’m not even really trying here.

Now, do you still think you need that Sony a7R III to be a good photographer?