Musings on Photography

More G9 musings and some thoughts on travel photography

Posted in Canon Powershot G9, equipment by Paul Butzi on November 7, 2007

Above photo made using the Canon Powershot G9. (1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 100, although you can extract nearly no useful camera performance info from such a small version of the image)

In this post, MCD asks (about the G9): “What about the viewfinder misalignment issue?”

I haven’t found the viewfinder so much misaligned as much as just not really showing the frame boundaries. Like most pocketable digital cameras, the viewfinder is bright, looks pretty crisp (at least once I set the diopter adjustment it is!), but not much use for critical framing decisions. For that, use the back display.

This is something of a disappointment, I admit. I was hoping that I’d find the G9 to be a sort of drop-in digital replacement for my old travel camera friend, my trusty Contax T3, but with a zoom added. It’s not – it needs its own special adjustment on the part of the photographer.

One misfeature of the G9 that frustrated me constantly was that zoom, in fact. It’s a power zoom – there’s a little rocker switch that surrounds the shutter button, and you push it one way to zoom in, and another way to zoom out. There’s so much to hate about power zooms on compact digital cameras:

  • They’re not really zooms so much as they’re multiple focal lengths – that is, you can’t actually select from an infinite span of focal lengths – there are some number of settings, and you can’t get between two adjacent ones.
  • The zoom rate is fixed
  • Every time you turn the camera off, the focal length resets to the widest setting.

2 Responses

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  1. Matias said, on November 8, 2007 at 12:18 am

    Actually, there’s a way to control the zoom more effectively that I discovered after using the g9 some. You can actually save the zoom settings, and almost everything else, on the c1 and c2 custom modes. I switch between these two for a normal-wide and a normal-tele focal length. If I zoom in or out, it resets as soon at I switch to c1 or c2.

    I also bought a voigtlander 50mm finder for the g9. The framelines are for 2/3 format, but with some practice one cane use them for the 4/3 aspect ratio. The visible area around the brightlines also comes close to 40mm I believe. The finder is 1:1 magnification, which is also very pleasant.

  2. allengeorge said, on November 8, 2007 at 9:35 am

    The G9, along with the GR-D (II) and P5100 is one of a small field of digital compacts that interest me. Unfortunately each has their limitations, leaving me loath to pull the trigger on finally picking up one…

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