Wednesday, July 21, 2010

CREATIVITY - Point & Shoot Limitations

This venue doesn't spend a lot of space on equipment because ultimately, the camera make or model really matters little.  Whether I have a Nikon, Canon , Olympus, Pentax or SONY is largely immaterial.

What matters much more is the question "is the tool capable of doing what you want?"  If I want to shoot birds or nature, this pretty much rules out a Point & Shoot (P&S).  Sure you can force a long zoom Electronic Viewfinder (EVF) into play, but it will still suffer from shutter lag / delay.  You will be frustrated until you start using the larger and heavier SLR.

Surprisingly, you will also be frustrated with shooting kids and cats!  Both are fast moving subjects with fleeting expressions.  However, the SLR with its industrial strength image processor & sensor are capable of RESPONDING quickly.  An SLR with long lens is the only style of instrument than can deliver the goods in this case of the capturing the geese below reliably.  The Windmills are just north of Atlantic City, NJ. The geese are at Forsythe National Park.

See more bird pictures in my Bird Gallery.

However, it you are shooting casually, and perhaps still scenes, you creativity may not be crimped at all.  If you are likely to leave the big camera at home a P&S will be your best bet for having something in your pocket.  My Canon G9 has produced very nice low light shots in New Zealand.  Due to its medium size, I use the G9 in a compact case on my belt.   Below, the Sky Tower in Aukland was not going anywhere fast.  And it also makes a nice enlargement up to 13 x19.

License this image at Alamy


ADORAMA Specials for July 16

Click here for the July 16 Specials.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Thanks to digital, Photography is no longer a Joy.  Seriously.  Press the shutter release, take the picture... err,  no,,, um...wait a minute..scene gone...  PERFECTLY EXPOSED TECHNOLOGICALLY MEANINGLESS LATE SHOT, DEVOID OF MEANING OR INTENT.

OK with the "serious" Prosumer and above D-SLRs, The "time parallax" or shutter delay has finally been fixed. Not in the under $500 P&S category.  I had the opportunity to give a Canon S90 a workout yesterday.

On/off button.  Can't even Canon be consistent with the simple on/off thing?  Geeze!  My Canon G9 is in a very different place from the S90.   Get out the engineering baseball bat!  Talk to each other Canon guys!  Don't be creative here with every new model folks!  Don't be like the separate Adobe and Lightroom and Photoshop teams not talking to each other!

Here is the list items that needs some standardization:

On / Off  - same place  (Keeps changing)
Zoom  - same place
Take the Picture - Same Place
Chimping playback  - same place  (keeps changing)
Flash on off  same place - (inconsistent behavior - needs three modes all the time( Yes / No / Camera program choice)}
Macro - Same place

All else is subject of "improvement and modification."  Keep all the rest the same for the sake of restaurant waters and brand users.

The Leica sized cameras have not been fixed in the under $500 category in my opinion.  I own and love my Canon G9 for what it can do.  However, neither can hold a candle to an old technology Leica 35mm in response time.  Either in focus time or shutter release.  Slavishness to the "god of Automation" now make compact point and shoots still "toys."  Not even close to a professional or enthusiast tool for "casual" use.  Capturing the "the Decisive Moment" is not for these cameras.

Interior and dim light party setting.  Perfect for this kind of test.  Good "stand and get the group shots" on P-Program.  Not good for upward shooting in face mode where it couldn't find the lone face.  It kept searching - forever.

Like the G9, Canon still haven't fixed the flash choices.  You can choose between Flash on AUTO (it decides when it feels like firing) or No flash.  You cannot choose YES, I CHOOSE FLASH ON.  Canon wants you to believe the S90 Knows better than you do.  Many shots were taken with no flash when I knew it needed it.  No way to deliberately turn it on using a button.  You may need the INSTRUCTION manual to go three menu choices deep to discover this "feature."

So a lukewarm recommendation for the S90.

 Where is my new responsive digital Leica for under $500?

Saturday, July 10, 2010


Back in April, posted a poll asking readers to vote for one of eight lenses they listed.  I disagreed with the candidates listed at:

I followed up with the comment below.  What are your thoughts?  SIGMA - How do you see the market?

I think the poll is wrong. I like to shoot with two APS-C bodies. My long lens is the 70-200 2.8 IS L. I have been campaigning for Canon to make a COMPLEMENT that starts at 95degrees. This would be about the equivalent of a 15-70 2.8 L Lens. Does any one agree? The current "L"stable is all designed for full frame.

The spider below was shot at night on Staten Island with my Canon 70-200 2.8 L with a 2X extender at effectively 310mm using flash.  Click here to see more of my INSECTS & SPIDERS Gallery.