Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Canon G9

Only a few months ago, I realized that, with the possible exception of flash, my equipment was not the limiting factor in my photographic efforts. I do have quite a bit of equipment and although much of it is old and none of it is “high end”, equipment is not my problem. I resolved to study lighting, especially with small strobe flashes, and to somehow become more creative.

The Strobist is helping me a lot with lighting and flash; he’s even helped with creativity in the process. I’ve added some flash equipment and it’s fun to experiment with lighting. The camera doesn’t particularly matter as long as it can shoot in manual mode and link somehow with a couple of external flashes. I’ve used both a Canon 20D and G3 to study and experiment with lighting.

On the other hand, my Canon G3 was a bit long in the tooth. In the five years since I got it, Canon’s G Series of cameras had progressed from the G3 (there was also a G1 and G2) to the G5, G6 and G7. The G7 was completely unexpected because Canon was said to have dropped the G Series entirely. When the G7 came along, I was interested but then discovered that the G7 did not have RAW capture. The G7 is a very nice looking camera with many devotees (see but omitting RAW capture actually caused an uproar within the Internet crowd. I was among those who signed petitions of complaint.

Canon responded with the G9. (There are various stories about why Canon skipped G4 and G8 but who really knows?) The G9 has RAW! My bluff was called and I responded. I’ve had a G9 for about a week now and am really enjoying learning to use it. Much of the logic and use are somewhat familiar to me from my experience with the G3 and 20D. The G9 is very similar in appearance to the G7 and has essentially the same features.

So for the next several weeks I plan to tinker with and write about my G9.


Sam Canvas said...


What do you think about Joe West's comments about RAW?

"I just noticed the reviewer [on Amazon] who was upset that the new Canon G7 does not offer a RAW format. As a professional photographer... just wanted to offer a couple of comments on that subject. In my humble opinion, shooting in RAW format, in many cases, is a waste of time... even in most professional work situations.

"The extra steps in workflow, required by the RAW format, are simply not justified in the majority of photography work situations. I have sold many prints, posters, and stock images produced from jpeg files. I have also been published in magazines and travel books using jpeg images almost exclusively. Many photographers have come to view the jpeg format as the 'amatuer' format and RAW as the 'professional' format, which I believe is really not accurate. I know a lot of professional photographers who make extensive use of the jpeg format (no matter what camera they are using).

"I have not found a photographer or editor, yet, who can actually tell the difference in a print produced from a RAW file and one produced from a high quality jpeg file out of the same camera" (from a review by Joe West, Joe West Photography,

He produces amazing images from JPEGs! Have a look at his site.

Gordon Buck Jr. said...

It is just too easy to find a good or professional or even famous photographer who uses only B/W film or color film or slide film or 35mm or large format and who processes his own film and does his own darkroom work or who always sends the film off to a lab and does not do any of the processing. The same can be said about digital: digicams, reduced sensors, full frame, medium format, JPG, RAW, processed and printed by the photographer, send it off to the lab, etc., etc. the battle lines for debating all these things have been drawn and I'm not getting into that battle.

I'm certain that I could not examine a print that was placed in front of me and determine how it was processed (meaning an in-camera JPG, a post-processed JPG or fully post-processed from RAW). I am even more certain that my own photos are much better when post-processed from RAW than those made direct from JPG or even post-processed JPG.

Happy is the photographer who can produce the pictures that he wants!

Mr said...

I would disagree with Joe West. I was just in Japan and shot with a Canon 5D and SD900 IS.

Take a look at the following set on Flickr and I think it's VERY easy to tell which was taken by which camera. Shooting RAW helps immensely in post processing options.

Robbert said...

Just to inform you:

The dpreview review on the Canon G9 is just published.

Best regards,