Sunday, June 14, 2009

My Top 10 Pictures

Inspired by this article at The Online Photographer, I set up my own Top 10 pictures as a SmugMug gallery. Many of the pictures are the same as in my Reify and Redact project and all are included in my Blurb book, "My Best and My Favorites".

The basis for selection is simply that this is my best work. That is, an editor – not myself – would make the same choices. If I take a better picture tomorrow, it will replace one of these selections.

Of these ten pictures, 3 are B/W and 2 are the polar opposite High Dynamic Range (HDR). Six pictures were taken with film cameras and four with digital cameras. All of the B/W pictures were taken on film. Of the film cameras, four were 35mm format and two were medium format. The four digital pictures were taken with a DSLR (Canon 20D). The film cameras were Konica T2 for 35mm and Yashica 12 for medium format.

A self editing project like this is a very useful exercise. Try it.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Predicting the G11

Last year about this time, I made predictions about the upcoming G10 – not a wish list but predictions. Why? “Because I wanted to” is the only reasonable answer. I thought I had a bit of insight from Canon’s notes to software developers and newspaper articles about CMOS but this information turned out to be misleading (mis-interpreted is probably a better word). Even so, my G10 prediction wasn’t all that bad. Time now for the G11 prediction.

First of all, whereas last year I thought that the G Series might go away – if not in spirit then as a product name -- now I think that the G Series remains for the G11 and perhaps beyond. In spite of early criticism about the high pixel count and noise at high ISO, the G10 is a very capable and popular camera – even among professionals. Since its introduction, I’ve linked to several articles and reviews to the G10 including Luminous Landscape, The Online Photographer and others. Surely Canon will take advantage of the good G10 name and its successor will be named the G11.

If the G11 is to be successful as Canon’s flagship compact non-DSLR camera then it must be competitive with the Four Thirds System being developed by Panasonic and Olympus. Panasonic even had the audacity to name one of their cameras the “G1” ! In fact, it is this very G1 and its successor, GH1, which threaten to replace the G10 as the compact camera of choice in the hands of serious photographers.

With all the above in mind, here are my predictions for the G11. Please note that I have absolutely no insider or proprietary information on which to base these predictions.

The G11 will resemble the G10 in form, general appearance, controls, etc. but be a little larger. Right - larger not smaller. The G11 will have to be a bit larger than the G10 because it will have a larger sensor. The sensor will be a 12 MP CMOS design that is manufactured by Canon. It will be somewhat larger than the current 15 MP CCD (said to be manufactured by Sony) of the G10 but not as large as the 4/3 system sensors.

The G11 will not have an articulated LCD display screen much to the chagrin of those who love one. (I sure liked this feature on my G3 and would welcome it on the G11.)

The G11 will have HD video much like the SX1-IS: 1080p at 30 fps. In addition to the larger sensor and high ISO, HD video will be a major selling point for the G11.

Speaking of ISO, the G11 will have ISO up to 3200 (which will really be a software push of 1600) and pixel binning for 6400. In practice, the usable ISO will be 800 but pixel peepers will complain that even 400 is too noisy.

The G11 lens will be similar to the G10 lens except that it will be a new design to account for the larger sensor: focal length of 28 – 140 mme; f2.8 to f4.5. Image stabilized, of course. A new, larger, adapter will be necessary for filters.

Shutter lag and acquiring focus will be only marginally faster than the G10.

Sadly, external flash in manual mode will be the same as the G9/10; that is, camera manual mode will still also mean external flash manual mode.

The G11 will have RAW file format available when in full Auto exposure mode. Another feature will be variable highlight recovery for in-camera JPEGs.

So the G11 will be yet another step in the evolutionary development of the Canon Powershot G Series. All in all, the G11 will be “better” than the G10 just as the G10 is “better” than the G9, etc., etc. The G11 will be announced in mid-September 2009 and available in late October. The G11 will be more expensive than the G10 but less expensive than the Panasonic G1.