Saturday, January 29, 2011



A four year old with an iPhone!  OK, so the phone is her mother's, my granddaughter loves it:  talking, games, camera and learning to send text messages.  To get this shot, I set the G12 in the low light mode and shot without flash.  The low light mode uses "pixel binning" to combine pixels and increase light sensitivity.   In pixel binning, image size is reduced from the normal 10MP to 2.5MP. This shot was taken at ISO 6400, 1/15 second and f4.5 with tungsten white balance.  I used Noiseware to reduce the still visible high ISO noise and then made slight level adjustments in Photoshop before downrezing for PAW 4.

Saturday, January 22, 2011



In only the third week of PAW, I've managed to break one of my "rules":  The photo should be complete and tell a story.  The photo above is a set of shadows that I found interesting.  The shadows are from the old St. Gabriel Church shown below.

The picture of the church is better taken on a spring day -- perhaps I'll remember to do that.  The history is interesting, see the plaque below.

All pictures taken with the G12 in RAW mode and processed very simply and quickly in Adobe Camera Raw..

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

G12 Review

The good folks at DPreview have published their long awaited review of the G12.  Although titled a "Quick Review" because of similarities between the G12 and G11, this is still quite a comprehensive review.  Even so, DPreview recommends reading the G11 tests and review as well. 

I was very surprised to read that the sensor is the same as the sensor in the G11; in fact, I doubt this is the case because the (Sony supplied) G11 sensor was widely reported to be incapable of supplying data at the rate necessary for HD video.  Perhaps the G12 sensor is a slight variation of the G11 sensor.  Also noted is that Nikon's P7000 uses the same sensor.

Well worth reading.

Saturday, January 15, 2011



I've been meaning to take this picture for some time.  The early morning sun sometimes produces quite nice lighting on my patio.  True, it's winter now and there is little color (but no snow in south Louisiana!).  To get this shot, I held the G12 high above my head (the articulated screen was very useful) and bumped up the exposure by 1/3 stop from the Av selection.  The RAW image file was processed in ACR with emphasis on strong contrast. 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

G12: Thumb Rest


OK, so it's not exactly a Franiec design but it works.  Tired of inadvertently pressing other buttons with my thumb, I cut out a thumb rest from a 3/16 inch thick self adhesive felt pad (intended to be used on furniture).  The pad is thick enough to separate my thumb from the body of the G12.  I actually contacted Richard Franiec and asked if he were making a G12 thumb rest but, at this point, he is not.
Although I had good intentions of shaping the pad to match the existing "support", the pad is not easily cut to curves.  I cleaned the surface of the support with alcohol before applying the pad and it seems to be sticking very well.
So far, my thumb rest is working and seems to be an improvement.  (Wonder if I can get it in black?)

Saturday, January 8, 2011



On reviewing my photos from 2010, I was very disappointed.  Sure, I had some decent product shots from my "reviews" and some nice family snapshots.  I even had a few "studio" portraits that I liked.  But no "fine art" and certainly nothing worthy of replacing any of my existing Top Ten shots.  What to do?

As a challenge to myself, I decided on the "Picture a Week" (PAW) approach.  I've been tempted previously but never made the attempt.  My rules are simple:  Take at least one picture every week that is worthy of being published in my blog.  Any camera, any media, any accessory, any technique is OK.  As published, the picture should not require detailed explanation; that is, should tell its own story.

Originally, my plan was to exclude family snapshots from my PAW but who could resist including the above picture of my granddaughter?  Her picture was taken with the G12 and 420EX flash mounted on the camera.  The G12 was in (embarrassment) Program mode and ISO 800.  The flash was fitted with a Stofen diffuser and tilted upward.  Shot taken in RAW mode with slight noise reduction when converting in Adobe Camera Raw.  Above version is slightly cropped. 

In the past, I've smiled at those who take on the PAW challenge but then show several pictures instead of one.  The above shot is the one that I originally planned for this first PAW (well, planned it while about to do a little bit of yard work).  Again the G12 was used but this time at ISO 100 and in manual exposure at 1/160 second and f4 which slightly underexposed the scene.  My  YN460-II flash was mounted off camera (right) and triggered by the RF-602 wireless trigger.   Remembering (at the last moment) that the G12 self timer does not work with flash I rigged another RF-602 as a remote shutter trigger.  Using auto focus but then switching to manual focus to lock it in, I fired off a number of shots while "working".  Then I had to put away the camera gear and actually cut away those dead stalks.

First PAW, check. 

Saturday, January 1, 2011

G12: Clock Video


The most difficult part of making this video was staying awake until midnight.

No, I take that back. The most difficult and frustrating part was overcoming the spasmodic Google editor that sometimes permits uploading pictures and video and sometimes does not.

Remember that there are essentially zero options while making a G12 video. To make this one, I selected video at "HD" resolution and neutral color settings. Although shutter speed, aperture and ISO are selected by the G12, as a point of reference, using Tv mode at 1/50 second, the f stop was 3.5 and the auto ISO selection was 1250.

I began the video at a mid zoom setting and then zoomed in. The zoom is (yes, I know) a digital zoom. Notice that the audio changes while zooming in. Although I'd hoped that the digital zoom would be, in fact, OK, it is not. Notice the poor quality at maximum digital zoom.

For post processing, I did nothing. That is, I wanted to do nothing. The file was downloaded from the G12 as a .mov file and also attempted to upload to Blogger as .mov. Just as I have no control over the G12 video, I also have no control over Blogger re-formating. As it turned out, Google Blogger would not accept the .mov file. I then used "Any Video Converter" (a good tool) to convert to a .mp4 format also at 24 fps. Whereas the .mov file was 92 MB, the .mp4 file was only 4.5 MB; however, Google Blogger appeared to accept the .mp4 but actually did not. I next converted the .mov file to .avi; the .avi file size was 5.6 MB; again Google Blogger appeared to accept the .avi file but did not. I even used the "old" Google Blogger editor but with the same failure. Finally, I uploaded the original .mov file to YouTube and attempted to link to that file.  Last night, the YouTube video could not be linked to this blog but this morning it linked.