Sunday, January 4, 2009

Sticking with the G9

Somewhat recently, Canon replaced the G9 with (you guessed it) the G10. The G10 does show much improved noise reduction, and a much wider lens. Unfortunately, Canon removed one of my favorite, albeit odd features - time-lapse video mode.

Making your own time-lapse video is non-trivial with most cameras. Having the ability to put time-lapse videos together in the field, on the fly, in-camera is pretty powerful, not to mention fun. I've posted a couple camping videos on YouTube from my trip to Grand Teton and Yellowstone (embedded below) last summer. You can even plug the camera into the TV and play the video back; very entertaining.

The G9 also makes a great backup camera for portraits and landscapes. In the past, I had to lug a 5D and 1D Mark II if I wanted to have a backup body. On top of that, the batteries and charger for the 1D Mark II are huge and heavy. Nowadays I just toss the G9 in with my 5D and I'm off. Of course I won't get pictures as spectacular as I would with the 1D Mark II, but I certainly won't be heart-broken if all I had left was the G9.

The G9 also has an excellent flash sync speed - 1/1000! This beats the pants off of the 5D's pathetic 1/200 sync when it comes to killing the ambient light. If you don't know what on Earth I'm talking about, you owe it to yourself to head over to Strobist. I took the swimwear shot on the left with the G9 and a little SB-28DX (fired remotely via a PocketWizard). The Sun was still about an hour from setting, so the only way to kill all that ambient light was to bump the shutter speed up to 1/1000. This would not have been possible with such a small flash had I been using the 5D.

Not only am I planning to keep the G9, I actually just ordered the custom grip from Richard Franiec. I'll let you know how that goes, but based on the review I read on Luminous Landscape, it's a must-have.

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