Canon G15 – Get it!
I stumbled upon this deal while browsing Canon’s online store. I try to check their refurbished listings for unique opportunities to acquire some of the pricier lenses at attractive discounts. This time I noticed they listed a refurbished Powershot G15 for just over $200. Considering I don’t have a point and shoot camera to conveniently lug around It was too tempting to resist. I have been considering one of the G-series PowerShot cameras for a while now but they do command a premium and rightfully so. From a photography perspective they make the fewest compromises of any point and shoot camera out there and offer superb build quality. They are really designed for the enthusiast or pro who is accustomed to a certain level of performance and build quality. Up until now I just haul my 7D, 7D Mark II or even the 5D Mark III because I just cannot stomach the typical mainstream point and shoot camera offering. I regularly get asked to make recommendations and find myself short of suggestions for this reason.
What attracted me the most to the G15 is the lens it comes with – an impressive wide aperture f/1.8 to f/2.8 zoom that is sure to never leave you wanting while running about. That itself is almost reason enough to get this camera. A small lens aperture is the root of most compact camera frustrations. It is almost identical to the current G16 in all the areas that matter. Wifi and 1080/60fps are specs for gear heads and have little practical use in everyday life, besides I have my DSLRs to do all that jazz.
Everyone I’ve mentioned this deal to has bought one within minutes and is thrilled so far. Canon has since dropped the price below $200. Just so you know I am in no way affiliated with Canon. I just thought it was a cool enough deal to share with fellow photo geeks. Check it out.
Canon Direct Store
Amazon for comparison
If there were ever a Canon 7D Mark II, here is my wish list and some explanations on why I would like to see these features.
- 24 Megapixel Sensor with usable shots at ISO-6400
Canon has already shown this to be more than possible in the recently released 70D
- Next generation Hybrid AF Sensor
The 70D sensor based AF system has proven that Canon has finally sorted this feature out. This is perhaps the single biggest reason I don’t do more video with my 7D. Manual focus tracking is just too much hassle, especially when switching lenses during a shoot or you subject keeps drifting in and out of the field of focus.
- Dual DIGIC 5 processors
The 7D proves that this is indispensable when it comes to Pro bodies. It leads to everything from faster (near instant) start-up times, fast and deep burst modes, better metering, AF tracking, etc, etc.
- 19-21 all cross type AF system, evenly distributed across the frame
The existing AF system in the 7D is bested only by that in the 1Dx. In real world settings, the 61 point AF system in the 5D Mark III is ridiculous and far from useful. It’s little more than a marketing gimmick (much like GPS) than a relevant feature. If anything selecting AF points on the 5D Mark III slows my productivity down, distracts me from my photo shoot and usually hit-or miss.
- Dedicated processor for AF
Just like the current 7D, this is perhaps it’s single greatest strength. The AF system on the 7D is near invincible. It just works every time, on time and with almost no light at all, where the 5D Mark III will hunt half the time or just not acquire AF at all. This has been my single greatest frustration with the 5D Mark III. It has a fancy AF system, but it does NOT deliver as reliably and consistently as the 7D’s AF system. It also does not track as well as the 7D. I believe a big part of this is the shared single DIGIC 5 processor. No matter how much faster it may be than the DIGIC 4, it still must be multi-tasked with all other camera functions (metering, image processing, buffering, AF, OS, etc). This translates to some noticeable and sometimes serious lag. If you haven’t used a 7D or 1Dx, you most likely will not notice this. 🙂
- 10fps high speed burst mode
8fps is the minimum for capturing any kind of action. The 7D proves this. The 5D Mark III’s 6fps is just too slow for action. I’ve found my self missing half the shots I would otherwise get with my 7D. Cannon has already proven that 14fps is possible, but that is overkill too, just like the 5D3’s AF system. I good solid balance would be 10fps with a much much deeper burst than the already impressive 29 RAW+JPEG or 125 JPEG only. With two DIGIC5 processors and a little more on-board memory they should be able to double that easily.
- NO GPS!
I’ve been out shooting a lot of places and not once have I wished for GPS. From what I understand, this feature is also incompatible with the 7D’s rugged chassis, and the main reason the 6D is part plastic. NO! NO! NO! I need rugged more than I need GPS. I also don’t need the added drain on my batteries or the extra menus to scroll through. NO!
- WiFi Maybe
I’ve been out shooting a lot of places and not once have I wished for WiFi. I almost always work with RAWs and have no interest or need to upload my shot on the spot via my phone or whatever else. I have a remote trigger for when I need to work hands free. If anyone needs WiFi there’s the already very capable 70D or 6D. The 7D Mark II should have a higher purpose. I would sooner see an improvement on core features that directly affect my photography. When I’m out in the wild and off the grid, I don’t need the added drain on my batteries or the extra menus to scroll through. NO!
- In camera HDR and faster with more than +/- 3 brackets
I find myself using this feature 90% of the time with my 5D Mark III, rather than doing bracketing. It’s extremely convenient and allows me to proof my HDR shot and retake as needed.
- 60fps at 1080p Full HD, 120fps at 720p HD
If the dual processors permit, let’s push it to 120fps at 1080p Full HD. While we’re at it, let’s even throw in some 4K video. Heck, if a tiny GoPro can shoot 4K, then why not a 7D Mark II?
UPDATE: I posted more thoughts on this subject and a reader’s comment Here.
So I just remembered tonight there was a full moon. I hurriedly pulled out my camera gear (it was already close to 10:30pm) and headed for the back yard. There were some nice clouds passing over the moon and I thought it should make for a great time lapse. Then wondered what camera should I use?? I remembered the 7D and my 70-200mm f/2.8 IS II gave me a spectacular image with the ease of a point and shoot. But that was over a year ago and now I have the 5D Mark-III. But then I thought it’s full frame sensor meant less coverage of the point in the sky (moon) I was trying to photograph. But it had a technically superior sensor and higher overall resolution. I thought this might be enough to match the high pixel density of the 7D.
I was wrong. This was one of the classic examples of a situation where the 7D is just a way better camera for the job hands down. Both shots were at f/4, ISO-100 and 1/1000 second. AF on and IS on (mode 1). At ISO-100, there was no advantage to the newer 5D Mark-III sensor. Both were right at home with the higher shutter speed. AF was spot on and on the 7D seemed a hair more confident/quicker than the 5D Mark III. Yes, I know the DIGIC5 processor is supposed to be 17x faster than the DIGIC 4 but as a software engineer I’m pretty sure having a processor dedicated to AF (7D has Dual DIGIC4 Processors) means parallel AF processing. In real life it’s either a wash or still a better performing configuration than a single DIGIC5.
This simple quick and rough test just confirmed my suspicions and what I’ve always tried to explain to some fellow photo geeks. Just because it’s a full frame camera does not necessarily mean it captures more detail in the true technical sense. The comparison here shows the 7D delivering the full moon with easily 2 times the number of pixels the 5D Mark-III and with similar clarity and sharpness using the same lens and settings.
I still maintain, for most other general scenarios and large field of view the 5D Mark-III will yield a superior image. However the 7D with it’s considerably higher pixel density will always yield much more detail (in this case, twice the detail). This is one of the many real life, real world scenarios that no ISO-Chart, spec sheet regurgitating blogging, rent-a-camera-for-a-weekend-reviewer will ever tell you. If you haven’t yet figured it out, I pretty much loathe most of the talking/blogging heads on the web just echoing whatever everyone else says.
This is one reason why I still hang onto my 7D. It is an amazing camera system. However it is imperative that a 7D owner only mount the best lens optics that money can buy because of the unforgiving and high pixel densities. The key is to know your shooting style, know and understand your camera system to make full use of it’s potential.
Yes I do own both camera systems and actively shoot both.