Thursday, December 12, 2013

DSLR replacement?

Earlier, I mentioned that the particular DSLR I personally own, is not the most convenient camera to haul about on a daily basis. Never the less, I really like the experience of my Canon EOS-350D.
Looking for a decent small form factor replacement, I came across the Canon PowerShot G15. Not a bad replacement at all!

However, there are problems...
  1. Bulb exposure, i.e. full manual, is not available on the G15.
  2. RAW is somewhat different from the old RAW format and not supported by the open source software I am using.
  3. There is no IR-remote sensor, hence my RC-5 is rendered useless.
  4. The filesystem of the camera is not compatible with anything.
Those points are actually ranked to the importance they have to me.

1) Full manual control, for night shots, would be a very nice thing to have!

2) There are (free) converters for strange raw formats, however, one leaves the "free software" world using those. It would be nice to have some free software tools available for converting the new raw formats to more common standards.

3) Remote control units are really useful. Although there is not IR receiver in the G15, a wired remote control can be hooked up to this particular camera. With free designs available on the internet, this should not pose a major obstacle.

4) Of course one can use the camera as "card reader"... but still, it would be nice to be able to just put the memory card into a reader and go from there.

Other than that, the G15 can be used for bracketing, even using the timer... just like the EOS-350D. However, the camera is too slow, in this mode, to be useful in handheld HDR photography. Carry a tripod and the G15 will do an OK job under not too dark conditions. Mind you, the shutter is limited to 15s, which is OK for most applications other than night photography.


Likes:
The G15 offers some really interesting features.
- First of all, the exposure compensation selector, which is very convenient during a regular session.
- The optical view finder. Classic and still very useful! I love it!
- The front and rear programmable dials, which provide excellent control for various parameters.

Dis-Likes:
- the funny filesystem
- slow bracketing speed

Verdict:
Up to now, I personally really the like camera, in particular because of its handling. I intend to use this camera for "general purposes", e.g. for portraits w/ some speedlights. For less demanding jobs, this camera seems to offer all the feature you might desire. 
However, this is neither an EOS-350D, not it is an LX7. The G15 certainly has its place in my photography life, however, it seems to be a compromise in all aspects.
Hence, if you would like to cover all aspects of photography, admitting certain compromises, the G15 may just be your camera.

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