Tuesday, June 01, 2004


Ah, G3, we hardly knew ye. I sold off the camera today.

It's not that I was unhappy with it - in fact, I still think the G3 is one of the best digital cameras in its performance class and I'd highly recommend it to anyone looking for a fully featured digital for less than $500. BUT, as I alluded to below, I've really been holding out for a digital SLR so I finally went all out and bought a Nikon D70. I talk more about my reasons at that site, but what it really came down to was this: the G3 couldn't take pictures fast enough. It would always take a half a second to focus up the shot, by which time, whatever moment I was going for was already gone. I didn't realize how frustrating that would be but especially because I like taking shots on the spur-of-the-moment, I needed something that could nail the shot right as it was happening rather than a split second after. A digital SLR felt like the only option that could deliver that performance so I sold off the G3 to raise part of the money I needed for the D70.

The irony is that I've barely been able to get any image albums up from my six months of G3 use. The biggest project I've been able to organize has been my 2004 Shanghai travelogue, with all photos shot exclusively on the G3.

In the next few weeks, I'll try to put up a few more albums shot on the G3 (hopefully before this D70 takes over my life).

Thursday, December 25, 2003


That's right - I finally broke down (and broke out some $$$) to upgrade my digital camera. Since 2000, I had been using an earlier Olympus D340-L, 1.2 megapixel camera that my ex Cat bought me for my birthday. I ended up getting her one of the popular Canon ELPH series for Christmas the next year but while I liked the compactness, the image quality just wasn't where I wanted it to be with that either.

I spent over $700 on new camera equipment in 2002 so I was hesitant to buy a new digital camera, especially since I really wanted to play with film more. Like many, I still like and "trust" film in a way that I'm just not ready to with digital, especially when I can't afford what I really want - a SLR digital like a Nikon D100. At the same time, I'm also won over by how convenient digital photography is, especially in shooting as many images as you want and the ease in adapting these prints for computer/WWW use. Therefore, the research began...

I'll spare you the long-winded explanation of cameras I considered but I will explain why I chose the Canon Powershot G3, in order of importance. 1) 2.0 - 3.0 aperture. From what I can see, the G3 is the only camera in its class that offers such a fast lens. That makes a huge difference to me because I don't like using a flash whenver I can help it (and digital cameras tend to shoot with lousy built-in flashes anyways). A fast lens, to me, was a huge must. 2) 4x optical zoom. The Nikon Coolpix 5700 doubles that and that was tempting to BUT the 5700 also costs more, has 5 megapixels (which I didn't feel I really needed) and had a lens (2.8 - 4.2) far slower than what I wanted. Had the 5700 been faster though, I would have seriously considered buying that instead. 3) Another major factor was reading this review of the G3 from Digital Photograph Review, a site that isn't always as up-to-date as one may like, but it makes up for that in the sheer thoroughness of its reviews. Phil Askey had tremendous things to say about the G3, including this key line: "All things considered, the G3 does offer the best overall package for the aspiring shutterbug, seasoned prosumer digital camera owner and even as a backup for a D-SLR owner. Absolutely highly recommended." And there you go.

There are also some small details that I appreciate, the foremost being the viewscreen. It is normally stored so that the screen clicks into the body of the camera and then you can pull it back and out so that the screen sits next to the main body of the camera. However, you can also twist it 180 degrees which means A) you can actually look at yourself in the screen while facing the front of the camera and B) you can also snap it into the back of the camera, but with the screen facing out, like most digital cameras. Like I said, it's a small detail but one I don't see of most other cameras and I like the flexibility that comes with it.