2 May 2016
I am holding a glass of armagnac in one hand and typing this review with with one finger on the other hand.
The alcohol helps loosen the tongue and frees my inhibition so I can write an “honest” report of my experiences in Bangkok and Singapore. Every photographer I have met or heard of, is always looking for that something smaller to replace his/hers heavy SLRs to take on holiday or just as a walk around camera. Ultimately we end up frustrated with the lack of control, poor viewfinder or lack of, and the image quality being barely adequate especially in poor lighting conditions.
That is until now……did a Nikon photographer have to go to Canon for the answer? In the past I always had a fondness for Canon point and shoots and we were the proud owner of the Canon S90. This produced amazing results and at first glance in Lightroom I couldn’t tell the difference between my Nikon D3 files and that of the Canon.
I did use a Samsung EX1 in the past to take to Lectures, but for serious use the sensor was disappointing. I had an Olympus OMD for a few years and had all the good lenses for it. But I found the ergonomics frustrating and the sensor just ok especially with colour depth – I guess I was unfairly comparing to full frame files. When I got my Nikon 750D and it was relatively light, I never picked up the OMD again. I sold all my 4/3rds gear leaving me with full frame cameras only at home.
Anyway I was off to Singapore on the Friday to attend a three day dental conference. Normally I like to have a point and shoot to record the power point slides in jpeg-saves writing lots of notes. I tried using the D750 at my last course in Sydney but the shutter was still noticeable and I didn’t want to disturb my colleages with any “clicks’ or beeps’. So on the Monday before, I walked into the camera shop in Wellington with the intention of looking at the Panasonic TZ 100. I did find the small viewfinder frustrating, and the shop assistant suggested the Canon GX5 which I had never heard of. The viewfinder was amazing and comparable to an SLR with a EVF like my old OMD. But the clunkiness of the design and the exposure control with 3 separate buttons really appealed to me. It really felt like a mini SLR as opposed to a slippery bar of soap which the competitors manage to achieve with their sleek designs.
But that tactile clunkyness really appeals to me . You should see my car ……
Voted one of the top 5 ugliest cars in the world.
So whats so special about this clunky baby. What made me choose this over the other cameras in the store. See article:
Firstly this article came out after I bought the camera- oops too late! Secondly the features of the top cameras namely the Sony and Panasonic didn’t fulfil my criteria as well as the Canon. What I look for in a compact:
1. Decent Viewfinder
2. Shoots raw
8. Separate charger
3. Instant start up
9. Excellent image quality
4. Flexible monitor screen
10. Diopter control for viewfinder
5. Built in flash
6. Full manual control
12. Minimal Shutter lag
7. Silent Shutter
13. Fast Lens with good range from 24mm upwards
So why the Canon?
First thing is tactileness. That is very important to me (not just by being a dentist) but in everyday life.
Thats why I love the Toyota Gt 86 and Subaru WRX. That why I respect Fuji Cameras. Thats why I love my Nikon D3. Its all about the feel and then the vehicle or camera becomes an extension of your body. The Canon feels like a Professional camera. Its clunky and grippy.The knobs are clicky and the wheels on the bus go round and round….
1. The Canon has a very good view finder and its ready to use. The Panasonic is too small and the Sony requires an extra step to raise it. And it is more fragile than that big bump on the Canon’s body.
3. The Canon starts up from sleep mode or dead mode within a few seconds.
4. The Articulating Monitor is very important in lectures as often I need to shoot pass some heads in front.
5. Nice to have for the occasional people shot. Hate having to carry around a separate dinky little flash as on my Olympus.
8. Canon and all cameras with EVF have a limited battery life. When I am in lectures all day one battery isn’t enough. I bought 2 extra batteries and another charger so I can charge 2 at once. If I had the Sony with its in camera charger I would have to get up every few hours to charge each battery instead of sleeping.
11. I hate carrying dainty fragile things. The Canon is robust enough to withstand being tossed around in my man bag.
13. I need a wide angle for group shots at a chinese banquet (12 around a table) and a 100mm to zoom in on the slides if I am at the back of the room.