Saturday, November 30, 2013

Chain Ladder

A little gritty black & white for a change. I don't imagine they would even think of building a new playground with these things for kids to climb on.

G15 again. I could be using the "big" rebel this weekend but I just want to get comfortable with the workings of the little guy.

Friday, November 29, 2013


Pretty sure I was looking at the lens, not sure why I seem to be staring off into space. Had to guess at the composition with the fixed screen on G15, so cropped a little to compensate.

G15 First Images

 At macro setting- this thing focuses down to 1 cm at the wide end. 

Pretty high contrast subject, one hot spot that I didn't try to correct because it seems appropriate here. 

 Pretty good light and shadow details here.

 At the 28mm wide end. I would love to have had the 24mm found on the A110/120.

 Sunset, lots of shadow detail in the skyline - if I wanted to pull that out even more I could. ISO 800.

Again, a high contrast scene with no real problem on the highlights and shadows. 

Not a great shot but illustrates IS0 1600 performance (with noise reduction in post).

The Canon Powershot G15 is a bit smaller than I expected, which is a good thing - I wanted something I could easily carry in a jacket or otherwise loaded backpack and take to work and back every day on my bike. My rebel has been sitting at home because of the bulk. Dimension-wise, the G15 literally fits in my shirt pocket, but it's too heavy for that, obviously. 

I also wanted easy manipulation of controls without going through a bunch of menus - G15 has all that with lots of dials for quick access to common functions. The optical viewfinder is for emergencies only as it just roughly approximates the actual field of view and offers no information on focal points or anything else. Still usable in bright light or situations where the LCD screen would be too distracting.

The lens is a nice 1.8-2.8 that goes from 28-140 (equiv.). I shot all the pics above at aperture priority set to 4.0 - it was cold and I was racing against the clock to get a good number of shots before the sun went down.With the small sensor, that gives a lot of depth of field already.  It has a minimum aperture of 8.0, which might be a problem if you wanted to do some long shutter speed work. There is a built-in ND filter, though, but don't know when I'll get around to playing with that. The Canon Powershot A110/120 goes down to 24mm, which would be nice, but that camera has a long list of "buts' as well. 

The native aspect ratio is 4:3, which will take a little getting used to. The sensor is smallish (1/1.7) but gives me 4000x3000 files and ISO up to 12,800 - which I haven't tested yet, but the 1600 looks pretty good to me. If anything the pics so far seem to be sharper and "punchier" for lack of a better word than my rebel pics. I'm shooting raw, which requires some post-processing, but I always shoot raw anyway. It may be just a matter of the smaller sensor giving greater depth of field and therefore more apparent sharpness - but I'm not an expert in these things.

Lastly, it has an almost-silent mode that I keep it on - There's a slight audible click when the shutter fires, but I suspect a little ambient noise will make that virtually silent in a real world setting from more than about a foot or two away.This will make it pretty handy at indoor performances.

No complaints so far. It has its limitations as any camera of this type would have. I looked at all the other players in this category and the G15 had compromises I could live with and the strengths I was looking for. It's priced to move at the moment $299, down from $424 just a week or so ago. The G16 is $499 for a few more bells and whistles that don't matter to me. 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Cactus Spines

Continuing the botanical theme. From Sunday at the desert installation, New York Botanical Garden Conservatory. Kinda looks like a macro shot, but it's actually a rather large specimen, so not much magnification here.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Nostalgic Train Show Visit

The Pennsylvania Line

Detail of old Penn Station

A row of houses - I didn't record the names

When my sons were younger we went to the New York Botanical Garden almost every weekend. One of the highlights was the annual train show in the conservatory with models of New York City landmarks. This weekend we revisited the old tradition.

The models are made entirely of botanical elements such as leaves, twigs, acorns, walnut shells, dried flowers, etc. It's an impressive show, even for adults, but the childlike ability to be transfixed by the trains for hours at a time is gone. We were done in about 15 minutes.