Wednesday, December 09, 2009

New picture box.

This is somewhat old news, now, as I've had it for about three weeks. I recently acquired a Canon G11 camera. The purchase had been under consideration for a while. While I totally love the Nikon D40 ( at least at my current skill level ) it has proven a bit bulky to haul on a lot of my wanderings. Now that I have several lenses for it I always feel like I want to carry them all around with me. When I have to haul several business related things, room for even the Nikon by itself is limited. The comact size of the G11 allows me to carry it anytime, even if it means stashing it in a jacket pocket.

The tipping point for the purchase came after a baby shower for our daughter. Katie took some pictures with a cheap Kodak point and shoot. The photo quality isn't real high to begin with. Somehow Katie got the dial turned to a high ISO setting. Most of the pictures were fairly grainy. Katie insists on a simple point and shoot camera. The G11 will give her that capability while still taking great pictures. Of course, she's going to have to arrange with me ahead of time to borrow it!

I did some research and read some reviews in a few of the photographic journals. In the end it came down to heeding the advice of a couple of friends who have owned other G model cameras. Some of you all have made positive statements about the G models you own, as well. One of my past motorcycle students is the manager of a Shutterbug camera shop. He arranged a smoking deal on a camera for me.

One of the interesting features is the live view screen that pivots to various positions. I never really thought this would be of much value but it's proving much more useful than I imagined. Now the lense and viewfinder don't need to be pointed in the same direction.

The picture quality is great. If there are flaws in the photos it will be operator error and not the camera.

The camera has automatic settings as well as the ability to be set for shutter and aperature values. It has a built-in neutral density filter which should prove handy for brightly lit days. One really endearing thing that works well for me is that the camera, when set on Auto, will switch to Macro mode when you move the camera close to a subject. Since I often have to take photos of products and installations to help communicate with distributors and factories, this is extremely useful. Here are a few samples of the closeup quality.

Actually, a number of photos in recent blog posts were taken with the G11. I'm looking forward to getting to know this little jewel better!

Miles and smiles ( smile for the camera! )



Conchscooter said...

Nice camera. Now I know exactly what not to clean the coils in. Too bad they didn't print miniscule instructions on what one does clean wthem with.
I suppose it has a built-in battery pack. I like the double As mine uses because they are universal if my rechargeables go flat.

Mike said...

Good choice Dan. I love my G10 - it's with me nearly all the time. I like the articulating screen on yours. The G10 doesn't have that. I shoot in manual mode most of the time but I just had to see if mine has the automatic switch to macro in "auto" doesn't. That's a nice feature too.

I put a Gordy's camera strap on mine. It fits nicely in a pouch, backpack, or pocket. He's in Washington so shipping is quick. Click on gallery and the first one you'll see is a strap on a G10.

It makes it handy and safer when carrying it IMHO.

irondad said...


It does have a battery pack. I'm sorry, but I seem to be lost on the coil cleaning comment.


Thanks for the link. The camera came with this bloody long strap. I'd put the camera in my pocket and then spend the next 10 minutes stuffing the strap in. I put a small strap for now.

Take care,


bluekat said...

I'm so jealous! :)
I'm saving up for a G11 (hoping Christmas/birthday money will get me there). Have you shot any low-light photos & if so, how did they come out?

I hadn't heard about the ND filter. Sounds like a nice feature.

Stay safe and warm out there

Anonymous said...

Some more historical Canon "G" series notes. The original was not given a numeral yet the G2 was a vast improvement. The older cameras took the compact flash cards and had the moveable rear vieweing element. My first digital gift was a G2 the year they came out, from a friend. That poor beast was worked so hard, it died in two years. These days it is all Nikon (F100 for film, D700 for digital)for me, with one exception. Yes I too have a Canon, model 580 with image stablization. One big reason to like this small Canon is it uses
a pair of double AA batteries, available just about anywhere. No proprietory battery system is required. The history of the Canon
G series can be traced on any number of web-sites. I think the term is
"you've come a long way, baby!"

The G11 will perhaps be much easier to use when on the motorcycle; I'd
be seeing if Katie would like to use the D40. You and others might want to look at
The Online Photographer blog.
The owner has a fascination with photography and is currently looking at the Olympus and other small cameras. Be warned, just because the device is physically small, the price may well not be so, for example the new Leica M9...
really pricey; it is a Leica though.

I know many people who've given up their DSLR camera in favour of a
smaller yet still quite versitile
G series camera. The technology of photography is galloping at as fast a rate as some motorcycle technology, with just as much refinement.
Why didn't I purchase a Nikon compact? Personally they just don't equal the smaller lower priced Canon point and shoots. And too a point and shoot is not meant to be a big monetary investment, although Dan's G11 probably wasn't low in price.

Conchscooter I think has it, his camera isn't one to break the bank, yet the images he posts are entirely adequate, right Mike?

And Steve Williams shoots digital and film, the latter with a Leica
and I suspect he too will have some creative comments.

Kelsey said...

I have heard some really great things about the G11. Let me know how it goes!

Anonymous said...

That's a nice looking camera! I like th screen thing, useful indeed!
I have the use of a canon powershot a480, and i'm loving it.
A good all rounder, and compact to boot!
Riding a bike, i prefer the smaller easier format to my slr, it goes in a pocket, and is easy to point and snap.
And being digital, it doesn't cost much to take many photos.
So take lots, and lots and lots!

Kelsey said...

By the way, I'm not sure how often you check my blog, but I think you would enjoy this recent post:

It's about the bike I had when I lived in rural Korea.

Charlie6 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Charlie6 said...

Looks like a great camera looking for a replacement to my trusty Olympus C4000 digital camera, twelve years old, battery cover doesn't latch well anymore, all scratched up from banging around the box I keep it in on the motorcycles....does the G11 have remote shutter capability or able to shoot 1 pic/sec remotely?

cpa3485 said...

I googled the specs on that camera and it looks very nice. I always thought that if I upgraded mine that I would go with a digital SLR, but that one makes me think again. Looks like it will take great pictures for almost all possible circumstances.
Have Fun!

bobskoot said...

Mr IronDan:

I have a G10 too. I just love it. I bought it for the same reason as you, much smaller to carry on the bike. I hardly use my dSLR anymore. I like the articulating screen of the G11 for taking those low angle shots. If it had 720p video mode it would be the perfect hybrid.

Note to Charlie6: I posted a blog entry regarding wireless shutter remotes and I have one for the G10 which is a radio slave with a range of 100 meters (300 feet), perfect for your self portraits in the middle of nowhere with Natasha

I know I sent this link to you before, but perhaps others will be interested.

The remote only costs around US$35. or less including shipping. do an ebay search and check for seller dSLR, he is the one I purchased from. I found a current listing for the improved model

it works as advertised, and is CHEAP

bobskoot: wet coast scootin

Sojourner rides said...

Dan, you'll love it! I'm convinced that Canon makes the best P&S and Nikon makes the best dSLR--but I'm biased.

I'm a G10 owner and I love it--it shoots in RAW, which will be great when you advance to master of the G11. I have the Canon A650SI, which is another great P&S and it has the variable screen like your G11 and also shoots in RAW.

Congrats on your new toy--I hope you won't neglect your D40--it's another good one!

Keith said...

Me thinks you are trying to raise my fever. Still haven't purchased one. I'm totally a point and shoot sort of guy tho'.

gogouci said...

Wow, nifty gadget. I'm jealous.

irondad said...


I got lucky and had a bit of cash. Comes from teaching so many weekends instead of riding. Well, there has to be some benefit to make up for not riding, doesn't there?

Anyway, I've taken a few low light pictures. The camera does well. I can't always say the same for me.


Right now the D40 and the G11 seem to be a good combination for me. I chose the G11 because I've been exposed ( no pun intended ) to being able to use manual settings. I'd hate to go backwards now.

Right now Katie swears she will not use the D40. She likes the G11 because it's small and simple on Auto but still takes great shots.

If posting were all I were doing with photos I would be content where I was. I have other things in mind.

Take care,


irondad said...


The small size makes the G11 perfect for carrying with me. That's the first rule for good pictures is to have a camera, right?

I'm a firm believer in the many shot theory. If I take enough pictures, one will be bound to turn out eventually!


You will more than likely hear and see more here. Thanks for the interest. There are so many choices out there, aren't there?

Take care,


irondad said...


As far as I can see, the G11 has remote capabilities but only with a switch attached to a cord attached to the camera body. You have to be closer to the camera. This remote is more for reducing camera shake when pressing the shutter.

There is a self timer and it can be adjusted to take several shots.


If I had to pick only one to keep I would keep the SLR. I find that I have more possibilities available and that it's easier to frame shots on the Nikon.

The G11 takes great photos but I've missed a few times because the viewfinder and screen don't exactly match what the lense is seeing. However, it's a totally awesome camera for most situations, as you mentioned.

Take care,


irondad said...


Thanks so much for the extra information! A lot of the reason I bought the G11 was the number of G10owners that were really happy with them.


The D40 was my first love so it wil always get special attention. In fact, when I have the choice I reach for it first. Your experience with the G10 exemplifies what I told Bobskoot was the reason I bought the G11.

I will have to explore shooting in RAW. In most cases I need the chance to go back and fix the wrong settings I used in the first place!


The G11 can be used as totally point and shoot. Then one day you decide to try something a little different like using the aperature value setting. Kind of like putting fresh peas on a green salad. Next thing you know, you wonder how you ever ate a plain salad!


Thanks. If I had real skills I could do fine with anything. Consider the G11 to be my enhancement formula!

Thank you so much for reading and commenting.

Take care,


Steve Williams said...

I'm jealous. I want one. The controls and sensor quality of the G11 are superior to my G9. It's like moving up from a motorcycle to a scooter.

We are all going to watch for the visual magic now!

Steve Williams
Scooter in the Sticks

irondad said...

Steve Williams,

It is interesting what you wrote. I copy it below:

The controls and sensor quality of the G11 are superior to my G9. It's like moving up from a motorcycle to a scooter.

I take it that this is a lesson in developing finesse over brute power? :)

It is interesting that Canon chose to reduce the pixel count to 10 mp on the G11 from something like 14 mp on the G10. Apparently less can be more at times.

Take care,


Steve Williams said...

I was just seeing if you were paying attention --- to my words and the change from the G10 to 11.

Pixel count isn't a reliable measure of picture quality. A lot of stuff goes into that. But your G11 is something to covet and in my mind the absolute perfect riding camera. The G9 and G10 are fine as well. With it you can do anything. Maybe not as fast or with the same quality as a big SLR but in capable hands most people will never know the difference for most shooting.

As far as the motorcycle-scooter thing goes I am still finding a scooter a better choice for my riding lifestyle. I have been riding a lot of other things the past 8 months with more on the horizon (my dealer is adding BMW to their line so I will be trying out some new stuff) but the Vespa remains closer to perfect for me.

If I had to commute farther or had more reason to ride long distances I might, might chose differently. For what you do I can't see a scooter working very well. Sophie is the perfect choice.

Steve Williams
Scooter in the Sticks

Jack Riepe said...

Dear IronDad (Dan):

Good luck with your new camera. I am something of a Ludite wehen it comes to these things, relying more on text than images to get my point across. Despite a trend toward greater automation, I'm only capable of learning one dated system at a time. I have yet to conquer the options on a three-year-old Nikon CoolPix S9, which I suspect was developed for chimps.

But it is good enough for my needs.

Fondest regards,
Jack • reep • Toad
Twisted Roads