Wednesday, March 7, 2012

G-enerations...

The time has finally arrived... 
I started rather late on the digital camera scene.
Back when I was a feature writer in The New Straits Times, I reviewed a couple of compact digital cameras.
In the mid-90s, these cameras were crude and consume a lot of power.
But as technology progresses with more powerful microchips, a new generation of digital compact cameras came into the fray, gradually replacing film.


The Canon Powershot G1
 Canon Powershot G1
I was recovering from a broken leg. 
At times like these, I needed a camera to work with. 
My good friend Mr CH Loh had offered me a showroom model - the Canon Powershot G1 at RM1.6K.
It has never been used and was at bare-minimal. The G1 uses a CF card and I used to joke at its capacity at 8MB a piece.
That was back in the year 2000. We've crossed into the new millennium at that was the latest technology in consumer digital camera.
The G1 was a 3.3megapixel compact camera offering RAW capture with a 3x zoom lens.
For a travel writer, it was the stuff of dreams. Battery life was good and the image quality was quite decent.
Through the years, I cycled through at least six G-series cameras.
From the G1, I skipped to the G3, eventually settling for the G7, G9, G10 and G12.
Of the lot, the G6 was the rarest of the lot. A small batch had showed up in Malaysia and before I knew it, the camera had vanished. Months later, the G7 was announced. This was a camera which was different and to the G-series fans, it was a let-down as it could not capture RAW files. Soon, my G7 too had died. It was replaced with a G9 and succeeded by the G10.
I waited a bit till the G11 was announced. This one I skipped and went straight to the G12 which was one of the most awesome in the G-series line-up. I nearly sold my G10 to a buyer who had cold feet. Lucky for me, his loss, my gain. As far as built, quality and finish was concerned, the G10 is the best of the lot.. Way above that was the G12 with its top-notched performance in low-lighting conditions...


Sweat, sweat, sweat...
I took up some serious bicycling and had abused the G12 in numerous outings including some shots taken in light rain shower.
Worst was the sweat from my body dripping onto the camera.
A couple of months back, the G12 had showed signs of imminent death.
The back panel buttons could not be operated.
I brought the camera to the Canon Service Centre in Wisma Peremba to get it fixed.
The first attempt by the technician there had failed.
I returned with little hope of seeing it in action.
The solution is to move on with the G1X that succeeds the G12.


Enter the G1X!
G-zilla!!!!
The G1X distances itself from its predecessors.
As a matter of fact, it has the largest sensor compared to most digital compact cameras of its class. No Nikons and Olympus can come near it.
Its the big bad boy from Canon to appease the enthusiast market.
Styling-wise, its back to basics.
Rather than a retractable cover, the G1X uses a lens cap, just like the G1 which was released more than 12 years ago.
It retains its variable angle swivel screen, this time - measuring 3" in length. Definitely a far cry from the G1 that has only a 1" screen.
The G1X is also one of the bulkiest compact cameras I ever handled. My last multi-role film compact camera that was as bulky was the Konica Hexar. This was the best there is.
So far, my only beef with this camera is the fact that its macro mode can only focus from 20cm away. Compared to the G12, it was no match.
The plus factor is the bells and whistles that I can add on it. Like a lens hood! 
Oh well, its time to cut the jibba jabba and get to work with the G1X, so, stay tuned for more field use report on the G1X! Thanks for watching...

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