The quest for my next digital camera purchase decision – spoiled by the beauty of my ex: the Canon G3

The beginning – Fuji Finepix 1400

This was my entry ticket to the world of digital photography, I loved it and collected tons of really good shots in all categories except low-light. Fantastic landscapes, portraits, macro flower and insect pictures… When technology moved on and I finally had a budget to spend, I spent a lot of time researching and found that the Canon G3 was going to be the best bang for the buck.

The happy days – Canon G3

I used to have a Canon G3 and loved it – vario-angle LCD would allow me to shoot over the heads of crowds, or close to the turf
without having to lie in the dirt. Crisp and clear pictures to the pixel allowed me to crop subimages of amazing quality. I was in love, but unfortunately lost the camera to some thug smashing my car window in Moraga of all places, and grabbed it out of the car. I wanted to buy the G7 but since Canon ruined the product line by getting rid of the vario-angle LCD and the RAW mode (raw reintroduced on G9 but still fixed LCD), so I figured I might as well go with a power shot sd550.

Some examples why the live-view and vario-angle LCD are important to me:
Take a look at these, I did them with live preview to make sure the focus was on the right thing, but without the variolense:

Squirrel eye to eye

I have lots more at home that are done with the G3 and the varioangle that are not possible without:
1. waves crashing – right at the waterlevel
2. turf of a bicycle trail
3. police action against protesters when the iraq war started, shooting high overhead to see whats going on in spite of a crowd in front of me
4. water coming down a small canal, similar to 1. – basically a photo of what you would normally not get to see and which looks very interesting.
The lame days – Canon PowerShot SD550

Way inferior to what the G3, the only advantage was not bulging out my pants pockets the way I did with the g3… the image quality was just not allowing much cropping/postprocessing – lots of megapixels, but once you look at the pixel level it was blurry and grainy.

Now that the LCD cracked, I am ready to buy something that gets me back to where I was with the G3…

Whats next? Nikon D40…

I have a hard time deciding what to do next though, go DSLR with the Nikon D40 seemed like the next logical step price/performance wise within my budget, but like traditional SLR it does not have liveview / vario angle LCD and all the high end cameras that have it are way over my budget…

The PowerShot S5 IS seems to be close to what the G3 was, but as far as I can tell from the reviews, I can expect the picture quality and battery live to be disappointing in comparison.

The upcoming rebel Xsi has the live view feature, but still a fixed LCD…

So far I lean towards either borrowing a PowerShot S5 IS or G9 somewhere and test if it is good enough for me, or do the same with the D40 and see if I can live with having to press my eye against the camera each time I want to snap a picture… any volunteers in the SF bay area?

Update: I got the Nikon D40 and so far I am in love, will post more later… See some examples on my Flickr photo blog http://www.flickr.com/photos/mrmichaelwill/

Michael

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~ by MrMichaelWill on April 2, 2008.

5 Responses to “The quest for my next digital camera purchase decision – spoiled by the beauty of my ex: the Canon G3”

  1. For first time enter a DSLR arena, Nikon D40 is a good start. Great performance, superb image quality and very low price. You can imagine how many times you will need a live view, vary angle or anti dust system, I think just a few. You can get Rebel XSi as a more feature-packed entry level DSLR but with more price but with same IQ perhaps.

  2. I know exactly how often I have used the live view and vary angle with the Canon G3, which makes it so hard to decide for the Nikon D40 where everything else is exactly how I want it.

    Take a look at these, I did them with live preview to make sure the focus was on the right thing, but without the variolense: http://www.flickr.com/photos/66016217@N00/454429020/

    I have lots more at home that are done with the G3 and the varioangle that are not possible without:
    1. waves crashing – right at the waterlevel
    2. turf of a bicycle trail
    3. police action against protesters when the iraq war started, shooting high overhead to see whats going on in spite of a crowd in front of me
    4. water coming down a small canal, similar to 1. – basically a photo of what you would normally not get to see and which looks very interesting.

  3. And the Nikon D40 it is – I am in love 😉 will post more later.

  4. I went through a lot of the some decision process. I too love my D40.

    I still have my gently-used G3, but rarely use it. I feel guilty as it was such a terrific camera.

    If you ever want to relive your G3 days, you could probably persuade me to part with mine. Perhaps you’d find room for both in your shooting…

  5. Update: While still in love with the results I got with the D40, there is one thing that increasingly bothers me:

    I prefer to set the focus mode to spot-focus. Each time I switch the mode of the camera, it forgets it and I have to manually set it again.

    And I probably will buy the $280 VR lense next 🙂 – yeah, nikon managed to suck me into the DSLR upgrade path it seems…

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