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Author Topic: G7 Postscript  (Read 24733 times)
Pete JF
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« Reply #20 on: November 08, 2006, 10:21:01 PM »
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Nargs, go for it, you win a nice shiny medal for being so bad ass.

This is not the type of camera that most folks buy to get all photo geeked on with the histogramming and the white point and the expose to the far west...they buy it for what it is, To point, compose and shoot. Raw is clearly the file type that is most suited for photography like this. If the jpeg'ers and their photos of their Grannies dont want to use it (raw), they dont have to.

I think the actual deal here is that this camera has always represented the best or one big fav of the point and shoot Canons amongst its loyal scads, no? The s-70 and 60 were also pretty popular with the more serious of the pointers and shooters. what happened there?...same thing, jpeg city...what did people do? They started buying back into the s-70...Canon sort of came out of the blue and yanked RAW from the dessert menu. Should people be surprised, wondering, pissed, pissed again? Sure, why not? A camera that has a name, a reputation as being cool...and list of defining features..raw being one of them..people expect that camera to maintain it's basic identity. Most loyal customers tend to move right up the ladder with improvements model after model. That, imo, is good business sense.


 I don't care about what it is, as it is, right now. I've been hunting and hunting for a camera like this, with raw (and hopefully a 28mm)...This was a hopeful, temporary endpoint. Blink, Canon decides it's time to start working the demographics.

How much more work and expense would putting in a decent RAW option actually be? pretty much zero i think. Canon has raw systems out the wazoo..laying around the office like cubicle divider lint...Canon is the king of this thing right now...this was a suit oriented decision and I hate it when the suits jump in and start with bean strategies, divide and conquer and what not.

 It sucks, mainly because Im tired as hell of bouncing around the damn internet  looking at reviews that come up short. I don't think it would have made a big difference in their bottom line anywhere at all. That's the way the beaners think though, tooooo much, sometimes. So, Michael..enjoy the camera, im sure that you have to mind your politics carefully here, i respect that to a point. the postscript did not pull any punches. It is clear that you are disappointed with Canon's decision making process here, i am too.

Narg, dont stay off the methylphenedate for too long...go for it and have fun with your histocrackers.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2006, 10:35:29 PM by Pete JF » Logged
howiesmith
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« Reply #21 on: November 08, 2006, 11:02:56 PM »
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Right.  So if you're one of 20,000 digicam manufacturers and you're finding Canon's volume hard to compete with, paint a model Ferrari red, add raw mode, and add some margin back! Find a niche and hope to prosper.

On the other side of the fence: if you're Canon and wanting to keep a large share of the market, don't leave obvious niches uncovered if you can help it.

Cheers,

Giles
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=84246\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Adding RAW to the G7 might increase sales by a few.  But it might decrease sales a lot by having to increase the price to cover cost to the point many consumers wouldn't buy it.  Canon is a mass production camera maker, not a niche camera maker.

Now when Canon was selling the 300/2.8, early on it was the only kid on the block.  Sports photogs bought them because it was just the best and all the best had them.  Canon could sell bodies because a 300/2.8 fit on the front.  Well, they lost the niche to competition.  Problem with niche markets, they may not last long, so a company with a niche has to grap all the profit they can fast before they start getting competition.

I think Ferarri isn't such a good example of a niche.  It may be just "snob appeal," look at me, I have arrived.  A niche usually fills a particular need very well with no real competition.
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opgr
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« Reply #22 on: November 09, 2006, 03:12:44 AM »
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I'm not sure what you mean by this. I borrowed an e900 from a friendly dealer and shot with it for a half day. That's what my judgement was based on. My comment about browsing the web had to do with a search for alternatives not an evaluation of any particular camera. I thought that my writing was pretty clear in that regard.

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=84204\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

In a brief moment of weakness I must have misread the text then, my apologies.
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Oscar Rysdyk
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« Reply #23 on: November 09, 2006, 03:24:19 AM »
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Or, to turn this around, so images straight from the camera can be seen in the best light.

... At some point the chip in the camera will give better results than *most* users can achieve with external processing
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=84219\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Exactly, and additionally most of those same users (and this would include many advanced users and pros I'm afraid) will not understand what they see when confronted with the original RAW data. Processing that same RAW data in a DPP version that could mimmic DIGIC 3 would probably take an eternity given Canon's trackrecord. The other mainstream solution used for RAW processing simply isn't equiped to deal with this kind of data.

Perhaps it's similar to ColorManagement. Knowing half the story is more dangerous than ignorance.
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Oscar Rysdyk
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« Reply #24 on: November 09, 2006, 03:33:35 AM »
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2. Doing all the processing in camera with the right parameters does indeed hide the latent noise problem of the sensor that some users might not tolerate otherwise, especially if they are not using Canon's RAW conversion software, which is most likely for people shooting RAW.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=84229\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Exactly, and the chip will do it a lot quicker as well. "tolerate", great choice of words...
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Oscar Rysdyk
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« Reply #25 on: November 09, 2006, 06:46:39 AM »
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If you look at the trend in the digital camera industry, from low to very high-end, it's to add increasingly more smarts in the camera to correct image quality. You're now seeing lens designs appearing that are totally dependent on firmware/software correction even to look acceptable. Even the M8's offset microlenses are optimal only for a single focal length, hence the lens coding to correct for others.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=84219\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
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The jpg of the Nikon D50 at high ISO are clearly better than the RAW produced by Nikon capture on the same file. I know it is surprising, but Thom Hogan says the same thing and a look at his site will convince you that he isn't crazy.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=84229\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

The above passages are very illuminating. Thanks guys.

Arg
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David Mantripp
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« Reply #26 on: November 10, 2006, 07:17:05 AM »
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I am going to take the opposite approach to those who dismiss it from a distance: I will buy one and use it as much as I can, as widely as I can, and as intelligently as I can, for at *least* six months,  [a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=84244\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

6 months Huh?  It'll be totally obsolete by then!  
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Ken Tanaka
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« Reply #27 on: November 10, 2006, 10:59:13 AM »
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Follow-Up to My Previous Post
Well I have picked up a G7 and spent some time with it yesterday afternoon.  My reaction, in a single phrase, is it's a superb camera that performs beyond its class.

I'll not spend time reciting the camera's details, as Michael's already provided the salient information is his commentary.  But I will note some attributes that stood out to me in my first few hours with  the G7.

- The camera has a very sturdy feeling and nice heft.  It does not feel like a circuit board wrapped in sheet metal.

- The G7's size enables it to be carried easily in a jacket pocket.

- The supplied neck strap is not useful.  I replaced it with the nice, cinch-able wrist strap from my S70.

- Shutter lag and focus time were not significant issues.  There was also no lag in writing images to a SanDisk Extreme III SD card.  The camera was ready to shoot again immediately.

- The G7's lens is, indeed, extremely sharp.  Further, I was unable to induce any noticeable color fringing at thee edges of its widest setting.

- The lcd screen seem clearer and brighter than that of my 5D.

- The optical viewfinder is nice to have but, as it displays no information, it's of limited use.

- The image stabilizer is very effective.  It is, however, a bit of an extra drain on the battery. I recommend setting its activation to "On Shoot", rather than the default "Continuous", to save power.

The G7 is the finest digital camera of its class that I've ever owned or used.  Its performance is at least 2x that of my S70.  The absence of a RAW recording mode, something I lamented in Canon's new upper-end p&s cameras, is just not going to be an issue for me.  Again, Lightroom's fine Develop module greatly mitigates this deficit for this camera.

I have posted a handful of images I shot near my home during my first few hours with the G7.  These images are presented with absolutely no post-processing.  They came into Lightroom and were directly exported at an appropriate size for posting.  These low-res images don't really do justice to the images.  Guffaw of the day: I had not even unpacked the camera's manual before I shot these images.  Hence I did not realize that I had not even been using the camera's highest resolution.

Honestly, this G7 is making me wonder if I really need a Purple People Eater (M8) even after Leica fixes the early bugs.  It's at least taken the hunger pangs away.

The sample images are here.
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MrIconoclast
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« Reply #28 on: November 10, 2006, 08:00:21 PM »
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I bought a Minolta A2 over a year ago based mostly on MR's review of it.  He did not lead me wrong.  It is a great camera.  Not only does it duplicate most DSLR functions but it shoots RAW files.  (I convert them to Adobe DNG, but that's another story.

It was a sad day when the makers of this fine camera left the camera business.

Michael,  reach deep into your camera bag and grab that A2.  You won't be disdapointed.
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michael
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« Reply #29 on: November 10, 2006, 09:35:11 PM »
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The A2 is still a fine camera. My son now has it and uses it extensively.

I just coulnd't find happyness with an electronic viewfinder.

Michael
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #30 on: November 10, 2006, 11:06:30 PM »
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Follow-Up to My Previous Post
Well I have picked up a G7 and spent some time with it yesterday afternoon.  My reaction, in a single phrase, is it's a superb camera that performs beyond its class.

I'll not spend time reciting the camera's details, as Michael's already provided the salient information is his commentary.  But I will note some attributes that stood out to me in my first few hours with  the G7.

- The camera has a very sturdy feeling and nice heft.  It does not feel like a circuit board wrapped in sheet metal.

- The G7's size enables it to be carried easily in a jacket pocket.

- The supplied neck strap is not useful.  I replaced it with the nice, cinch-able wrist strap from my S70.

- Shutter lag and focus time were not significant issues.  There was also no lag in writing images to a SanDisk Extreme III SD card.  The camera was ready to shoot again immediately.

- The G7's lens is, indeed, extremely sharp.  Further, I was unable to induce any noticeable color fringing at thee edges of its widest setting.

- The lcd screen seem clearer and brighter than that of my 5D.

- The optical viewfinder is nice to have but, as it displays no information, it's of limited use.

- The image stabilizer is very effective.  It is, however, a bit of an extra drain on the battery. I recommend setting its activation to "On Shoot", rather than the default "Continuous", to save power.

The G7 is the finest digital camera of its class that I've ever owned or used.  Its performance is at least 2x that of my S70.  The absence of a RAW recording mode, something I lamented in Canon's new upper-end p&s cameras, is just not going to be an issue for me.  Again, Lightroom's fine Develop module greatly mitigates this deficit for this camera.

I have posted a handful of images I shot near my home during my first few hours with the G7.  These images are presented with absolutely no post-processing.  They came into Lightroom and were directly exported at an appropriate size for posting.  These low-res images don't really do justice to the images.  Guffaw of the day: I had not even unpacked the camera's manual before I shot these images.  Hence I did not realize that I had not even been using the camera's highest resolution.

Honestly, this G7 is making me wonder if I really need a Purple People Eater (M8) even after Leica fixes the early bugs.  It's at least taken the hunger pangs away.

The sample images are here.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=84507\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Impressive samples, Ken. Much better and with much less noise than carefully processed raw images from my S60.  Maybe I could live without raw after all.  

Eric
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tnargs
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« Reply #31 on: November 10, 2006, 11:57:49 PM »
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I appreciated that owner's review, Ken. (I think you are an owner, although that was not completely clear from your post). I doubt if any camera in the history of the digital image has attracted such animosity and negativity, all the more amazing considering what a superb tool it appears to be in reality. And all because of two things; 1) it has no RAW, and there is a lot of snobbish perfectionistic narrow-mindedness about the JPEG image; and 2) it doesn't continue with every feature of the G6, which is completely unacceptable to a certain crowd who never wanted a new-approach G7, they wanted a G6+1!

Michael referred to a 2-boatload market for the G7: the first boatload who buy it and reap the rewards of that decision in the form of new-benchmark compact performance and images very difficult to distinguish from those produced by an M8; and the second boatload who won't buy it on principle until Canon adds RAW so they can spend 90% of their photography hobby on a PC and 10% with a camera in hand.

Welcome to boatload 1, Ken. Chuck out the lifebuoy, I'm a swimmin' your way.

Arg (who was accused of being rude and narrow-minded after his first ever post on LL: a record?)
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Ken Tanaka
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« Reply #32 on: November 11, 2006, 11:59:58 AM »
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I am, indeed, a proud G7 owner.  

I think my reluctance to buy any digital camera lacking RAW support has been due not to any sense of snobbery but rather to insecurity.  RAW images provide so much post-capture flexibility and smoothness (i.e. free of compression artifacts) that it's hard to relinquish.  And I certainly would never do so with my larger digital cameras.

But Lightroom's ready availability of powerful RAW-like adjustment tools for JPGs greatly relieves the post work normally required with JPG files.  You can adjust white balance, white point, black levels, etc. in Lightroom on a JPG just as easily as on a RAW (albeit with slightly less leeway). To illustrate this I have processed three of these G7 images with Lightroom, and stepped out to CS2 with two of them to perform noise reduction with Noise Ninja.  (LR's n.r. facilities are still no match for N.N..)  I recorded the total amount of wall clock time it took for each.  You can find them in the gallery.  Here are direct links for the impatient    :

Original:  http://www.pbase.com/tanakak/image/69969533
Processed:  http://www.pbase.com/tanakak/image/70038579

Original:  http://www.pbase.com/tanakak/image/69969535
Processed:  http://www.pbase.com/tanakak/image/70003606

Original:  http://www.pbase.com/tanakak/image/69969538
Processed:  http://www.pbase.com/tanakak/image/70038227

The G7 is not the equivalent of a Leica M8 (although at the moment it might actually be a bit better).  Leica will fix the M8's initial troubles soon, producing the wonderful digital rangefinder that everyone expects.  But at little more than 10% of an M8's price the G7 really knocks my socks off.  And it fits in a pocket!

BTW, while the G7 will fit into a jacket pocket it will be a bit large for those who live in jacket-free climates.  If you don't want to face questions such as, "Is that a G7 in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?" I recommend the Tamrac 5691 case.  It's nicely padded, easily secures onto your belt (via Velcro and a snap) and fits the G7 like a glove.  Cost: approximately US$15 at most camera stores.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2006, 12:08:02 PM by Ken Tanaka » Logged

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MrIconoclast
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« Reply #33 on: November 11, 2006, 01:43:28 PM »
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I just coulnd't find happyness with an electronic viewfinder.

Michael
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Ah,yes, the electronic viewfinder. Even the A2 with its 1meg finder still leaves something to be desired, though it is leagues ahead of the 256K finders found in some cameras.  

I am beginning to think that with the entry level DSLRs such as the D50 ( and the soon to be D40), as well as the new Rebel coming so far down in price that fancy non DSLRs such as the G7 may have their days numbers.     Think about it. In the days when film was KING, most people bought P&S film cameras to get their small size and simplicity of operation.  If you wanted more, you bought an SLR.  Even the cheapest  Rebel or N50  was small, light, and with the stock 28-85mm lens capable of delivering excelling results with modern films.   I still have my N70 and I marvel at how much good stuff Nikon packed into a $150 body.

Why should the digital world be different?  

You want a relatively inexpensive, light weight, flexible camera that shoots RAW photos and can run with the big dogs (albeit near the back of the pack), then buy the Rebel.

Maybe that is Canon's way of thinking.  That's my 2 cents.

One last point, the photo taken with the small, light weight camera you have with you is infinitely better than the one you never took because you left the big, heavy pro DSLR at  home.    The right tool, at the right time for the right job.   That's what it's about.
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Ken Tanaka
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« Reply #34 on: November 11, 2006, 10:27:04 PM »
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One last point, the photo taken with the small, light weight camera you have with you is infinitely better than the one you never took because you left the big, heavy pro DSLR at  home.    The right tool, at the right time for the right job.   That's what it's about.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=84662\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Amen MrPaul.  Amen!  You can't take any picture if you ain't got no camera.  And you won't have no camera if you don't want to carry it.
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« Reply #35 on: November 12, 2006, 04:29:47 AM »
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From my perspective Canon’s lack of Raw support on its range of compacts is a big mistake. They lost my “compact” business even though I am a satisfied and committed user of their DSLRs. As Michael pointed out there is a huge gap in the market for a compact camera which is responsive, gives full manual control and delivers high quality results including offering Raw format.

Actually there is such a camera available – the Panasonic LX1 / LX2 and its Leica clone. It doesn’t meet Michael’s criteria of having an optical viewfinder but in every other respect it ticks the boxes. It was even tested here on LL and got a very favourable review so I can’t see why Michael dropped it in favour of the G7 unless the lack of an optical viewfinder was a major problem.

Earlier in the year I decided to buy a compact for when I didn’t want to carry around my Canon DSLR. Facing the same gap in the market there were minimal choices available and it came down to two options: – a Canon without Raw or the Panasonic LX1 with Raw. I chose the Panasonic and, with six months experience of the Panasonic behind me, am very pleased with its results and would make the same decision again. Sure, LX1 images can be affected by noise but with careful raw processing it’s not a major concern. We all make mistakes when taking pictures and time after time the flexibility of raw format has allowed me to produce a decent result where a Jpeg would have been produced sub-standard results due to blown highlights or posterisation. I’m not saying that a Jpeg won’t produce good results (some of the time). What I’m saying is that use of Raw format will allow you to produce good results more consistently than Jpeg.

I think Canon have made a big mistake with regard to “Reviewers Acclaim” by dropping Raw format. With regard to sales the majority of camera buyers are not serious photographers and never use Raw. So Canon are probably not losing many sales by dropping Raw. But they are definitely losing sales.

There must be a profitable niche market for an enthusiasts compact camera that meets Michaels criteria because such a camera will sell for a premium price. I don’t understand why Canon doesn’t even try to compete in this space. For me the Panasonic LX1 / LX2 is the winner of this market sector at the moment.

Kim.
“No Raw, no Sale”.
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John Camp
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« Reply #36 on: November 12, 2006, 04:56:56 PM »
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Here's my user report on the G7.

Camera: excellent

User manuals: Bad. Look at the flow chart on P.9 of the Basic manual, and try to figure out what it means. They need to hire the guy who writes the Mac manuals.

Software options: ridiculous.

One of the problems with the G7 is the same problem that BMW created when it came up with its intelligent drive system -- the system was more intelligent than the users, who often found it incomprehensible. Just because you *can* put something in software, doesn't mean that you should. Does the G7 need both a regular clock and a world clock? Did you know that if you hold the camera horizontally, it displays the time, but if you hold it vertically, it displays both the time and date? Why would someone do that?

The advance manual is so full of symbols and arrows and charts, that it's like a visual garbage dump, and just learning the basic functions of the camera becomes a struggle. And frankly, if you can put in a world clock that includes an option for looking up your time zone on a world map, or getting different readings depending on the attitude of the camara, then you could have put in RAW.

Operationally, if you can ignore all the crap, it's by far the best pocket camera I've had so far.

JX
« Last Edit: November 12, 2006, 04:58:02 PM by John Camp » Logged
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« Reply #37 on: November 12, 2006, 07:43:57 PM »
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I'm in the market for something similar and spotted the LEICA D-LUX 3 which also sports a 10MP sensor.  It does have RAW for those interested :-) but lacks an optical view finder.  Seems like no one company can deliver the killer blow!

BTW, I'd love to see a head to head of these two cameras in real world shooting situations.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2006, 11:27:39 AM by GregW » Logged
picnic
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« Reply #38 on: November 12, 2006, 08:01:56 PM »
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Here's my user report on the G7.

. Does the G7 need both a regular clock and a world clock? Did you know that if you hold the camera horizontally, it displays the time, but if you hold it vertically, it displays both the time and date? Why would someone do that?


JX
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This just really amused me.  Why indeed??!!?? LOL.

Diane
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Ken Tanaka
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« Reply #39 on: November 12, 2006, 09:08:30 PM »
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The clock functions probably do not represent the memory and firmware equivalents of raw recording functions.  But the "movie" recording mode, audio-only recording mode, and "slide-show" playback functions certainly do.  Do people really shoot movies with this thing?

<shrug>

I've been shooting almost exclusively with the camera in manual (exposure) mode.  I was using the camera at, and just past, twilight again today.  Its clarity, relative smoothness of low-light imaging, images stabilizer, and actually quite good ergonomics and control instrumentation continue to impress me more and more.
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