About seven years ago I was discovering the world of photography by using a point & shoot digital camera. At that time there were pretty high import charges on electronic devices but with some financial effort I’ve managed to buy a Powershot A400 from Canon. A long time ago, my father used to photograph a lot, late in the eighties and nineties, both color and black & white but back then I wasn’t interested in photography. The little digital device stimulated my appetite for the still image. After some months I give it a try to my father’s Zenit ‘E’ SLR camera with its Helios-44 58mm f:2.0 a russian Carl Zeiss Biotar copy. What can I say, I liked it a lot.
I put aside the A400 and continued the photographic adventure on film and changed a lot of cameras, lenses, and the after the import taxes have easened I went after a Pentax dSLR, a brand new K100d. From this point on the digital & film were inseparable and from shooting almost anything I’ve concentrated more on street photgraphy. Being in the same time fascinated by new and old technology alike I’ve used other systems, like Minolta’s SR (MC/MD), Konica’s AR, good old reliable M42 screw mount cameras, fixed lens rangefinder cameras until I’ve stopped , for the moment, at Pentax K and Nikon F.
But that was mostly about SLR, with or without “d” because lately I was using again Canon, of course film&digital. Canon 35mm film Canonet’s were cameras I saw first for sale on ebay and with the help of a good friend I received as a gift a nice Canonet GIII QL-17 rangefinder with an excellent canon 40mm f:1.7 lens. To complete this, last year by a series of lucky circumstances I’ve won a Canon Powershot G1x camera. Wow! I said to myself, and went back on streets. I will just mention here some pluses and minuses of these two mirrorless cameras (the Canon “G”s) adding some photos too.
So, what I like about the Canonet ql17:
-it is very quiet and vibration free (not a surprise, having a leaf shutter)
-it is relatively small
-it is reliable and works on manual without any batteries
-it has a very smooth cocking/winding mechanism (although the lever’s throw seems a little too long – longer -them my other SLR’s I had, like Minolta XD-11 and x-500, Pentax ME-Super, MX and “p” series)
it has all manual control (without an active lightmeter though)
-it has an automatic exposure setting (shutter priority)
-it has a great lens, both as sharpness and field of view , combining a 35mm and a 50mm lens in one
What’s not so great:
-it is relatively heavy despite its dimensions
-the focusing lever is not so usefull for me for manual focus. I would have preferred a rubber ring, but the lens barrel is already pretty crowded
-the 1.35v battery is no longer available
-is not easy to focus with its rangefinder (maybe need some cleaning) but it is very accurate.
-the lens barrel does not have distance gradations (just simple distances) like other manual focus lenses.
and that would be about it.
Now , its much younger brother, the G1x
-it is , again, small, light and inconspicuous
-it is quiet,even when zooming in/out
-seems reliable, but I’m using it for a year or so
-it has a good reach fixed zoom lens (28-112mm equivalent 135 format) although I would preferred a faster ~24~80mm one
-it has an excellent IS system
-can be handled with just the right hand
-has enough control wheels, dials and buttons (but the G12 had plus one, a dedicated ISO dial) just like an enthusiast/entry level dSLR
-the LCD is tiltable but it has not a touchscreen.
-good resolution (14Mpx) and ISO performace (till 1000-1600 iso) thanks to its bigger sensor ( x1.8 crop factor)
What’s not to like about the g1x, from my perspective:
-the AF seems slow, and that by mirrorless cameras standards
-pushing the Preview button locks the camera for about 2-3 seconds (depending on how fast your SD card is)
-the optical viewfinder is useless to me. This is not a Fuji-like viewfinder (x20)
-the lens is also “slow” (by 50mm is already f:4.5 while at 112mm drops to f:5.8) I would have preferred a fixed, “fast” lens (maybe a 40mm equivalent with f:2.0) or a wider zoom (24-80mm f:2.8-4.5)
-in RAW works only in 4:3 format (I was used more to 3:2 ratio)
-the lens barrel is plasticky and the lens cap is not incorporated. Also plasticky seems the battery/SD card door.
Well, for the moment these would be most important points to me.
I’ll end this article with some shots: