Some thoughts on Canon G5 X

I have had Canon G5 X now for some time and I decided to share some of my initial impressions on it. I got interested on it because of its 1” sensor combined with 24-100mm equivalent lens. That should make it nice all-round camera. It also has an electronic viewfinder which was one of the decisive things too.

When you open the package you will immediately notice the very good built and finish it has. Just a wonderful thing. It feel so solid yet small. You can easily put it in your jacket pocket. It is delivered with a normal neck strap but I think it would work nicely with a wrist strap too. Would be worth of testing at least especially with some nice and small bag where you can put the camera when not in use.

The control G5 X has are nice. Big enough and responsive. It has a front dial and nice dial around the lens barrel. Exposure compensation dial is there where it should be. Dials and buttons are very much customizable too. That’s nice because everyone can tinker the camera to suit their own needs. EVF is great. Very good for a point-and-shoot camera. But I have not been using it so much because of the very nice back LCD (which is fully tiltable). The LCD is also touch-sensitive. You can set the focus point or even operate the shutter by the touch screen. I have used these features quite much actually.

I am now using the G5 X in Av (Aperture priority) mode and I have assigned aperture to the front dial and ISO to the lens barrel dial. Works very well, I think. To the back wheel I have assigned the step zoom which I like because I can change zoom quickly between 24-28-35-50-85-100mm. Very handy. The camera has also nice customizable Q (Quick) menu which you can operate easily through the touch screen. And there is in-camera ND filter for those sunny days and wide apertures too.

The only real gripe I have at the moment is that the lens is quite soft in the wide end with large apertures. This is not a problem if you shoot landscapes at 24mm with f/5.6 but if you want to use f/1.8 it can be irritating property of the lens. This is not a problem in the tele end of the lens which is of course good news.

I still have somehow mixed feelings about the G5 X and I am not sure yet if I am going to keep it. I have to shoot with it more in different situations to find out if it may be my all-round camera.

Some shots with G5 X below.

Only a hare was there before me

Framed sunshine

Very cold day

Snowcat working

Making more snow

Sunshine and snow!

Downhillers :)

Sails up

Pines in winter light

I am pleased every time I shoot with Nikon 1 V1

Nikon 1 V1 is already quite old camera but it is clearly the fastest focusing camera I own. And that is a big asset in many situations, especially with lively children. Another asset is the wider DoF the 1” sensor offers. That combined with a nice (and inexpensive) 18.5mm/1.8 lens (50mm equivalent) gives a perfect DoF/background blur compromise. Actually that lens produces quite nice bokeh and is very sharp wide open.

I think I would have sold my V1 if I had not got the 18.5mm prime. It is so good lens that I think everyone having Nikon 1 series camera should buy it. I promise it will open a new world for your Nikon 1 photography.

Here are two latest shots with my Nikon 1 V1 equipped with the 18.5mm prime. Both shot wide open (f/1.8).

Clover flowers Summer fun

X-Pro1 still delivers

I do not use my X-Pro1 often but every time I shoot with it I’ll get some nice shots. The camera is quite slow but it has nice user experience (as I stated also for my Leica Digilux 2 in an earlier post) which is very important for me when I am shooting. Of course Fuji X system has some very nice lenses to work with. I have the beautiful XF 35/1.4 which is still very competitive lens even if it was the first one introduced in X system. I also have the XF 18-55mm/2.8-4 zoom which is nice if you want to take only one lens with you. It has a moderate size and great image quality, and its IS helps especially in indoor shooting. Its 27-82mm equivalent range is very nice for general shooting situations.

Kaapo’s portrait below was shot with XF 35/1.4 prime and church interior was captured with the XF 18-55 zoom lens.

Let me play PS4!


Church interiors

Wide and normal (and something in between)

I purchased a tele conversion lens (TCL-X100) for my Fuji X100. I got it with a quite good price (139 euros) so I think it was a nice deal. The reason to get this tele converter was my desire to have two small cameras with different fixed lenses. I have Ricoh GR which has a beautiful 28 mm equivalent lens, so that camera serves as a wide option. The X100 has 35 mm equivalent lens which is, in my opinion, quite near to GR’s 28 mm. I wanted to have bigger cap between the focal lengths of these cameras and TCL-X100 just allows that and makes X100 to have 50 mm equivalent normal lens.

So, my intention is to keep these two small cameras with me when going out shooting. And I shoot quite much of portraits for which 50 mm suits better than 28 or 35 mm. I will report here in my blog how this approach is turning out.

Wide and normal (and something in between)

TRA – The Ricoh Approach

I am soon going to have two Ricoh compacts: The GR and GRD IV. Here are few of my ponderings why it might be wise to keep them both

The GRD IV has a small compact camera sensor which is handy in some situations. I can easily achieve lots of DoF and that way the shots are sharp. This camera has a fantastic macro feature where you can shoot 1 cm from the subject. With the small sensor this is possible because the DoF will remain wide enough. But with this kind of macro it is possible to get nice blurred background even if that will be quite tricky with the GRD IV in normal shooting situations. GRD series cameras are very well known for their suitability for street shooting. I do not do any street photography but I love the gritty JPEG options (like the high-contrast B&W) these cameras have. Bleach bypass option is also very cool.

Ricoh GR has, instead, an APS-C sized large sensor. With the GR you are able to get lots of details in the shots and also very narrow DoF is possible. Lens is slower than in GRD IV (f/2.8 vs. f/1.9) but that is okay even in indoor shooting because the GR has very clean high-ISO shots up to ISO 6400.

What the all above then means? Well, I think I have use for both Ricoh’s. The GRD IV will be my gritty stuff camera. I will shoot JPEGs with it. I have three different JPEG options saved into camera’s MY1, 2, and 3 positions, namely positive film, bleach bypass, and high-contrast B&W. I use square format for all of those as I really like 1×1 aspect ratio at the moment. HC B&W and bleach bypass I am going to keep but not totally sure yet which in-camera processing option to save into the third My position. I have noticed that if you want to have clean photos (without noise grain) you really have to be at ISO 100 zone, not much above that. With ISO 400 or 800 you will get quite much noise.

With the GR I will shoot only RAWs. I want to use GRs full potential for maximum image quality. And if I want to have high-contrast B&Ws for example, I have my own Lightroom presets for that. With the GR I am able to obtain my loved narrow DoF and nice bokeh in regular shooting much more easily than with the GRD IV.

So, it really seems that these two cameras which look like almost the same and have also many common photographic properties, complement each other nicely.

Close-up with Ricoh GRD IV

I have had my Ricoh GRD IV camera now only few hours but I can already say that I really love its close-up capabilities. You can go as close as 1 cm to your subject and this camera will autofocus! Wow. And you can have some decent bokeh with this camera in this kind of a close-ups as can be seen in the shot below. More about other things later.

Close-up with Ricoh GRD IV

Towards classics and smaller sensors

Earlier digital days I was craving for full frame sensors. I thought they would provide some additional value for my photography. But FF mainly provided frustration. Well, of course I have to admit that I got some nice narrow DoF and bokeh shots but many times I was struggling.

If I now go through my present camera gear, it seems that I am going towards smaller sensors. Few years ago I would never believed this to happen. Now my cameras have the following sensor sizes: 1/1.7″, 2/3″, 1″, and APS-C.

And all of my present cameras are kind of classics or even cult devices. I have Leica Digilux 2 (introduced 2003), Fuji X100 (introduced 2010), Nikon 1 V1 (introduced 2011), and Fuji X-Pro1 (introduced 2012).

Oh, almost forgot that soon there will be Ricoh GRD IV too. 🙂