Canon G9

Rebecca wrote,

“I’m looking for a good point and shoot camera.  What do you think of the new Canon G9?”

The G9 specs look impressive, and Canon has added back a few of the features that I thought were missing when I reviewed the G7 for Monitor Magazine. I’ve been trying to review the G9 for a few months, but unfortunately Canon’s Canadian PR rep hasn’t been able to send me a loaner yet, so the best I can say is that it looks promising.

Basic Workflow

Fay writes,

Please advise best sequence for working with a digital image, download from camers and proceeding to — 1. Change PPI 2. Crop 3. Resize 4. Sharpen, Contrast, etc.”

Also, apologies to Trevor who wrote with a similar question while I was redesigning the site,

“What is your typical work flow with regards to editing photos?”

These are great questions because, depending on what software you use, performing these steps in the wrong order can make your life more difficult and cost you a lot of time. To begin, let’s divide our post-processing into three stages that I’ll call acquisition, editing, and output.

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Autofocus and group shots

A reader writes,

On recent vacation, I really did take many terrific shots, but a bummer being a group shot of four kids against some rocks at the beach. The colour and lighting are fine, but three kids are in crystal clear focus and the fourth, blurry.

There are a few things that could cause that problem.  Autofocus isn’t magic, and can’t read your mind, so it sometimes ends up focusing on something other than what you want.  Autofocus mechanisms look for a straight line, so, for example, if a person is standing in front of a fence, it’s not unusual for the camera to autofocus on the fence rather than the person. Digital SLRs often have multiple autofocus modes, and it is critical that you understand the characteristics of the mode you’re using.

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Church wedding with a Nikon D-80

Nancy’s going to be shooting a wedding inside a small church and wrote to ask what flash she should use for her Nikon D-80.

Nikon has several external flashes, but for most people I recommend the SB-600.  The SB-800 does provide a bit more range and some other features for people using multiple-flash setups, but most people don’t use those features and the additional range is not worth the higher price tag.

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A matter of perspective

Gabrielle posted a question a while back, and in summary, she wanted to know why an image she found on the net "sort of comes towards you".

You can find the image online at

I think the image is strong due to the prominence of the foreground and the lines that lead the viewer’s eye toward the horizon.  The fact that some of the lines converge seem to add to the impact. From a technical point of view, I think the wide angle lens, sharp interesting foreground, and horizon at the upper thirds line also contributes to this wonderful image.

If there are any artists reading that can give us some more insight, please do leave a comment with your thoughts!

Panasonic Lumix DMC TZ3

Hank asks,

I’m looking for point & shoot top end with 28 mm lens, what do you think of the Panasonic Lumix DMC TZ3. I’ve read the reviews hard to believe how opinions differ.

Unfortunately I have not had any experience with the DMC TZ3, but when it comes to reviews I have found to be reliable, accurate, and unbiased.  Hope that helps!

Pale Sky

Terry writes,

My digital pictures tend to have washed out pale sky much like the sample at the upper right of your homepage. The software that came with my Lumix doesn’t seem to help. Do I need to use a filter, different software, or do something else?

Photographs that include the sky are often problematic because the sky is usually brighter than anything else in the image, and in many cases it isn’t that blue colour we’re looking for.  Here are a few solutions…

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Does brand matter?

Trevor asks,

In your honest opinion is there much of a difference between manufacturers of digital SLR cameras?  Is it better to look only at the two biggest being Canon and Nikon or are the other ones worthy of a look too like Olympus and Sony?

As usual in photography, it depends 🙂  While Canon and Nikon dominate the professional DSLR market, other manufactuers including Fuji, Leica, Olympus, Pentax, and Sony have some nice products.  If you are looking to buy a camera and one lens for recreational photograhy, all of them are worth of consideration.

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