Helio Tomita talked about his Street Photography in Brazil, I asked him for his impressions of the Canon G15.
[This is a user review and does not reflect Inspired Eye's official position on the camera]
Thank you Olivier & Don for allowing me to talk about the camera! Well, first of all I think it's important to make some considerations about the writer so that you can better understand my analysis. I am in no way a professional. The following are just my personal impressions. My name is Helio Tomita, 58 years old and I live in Maragogipe, a small and beautiful town situated in the State of Bahia, Brazil.
I'm an amateur photographer and since I was young I always enjoyed shooting. Now that I am retired I have more time to devote to my hobby. I've always liked the photographs made on the streets showing people and their everyday lives & chores and in banal situations, unusual or funny. Pictures are attention-grabbing for me, especially those in which people are in their most natural, the splendor shows their inner beauty. Modeled and posed images are too static and void for me.
I'm a photographer with little gear. Actually I just had an old Nikon D40 that was too big for the type of photography that intended to practice. I started looking for a compact unit with manual controls and reasonable image quality with fixed-lens or with a zoom. I mainly wanted a small enough camera not to catch people's attention, and that could be taken everywhere. After some searches I selected three options: Ricoh GR IV, Nikon P7700 or Canon G15. The first is simply not possible to find in Brazil. The P7700 was a little more bulky than the G15, so the latter was chosen. And since a year ago it never left my side.
So I took it in my hand I really enjoyed it. It's small and looks great. I use it with a small hand strap just to be safe, despite the camera having a very robust construction. The nice build gives the impression that if it falls, it's going to crack the floor.
I started using the Canon G15 in manual mode using the preset focus zones. The G15 has 2 adjustment discs: one at the front of the camera and another on the back. I especially use the front to adjust the shutter speed and the rear to adjust aperture, metering mode, and ISO. The WB I leave on automatic. The camera has a button (*) on the back which makes a preset of the settings, it is very useful when you need some speedy adjustments. For those who need to memorize the adjustment sets G15 provides two memories (C1 and C2) in the shooting mode dial.
After some time I began to realize that the auto focus camera measurement was very fast and accurate. Since then I've been using Aperture priority mode for static images and the shutter priority mode for more control in dynamic images. When doing street photography I almost always use the Shutter Priority mode. The Canon G15 has a dedicated disk for exposure correction at the top of the camera that is very easy to use and quick to make any adjustments, mainly because the effect is visible on the LCD screen.
For composing shots, most of the time I use the LCD holding the camera a little below the eyeline, or waistline with my thumb on the shutter. With some training it gets very easy to shoot with your thumb. And sometimes I use the viewfinder, but it's not that great since it does not cover the total picture. It's more a finder. An improvement that I would love on the G15 would be to put auto ISO in Manual mode, trying to imitate the TAV mode that I read that exist on Ricoh GR.
Most of the time I use the 28 mm focal length, both for street photography and landscape. You can adjust the zoom continuously through a lever next to the shutter, or step zoom (28, 35, 50, 85, 100, 140mm) with the rear disc. The battery is sufficient for any photographic foray, but I bought another battery just in case.
I'm a photographer who has an aversion to flash, so only use natural light (It's been reported that Henri Cartier Bresson said something like “where there is a candlelight, there will be photographs”). And in this regard the G15 almost never left me in trouble. The G15 has a very fast lens that goes from 1.8 to 2.8 depending on the focal distance. In addition to that, it's ISO goes to 12800.
In short, this little camera is a tool as good as a Swiss army knife. It's not perfect, in fact almost nothing is! but if you can master it will let the photographer express himself or herself with tranquility. A joy to use.
[highlight]More of Helio[/highlight]
Please check out and follow Helio's flickr