Working with a smaller camera

g16 closeup of lily

Karl and I lead photography hikes several times a year and teach workshops once or twice a year. Before we semi-retired we did both several times a month. We focus our attention on the basics and beginners, since the hikes and workshops attract a wide variety of people with an equally wide variety of cameras. Our first class back in 2009 said “It’s the Photographer, not the camera” and we still believe and teach that position.

Recently I realized that I rarely use my Canon G16 camera anymore, or the camera on my phone (which I rarely ever used). I carry my Canon 7D Mark II with the 24 – 70 mm lens daily in my bag, and add the Canon 100 – 400 mm when I think I will need it. I decided it was time to start carrying the G16 exclusively on some trips just to prove to myself that it is the photographer.

I shoot in raw even on the G16. My aperture range on this camera is 1.8 to 8.0, very limiting for depth of field but workable. The ISO range is 80 to 12,800 though it is grainy at the high end. I turned off the digital zoom and use only optical. Every camera and lens combination requires the photographer to work the photo composition, the point and shoot cameras perhaps more due to fewer options. When used to a larger range of options as in the SLR I usually carry, I did have to constantly remind myself and adopt other angles and concentrate on my settings and position even more. It required me to stretch and exercise more creativity, always a good thing in photography.

On a recent trip I photographed some water lilies. I worked mostly in aperture mode at f8, and because of the bright sun stayed at ISO 80 or 100. Both required a lot of cropping due to the lack of zoom and my inability to get any closer to the flowers. g16 water lilies

These are my two favorites. I loved the reflection in the second one, and I am happy it came out as I pictured it. My dragonfly photographs did not turn out as I wanted. Getting close enough to get detail is difficult without scaring them off. The G16 has the advantage of small size, lightweight, and not attracting the attention of the larger SLRs. I was impressed with how well it did, and plan to work with it more.



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