It was overcast, but not raining, at lunchtime today - so I decided to go for a walk down at the wharf with my G6.
I wanted to get the feel for using it for my style of shooting; playing with the exposure value dial, using the lcd screen or optical viewfinder, reviewing, deleting etc. Basically just getting used to how the G6 operates.
Exposure compensation is a feature I use for almost every shot - even though I also shoot in RAW. I appreciate that RAW gives you a little exposure latitude, but I still like to nail it on every exposure as much as possible. I do this by viewing the shot on the lcd screen and checking the histogram (not the jpeg image on the screen), and then moving the exposure compensation up or down as necessary. The G6 makes this pretty easy, with the exposure compensation function (+/-) built right into the main selector pad. A quick flick up and you access the exposure compensation screen, flick left or right to add or subtract exposure, and flick up again to make it all go away so you can take the shot. Easy.
Although I normally prefer to hold a camera up to my eye, with the G6 (and almost all other compacts for that matter), using the lcd screen to compose is really the better way to go. The optical viewfinder is only 80% of view, and isn't easy to compose critically with. Whereas the lcd screen is 100% of the final image. And with the flip-out screen and reasonably large 2" monitor, it is quite nice to use. I am, however, painfully aware of the camera shaking when it's being held out away from my body - and the G6 doesn't have stabilisation. So I kept an eye on shutter speeds and made sure that they didn't fall lower than I thought I could manage. Reviewing the images from the shoot I seem to have gotten this right - no blurry photos, even though often times the boats were rocking slightly in the water.
The G6 also has a built in ND (neutral density) filter that you can turn on whenever you feel the need to lower the shutter speed or lighting values. I turned it on for a few shots, but it didn't really have that much of an affect. I will wait until I have a waterfall or other classic subject to try this feature out a bit more. Should be handy though. Would have been even greater if it could somehow have been graduated :-) Now that would be handy.
Even though it was overcast lighting, the G6 sensor has produced strong colours and heaps of detail. I kept the ISO at 50, although I'm sure pushing it to 200 wouldn't have hurt either. I have played a little in photoshop with the images you see here, but not a lot. No more than I would with an image from any of my digital SLRs.
Overall I had fun with the G6 today. And isn't that the main reason to take photos for yourself - for the fun of it?! Of course the image quality matters, and fortunately the G6 has fantastic image quality with its 7.1MP sensor and high quality 35-140mm lens. I'm looking forward to using it more often.