G1x in Chicago issues
G1x in Chicago issues
Jul 10, 2012
On the positive side, the G1x survived a two foot drop onto a hard surface, the floor of a tour bus with no damage at all. A very well made camera.
Also positive is that the photos I took on the boat trip described below are extremely sharp. All exposed at ISO 200 and high shutter speeds, on a sunny day.
The Chicago Architectural Foundation sponsors a 90 minute architectural boat tour down the Chicago River, with interesting and important skyscrapers on both sides of the boat. There is a docent to explain it all. Passengers sit on an open top deck. The sun was shining brilliantly all day.
Under those conditions my usual procedure of shooting using the LCD in the horizontal position, which I like for framing, didn't work at all. The brilliant sun made it impossible to see. I tried it in all the other positions, since it is fully articulating, but it was impossible to see in all positions.
No problem, just use the optical viewfinder? Well, we were so close to the huge buildings that the only appropriate focal length was 28 mm. But the optcial viewfinder is one-third blocked at 28 mm (less so or none at 40- mm or longer) so it was impossible to frame well using it.
Fortunately I had brought my Ricoh VG 2 optical viewfinder, which fits in the hot shoe, and has a 28 mm field of view, far larger and shaper than the G1x OVF. The camera's blinking green light was still visible to show me when I was in focus, and the click of the shutter sound told me when the photo was taken.
But event though the photos are extremely sharp, I was disappointed in the camera. The weight and bulk I can put up with, it just fits in my PacSafe VentureSafe 200 with my wallet and I tend to forget I am carrying it.. But my G12 is MUCH easier to carry in a pocket.
What is most off-putting for me, and may turn out to be a deal-killer, is that since in bright sunshine the LCD, like all LCDs, is not usable, one must rely on the OVF, but the OVF is unusable at 28 mm, a focal length I use a great deal in travel photography. I found this very annoying, even though I was able to save the situation with the Ricoh VG2, a $200 solution.
The extreme sharpness of the photos, its great performance in low light, and its robust construction may not be enough to counterbalance its serious ergonomic difficulties, for me.
I may sell the G1x and go back to my G12. But I shudder to think of all the low light photos I will miss if I do go back to the G12.