Back in 2002 a musician called Sheryl Crow released an album called “C'mon, C'mon” and on it was a track called “Soak Up The Sun” which contained the following lyrics: “It's not getting what you want, it's wanting what you've got”. This seems a suitable starting point for this post.
A Camera From 2003
In 2003 the “mega pixel wars” in digital cameras had not yet started, I was using my Canon D30 DSLR which was 3.2 mega pixels so when I came across the Canon G5 'compact' camera which boasted 5 mega pixels, it offered me an additional capability therefore I bought one in the September of 2003. The following year I moved down to Somerset to live with my Parents and obviously took over the twice a day walking of their dog Jack, I always took a camera with me on these walks and for the majority of the time simply because it was more convenient, I took this G5 rather than my D30 so I've used this camera a lot.
However today, it comes with a rather odd story. Somewhere between 2007/8 I sold it to a friend of mine who want a better camera than he had for a “Route 66” Harley ride and a bit later he passed it on to a mutual friend of ours. When I visited this friend some time later I realised that this G5 wasn't really what she wanted or needed so I took it off her and in return gave her a rather nice 20 mega pixel Canon IXUS in exchange so the same G5 had returned to me and became consigned to a cupboard until recently.
Going Back to Come Forward
As explained here in other posts, towards the end of last year I started to acquire some 35mm Canon cameras from the last century in order to shoot black & white, which also led to me dragging my Yashica TLR 120 out of the cupboard too but it didn't stop there. My original camera the D30 I had got rid of some years ago but I got lucky and was able to pick up a very good condition second hand one on Ebay from a reputable dealer but I will do specific post on that later. However in the process of taking the D30 out and trying to see what I could get out of it in terms of pictures now that I was more experienced it set me to thinking about the G5 which now also got dragged out of the cupboard and found itself put to use !
Rediscovering the G5
The odd thing was just as I found with my 35mm cameras each from a different decade, 70s, 80s and 90s, not only could you see the evolution of integrated electronics but also the sophistication of much of the design in photographic terms. In this regard the G5 of 2003 is an amazingly sophisticated design even in contemporary terms.
Of course and as with the D30, the digital image processing is nowhere near as good as modern cameras, the circuitry is very pedestrian and the dynamic range, quite low but what stands out is the camera design which, as a useable camera was way ahead of its time. Some notable examples, albeit at only 320 x 240 pixels, it shot mpeg movies, it had a fully articulated screen on the back that even swung out the side to face forward, all this before selfies and YouTube ! Taken together all the controls and options are geared towards “thinking” digital photographers rather than your “happy snapper” though it could do that too but not as fast as more modern gear.
This Little Gallery
There is nothing special here but yesterday I decided to take a few pictures with the G5 and I suppose that what it demonstrates is that for web use, in most circumstances 5 mega pixels is probably okay because you are not using high resolution on web pages. Even so, the shots from the seafront and flood plain shot at 400 ISO do show the limits of the dynamic range in this generation of kit, shooting garden stuff later on at 50 ISO was a lot better.
So I guess that it is back to Sheryl Crow and “It's not getting what you want, it's wanting what you've already got”