After playing with the G1X a bit..

I’ve had the new Canon G1X for a little over a week now, and have had some time to play with it and check out the images..

To give a little background, my main camera is a Canon 7D DSLR with a couple of L Lenses (24-70 and 70-300),… I bought the G1X from the great folks at Mike Crivellos Camera to use for traveling and as something a little easier to carry around than my big DSLR setup. I have high standards for image quality after using the 7D for a year and a half now… and the G1X has exceeded my expectations with the quality of images I get out of it. It is a full-featured camera and is definitely aimed towards someone who wants Digital SLR features, functions and quality in a camera that is a little bit smaller and easier to carry around. There are only a couple downsides to the camera as far as I can tell:

  • Focal distance doesn’t go as far as some people might like
  • Aperture is variable as focal length increases, and it is f/2.8 at the widest aperture (many people are complaining that it should have been f/2.0)
  • It is a little heavy and bulky, it’s certainly not as easily pocketed as an S100 or something like that.
  • It’s a little slow to focus, so for action shots, it won’t be ideal. .but for travel (landscapes, buildings, portraits, etc), it will be great.
  • Finally, it’s not cheap. At $799, it is an expensive compact camera… but I believe you get what you pay for.

But it’s still much smaller than a DSLR, provides nearly the same image quality as a DSLR with kit lens, and you don’t have to fumble with lenses. Overall, I am VERY happy with my purchase, and so far have been exceptionally happy with the image quality.  Part of the reason the IQ is so high, is that it has a sensor that is nearly as large as what is in my 7D.. much bigger than what’s found in most compact cameras.

Pontiac Firebird

Backlit Firebird - taken with Canon G1X

I love getting new toys! Canon G1X has arrived!

Back in January, Canon announced a new addition to the G-line of Powershot cameras.  Dubbed the “G1X”, it created a lot of excitement amongst photographers for a number of reasons – the HUGE sensor (nearly as big as the APS-C sensor in the 7D, and a little bigger than the four-thirds sensors so popular right now), flash hotshoe, full manual controls, ability to shoot RAW, great noise reduction at high ISO, image stabilization, and more.  I’ve been shopping for a camera to supplement my D-SLR (Canon 7D with battery grip).. something that would be a little easier to carry around, but still take great photos.  A while back, I got the Panasonic Lumix FZ-150.  It was good because it had a huge zoom range on it, but a smaller sensor didn’t provide the image quality I wanted.  It was also a little big for sticking in a jacket pocket.

Here’s how the G1X sensor stacks up against the others..

 

I had pre-ordered the camera from Adorama.com back in January, but it was nearly impossible to get updates on arrival dates from them, and I was seeing other retailers get the camera in stock – so I started searching Twitter, and found a small camera shop (http://mikecrivellos.com/) in Wisconsin who knew they had ONE camera arriving.  I reached out to Mike Wilbur at the shop and placed my order for the one camera they were getting.  Customer Service was great, and I was really impressed with their response through email and Twitter.  The camera shipped to me early this week, and arrived today.

I quickly unboxed it, and one of the main things I was curious about was the flash sync speed. I took some photos as I unboxed it, and quickly put my Yongnuo RF-602 wireless flash trigger on the camera, and hooked up a Lumopro LP160 flash to test it out. VERY happy that it worked up to 1/800 !! My Canon 7D only syncs up to 1/250 .. this is really impressive. I am anxious to get out and take some photos with this camera – it’s got a great feel and weight to it and seems like another great Canon product. Thanks again to Mike at http://mikecrivellos.com/ for the great service and getting this camera to me so quickly!

 

The Power of the Print

As a photographer, I find myself taking anywhere between 500-1500 photos at a given event, depending on how long I’m there, and what’s going on.  I usually have no reason to get prints of my work, because they would just sit around in an envelope or a box somewhere.  I prefer to show my digital images on line (Facebook, Flickr, Smugmug, etc)..

However, prior to a recent shoot where I tagged along with some great muscle cars, I printed up a bunch of 8×10 prints and put them in an easy-to-carry portfolio.  When I committed to the shoot, I had one client who had committed to pay me for shots of his car.  When I arrived and met the other car owners, I introduced myself as a photographer.. I didn’t get an overwhelming response.. however, when I showed them my portfolio of 8×10 prints of other cars (primarily shots from a car show I had recently attended and from Sacramento Raceway), they were VERY interested.  I ended up getting 3 additional clients that day.

This past weekend, I went back to Sacramento Raceway to shoot the ‘NorCal Invasion‘.  Prior to getting all my gear set up, I walked around the pit area with my portfolio and a bunch of business cards.  I recognized one car from a shoot I did at Infineon Raceway last year and approached the owner.  I didn’t have a print of his car, but I did have my iPhone, and quick access to one of my online galleries.  I showed him my print portfolio that I was carrying around, and while he was looking at that, I pulled up an image of his car from Infineon on my phone and showed it to him.  He nearly fell over – he must have commented 3 or 4 times about how much he loved that shot of his car, and would want to order it.  By showing him what my final print products looked like, and an iPhone-sized image of his car – he could tell that a print of his car would look great.  That night at the racetrack, I made sure I got plenty of pictures of his car to add to my gallery for him… after speaking with him tonight, he’s very excited to order a bunch of prints in various sizes.

It just goes to show – that while our lives are becoming more and more digital every day (and I LOVE it!), there is still something VERY compelling about the power of a printed image that has much more impact than a picture on a computer screen.

This is the image of the guys’ car from Infineon that he loved so much.  It was one of my favorite photos from that weekend as well.. I was really happy to be able to find the owner of the car so I could show him the image I created… and then to see his reaction – priceless.  This is what being a photographer is all about!

NorCal Invasion at Sacramento Raceway

This past weekend, I went to Sacramento Raceway for some drag race photography.  We were all hoping for a HUGE turnout, but the crazy heat (and I think the high entry fees) kept a lot of racers away.  There was still a decent turnout, and some great race cars to photograph.  I got my usual spot right at the starting line where all the action (burnouts!) happen.. it was a hot day, and by the time I left, I smelled like race fuel, high-octane exhaust, and burnt rubber.  It was great!

Congratulations to Cathy and James

Congratulations to Cathy and James, who got married on August 6 2011 .. I was honored to be there to capture their special day.  The wedding and reception were at the Heirloom Inn in Ione, CA.  A beautiful, historic house with beautiful grounds, great shade and a ton of character.  Feel free to check out the gallery of photos!

Wedding Collage

Cathy and James tie the knot

Great weekend in San Francisco

Emily and I spent Friday and Saturday in San Francisco for a little weekend getaway.   We did a ton of walking, which was good because it helped burn off some of the food we ate…. we’ve been to SF a ton of times, but this time we went on one of the double-decker bus tours – a great way to get around and see the city.  My goal was to try to capture photos of strangers, and the cultural diversity of the City… This ended up being a lot of fun and made me look at things a little differently.  While we were there, we ran across hundreds of bicyclists riding through town with a police escort.. turned out it was something called “Critical Mass” .. a monthly ride that takes place in a number of large cities throughout the US… another interesting photo opportunity.  After our trip to SF, we stopped by Muir Woods for a quick walk through the redwoods.. a nice way to relax after the hustle of the city.

Look closely

One of the photos of the Critical Mass bike ride in SF

Collage of photos from San Francisco

SF Collage

 

More photos can be seen in my Smugmug gallery

Retro “pin-up” shoot

Sunday, July 24 I got together with 7 other talented photographers, half a dozen models, and a number of classic car owners at Reiff’s Gas Station in Woodland CA for a collaborative shoot.  It was an all-day shoot in 90+ degree heat.. the models were troopers and the car owners were patient while we all got our lighting perfect and shot our models.  We had a ton of fun and got some great images.. thanks to everyone involved!

Retro Shoot Collage

Models at Reiff's Garage

Muscle Cars in Kirkwood

Last Saturday (July 23), I got the opportunity to go hang out with 3 classic Dodge Challengers and a Pontiac Trans Am on a drive up to Kirkwood ski resort for a photo shoot.  2 of the Challengers were green (one of which was a convertible), and the 3rd was purple, and the Trans Am was blue with white stripe… beautiful cars, and great photography subjects.  We met up at Jackson Rancheria, and made the drive up to Kirkwood where we took photos along the way.

Skulls Car Club Cruise and Car Show July 16

The Sacramento Skulls Car Club hosted a Cruise and Car show this weekend, the cruise started at the So-Cal Speedshop in Sacramento and ended out at the Elkhorn Station Roadhouse Bar and Grill.  A ton of cool cars from a multitude of car clubs showed up to participate in the event and enjoy the live music from several different bands.  The old cars, along with their owners and other enthusiasts/supporters who were dressed according to the 50′s/60′s time period made for some great photos.  I had a blast and got some really cool photos.

Video on Vimeo.com:

Link to photos

Car Show Collage

 

 

 

 

Great night at the racetrack!

Went to Sacramento Raceway Park tonight to watch (and shoot) the grudge match races.. this is local guys/girls bringing their muscle cars, hot rods, imports, trucks.. whatever – out to the track to race for fun (and sometimes money).  Good turnout tonight, even with it being in the triple digits.  A great night to shoot some nice cars.

Link to my Smugmug Gallery

Sacramento Raceway photos

Great night at the track