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Thread: Canon G9 "snap" mode?

  1. #1
    David Paul Carr

    Canon G9 "snap" mode?

    I would like to set up two "snap" focusing modes on my Canon G9, using the C1 and C2 settings. Ideally, one should be set to the hyperfocal distance and the other (for closer work) with a depth of field that extends to, say, 20 feet. I only intend to use these settings at the wide end of the zoom.
    Has anyone managed to implement this with success? If so, what is the correct method? I have found bits of information on the web but nothing very useful or conclusive, especially as I am far less concerned about having pictures that are sharp at infinity than with obtaining a focus preset for close-up documentary work where the nearest subject may not be much father away than an arm's length (this would be my max 20 feet setting...).
    On the same theme, does anyone know if the manual focusing steps on the G9 are set to constant, fixed, values? If they are, do we know what these values are? For example, it would be useful to know if four incremental "clicks" of the thumbwheel down from the infinity setting gives focus exactly at 10 feet, or 8...
    Many thanks!

  2. #2

    Re: Canon G9 "snap" mode?

    Hi. (This is my first post). I am using a canon G7 instead of a G9, but I think the setup is exactly identical. What I normally do is to find a subject that is abut 8 feet away (for focal length 35mm) and half press the shutter, once the camera lock focus, I will press the MF button while my hand is still half holding the shutter. Then, I will set aperture to f4 and set mycolor to the lowest in contrast and one slot lower in sharpness and saturation, plus setting the exposure compensation to -1/3,image stablizer to shoot only, and to contuous shooting mode. Then, I hit the remember setting to C1. I do the same thing for 50mm focal length for C2. For street shooting, I found for subject that is 6 feet away to be sufficiently sharp.
    But important thing to remember is, if you turn the LCD off, the camera switch back to AF. Using an external optical viewfinder (in my case the voitlander 28/35 mini finder) and using iso400 will increase shutter lag quite noticebly.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Washington, DC Metro area
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    Re: Canon G9 "snap" mode?

    << ... But important thing to remember is, if you turn the LCD off, the camera switch back to AF. ... >>

    True on the G9 as well, evidently, and it's unfortunate. (Tried w/ a good camera salesman to find a workaround, but we couldn't.) For me that's a drawback. Whether it's enough of a negative to keep me from looking further at the G9 I'm not sure.

    More in response to David's initial question, a veteran Canon rep told me at a "demo day" that manual focus on these cameras was not terribly precise in terms of the measurements. For me that's okay, because at wide angle for street shooting, I'd use something close to 1.5 or 2 meters. You'd be amazed at the dof of the small sensor.

    Have a look here:

  4. #4
    David Paul Carr

    Re: Canon G9 "snap" mode?

    Well I suppose all that means that there is no easy or really practical way to implement this.
    There is so much talk about the large depth of field on these small sensor cameras but, in the real world, it seems that it's very difficult to take advantage of it when your subject matter is close (which is the case in most of my professional work).
    I can't see why Ricoh or Canon couldn't offer a firmware modification that would allow setting (and then saving as a custom preference) focus to an appropriate close-up "snap" distance. 2 metres, say, for the G9. This would give a depth of field of 0.76 -> 3.23 metres at f2.8 and would make the camera an extremely useful and fast reportage tool.
    On the GRD2 a second, close "snap" focus distance of 1.5 metres would be equally useful.
    When I look at "street" photographs taken with the GRDs set to "snap", I am often struck by the softness of the foreground subject matter. In my opinion, it is visually far more acceptable (unless you are doing landscapes) to have a sharp foreground and slightly soft background than the opposite. It is frustrating to have the use of these small, silent and discreet cameras which should be well suited to intimate close-up work, limited by the difficulty of focusing rapidly and accurately at close quarters. Especially when the depth of field characteristics should make it easy.

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