Why I just bought a point and shoot …

September 05, 2010

Any serious (pro or semi-pro) photographer lives and dies by their equipment. Expensive lenses, expensive cameras, tripods, lights, triggers – the list is pretty much endless.

If someone is paying me, or I’m taking a shot for my business, you can bet I’m carrying everything and anything I may use and finding ways to get it where it needs to be.

But, what happens when I just want to go out with my family, and take some shots?

Until recently, I dragged the whole kit along with me for that too. For those keeping count, that would be a Canon EOS 7D, with dual battery grip, with a selection of lenses, some portable flash units – batteries, cables and other stuff to go with all this. All told, a bunch of lb’s worth of expensive gear.

As a result, I have some awesome family photos.

But I couldn’t have taken this.

For that, I need something small, light, mobile. A nasty thought for a photographer, but I needed a point and shoot.

I did buy a nice one – a Canon PowerShot G11. It can do way more than your average point and shoot, including several things normally reserved for an expensive DSLR

ETTL Flash? It can do that.
Hot shoe for an external Speedlight? Yep.
Shooting RAW? Yup.
Fairly good low light performance? Not as good as my 7D, but better than most.

But, as importantly, it has an “Auto” mode. I can pick it up, point it at my son, press the button and I’ve got a good shot. It’s not great, I’d not include it in my portfolio or print it on a post sized board – but I would share it with our family, store it on my computer, include it in a slideshow or photo book of his first years.

Today, we took it to Southwick’s Zoo, and as I saw parents lugging their DSLR’s around with their diaper bags, purses and backpacks, I remembered why I chose to go this route for my family photos, and as I tucked the G11 in the pocket of my shorts, I was satisfied with the little point and shoot.



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