Insert CD. Click Install.
- Leave default selections. Click Next.
- Click Next and you wait for the installation to finish. Done.
Auto White Balance. Sounds intimidating for the everyday Point and Shooter. Today, we will push through the enigma of Auto White Balance. Essentially, Auto White Balance or AWB determines how whites show up in your photos. In the AWB setting, the G9 determines for you how it will process the whites in your photos. For the most part, I find the AWB feature on the G9 very serviceable. Keep in mind that the AWB setting is an automatic setting that the G9 is in charge of. If you would like more control over your photos, the G9 offers 8 presets for White Balance – Auto White Balance (AWB) being one of them. The following list will provide you with a basic guideline as to when you may want to consider deviating from the safety of AWB and moving into the custom world of White Balance.
Tip: The White Balance setting is very easy to get to. Simply, power on your G9. Press the Func. Set button which will bring you straight into your White Balance options. By default, your G9 is set for AWB.
Caveat: The White Balance Presets are named according to their intended use in certain lighting situations. For example – for the Daylight preset, one would assume that this setting should be used during Daylight – and it is a good White Balance setting for a bright day. However, I would suggest experimenting with all of the White Balance settings – especially those that are counter-intuitive for your lighting situation. And now, on with the lesson.
White Balance Presets for the G9:
- AWB – Auto White Balance – determined by the G9. This is the default White Balance setting for the G9.
- Daylight – This White Balance setting is used to mute or suppress some of the super intense brightness from the Sun. In my opinion, it ‘cools’ off the photo. The whites appear less ‘warm’ than they are in ‘reality’. I especially like this White Balance preset when shooting more serious subjects as it takes away the ‘warmth’.
- Cloudy – This White balance setting is great for ‘warming’ your photos. It gives cloudy days a brighter warmer feel. Initially, this was the White Balance preset that I fell in love with. It made my photos appear warmer than real life itself. At first, it gave me that Wow! factor but, I have since gained an appreciation for less ‘warm’ photos.
- Tungsten – I find the name of this preset pretty scientific. Basically, this White Balance setting is used Indoors when shooting under traditional light bulb conditions. Traditional light bulbs (Incandescent light bulbs) emit a different light frequency than flourescent lights and is quite noticeable on your G9 LCD Viewfinder. Use this preset when shooting Indoors under incandescent lighting. This setting ‘cools’ your photos.
- Fluorescent – The preset name of this setting says it all. For use under flourescent lighting conditions. This preset tends to ‘warm’ your photos by offsetting industrial vibe of flourescent lighting.
- Fluorescent H – This preset is obviously used for Flourescent H lighting. Fluorescent H bulbs get there name from the unique H shape of these bulbs. This setting adds more ‘warmth’ than the previous preset, Flourescent. Flourescent H gives human subjects more ‘life’ by compensating for the ‘coldness’ that flourescent lights can emit.
- Flash – This is an interesting preset since, I rarely use flash in my photography. I feel that flash in photography tends to give too much of an artificial feel. To tell you the truth, I just experimented with other White Balance settings while using flash and I found no discernable difference between the White Balance presets.
- Underwater – This preset reduces the bluish hues in your photos. While I cannot personally attest to its results in the water, out of the water, this preset does ‘warm’ your photos. For those of you interested in Underwater photography, WP-DC21 is the part number for the G9 Waterproof Case.
My hope is that through learning, we will be able to push past the wall/obstacle known as the unknown. I hope this provides you with the confidence to experiment with your G9.
So, you recently got yourself the Canon G9. Or maybe, you’re wondering what to get for that G9 enthusiast in your life. It is Cyber Monday after all and your boss already knows and has accepted that today will be one of the least productive days of the year (at least from your company’s standpoint). So, as an homage to Cyber Monday, I present G9 Accessories: Cyber Monday Edition.
One accessory that is always welcome by G9 owners is more storage. An SD (Secure Digital) or SDHC (Secure Digital High Capacity) is always a welcomed gift for anyone who just purchased the Canon G9. The Canon G9 comes with a paltry 32MB SD card. And while I certainly appreciate the gesture on the part of Canon, 32MB is simply not enough space to work with. Personally, I purchased the 8GB San Disk Extreme III ($29). 8GB gives you ample storage space so that you don’t have to fiddle with constantly switching out lower capacity SD cards during your photo shoots. The Extreme III feature signifies that the Read/Write speeds of this particular SD card are the highest available from San Disk (at the time of this writing).
8GB San Disk Extreme III (SDHC) Card
Another great accessory for the G9 is the Adorama 58mm Conversion Lens Adapter. With this piece of equipment, your possibilities with the G9 greatly expand. Lenses and filters with the 58mm specification can be used with G9 if you own the Adorama 58mm Conversion Adapter for the G9. The Adorama 58mm Conversion Adapter also doubles as a makeshift hood for those of you looking to justify the cost of $17 even further. The Adorama 58mm Conversion Adapter does not come with any lenses or filters as these pieces of equipment are purchased separately according to your personal needs.
Adorama 58mm Conversion Lens Adapter
If you decide to purchase the Adorama 58mm Conversion Lens Adapter, I would highly suggest purchasing a filter or lens as well so that your gift recipient can experience the utility of the Adorama 58mm Conversion Adapter. The less expensive option would be to purchase a filter – the Hoya 58mm Circular Polarizer. This filter runs about $40. The Circular Polarizer creates more saturation in your photos and drastically reduces glare produced by intense lighting situations. When photographing blue skies, the circular polarizer saturates your photos with deeper colors. The clouds against the blue sky just pop when the circular polarizer filter is applied.
Hoya 58mm Circular Polarizer Filter
For those of you with a more flexible budget, I would highly recommend the Canon Telephoto Lens (TC-DC58C) which boosts your G9’s zoom capability by 2X. This piece of equipment will cost you a little over $100. The boost in zoom capability is great for photographing the stars. You will be able to see more detail in the light eminating from the stars which lends an artistic touch to your photos. One thing to keep in mind when using the Telephoto Lens, use a tripod. Due to the nature of zoom, the camera shake is magnified as the zoom is modified.
Telephoto Lens for the G9 (TC-DC58C)*
*Must use the a 58mm Conversion Lens Adapter to affix to G9
The great thing about these G9 Accessories is that you can decide on what works for you and your budget. Happy Cyber Monday!
Awwwman, this is the one piece of equipment that should be affordable to most. The cost $38. The piece of equipment, the Hoya 58mm Circular Polarizer. The results, stunning. For all you G9 enthusiasts out there, this is the gateway piece of equipment that will show you how far a small investment can take you with your photos. In order to use the Hoya 58mm Circular Polarizer with your G9, you will have to purchase a separate adapter. I purchased mine at Adorama. This site really does it right and the reviews are pretty reliable. I preferred the Adorama brand over the Canon brand because the Adorama is made from aluminum not plastic, like the Canon (not to mention it’s less expensive than the Canon make). The Adorama adapter will run you $17. So, let’s do some simple math here, $38 + $17 = $55 + Tax + Shipping = $55-$60 (depending on whether or not these items qualify for Free Shipping which is done from time to time) $55-$60 for photos that you won’t believe your G9 captured. The polarizer reduces glare from the sun and also pumps up the saturation of your photos. Saturation that only an advanced Photoshop artist might produce. The raw material with which you will be able to work with is much richer and deeper with the Hoya 58mm Circular Polarizer.
You may come across the less expensive Linear Polarizers in your hunt for knowledge. The Linear Polarizer is less expensive and you may wonder why. The reason is that these Linear Polarizers are meant for traditional film whereas the Circular Polarizers are optimized for digital film. The blues pop and are super saturated.
Tip: If you find that your photos are not warm enough, you can set your AWB setting to Cloudy Day denoted by the Cloud icon. This will compensate by adding a ‘warm’ filter to the exposure. This is a great way to expand the benefit of the polarizer filter even more. You can experiment with the various AWB settings to create dramatic effects. I highly recommend experimenting with Black & White using the polarizer filter. The results are unreal.
Not only do the Adorama Canon G9 Adapter and Hoya 58mm Circular Polarizer give you great photos, it gives your G9 a nice cosmetic boost that gives you confidence to hang with the big boys (the dSLR)
If you’ve played around with your G9 enough, you’ve probably come across a setting regarding BKT. What is BKT, you ask? BKT is bracketing. Bracketing is simply the act of taking the same shot with different exposure settings to ensure that you captured your moment correctly. Bracketing can be done manually by changing the exposure time +/- a stop from the ‘perfect’ exposure time. The G9 offers an Auto BKT feature that I find lacking since it is only available when using the P, Tv, or Av setting on your Mode Dial. Personally, I try to use M (Manual) whenever possible.
If you have the opportunity, you can easily see the usefulness of bracketing by photographing clouds. When shooting clouds, bracketing becomes natural since you can see the drastic effect that the shutter speed has on the detail of the clouds. On a sunny day, I keep my G9 set to M (Manual) on the Mode Dial with the ISO at 80 and the aperture at 8.0 The shutter speed or exposure time is the attribute that I like to play with to bring out details in the clouds. If it is indeed a sunny day, there should be ample light to keep your shutter speed above 1/60 of a second (the minimum recommended speed for clarity in your photos when not using a tripod) By playing around with the Shutter Speed, you can see the effect it has through the LCD Viewfinder. The longer the exposure, more light is allowed to enter the G9, giving the clouds a brighter feel. The shorter the exposure, less light is allowed to enter the G9, giving the photo a darker and richer feel. The details of clouds become more apparent at faster shutter speeds. This is because the extreme brightness of the Sun is controlled and is not allowed to wash out the cloud detail with its super bright light.
The human eye cannot control its ‘shutter speed’ but, the G9 can and that’s what makes photography so special to me. It captures the same exact moment from a different ‘eye’ so to speak. Revealing details that the human eye cannot see without the help of photography. Bracketing can increase your chance of getting that one great shot. Through a melding of creativity and science, photography is the art of manipulating light. Plain and simple. In summary, BKT is simply taking multiple shots of the same subject and composition at gradiently different exposure times. It all sounds so fancy for something that may come pretty natural to you. Anyway, I hope you no longer have to wonder what that BKT setting is for. I wondered for months =)
So, here goes. More of a cosmetic How To but, hopefully, this will forge an even stronger relationship with your G9. This is a lot easier than most of you may think it to be. In order to choose a theme not already loaded onto your G9, you will need to install the software for the G9 found on the CD that is included with your camera. In addition to the software, hopefully, you still know the whereabouts of your mini USB cable (also included with the G9) On the right side of your G9 is the Terminal Cover that lifts up and out. The Terminal Cover conceals and protects the mini USB port and the AV/Out port. You can tell the mini USB port apart from the AV/Out port by its oblong rectangular shape. The software included with your G9 contains an application called My Camera DC. My Camera DC is used to customize your G9 to whatever you please. When you become more familiar with this customization feather, you can even upload custom made .wav files in addition to custom .jpg files to create your own themes. For now, I will go over how simple it is to customize the pre-loaded themes on your G9.
Again, please make sure to install the software that was came with your G9 on the included CD before continuing. And now, How To: Pimp My G9.
- Open the Terminal Cover (located on the upper right side of your G9)
- Locate the mini USB port (oblong rectangular shaped port)
- Attach the smaller end of the provided USB cable to your G9 and the larger end of the UBS cable to a USB port on your computer
- Turn On G9
- Locate the My Camera DC application and launch.
- You can scroll through the Themes to preview the Sounds and the Image that is associated with this Theme.
- Once you find a Theme that you like, click the top arrow located between Computer and Camera columns. You will be prompted to Overwrite, click OK.
- Once you’ve selected OK to Overwrite, click Save to Camera. This next step may seem a bit redundant and I agree but, these are the necessary steps to Pimp your G9.
- After you’ve clicked OK to Writing settings to camera, you are through with the My Camera DC application and can now Exit.
- Turn Off your G9 before disconnecting the USB cable (not super crucial but, a good practice nonetheless). It is now safe to disconnect the USB cable from both your G9 and your computer.
- Close the Terminal Cover to its original position – protecting and concealing the mini USB port and AV/Out port.
- Turn on your G9 and select Menu by pressing the Menu button (located to the bottom left of the LCD screen.
- Scroll to the right until you highlight the last tab (the icon is a man figure to the left of a camera)
- You should see Theme as the first item listed. Scroll down to highlight Theme.
- Scroll to the right until you select your theme denoted by the number 3.
- Press the Menu button to Exit.
- Theme set! Congrats!
If you are unable to hear your new Theme, please check to make sure that Mute is not selected to On and that you Volume levels are at audible levels.
As always, feedback is always welcome. Thanks for stopping by. Thanksgiving is just around the corner, what a great opportunity for Macro Photography. I’ll touch upon what Macro Photography is and how to utilize the Macro feature of the G9.
With your G9 ready to capture your photos in RAW format, now, would be a good time for us to go over one way to process G9 RAW files into a more universal format such as .TIFF or .JPEG There are many ways to process these RAW files and would love any input on the workflow that personally use. For the following workflow, (my apologies in advanced for those of you who do not have these applications) I will be using Adobe CS3 (Creative Suite 3) and the G9 Software (the CD that came with your G9) Also, (my apologies to my PC readers) I will be outlining my workflow from a Mac OSX perspective. So, now that you’ve taken some photos with the RAW setting, let’s get are hands dirty and process these guys into .TIFFs or .JPEGs Some of you may be wondering, why wouldn’t I just shoot in JPEG format then? The purpose of shooting in the RAW file format is for total control over the end product that the camera captures. You will be massaging the RAW data into your own creation – unfiltered and untouched by the computer within your G9. It is a personal choice, convenience over quality. If the quality of the JPEG photos are sufficient for your needs, then shooting in JPEG would be the best choice for you to work with. For those of you who Got RAW, you are about to embark on a journey that will take you to the next level.
Again, this is simply my personal workflow. I invite all feedback and comments. If you are following along, please ensure that you have Adobe CS3 and have installed the software from the CD that came with your G9. For those of you unable to follow, my apologies.
- Take the SD card from your G9
- Insert the SD card into USB SD card reader
- Plug USB SD card reader (with SD card already inserted) into laptop or computer
- In Mac OSX, I use Image Capture (found within Applications) to Download All to a specified Folder (Please remember to note where this folder is located)
- I then drag this Folder (newly filled with RAW files denoted by the .CR2 extension) into the Adobe Bridge icon that I have on my Dock (Adobe Bridge icon is not automatically added to your Dock)
- It then launches Adobe Bridge (this is an application that facilitates reviewing your photos)
- From within Adobe Bridge, you can see a Preview of all your RAW files
- While holding down the ‘ctrl’ button, select a file that you would like to work with (any file for testing purposes)
- This will cause a pop-up menu to appear. From within this menu, please select Copy To…
- When prompted for the destination of the Copy To…, I select Desktop for super convenience – no searching around.
- By copying the RAW(.CR2) file to Desktop, we leave the original RAW file where it is – untouched and unprocessed. Early on, I worked directly with these original files and quickly learned why this practice was destructive to the original RAW file. Avoid at all costs.
- By double clicking on the RAW file located on the Desktop, you will have launched Adobe Photoshop.
- You will now see your photo on the screen with a number of attributes that you can adjust on the right panel. This is where all the fun lies. Initially, you may want to slide the value ruler to the extremes to see what each attribute does to your photo. Once you find a value that inspires the emotion intended, move on to the next attribute. You can get lost in this process, as one does during meditation. Some call it being, “In the Zone”
- Once you are satisfied with your adjustments to the attributes, click the ‘Save As…’ button located in the bottom left corner of the window.
- I usually try to save in the .TIFF format whenever possible (better quality, larger file). You can select .JPEG if you prefer.
- Click Save. You now have your RAW file processed into a .TIFF or .JPEG file. Congrats!
If any of this was confusing, please let me know via Comment and I will clarify and re-word as soon as I can. Nobody should feel lost if you have these applications and were attempting to follow along. I want this workflow be clear and concise. At first, you may find this process arduous and frustrating. It took me about 15 hours of working with this workflow to get comfortable enough to process a photo in about 3-5 minutes. Again, I want to remind everyone that it is fine to shoot in JPEG format. I am simply here to make all possibilities known for every G9 owner to come to their own informed choice of RAW vs. JPEG, or RAW + JPEG. I still shoot in JPEG when appropriate (for my needs) but, my heart belongs to the RAW file format for its beauty and grace.
Since the RAW file is unprocessed and unfiltered, it will undoubtedly, be much larger in size (approximately 10MB – 15MB per shot). Due to the larger file size when shooting RAW, I highly recommend getting at least a 4GB memory card, 8GB if you can indulge. I did some research and comparison and found the 8GB Extreme III Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card. 8GB allows you to shoot in RAW with much valued freedom. The Extreme III denotation indicates that this card is blazing fast. Read/Write speeds sustaining at least 20MB/second. With faster Read/Write speeds your G9 will be able to recover and be able to shoot your next photo with minimal delay. An added bonus to this particular SD Card is the USB SD Card Reader included in the package contents. The convenience of a USB SD card reader is undervalued in my opinion. Once you try it, you may never go back to that mini USB cable that you keep misplacing anyway. Surely, you can misplace the card reader as well but, I find cables are much easier to misplace than actual ‘hardware’. At any rate, let’s move on to how you can set your G9 to shoot RAW – super easy.
Before we even power up our G9, ensure that your Mode Dial is set to M (Manual) – Please note that when taking photos with the Auto setting on the Mode Dial, the RAW feature is disabled. The Auto setting on the Mode Dial will produce a JPEG file not a RAW file. This caused confusion for me during my early experimentations thinking that I was using the RAW setting on my G9 and not realizing that the Auto setting usurps any Custom settings you may have made. So, now that your Mode Dial is set to M (Manual), away we go!
- Power On your G9
- Hit the Func. Set Button (located to the Right of the LCD screen in the middle of the dial)
- Scroll Down to the most bottom icon (May be denoted as one of the following L, M1, M2, M3, S, W, RAW – if the icon already says RAW, you are ahead of the pack)
- If RAW is not yet selected, scroll to the right by pressing the right side of the dial. You will see RAW as a selection at the very right, just past W (Widescreen – this setting shoots JPEG files)
- Done! Your G9 is now set to give you RAW files which means you will receive everything that the your G9 sensor receives – unfiltered, unprocessed, and unadulterated. Pure, pure, pure!
Tip: For those of you who would like to explore the power of shooting RAW but, also enjoy the convenience of JPEG files, the G9 has the unique ability to capture both files simultaneously. Keep in mind that this will utilize even more storage space on you SD card and therefore I highly recommend the 8GB Extreme III Secure Digital High Capacity Card if you are interested in shooting in both RAW and JPEG simultaneously.
In order to capture both RAW and JPEG files on your G9, simply follow these steps:
- Power On your G9
- Hit the Menu button
- Scroll Down to Record RAW + L
- You will have the choice of either On or Off. Select On in order to shoot in both RAW and JPEG files. Select Off to shoot strictly RAW.
I hope these steps were rather quick and painless. Now that your camera is set to shoot RAW, take a some sample shots with which we can work with in the next How To: Processing RAW Files.
There are many ways to process RAW files. Tomorrow, I will outline the workflow that I personally use. Thanks for stopping by and get ready for your photos to take on that Wow-factor – Oh baby, I like it RAW!
Note: For those of you who like to refer to your G9 Manual, Canon provides their explanation of how to set your G9 to shoot RAW, JPEG or RAW+JPEG (p.78-p.80).
So, you just got your G9 or maybe you haven’t delved too far into the capabilities of your beloved camera. Maybe, the term RAW frightened you off right from the start as it did me. Hearing about compatibility issues and the lack of ‘convenience’ that the JPEG format provides. For those of you who are already happy with the results of your photos, shooting RAW may not provide enough benefit for you to switch or give it a try. I can respect that and besides, its all about how you feel about your photos. For those of you in this demographic, I invite you to read on. I hope to demystify the RAW file format in a few short paragraphs.
The capitalization of the term RAW is a bit intimidating. I’m guessing that the use of all capitalization was to be able to distiguish it as a file format like JPEG or TIFF. So, it is not so odd that RAW is all capitalization but, rather, that the term RAW is also recognizable as an everyday word. So, the term RAW is a file extension just like JPEG or TIFF. Ok, I hope I didn’t beat a dead horse on that explanation but, that was one of the stronger reasons kept me on the outside looking in.
One of the greatest features of the G9 is its unique ability to shoot in the RAW format. This format gives the photographer complete control over the resulting photos. The RAW file format is pure data – unfiltered and unprocessed thus, giving you all the information that your G9 has captured on its sensor. Shooting in JPEG, this RAW information is converted for you by a computer that resides within your G9. Once the RAW file has been converted, it becomes a JPEG. The original RAW file has been ‘stripped’ down of certain parts to reduce the file size of your photo. Who ‘strips’ down the RAW file? Your G9 ‘strips’ this RAW file down using its own discretion and prescribed parameters. When the G9 ‘strips’ away unwanted information, it is deleted – never to be recovered. This automation process is far from perfect but, does offer the convenience of having a ‘final’ product with which to work with on the fly.
You can think of the RAW file as a slab of unsculpted marble. With this slab, the possibilities are endless as to your final creation. A JPEG file would be analogous to working with a piece of marble already carved into the likeness of man. The discarded marble to form the likeness of man is no longer recoverable. Just like JPEG files, the discorded RAW information is no longer recoverable. When shooting in JPEG what you are essentially left with is a ‘stripped down’ light version of the image that you really took. If you are comfortable with this aspect, then, I appreciate you reading this far. My site is simply intended to inform all those interested in possibilities and options to their current workflows. I have learned to enjoy the flexibility of the RAW files. Yes, processing RAW files does require more steps but, the results far outweigh the time invested. In my next post, I will describe the simple workflow that I use to process my RAW files – super easy. See you tomorrow.
International Organization for Standardization (ISO)
The ISO setting on a camera determines the light sensitivity to “film” or, in our case, the light sensitivity to the G9 sensor. The G9 sensor is essentially the “film” that I am referring to. At a lower ISO setting (the G9 offers ISO 80 as its lowest setting), your photos will avoid any noise that can be found at higher ISO settings. From my personal experience with the G9, I tend to keep the ISO setting at 80 in order to capture clear and crisp photos. The downside to falling in love with the ISO 80 setting is that your shutter speed time will need to increase. The longer the exposure time, the more likely a blur can occur in your photos. This is because the shutter remains open for a longer period of time and captures any and all light that comes in to the camera. Since I am such a fan of the ISO 80 setting, I try adjust the shutter speed and aperture to compensate for the low light sensitivity. Shutter speeds that exceed 1/60 of a second are noticeably more susceptable to blur than those at 1/60 or quicker. During night photography, an ISO 80 setting on the G9 can be a real challenge.
Enter, the tripod.
A tripod is necessary to capture the limited lighting conditions without camera shake. When using a tripod, I have the luxury of keeping ISO setting at 80 and the aperture at 8.0 (improves depth of field). The aperture settings correlate to the depth of field in your photos. The higher the setting, the better your depth of field. I find that keeping the aperture value (f stop) at 8.0 and the ISO at 80, creates intense, crisp pictures. With a tripod, I can keep these settings at there maximum values without sacrificing clarity and crispness in my photos. The shutter speed becomes negligeable thanks to the steady “hand” of the tripod. In summary, when a tripod is available, you should be able to keep your ISO at 80 and your aperture value (f stop) at 8.0 The only variable you need to adjust is the shutter speed.
Tip: When using a tripod to capture your photos, set your G9 to 2 second delay for taking the actual shot. This will give you plenty of time to remove your finger from the shutter button and allow the tripod to stabilize for a crisp, clear photo. This method can be used in stead of a remote shutter cable mechanism.
In the event that a tripod is not at your disposal, I would recommend adjustments to your camera settings in the following priority. If at all possible, try to keep your ISO value at 80. Your shutter speed should not be slower than 1/60 of a second (1/30 is a longer shutter speed and increases the possibility of blur in your photos). Anything slower than 1/60 will create noticeable blur unless your hand is as steady as a sharp shooter. I’ve gotten lucky here and there with shutter speeds slower than 1/60 of a second but, for me, it’s not worth sorting through blurry shots to find that diamond in the rough. So, without a tripod, I suggest keeping the ISO at 80 and the shutter speed at 1/60 or quicker. The aperture value (f stop) would be the first variable I would toy with. If opening your aperture to the max, still does not capture enough light, move your ISO setting to 100, 200 and so forth. Be warned that ISO values of 400 and above do not produce photos that are worthy of print unless, of course, graininess is your intention for your particular photo. In summary, without a tripod, the shutter speed should be set to 1/60 of a second or quicker, the ISO should only be adjusted if the aperture value (f stop) has been set to 2.8 (the widest opening for the aperture setting) and still does not capture enough light.
The more I learn, the less I know. If you feel this way, you are well on your way to delving deep into the potential of your G9. Long live the G9 and its loyal constituants.