Canon G12 HDR quick take.
This image was taken using the “HDR” SCN dial mode available in the G12. It excels in daylight conditions. Amazing in fact. But other situations are not as favorable.
I was asked by a real estate agent to take a dozen or so “view” shots and due to the low amount they budgeted, I opted to use the Canon G12 and the SCN mode using the in camera HDR. Given it was outdoors in strong daylight conditions I knew I could get away with using the G12.
The following gallery of shots is not perfect, but took only a half an hour of my time to shoot and email pics to the agent. Pretty amazing for a Point and Shoot.
There are two ways to approach HDR capture with the Canon G12.
The first option to capture HDR on the Canon G12 is to shoot RAW and while in Aperture Priority mode you can choose to shoot a 3 aeb sequence. In Aperture Priority you of course control the aperture, but you can also control ISO and White Balance settings. You control what the EV steps between each shot are set to from as little as 1/3rd EV steps up to 2 full EV jumps between the 3 shots.
You would then import those raws and insert them into whatever workflow you currently use for HDR processing. Yes I am not a fan of 3aeb, but for a point and shoot and to capture raw… I’ll take what I can get.
The second option to capture HDR on the Canon G12 is to use the SCN mode dial and choose HDR. That puts the camera in fully automatic mode and it fires 3 consecutive shots off at undisclosed details for shutter/EV jumps and then does the high dynamic range imaging (toning) in camera and writes the file to .jpg as a file format. (Why camera manufacturers choose JPEG as a file format to save a high dynamic range image is beyond logic)
What I can tell you right away is that this camera does very well shooting in the SCN mode shooting HDR when in bright sunny conditions. But is awful for shooting indoors in mixed lighting. In the SCN HDR Mode, you have NO CONTROL over aperture, ISO or white balance. As soon as you hit interior lighting the camera goes to f/2.8 as a first line of defense…. this is a disaster for real estate or architectural photography.
Another big downside is that you have no way of using exposure compensation in the fully automatic SCN HDR Mode. There is no way to force the camera up or down by any EV amount. The camera just meters the scene and that is your only option.
I’ll be doing a full review of the capabilities of the Canon G12 as it relates to HDR (next week or two). However, because there has been so much interest in the G12′s HDR capabilities I’ll make a few brief comments now regarding the SCN HDR Mode and reserve the video review for later next week.
QUICK TAKES regarding SCN HDR Mode:
- Great for daylight white balanced shots with lots of light
- Superior in camera processing compared to Sony and Pentax models
- Supports Canon RS60-E3 release cable so you don’t have to touch camera
- No control of aperture, ISO or exposure compensation
- No control of white balance (AWB only)
- Zero in camera alignment from what I have found – Tripod only
- Slow frames per second which adds to deghosting issues