My first models are cows


It’s been a long time since herds of longhorn cattle passed through Fort Worth, headed up the Chisholm Trail to railheads in Kansas. But a few of that hardy breed still hang around in these parts, I guess to remind us of how Fort Worth got its nickname: Cowtown.
I came across a few contented longhorns during my Sunday bike ride along the Trinity Trails, dozing in the afternoon sunshine in a field on the southwestern edge of the city. I had taken along a new camera — a Canon PowerShot G12 — and the somnolent bovines got to be my first live subjects.
The Canon G12 is meant to replace/complement a Canon PowerShot SD1100 IS, a very compact point-and-shoot that I took on a trans-America bicycle ride in the autumn of 2009. That camera, about the size of a deck of cards, served very well during a self-contained trip on which every piece of gear had to be as small and light as possible.
Canon PowerShot G12The Canon G12, like its predecessors in the G series, is a bit larger than a shirt-pocket-size point-and-shoot. At nearly a pound, it has a nice heft and a rugged build. But it’s still much more compact than a standard DSLR and its interchangeable lenses. And it fits comfortably into a jacket pocket.
The G12, with a built-in lens equivalent in range from 28mm to 140mm, is widely described as a camera that a professional would travel with if he or she didn’t want to carry the bulky pro rig. An amateur can leave the settings on “auto” and let the camera do the work. But the G12 has the manual controls desired by a more advanced shooter.
The longhorns in the photos below were about 60 yards away on the other side of a fence. But the G12’s zoom lens made them appear just a few feet away.
I consider myself more amateur than advanced, and I have much to learn about the G12’s manual controls. But my first models didn’t seem to notice my inexperience.

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4 Comments

Filed under Americana, Blogging on the road, Cycling across America, Texana, Urban cycling

4 responses to “My first models are cows

  1. John Vandevelde

    There is something magestic and scary about the Texas Longhorn, well exemplified by “El Rojo Grande” in your second photo. I am always thankful for the fence between me and one of them.
    –John

  2. Dean Wisleder

    Hi, Jim,

    Congratulations on your new camera. I have been looking for a replacement of the digital camera I bought almost nine years ago. While it still works, as is true with most modern electronics, it became an antique years ago. It has 10x optical zoom without any stabilization. I hate to go with less zoom, but the current non-DSLR mega zoom models get poor reviews on image quality. At 5x zoom, maybe the G12 would be a good compromise. Meanwhile, as an antique myself, I stick with my antique camera.

    Dean

    • Dean,
      I considered other cameras before buying the G12. In that same niche — the sort of camera that pros travel with when they don’t want to haul along the full rig — are the Nikon P7000 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5. All are reviewed very favorably, with one or the other getting a slight edge in one feature or another. The Lumix, for example, is supposed to be the best of the three in capturing video. The G12, as I recall, is considered best overall. My son Thomas, who works for The Associated Press and sometimes shoots pix for the agency, travels with a G7 — an earlier model in the Canon G series — when he doesn’t want to carry his pro rig. He recommended the G12. A couple of others to consider are the Canon S95, which my son Ben has, and the Olympus EPL1. The S95 has the same innards as the G12, but is much more compact. It doesn’t have a “flash shoe,” on which to mount an auxiliary flash, and the telephoto isn’t as powerful as the G12. But Ben, who’s a better photographer than I am, has taken some marvelous shots with his S95. The Olympus EPL1 is in a slightly different category in that it has interchangeable lenses. But it is also very compact — suitable for bike travel — and is also considered a great backup point-and-shoot by the pros. In fact, a friend and former colleague who has won two Pulitzers for photography, is a big fan of the Olympus EPL1. Hope that helps. Happy shopping.
      Jim

  3. Nice camera. I’ve been contemplating buying a G12 for the past two weeks. I’ve also been looking at the Samsung TL500 and the Nikon P7000. I’m going to take a look at the S95 that you mentioned.

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