When I want to travel light and leave my film SLR or Digital SLR at home, I run around with my digital Canon G3. It is lightweight and takes up little
space. It has the equivalent (in film terms) of a 35-140 mm zoom lens.
I use it mostly as a snapshot camera. When I want to do "serious" photography (whatever that is) I grab a larger SLR
(single-lens-reflex) camera and two or three lenses - or more.
The problem with snapshot cameras is that they have limited capabilities when a situation comes up that demands more than a typical point and shoot camera
can deliver. That is why I acquired a Canon G3, it has a lot of "serious" capabilities when the occasion requires. That means I feel less guilty when I leave my serious cameras at home and run into a challenging
The photo above is an example of what the Canon G3 can do. When we arrived it was raining, cloudy, and foggy and we were in the deep shade of the
trees. A typical point and shoot camera would turn on the flash which would only light the first 10 or 12 feet of the foreground, leaving the waterfall lost in the murky dark of late evening light.
The camera was on a tripod and in MANUAL mode, the aperture was f8 and the shutter speed was 4 seconds. The digital ISO was set to 50. The camera produced an excellent digital file
that printed out as an excellent 8x10 print that is just as good in quality as any print from a high end film or digital camera. The 4 megapixel digital sensor, low noise level at ISO 50, wide range of aperture and
shutter speeds, and high quality lens all made this photo possible (and of course the tripod - although we could have put the camera on a rock or other support and used the self-timer).
On the other hand, today I handed the camera to a person to take a picture in PROGRAM mode with the flash turned on. Now it was a glorified point and shoot, capable of taking
indoor snapshots and requiring no special camera handling skills.
If you need a digital point and shoot that can deliver the goods in unusual and challenging
situations, a Canon G3, or G2 (still available), or G5 (recently announced) may be just what you need.
Ash Cave is in the southern part of Hocking County, Ohio off of
State Highway 56. The cave is a short 5-10 minute stroll from the parking lot. The mouth of the cave is 700 feet across, the center of the cave lip is 100 feet above the cave floor, and the waterfall at the
eastern lip of the cave drops 90 feet to the pool on the cave floor.
Update: The G3 has been replaced by the Canon G5 (which I don't recommend) and now the Canon G6 is out which is a very fine camera and a worthy successor to the G3.More photos of Ash Cave.
July 16, 2003
Updated February 24, 2004