Monday, January 16, 2012

Small cameras and shake

I've had a realization: admittedly I love a quality pocket camera like the Canon S90 (S95/S100), simply because you can bring it and forget it until you need it. But of course there are disadvantages. One of them I've called "handling", because there's less room on a tiny camera for real buttons/dials and for your fingers.

But one aspect of this struck me today: shooting indoors with the S90, I felt less than confident that I could do it without shaking the picture. On the contrary, going one step up in size to a Panasonic GF2 or a Fuji X10, I have surprised at just how confident I feel in taking low-light photos with a steady hand. It just feels dead-easy to squeeeeaze a steady shot of on those ones.

It seems the better grip on such a camera, combined with the bigger and better shutter button, makes a big difference in steadiness. And it's not just a feeling, I've surprised myself that with such a camera I can take tack sharp pictures on 1/15th second with a mild wideangle, and that's even with the GF2 which doesn't have stabilization if one uses prime lenses.

Going up to a DSLR, I feel less confident again, I think this is due to the mirror smash which accompanies an exposure on these cameras. But I'm not sure if this is followed by fewer sharp shots in practice though. I have a feeling it does, if nothing else then because less confidence makes the hand less steady.

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