I love the resolution and detail the Canon 5D Mark II is capable of producing and for most of my commercial and landscape work it’s my camera of choice. However, like all other DSLRs the 5D2 can seem like quite a load to lug around during a serious day-hike or weekend backpack trip to the mountains of west Texas but I hesitate to leave it behind on the off chance that I’ll stumble upon a once in a lifetime photographic opportunity and won’t have by best gear along to capture it.
With the Canon Powershot “G” series cameras and a few simple accessories, this fear can finally be put to bed. The resolution, sharpness and lack of barrel or pin-cushion distortion offered by the G10/G11/G12 cameras make them ideal for landscape work.
The first accessory on my list was adding a circular polarizer to the G10 to help reduce glare and add some saturation to his images. Luckily, the folks at Lensmate in Seattle make a line of precision machined aluminum lens adapters for the Canon G10/G11/G12 that allow you to add a polarizing filter to the camera without creating a vignetting problem. Lensmate also sells the 72mm low profile Kenko Pro1 Digital CP filter that their adapters are designed to work with.
Canon Powershot G10 with Lensmate Adapters & CP Filter
The next accessory I recommended was a light-weight tripod and ball-head like the Gitzo GT-1541T Traveller and the Really Right Stuff BH-30LR. I explained that there’s nothing more important to landscape photographer than the camera support system. Once he got over the sticker shock I also recommended picking up the RRS BG-10L L-Plate designed specifically to mount the G10 in a RRS quick-release clamp as shown below.
Canon Powershot G10 with Really Right Stuff L-Plate
Finally, I recommended he buy a hand-strap like the Camdapter Camstrap from Jim Garavuso. Jim is an engineer and avid photographer with keen eye for good design. I’ve used his high quality leather hand-straps on all my cameras.
The custom hand-strap seen in the image above I created by modifying the neck strap that comes with the G10 and mounting it under the RRS L-Plate. Not the best solution but it works in a pinch.
As you can see, with a few basic accessories the Canon Powershot G10, G11 or G12 can be outfitted for serious landscape photography at about 1/3rd the weight of a DSLR and lens. Not too bad for a “Point & Shoot” camera!