Outfitting Your Canon G Series for Landscape Photography

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.

$ 24.95 — Lensmate G10 / G11 Adapter (Part A)
$ 22.95 — Lensmate G10 / G11 Adapter (Part B)
$ 74.95 — Kenko Pro1 Circular Polarizer (low profile 72mm)

Canon Powershot G10

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.

$88.00 — Really Right Stuff BG10-L: L-Plate for Canon G10

Canon Powershot G10

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.

$30.00  —  Camdapter Camstrap

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!

7 thoughts on “Outfitting Your Canon G Series for Landscape Photography

  1. I appreciate all the helpful information regarding the Canon G series. I had the misfortune of buying into that series with #7, when Canon had temorarily dropped RAW files in that line. Drat. At times, I don’t want to carry one of my DSLR’s; but, as much as I like the G7, shooting jpg is annoying. I have been struggling with the decision about the replacement for that camera. Raves over the Panasonic Lumix FH2 and the Canon S95 have distracted me, but I think the G12 is going to win out. Thanks for all the tips.

    By the way, your photos make me miss Texas. I have been away for a very long time, but you never stop being a Texan

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