Monday, March 22, 2010

New Technology Meets Classic Camera Style

Canon Powershot G11 Clad in Classic Brown Leather Case

Photography to me is as much about the experience of planning and capturing a scene as it is presenting the final image.

For many years early digital cameras lacked seriously in addressing the shooters experience. Unnecessarily small controls, overall plastic feel, and beeping sounds reminiscent of a dime store Timex, adding up to a less than satisfying experience with many digital point and shoot cameras.

Enter the Canon G11, my 3rd G series camera in the past 8 years, which has the look and feel of a true classic camera. Recently I found that in Asia classic leather camera cases are still made for modern cameras... and I could not be more pleased. The G11 body, to me, is proportional to many Leica point and shoot camera designs from the 50 & 60’s. the G11’s manual controls, welcomed for their form as much as their function, are made of metal dials located on top of the body rather than buried in an on-screen menu tree. The solid "click" sound and positive feel as they are actuated is to me akin to what a musician must experience when tuning a fine violin or guitar.

Please don’t mistake my opinions here for being anti modern or digital because I am not. After being dragged into the future and having my film cameras pried from my hands I am now an enthusiastic convert to digital photography. What I have never given up on is holding onto the enjoyment of the entire process. The feel, smell, sounds, and overall design of the camera are just as important to the enjoyment of photography as the quality of the images it produces under my control.

The new brown leather case, made custom for the G11, adds a wonderful feel and leather smell to my camera. I love it. All the controls and even the flip screen are unencumbered by the form fitted leather attached to the camera’s tripod threads. I am extremely pleased with the quality of the leather and the brass snaps and threads which hold it all in place. The look is that of the old cameras I used to discover in attic or basement boxes while exploring my grandparent’s house as a boy. This type of fitted leather case is not available from Canon in North America; however, the Asian consumer apparently as never let go of the aesthetic and function of these classic fitted camera case’s. If you are willing to do some on-line searching there a number of overseas stores which provide this style of case for a range of point and shoot camera bodies.

My recommendation. Don’t let the techies take over the entire experience of your photography. Pay homage to the design lessons learned over time and let a little of the past creep into your modern camera experience. Classic design and style are timeless… Enjoy.