Street Photography and Hyperfocal setting with the G9

As I mentioned in my previous article, I see the canon G9 as a excellent camera for “street photography” (at the risk of offending the leica-philes!). However, it still poses the same problem as any other digicam for street photography and that is LAG.

Luckily, the G9’s lag is not all that bad to begin with, and can be minimized a bit further. First off- the shutter lag is not bad at all, the predominant problem is the focus lag in low light (especially on the street where the AF assist lamp is not much use). Luckily this is one case where a small sensor actually *helps* us… since the small digicam sensor has such a large depth of field, it facilitates setting the hyperfocal distance (the focal point at which the DOF is from 1/2 the H.D. to infinity – eg if the hyperfocal distance is 10ft, then everything from 5ft to infinity will be in focus)

And the G9 makes it easy – just press UP on the 4-way controller and you get manual focus. Twirl the wheel to adjust the focal distance. With the focus set to the hyperfocal length, you can then snap away without focus lag – perfect for split-second street captures.

Ah, but how do you *know* the distance to set for the hyperfocal length. Well, you could do it the old fashioned way and calculate it by hand based on the lens focal length, aperture and sensor size…


You could use this nifty little online DOF calculator which actually has a dedicated entry for the G9. Just enter the focal length and aperture you are going to use, and it will tell you the hyperfocal

(Since I do most street shooting with the lens on it’s widest setting wide open, the H.D. happens to be 10′)

2 thoughts on “Street Photography and Hyperfocal setting with the G9”

  1. How do you figure? for the G9, @ 7.4mm, f/2.8 (remember to use the *actual* focal length, not the “effective”) – H.D. = 10.6 feet.

    This also bears out with my day to day use. if it were 42′ I’d be getting a *lot* of blurry pics!

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