After shooting with Leica M9 for a bit I thought it would be fun to use my Canon G15 but in a different way. I decided to use the viewfinder for framing shots and adjust the zoom to a step zoom that stops the zoom at predetermined focal lengths, 28,35,50,85,100,140. I did this by going into the menu/set,function and adjusting it so that the front dial1 is set to these settings. Front wheel/M/TV, AV/AV, TV/TV and the Back Wheel set to AV/zoom, AV/zoom, TV/zoom. This information and a diagram are on page 168 of the manual under step zoom. The other thing I did was to turn off the LCD screen on the back. Whenever you make an adjustment the screen activates to show you the adjustments you have made but is otherwise black (more conducive to using the viewfinder).
The real-time viewfinder is barely adequate but serves the purpose. It only shows 75% of the actual scene so be prepared to crop things a bit. The other thing you can do to make this a really cool street camera is to turn on the mute. This feature is really great. It's pretty close to totaly silent. I can't wait to try this out on the street. If you use the viewfinder a green light shines steady to let you know when it's in focus and when the image has been taken (blinking). If mute is off then a beep sounds to let you it's in focus and a shutter click when the image is made. The viewfinder adjusts in and out to show you the scene the lens is adjusted to but like I said only shows 75% of what the lens sees. I have overcome this to some extent by zooming to 85mm instead of 50mm which means you get what you actually thought was 50mm from the same position. It's more of a mental thing.
I came to this decision after using the M9 and Sony Nex-7 and really hating looking like a total noob by holding the G15 in front of me, god how I hate that. I'm a photographer and not some nit wit with a cell phone or a P&S. The shot below was made in the method I have described above using the viewfinder and the step zoom on aperture priority.
Exposure ISO 125 1/200s @2.8 step zoom 100mm
This was a fun experiment and I plan on using it more. I get to set my focal length, shutter speed or aperture on auto. The camera focuses automatically and the camera has matrix metering so I get to do old school but with some of the auto features I love. I can't wait to take this to the streets and see what I get. This camera is so small and compact and when I choose silent it's ideal for stealth street photos. When I get the chance to do more street shooting I'll post some photos.