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I am about to be in Utah for about 3 months for work, and rather than lugging my full DSLR kit I am only going to take my Canon G15. However with the landscapes and skies I expect to see, I know that I would want to use my (circular) polarizing filter to emphasize the colors. So my only option is to hand hold the filter in front of the lens, but I am not sure how well this will work.

I do have step down rings for the filter which will act as a lip that will slip over the end of the lens barrel by a small amount, and hopefully reduce reflections between the filter and the lens.

However one reason I got the G15 in the first place was that it has an optical viewfinder and I am old school enough to use that all the time. But the hand holding of the filter probably means I will have to embrace live view.

So are there any tips and/or gotchas that people can suggest that I can incorporate into my shooting that will make what I want to do feasible? E.g.,

  1. What should I expect from the autofocus?

  2. Should I shoot in manual exposure and/or focus only?

  3. Has anyone tried this with a graduated ND filter?

  4. Should I use a monopod (at the very least) to help with stabilization?

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    You can buy a filter adapter for the G15, which gives you a 58mm filter thread. Seems like a better option than holding it by hand. Look up the Canon FA-DC58D. – vclaw Jun 22 '15 at 16:48
  • As claw Mentioned, the Canon FA-DC58D is the best solution. I used to own a G7 back in the days, and i had a similar attachment that I used for polarisers. Alternatively, you can also look at the MagFilter from Carry Speed. Only thing I don't like is that you need to adhere a small ring to the front of the lens, then you buy a 53mm polariser, which then attaches itself to the ring on the lens. Very popular – Abdul Quraishi Jun 22 '15 at 17:02
  • @vclaw I had no idea. Put that in an answer and I'll select it. – Peter M Jun 22 '15 at 17:10
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Handholding a circular polarizer (or, heck, a pair of polarized sunglasses) in front of the lens of your Powershot G51 is not your only choice. Quite a few (although not all) of the Canon Powershot G series cameras actually have a bayonet mount on them for an adapter tube, which will allow you to screw on filters. If you push on the button on the face of the camera at about the 5 o'clock position of the lens, that releases the trim ring, and you can remove it, and see where the adapter tube will mount.

The Canon FA-DC58D is the OEM adapter for the G15, but as it's simply a bayonet tube, there are a number of third party offerings as well. Some are plastic, some are metal. The tube is designed with a 58mm thread filter, and to allow for full extension of the lens. While it makes the camera decidedly bulkier, it also makes the camera easier to "grip" with two hands, SLR-style, but (if it's like the lensmate I got for my G9) the filter tube will impinge into the viewing area of the optical viewfinder, and causes a shadow if used with the on-board flash.

Autofocus is unlikely to be affected any more than it is when using a CPL with a dSLR. I haven't used a graduated ND, but I have used an IR filter, and that did require a tripod and liveview, but (bonus) the exposure simulation of liveview made it easier than trying to use the IR filter with a dSLR viewfinder. Stabilization, if you're doing landscape shooting is always a good thing, but with a small camera like a Powershot G, you don't need to use a full-size tripod, but could probably get away with a small light travel tripod, such as a Gorillapod or Ultrapod.

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