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I cannot praise this camera highly enough. It was recommended to me by a photographer friend who billed it as 95% of the function of a DSLR but in a handy compact size and that really tells you all you need to know about it.
I cant claim to be much of a photographer but this camera has taught me a lot about adjusting your own settings and the different effects you can achieve. The manual is easy to read and the menu system on the camera itself makes it easy to adjust things. I can really see how my shots have improved just by playing about with it and seeing what works best.
What i like best about it is the durable metal construction. Not only does it look good but it can stand up to the rough stuff. I mostly photograph the great british outdoors and this camera more than stands up to the changeable weather.
Raw mode is fun to play with as it leaves scope to do lots of editing on the computer later.
Ideal for the novice photographer but who would like to do more than just point and click.
I've had this little camera since December 2008, and I have to say it's been a great all-rounder!
I have to say the best feature about this camera is it's RAW shooting mode - very helpful if you need to make drastic exposure changes in post-production. I'd recommend buying a high speed memory card, as shooting in RAW mode can be very slow if you don't have the right card!
Battery life tends to be very good - I only usually need to recharge once ever 3-4 days with medium usage (~40 shots/day).
There is also a really handy feature of the manual focus mode, where a square in the centre of the screen shows a zoomed-in version of the live image.
One major downside is the way it deals with low-light. I don't think any of even the cheaper modern compacts would have such bad low-light capability (you might want to consider the newer models of this camera if this is a problem for you!). Sometimes even in daylight there will be noise in shots (at ISO80!), so you have to be really careful with lighting, or just develop a liking for the noisy look, like me!
All in all it's great if you want many of the features of a DSLR (e.g. full manual mode with ISO wheel) but without the bulk. Of course the downside to it's small form factor is the lack of interchangeable lens, but still it is a great introduction to semi-professional photography.
I've had my Canon Powershot G9 for a couple of years now and it's never let me down. I find it to be a very high quality compact camera suited to most needs. I use it primarily for underwater and macro shots though it responds well to most light conditions. It has a 6x optical zoom and automatically reduces noise levels, although it can lead to slightly smudged photos if you're zooming in a lot. It's 12.1 megapixel sensor means it picks up fine detail in excellent colour quality, though when I was using it underwater with a camera housing it did lose some of the vibrancy of the colour. The camera is compact and will easily fit in a handbag or even pocket - the only downside I would say is that it's fairly heavy for its size, so prolonged use could lead to sore wrists! There are tons of preset options and settings for quick photos, or you can use the manual settings to change the shutter speed and aperture. I think an excellent feature is the option to shoot RAW photos, which produce very high quality photos though do take a little longer than normal photos. The macro settings are wonderful, I find, and it can focus easily at under 1cm.
In conclusion, this camera is great for both quick holiday snaps and more professional photos, and is easy to use when you understand the basics.
I had the canon G9 last christmas. Its a great little compact digital camera with 12.1 mega pixels and as good as a semi professional camera. It has a 6x optical zoom and takes fantastic pictures. It has optical image stabilizer & is great for those with shaky hands and macro mode for those close up shots of flowers or small items. Also great when shooting for ebay pictures. It has a 3 inch lcd back view window for easy viewing. It easy to upload on my laptop with the pictures downloading in a instant, includes software easy to upload & compatable with windows & macintosh. You can shoot movies to a maximum of 4GB to the memory card. Additional extras available to purchase from speedlite, high power flash, waterproof housing and various wide converter lenses. superb pictures when printing with canon printer and inks and epson photo glassy paper.
Retro, robust styling, an aesthetic property that you don't come across often these days. Especially with modern and sleek designs being quite popular, hence dominating the market. The appearance of this camera can be simply described as a mini SLR. When you use the camera, you can't help but feel like a true professional paparazzi, because the top of the camera looks very "busy" with a wide range of different buttons and controls placed across it.
From first glance, the slot on the top of the camera would lead you to image the possibilities with this camera. It supports the use of an external flash via a hot shoe connector that brings you the freedom of using a specific flash which you might prefer.
The camera does suffer a tiny bit when you are capturing images in dark lighting conditions, however this is quite minute when compared to other cameras. It also has a wide range of manual settings which you can tweak to get the perfect shot, such as aperture, focus and shutter speed which is essential if you are thinking of furthering your photography skills.
It also has a reasonably high ISO at 1600, that can be used when shooting in normal/auto modes. In the event that this is not sufficient for the shooting conditions, it is possible to achieve a 3200 ISO capabilities by setting the camera in high sensitivity mode. The camera has a lens that is capable of a 35mm to 210mm zoom range.
There is also a build in image stabiliser that saves you the trouble of having to keep your arms stiff when taking photos, especially if the subject is moving. The camera's LCD display screen is quite good, being easy to view at most angles, it is also easy to view it in bright sunlight.
When you use it for playback, it does display photos captured as a bit softer that it really is. In addition, an optical viewfinder also allows you to feel truly like a professional, or simply as another means of saving battery when you are running out.
When it comes to recording the images, you have the choice of either doing so in JPEG or RAW file format, which means you are not limited to just one file format when using this camera.
In general, the photo quality is fantastic with good exposure accuracy, and contrast. It particularly excel when taking shots with natural sunlight. This camera is ideal if you intend to capture high speed sports events or moving objects, because it has a fast shuttle delay.
When capturing videos, the quality is slightly above average with good frame rates and sharpness. Its macro mode is also good, with detailed and clear images.
I absolutely love this camera. My review differs slightly to the ones above as i am clearly not such a good photographer as the other reviews here. I'd call my self a keen amateur.
I previously had a Fuji compact and was upset when i saw the fantastic quality of photos my dad was getting with his SLR. But i didn't want an SLR. Having a young child i like the ease of having a compact camera with me the whole time so i never miss anything.
After much thinking, review reading and trialing in shopd I relised what i was looking for:
Great Picture Quality
Great zoom, with option to ignore digital zoom
A decent battery life
A view finder
A compact camera
A camera to take AA batteries (so i can get them when ever and wherever i am)
The batteries i soon discovered were out as if you want a decent camera nowadays proper rechargeables are the only way to go.
The main factor here was the view finder. I can't believe how many compacts don;t have view finders anymore. How do people take photos in the sunshine?
So this led me to try this ace camera. I initially thought it had far too many settings for me, that i wouldn't use - and i was right. They are all there for me, Aperture priority, fully manual, but i haven't a clue how t use them. Even some of the one-touch settings are too much for me but i keep meaning to re-read the manual now i understand more about how it works.
Meanwhile i get great photo quality on auto everything and have even sold photos I have blown up and put on canvas's.
I've taken over 6000 photos since I got it in January 2008.
Battery life is great even with flash use but i still got a spare just in case as I'm used to just being able to buy AA's.
I only ever use this for short videos of my daughter but video quality can be changed and is good enough that we've never bothered with a video camera.
Great camera, I love it and would recommend it to anyone wanting the same features as i was looking for. But has the ability to be used for so much more!
Camera came onto the market in around October 2007 and I bought it around 2 months ago. I intended to buy a Nickon SLR (D60 or 90) and came away from shop with this camera and I have been absolutely thrilled with it. The reason I bought this camera is that the shop let me try different cameras for a couple of hours and I was just so impressed with the difference in quality of photos that this camera took, as well as ease in using it, and the features it includes.
Afterwards I did wonder if I had made the right decision as I don't usually change my mind in shops once I have done all my research. However, one of my friends who has a degree in photography, has worked in the camera business and sells alot of her own photos gave it a good try and was really impressed with the quality of the photos that she was able to take on it, and the features on the camera. I have joined a camera club and we have had a couple of photographic projects - I have been surprised about the excellent comments I have received for the quality of my photos - and surprise from others when they look at the camera!
It is at the high end of the compact camera market and really a cross between a compact and SLR as you can have add on lenses, I have a wide angle lens with macro and fisheye and am very pleased with the results.
12.1 megapixels - of course you can reduce these down if you want to record pictures with less mpixels (i.e. for emailing). 3" LCD screen which is bigger than many SLR cameras, it really is a great size and aides in taking good quality photos, you can take the photos through the optical viewfinder or through using the screen - great. ISO from 80 to 1600 with the HI option too, I have used it up to 400 without any image noise. 6x optical zoom - with optical image stabilizer and up to 24x digital zoom - I am very impressed with the shots you can get with digital zoom and all except the professional could use this instead of buying a telephoto lens. Also takes photos in Raw image. The manual settings are extensive and the buttons easy to use with a great click dial. You can manually set both the shutter speed and aperture.
There is also a movie shooting feature - the recording time will vary according the card you have in the camera. On the compact setting you can take up to 3min 15 sec and with time lapse up to 4 hr 7 min with SDC-512MSH. The Manual explains how to use this feature and I haven't tried it yet. However, the Manual that comes with the camera is extensive (270 pages) and easy to use and understand - another great bonus as far as I am concerned.
Good controls for the white balance and also in colour mode, features for taking in black & white, sepia, lighter and darker skin tones and with different accent colours - have been very impressed with this in particular and the quality of pictures taken.
The camera automatically chooses all the settings. You can always use the special settings and then let the camera choose the rest automatically. Special scenes include, portrait, macro, night scene, night snapshot, indoor, snow, fireworks, underwater, colour accent, landscape, sports, kids & pets, foliage, beach, aquairum, ISO 3200 and colour swap.
The camera has an inbuilt flash and also a shoe mount for adding a flashgun, recommended using a Canon Speedlite220EX/430EX/580EX. The camera has settings for the inbuilt flash depending on what type of light, i.e. daylight, flurescent, tungsten etc. I have only used the inbuilt flash (with good results - can also use red-eye function) as I can't afford the Speedlite yet.
I decided to buy a spare re-chargeable battery as one of my frustrations with cameras previously has been the poor length of life of the batteries...no such thing with these batteries - difficult to say how long they last as I have used the camera so much and only recharged them once! Needless to say I have been very impressed.
Add - on lenses, etc:
The camera came with a wide lens converter WC-DC58B and a tele-convertorer TC-DC58C and the conversion lens adapter LA-DC58H and as mentioned previously I bought a wideangle, macro, fisheye lens. I didn't buy a Canon one but a Crystal Vision High Definition lens. I have loved using this lens and am very pleased with the results. As with SLR cameras, the lens are expensive. I don't have a telephoto lens but as mentioned with the 24x digital zoom the camera has quite a range already.
Also possible to buy a case so that the camera may be used under water up to 40m.
I managed to load the Canon software onto my computer and the photos from my camera with great ease, the manipulation of the photos that you can do is great - very easy to use and understand. Very impressed.
The camera comes with a 270 page manual (small enought to take in the camera bag but big enough print to read easily). The manual is superb with easy to understand text, pictures and tables. I have read it in sections and will continue to do so as there are so many features on this camera that I have yet to discover! What I have described are the basic ones I have discovered.
I bought it in the States (even with bad exchange rate) I paid £350 for camera. However because I bought the lens at the same time I had other things thrown in like the lens adapters, camera bag, spare battery etc.
Much lighter than a SLR and with a small camera bag could easily be put in a handbag. The punch it packs is in no relation to its size!
1. Cost of lenses - but this is the same for any SLR camera
2. Not sure if this really is a disadvantage but without either the wideangle or telephoto lens on, doesn't really look like a proper camera! Looks are very deceptive.
Highly impressed with the quality of features and photos taken. Great fun to use and would recommend my friends to buy it. Will last me a long time and still lots of features to play with. Would I buy it again? Absolutely.
This really is an enthusiast/Prosumer compact camera.
I had to give this camera full marks as when reviewed as how it is intended to be used it really is unbeatable. some reviews are very negative of this camera but 9 times out of 10 they are comparing it (unfairly) to digital SLR's.
IMO, its a great compromise between a true compact camera and an SLR.
Honestly it isnt really small enough to be classed as true compact, however it is small....ish, I find it easy to fit in my jacket (not my jeans) pocket. So whilst not slim, it is MUCH smaller than an SLR!
The MAnual setting are superb, I was very impressed by the usability of the manual jog wheel on the rear of the camera, It operates the manual focus, along with the shutter speed and aperture size (when in manual mode) all with absolute ease!
However I did find it a little tricky to focus using the manual mode, but that was probably more to do with the LCD screen, which in most other circumstances is great!
A point to remeber if you are deciding between SLR and this compact is that you CANT focus through the optical viewfinder.
The camera has top- of the range build quality, it feels incredibly sturdy and tough, however the screen is rather annoyingly raised, so I dont think it will be long before that gets scratched (a screen protector may be useful)
The average Image Quality IMO is the best you will get on any compact camera, not SLR quality however. There simply is no replacement for an SLR. But this is the best compromise!!
Image noise can be a little tricky in anything over 200 ISO, but the camera is very effective at collecting light so you can normally keep the ISO at 100 or even 80.
Shutter lag is very low, again the best out of almost all Compact Cameras. Press the trigger and away it goes! ready to take another almost imediately (except in RAW which is slower) Start-up time is lighting quick, less than a second.
The big negative here is the price, it is definately falling, but the addon lenses are very expensive (relatively speaking) and so are the add on flash guns.
Talking about flash guns, the built in flash has adjustable modes, so you can set it lower for situations where the subject is close, or you wish to achieve a more natural light.
Sorry for the ramble, its my first review! hope I've helped, let me know if you need any more info!