Canon Powershot G9 Review

Advanced Digital Cameras

Picture
Canon Powershot G9 Ease of Use 8
Features 10
Movie Mode 8
Build Quality9
Colours 9
Photo Quality 9
Style 8
Lowlight 9
Macro 10
Value for Money 8
12 Megapixels
6x Zoom
3 inch LCD Screen
106.4 x 71.9 x 42.5
320g

Overview

The Canon Powershot G9 is a 12 megapixel digital camera with a 6x optical zoom lens. Those headline features only tell part of the story as the Powershot G9 is about the most advanced compact camera on the market. In terms of features it has a roll call similar to what you would expect from an SLR camera. It is ideal for a photography enthusiast or someone who owns an SLR, but is looking for a more portable second camera.

Main Features

Megapixels:
Zoom:
LCD Screen:
Dimensions:
Weight:

12
6x
3 inches
106.4 x 71.9 x 42.5
320g

Macro:
HD Movies:
Manual Controls:
Batteries:
Memory Cards:

1cm
No
Yes
Lithium ion
SD/SDHC

Image Quality - See Sample Images Below

Outdoor Scenic Shots in Good Light

My first outdoor scenic shot gets my tests off to a good start. I can see from the brickwork on the building that the camera is capable of taking sharp photos where the light is good. The sharp focus also holds as you move out towards the edges of the photo.

The Powershot G9 handles the glare of the sun as well as most other cameras manage. This means that there is a loss of detail where the sun directly strikes the boats. This problem is accentuated at this time of the year when the sun is lower in the sky.

This is a good attempt at a wide angle shot. As with any camera with the scene somewhat distant this photos is not as sharp as all the other test photos.

With the zoom lens fully extended the Powershot G9 manages to produces a pleasingly sharp shot. There is plenty of detail evident on the boats in the photo. Again checking the brickwork on the buildings in the shot I can see the camera is still capable of very sharp focus from a decent distance.

Portraits

I like this photo. I have used the face detection setting to ensure the face is in sharp focus and a white balance setting of cloudy to pep up the colours in the shot. Both of these settings work well and this is a good result. I also like the brightness of the shot.

This is another photo that works well. The photo is sharp and bright. There was a touch of red eye in the original shot, but I was able to clean this up by using the red eye correction tool.

Perhaps this photo is just a bit darker than I would like to see, but it is still a much better effort than most cameras manage. Considering the indoor lighting the shot is much sharper than I am used to seeing.

Macro, Colours and Noise

On a recent review I mentioned the fact that the macro shot was a good indicator as to the overall quality of the lens. Well the macro shot I have taken with the Powershot G9 is outstanding and is one of the very best I have taken in all the tests I have made. The key point for macro shots is clarity and I don't think this photo could be much sharper.

Colours more than any other part of a photograph are all about personal taste. The colours produced by Canon digital cameras in general are more or less perfect for me. They are vibrant without being too strong.

There is more detail showing in this shot than most other cameras are able to manage. You should be able to use this setting and get acceptable shots in some lower light situations. By the time you have pushed the ISO level above 400 picture quality does begin to fall. At ISO 1600 there is a clear fall off in the standard of the photo.

Summary

The Powershot G9 scores well in just about every area. It outperforms just about every other consumer camera on the market.

See sample images link arrow

Style

The Powershot G9 has quite a chunky design. If I say it resembles a small brick you may get the wrong idea as what this does is give the camera a very sturdy feel. It is a good size to take a decent grip of and will appeal to many people looking for a "real" camera.

Shutter Lag Times

Shutter Lag Rating Par

Single Shot
Five Shots
Single Shot With Flash
Five Shots With Flash

0.39 seconds
9.65 seconds
0.57 seconds
11.92 seconds


Shutter Lag Table link arrow

Ease of Use

Ease of Use - Par With all the features packed into the camera it is never going to score highly for ease of use. By adding a couple of extra dials though Canon have certainly improved usability and it is quicker to change key settings with the Powershot G9 than with most other compact cameras.

Points I Like

Picture quality - viewfinder - features - red eye correction tool - macro shot - LCD screen quality

Where it Could Improve

Shutter lag times are longer than SLR lag times

Verdict

The Canon Powershot G9 ticks all the right boxes for me. In terms of picture quality it is difficult to find much better in a compact camera. It is also packed with features and it will be hard for me to let this camera go. Recommended.

Product Shots

Front View

Front View

Back View

Back View

Top View

Top View

Sample Menus

menu 1  menu 2

menu 3 functions

Top Rated Cameras in this Category

Panasonic DMC LX5 Rating 91/100

This camera is one of the very best I have ever reviewed. Picture quality is excellent and I love the small size of the camera. It is packed with advanced features and I found it was able to handle a variety of different shooting conditions without a problem.

Read Review: Panasonic DMC LX5 Review

Related Pages

Canon Powershot G9 Review Canon Powershot G9 Specification Canon Powershot G9 Sample Images Canon Powershot G9 Features Canon Digital Cameras

Review Date

November 2007

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