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Canon PowerShot G7 Operation

Like most Canon PowerShots, the G7's user interface is quite friendly and easy to navigate. Improved graphic displays of exposure settings and playback maneuvers make the user interface a little more fun than on previous models, with virtual dials and meter-like displays. The Mode dial on top of the camera quickly sets the main exposure mode, and the Shortcut button on the rear panel is excellent for skipping the menu screen on a frequently-accessed setting. Most of the camera's control buttons are multi-functional, and there's a generous selection of user-custimization options, making the G7 very easy to set up to your own preferences. Overall, expect to spend about an hour with the manual in-hand, but after that, camera operation becomes very intuitive (especially considering all of the custom options).

Record Mode Display
In Record mode, the Canon PowerShot G7's LCD display shows the standard display by default, which is essentially no information (the exposure compensation option does appear in the bottom of the screen, however). Half-pressing the Shutter button reports the aperture and shutter speed settings, in all modes except Manual. (Aperture and shutter speed are displayed continuously in Manual mode, whether the Shutter button is pressed or not.) Pressing the Display button cycles through the available display modes, including the image with no information, the image with detailed information, and the image only. Through the menu system, you can enable a gridline display, histogram, a 3:2 ratio guideline, or a very detailed shooting information screen.

Playback Mode Display
In Playback mode, the LCD's main display mode is the image with no information. Pressing the Display button cycles through the standard and detailed information displays. As with Record mode, you can enable a histogram display in addition to the information and image. The telephoto side of the zoom toggle lets you zoom in on a portion of the image (up to 10x), while the wide-angle side backs you out again, and lets you step out to an "index" view of captured images, displayed as nine thumbnails at a time. Zooming out one step past the point at which the index display appears adds a "jump" bar to the bottom of the screen, letting you jump forward or back nine images at a time, rather than scrolling from each image to the next individually.

Canon PowerShot G7 Modes and Menus

Auto Record: Marked on the Mode dial with the word "Auto" in green, this mode puts the camera in control of everything about the exposure, except for Flash and Macro modes, and image size and quality settings.

Program AE (P): A white "P" indicates this mode on the Mode dial, which places the camera in control of shutter speed and lens aperture, while you maintain control over everything else (i.e., white balance, ISO, metering, exposure compensation, flash, etc.). Turning the Command dial in this mode cycles through a range of equivalent exposure settings.

Shutter-Speed Priority AE (Tv): This mode allows you to control the shutter speed settings from 1/2,500 to 15 seconds, while the camera controls the aperture. All other exposure settings are available.

Aperture Priority AE (Av): In this mode, you set the lens aperture from f/2.8 to f/8.0 (depending on the zoom setting), while the camera controls the shutter speed. The user maintains control over all other exposure variables.

Manual (M): Manual mode provides complete control over all exposure settings, including shutter speed and lens aperture (available shutter speeds depend on the aperture and lens zoom settings).

Custom Modes (C1 and C2): Indicated on the Mode dial simply as C1 and C2, these modes recall a set of user-defined camera settings, created through the Record menu.

Scene (SCN): Marked "SCN" on the Mode dial, this mode accesses the available preset Scene modes, including Portrait, Landscape, Night Scene, Sports, Night Snapshot, Kids & Pets, Indoor, Foliage, Snow, Beach, Fireworks, Aquarium, Underwater, ISO 3,200, Color Accent, and Color Swap.

Stitch-Assist: An icon of a panorama sequence indicates this mode on the Mode dial, which allows you to record a series of images, either horizontally or vertically, to be "stitched" together into one large image or panorama on a computer.

Movie: A film camera icon denotes this mode on the Mode dial. Here, you can record moving images and sound at resolutions as high as 640 x 480 pixels at either 30 or 15 frames per second while space remains on the memory card.

Playback Mode: The Playback button on the rear panel accesses Playback mode, where you can review captured images and movie files. You can enlarge images, view them as an index display, crop or rotate files, edit movies, or add sound recordings, among other options.

Record Menu: Pressing the Menu button in Record mode pulls up the following options (not all options are available in all modes):

Playback Mode: This mode lets you review captured images and movies on the memory card, as well as erase them, protect them, or tag them for printing and transfer. The Playback button on the rear panel activates this mode, and pressing the Menu button displays the following options:

Print Menu: This menu is available in Playback mode, simply by pressing the Menu button and selecting the Print tab. The bottom line of the display shows how many images are selected for printing and the print method that is active.

Setup Menu: This menu is available in all exposure modes, simply by pressing the Menu button and selecting the Setup tab.

My Camera Menu: This is the last menu tab on the menu screen, and appears in every mode.