Canon G9 Review

 
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Canon PowerShot G9 Performance


Timing and Performance

Good to average speed for a consumer camera.

Startup/Shutdown

Power on
to first shot

1.5 seconds

Time it takes for LCD to turn on and lens to deploy.

Shutdown

1.5 seconds

How long it takes to retract lens.

Buffer clearing time

2 seconds
(after 20 Large/Superfine JPEGs);
3 seconds
(after 20 RAW frames)

Worst case buffer clearing time. -- This is the delay after a set of shots before you can remove the card. Some cameras won't retract their lenses and shut down until the buffer is cleared.

Mode switching

Play to Record,
first shot

1.5 seconds

Time until first shot is captured.

Record to play

1.5 seconds

Time to display a large/superfine file immediately after capture.

Display
recorded image

1.5 seconds

Time to display a large/superfine file already on the memory card.

Shutter response (Lag Time)

Full Autofocus Wide

0.57 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at wide angle position.

Full Autofocus Tele

0.69 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at telephoto position.

Prefocused

0.088 second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

Manual focus
0.58 second
For most cameras, shutter lag is less in manual focus than autofocus, but usually not as fast as when the camera is "prefocused"
Cycle time (shot to shot)

Single Shot mode
RAW

2.79 seconds

Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots.

Single Shot mode
Large SuperFine JPEG
2.12 seconds

Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots.

Single Shot mode
640x480 Normal JPEG

2.07 seconds

Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots.

Early shutter
penalty?

No

Some cameras refuse to snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer.

Continuous mode
RAW

2.18 seconds (0.46 frames per second);
>20 frames total;
3 seconds to clear

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first.

Continuous mode
Large SuperFine JPEG

0.92 second (1.09 frames per second);
>20 frames total;
2 seconds to clear

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first.

Continuous mode
Large Fine JPEG

0.86 second (1.16 frames per second);
>20 frames total;
2 seconds to clear

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first.

Continuous mode
640x480 Normal JPEG

0.48 second (2.07 frames per second);
>20 frames total;
0.5 second to clear

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first.

Flash recycling

5.4 seconds

Flash at maximum output.

Download speed

Windows Computer, USB 2.0

1,991 KBytes/sec

Typical Values:
Less than 600=USB 1.1;
600-769=USB 2.0 Low;
Above 770=USB 2.0 High

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a Kingston Ultimate 133x SD memory card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity also affects cycle times and burst mode performance, with higher ISOs generally increasing cycle times and reducing burst performance.

The Canon PowerShot G9's performance ranges from good to about average, depending on the task at hand. Startup and mode switching times are a little sluggish, but not terrible. Shutter response is better than average at both wide angle and telephoto, at 0.57s and 0.69s respectively, and "prefocusing" the camera by half-pressing and holding down the shutter button before the final exposure results in a lag time of only 0.088 second. Shot-to-shot cycle times are slower than average, at about 2.1 seconds for large/superfine JPEGs, though the camera does capture frames continuously at this rate. (That is, given a fast enough memory card, it doesn't have to pause every few frames to wait for the card to catch up.) Also a consideration here is the very large 4,000 x 3,000 resolution: That's a lot of data to deal with and get written to the memory card for every shot. The PowerShot G9 also drags a little in its Continuous modes, capturing just over one frame per second, but again it never slows below that rate, as long as you have a fast card loaded. The flash takes 5.4 seconds to recharge after a full-power shot, which is about average, but good considering how powerful it is. Connected to a computer or printer with USB 2.0, download speeds are pretty good. Bottom line, the Canon G9 won't be a good choice for sporting events or any fast-paced action, but should handle fairly well under normal circumstances.

Battery and Storage Capacity

Battery
Average battery life for a lithium-ion design.

Operating Mode Number of Shots
Lithium-ion Rechargeable Battery, LCD On
(CIPA standard)
240
Lithium-ion Rechargeable Battery, LCD Off
(CIPA standard)
600

The Canon PowerShot G9 uses a custom rechargeable lithium-ion battery for power, and ships with a charger. Although battery life is fair with the LCD on, we really recommend you pick up a spare battery and keep it freshly charged and on-hand for extended outings.

The table above shows the number of shots the camera is capable of (on either a fresh set of disposable batteries or a fully-charged rechargeable battery as appropriate), based on CIPA battery-life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions.

(Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document))

Storage
The Canon PowerShot G9 accepts SDHC/SD/MMC memory cards, and comes with a 32MB card.

Image Capacity with
32MB Memory Card
SuperFine Fine Normal RAW
4,000 x 3,000
Images
5
10
20
1
File Size
5.5 MB
3.3 MB
1.6 MB
18.2 MB
3,264 x 2,448
Images
8
14
30
-
File Size
3.7 MB
2.2 MB
1.1 MB
-
2,592 x 1,944
Images
12
21
43
-
File Size
2.7 MB
1.5 MB
762 KB
-
1,600 x 1,200
Images
30
54
102
-
File Size
1.1 MB
610KB
322 KB
-
640 x 480
Images
114
177
278
-
File Size
288 KB
186 KB
119 KB
-

We strongly recommend buying a large capacity SDHC or SD memory card at least a 1GB card, preferably a 4GB one, to give yourself extra space for extended outings and video. (Check the shopping link above, cards are really cheap these days, so no reason to skimp.)

 

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Note: For details, test results, and analysis of the many tests done with this camera, please click on the tabs at the beginning of the review or below.

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