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Canon PowerShot G2

Canon updates their very popular G1 with a 4 megapixel CCD and improved color management.

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Page 1:Intro and Highlights

Review First Posted: 08/16/2001

4 megapixel CCD (3.87 effective) for 2,272 x 1,704 pixel images
Auto, Scene Program, Program, and Manual exposure modes
Unique tilt/swivel LCD panel
Accepts Type II CF cards (MicroDrive compatible)
RGB (vs earlier CMYG) CCD filtration for improved color.
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Manufacturer Overview

Canon U.S.A. has long been a dominant player in the film and digital camera markets, well-known for its high-quality optics, technical innovations, and aggressive product development. Since the beginning of this year (2001), Canon has released a full complement of new digital cameras, all designed and engineered to live up to Canon's competitive standards. On the high end, the PowerShot Pro90 IS incorporates a 3.34-megapixel CCD; 10X optical zoom lens with image stabilization; and no less than 12 (!) EOS-based shooting modes. Canon also introduced two new point-and-shoot digicams for the amateur market -- the PowerShot A10 and A20 -- identical except for their 1.3- and 2.1-megapixel CCDs, respectively. Canon also came through with two new ELPHs -- the 2.1-megapixel PowerShot S300, with a new retractable 3x zoom lens, and more recently, the PowerShot S110, with the same high-quality chip, but a shorter 2x zoom. The ultimate vacation cameras, Canon added an optional underwater housing (safe to depths of 100 feet) and a dye-sub printer kit, the CP-10 Photo Card Printer, which outputs credit-card-size prints directly from the cameras in less than 60 seconds ($199 list).

Canon's latest addition is the PowerShot G2. One of the new generation of 4-megapixel digicams, the PowerShot G2 is an excellent upgrade to Canon's popular G1 model, introduced almost year ago. The G2 offers an impressive range of automatic and manual controls, with a full Auto mode for point-and-shoot simplicity, three preset scene modes for specific shooting situations, and a full Manual mode that allows the user to select from five ISO equivalents and eight white balance settings, set the aperture and shutter speed, determine spot or center-weighted metering, and adjust image contrast, sharpness, and color saturation in-camera. Its improved manual focus function features an automatic spot enlargement area, plus an on-screen distance scale to make focusing clear and simple. You can even select which portion of the image will determine focus and spot metering readings! At less than $900, the PowerShot G2 is sure to be a hit with professionals, corporate users, advanced amateurs, and even beginning photographers who want a high-quality camera they can grow into.

High Points

  • 4-megapixel CCD delivering image resolutions as high as 2,272 x 1,704 pixels. (3.87 megapixels effective)
  • Real-image optical viewfinder and 1.8-inch, color LCD monitor with swivel design.
  • 3x optical zoom, 7-21mm lens (equivalent to a 34-102mm lens on a 35mm camera) with auto and manual focus.
  • Three user-selectable focus points.
  • Digital telephoto as high as 3.6x.
  • Full Automatic, Program AE, Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority, and Manual exposure modes, as well as four preset exposure modes.
  • Manually adjustable aperture settings from f/2 to f/8, depending on zoom setting.
  • Manually adjustable shutter speed settings from 1/1,000 to 15 seconds.
  • Variable light sensitivity: Auto, 50, 100, 200, or 400 ISO equivalents.
  • Center-Weighted Average and Spot metering modes, with an adjustable Spot area.
  • White Balance adjustment with eight settings.
  • Built-in flash with five operating modes.
  • External flash hot shoe.
  • Continuous Shooting, Stitch-Assist, Auto Exposure Bracketing, and Movie recording modes.
  • Contrast, Sharpness, and Saturation adjustment.
  • Vivid Color, Normal Color, B&W, and Sepia options.
  • Remote control and utilities for operating the camera from a computer.
  • JPEG and RAW still image file formats, movies saved as AVI / Motion JPEGs.
  • Images saved to CompactFlash Type I or II memory cards, 32MB card included.
  • DPOF (Digital Print Order Format) compatibility.
  • USB cable for high-speed connection to a computer.
  • Canon Digital Camera 6.0 software included.
  • Powered by Canon BP-511 rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack, with AC adapter included.

Changes from the Canon PowerShot G1
As one of the most popular high-end "prosumer" digicams of the past year, many of our readers may already be quite familiar with the Canon PowerShot G1. The G2 is clearly based on the G1's design, with a very similar body design and control layout. There are a number of enhancements (beyond the obvious 4 megapixel CCD) that have been added though. We address all of these in the text of the review, but for convenience, have also listed them here, in this table we received from Canon technical manager Chuck Westfall. (Thanks, Chuck!)

Body Improvements/Differences
Enlarged Handgrip, Champagne metal cover
Standard grip,

gray metal cover

Startup screen, startup sound
Maximum Resolution
4.0 MP
3.2 MP
Resolution Settings
Large: 2272 x 1704/11.1MB

Medium1: 1600 x 1200

Medium2: 1024 x 768

Small: 640 x 480
Large: 2048 x 1536/9.0MB

Medium: 1024 x 768

Small: 640 x 480
Signal processing speed
Faster (twice as fast as G1)
Noise reduction
Battery Life
400 images/LCD on

1000 images/LCD off

300 minutes/Playback
260 images/LCD On

800 images/LCD off

160 minutes/Playback
Focusing Points
Manual Focus
Focusing area magnified on LCD monitor, numerical distance values displayed
Metering Modes
Evaluative, Centerweighted, Center Spot, Off-Center Spot
Centerweighted, Center Spot
Manual exposure mode improvements
Metering display when shutter button is pressed halfway; LCD monitor remains bright even when underexposure is set.
White Balance Modes
6 including new Fluorescent H for daylight fluorescents
Program Shift
Color Effects Mode
Movie Mode
320 x 240 — 30 sec.

160 x 120 — 120 sec.

320 x 240 — 30 sec.
Continuous Shooting Speeds
Continuous High: 2.5 fps

Continuous: 1.5 fps
Continuous: 1.7 fps
Startup time, shutter lag, etc.
Interval between frames in Single frame mode
1.6 sec.
1.8 sec.
Slow shutter speed range
15 sec.
8 sec.
High shutter speed and aperture combinations
1/640 — f/2.8~f/3.5 to f/8

1/800 — f/3.5~f/5.0 to f/8

1/1000 — f/8 only
1/640 ~ 1/1000 sec. —

f/8 only
Digital zoom function
True zoom up to 11x combined digital and optical
Digital teleconverter, either 2x or 4x for a maximum of 8x combined
Histogram display in Playback mode
Image magnification during playback
Image erase modes
Improved (fewer steps)
RemoteCapture functions
Improved: Live video can be shown on attached monitor as well as computer screen. Shutter button on camera remains functional.
Displays captured images only. Shutter can be released with computer only. Video out does not function while RemoteCapture is active.
USB Mounter for Mac OS 9.0 ~ 9.1
No (however, software itself is compatible with G1)
Direct Print mode with CP-10
Cropping in Direct Print mode
Accessory Compatibility
Same as G1 plus Macro Ring Lite MR-14EX
Wide, Tele and Macro Converters
Supplied CF Card

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