Discussion in 'Mirrorless Digital Cameras' started by albert_smith, Oct 26, 2007.
The G9 is now fully reviewed at: dpreview's full G9 review
What I wanted in a G9:
(i) 28mm wide angle (and I'd be glad to give up some of that 6x zoom for it)
(ii) Quit crowding more and more megapixels onto that sensor -- 8 would be ample, 10 was pushing it, 12 is getting downright silly -- it slows you down, fills up your card, and introduces unwanted noise which is dealt with at the expense of smearing, etc.
(iii) Allow manual focus to be preset to a given distance (which it does), but allow that even with the lcd turned off (which it evidently does not)
(iv) Above all, please give me back the twist/swivel lcd from my G2 and many other G's.
Do you suppose, Albert, that we miss the twist/swivel because each of us is probably old enough to remember the twist, even though we (protest that we) didn't dance it ?
I say as a G9 user (and also G2 and G6) for a couple weeks now, the swivel screen is what I miss most. The strap supplied is a piece of junk, I'll find a way to fit a real lowepro strap, because the G9 is more "droppable" in my hand than the G2. I do like the way it fits in my pocket, which will work until I get the lensmate adapter...I got mine at new egg about $40 cheaper than B&H and included a 1gb card, I see they are still running that special today.
I just bought a G9 at buy.com for $457 and no shipping and using the Google shopping cart for the first time (-$10), no extra 1GB card though. This is my first Canon G[n]and I like ti a lot; normally I use a Canon 1Ds Mark II which is too heavy for traveling. I just read the review and am disappointed that it is noise from 400 ISO up, but I wanted RAW capture and this is the only one in it's class that has it. I really really wanted to use an SLR when traveling but they are just too bulky, heavy particularly if you carry lenses too.
I'd like a G8. All the G9 technology and sensor size but with extended zoom at both ends, 8 megapixels for hopefully less noise and higher ISO useability and a flip screen,
I played with the G9 in the store, and while I saw many "cool" things about it, I passed even though I had the money in my pocket.
I know that after a long time with the A-series 620 and 630, I would miss that vari-angle finder. Without even thinking, I am swinging and tilting that LCD for the subject before I even start to compose. Even for standard subjects, I know that looking down into the up-faceing finder with the camera held against my chest is more stable than having both arms out at eye level. I also like "AA" batteries.
I will get an A-650 IS for now, and enjoy the same lens and processor as the G9. I don't shoot RAW, so I won't miss it.
If you shoot at the slowest iso its a nice camera but according to the dpreview test its yet another expensive camera that is noisy at iso 400 and above(we all know which ones are expensive and noisy). This is unforgivable for its price. When will they gice these cameras a little larger sensor and cut back on the MP and concentrate on better pictures with less noise at iso 400 and above.
I strongly agree with all of Michael S's points except #2 (ii).
Why can't you just turn down the megapixel count. After all, a
4000x3000 (12 Mp) image from Bayer sensor is essentially a 2667x2000
(5.3 Mp) true-color image.
Unfortunately the reviewers seldom tell you what happens at lower
megapixels. But I noticed vast improvement in the G2's image quality
when doing that.
People are getting wonderful pictures with the G9 despite the nits noted above.
Canon's not going to solve all the nits. They wouldn't want to foresake DSLR sales nor
upgrades to point and shoots.
Solution? Buy one or two of yesteryear's point and shoots with the compromises you can live
with. Then grouse about their particular nits.
I doubt that family p&s shooters need a 12mp. A 6mp that is clean has good noise up to at least iso 800 and a fairly fast lens is all they need for 8x10" prints. the 1.7 sensors seem to work better than the the 2.5 sensors and cameras with them are in the same price range.
So much noise about noise, as always. Many read the reviews, and dismiss the camera without even testing it. And not only the G9, other serious cameras too (GRD, GX100, LX2, etc).
The truth is, run the ISO 400 or 800 image from a G9 RAW through a slight amount of noise reduction software, and the results are quite acceptable to me.
Don't be a sheep in the flock, do your own homework, otherwise I think you will miss on a great little camera. The G9 is the G7 plus RAW, and that is very good.
Noise is a veil that your lenses resolution vanishes into. Acceptable to you it may be but to me on a persons face a blob looks like a zit. I am used to shooting with good equipment and for the money you will pay for a G9 or GRD at iso 800 you should get finer results. And lets not forget you may have the time and patience to doctor up the cameras failings in this regard but others should decide if their money and time would be better spent on a camera that could give them cleaner results without resorting to doctoring images.
My high end digital is a Nikon D70, which I really like, but any DSLR is not a take anywhere camera. For convenience and good quality, I have owned and spun off to son, daughter, and wife my powershots A80, A95, and A620. I did not upgrade to A630/640 because I didn't think they were a major leap forward. As far as the megapixel wars go, I have made 12 by 18 inch prints from the 5 meg A95 that met any criteria I could ever wish for. Higher megs to me means more flexible cropping along with unavoidable noise. Along with most of you, I would sacrifice the tele-end of the zoom for a 28 mm wide angle.
I have been eagerly anticipating the G9, A650IS and the Nikon P5100. Amortized over the life of the cameras, they are essentially equal in price. I was hoping that one of the three would get rave reviews that screamed "buy me". Image quality is of course paramount but only if it clearly and significantly different among the the three. I don't know that "raw" format is all that significant at this level of camera. I consider an optical viewfinder to be mandatory, which all three cameras have.
I have decided to go with the A650IS for (1) the flexible LCD (more useful than you can imagine), (2) it has a great grip and you CAN use it with one hand (the G9 seems insufficient here), and (3) because the 650 uses AA batteries. I have used non-rechargable lithium batteries in my previous powershots and they seem to last forever. My wife recently completed a hiking pilgrimmage to Santiago in Spain, and I had no doubt that the lithium AAs would last the whole two weeks, without recharging worries, and if not, AAs are always available locally.
The A650 problems with light leaks seem to have been solved. I haven't placed the order yet, so if any of you have reasons why I should reconsider, I would appreciate your comments. (As for the D70, I suspect I have a D300 in my future.)
A650 is very popular. You'll enjoy it.
None of these small Canons get good iso800 results without heavy noise.
The problem is 1/2.5" sensors are used in most of them except the ones with 10mp and more which pack too many MP in the larger 1/1.7 inch sensor and they also are noisy. Canon did this so you will get their Dslr cameras.
I might get a G6 dpreview tested it to have more like an iso 650 for the labeled 400 setting and it had a fast lens and sturdy body, you should be able to buy one used for $250 bucks. Maybe someone else made a 6-7mb digicam with some good controls and less noisy high iso.
Since my previous comment, I had to run some errands and took the time to drop in to my local camera shop. They had a G9 which I was able to fondle. I like the large clear LCD although I can see that it will get very gunky with use. I loved the live histogram of exposure.
However, the deal breaker is how it felt in my hands. I have somewhat large hands and could not get a secure and comfortable grip on the camera. In contrast, the A650 felt like it was personally designed for me. Dell computers has a deal where they are selling the A650 for about $339. How can I be assured that their cameras do not suffer from the light leak problem. Anyone know of better deals. I would like to avoid sales tax on the cameras.
...they are selling the A650 for about $339. How can I be assured that their cameras do not suffer from the light leak problem?
Easy! just click on this link for the Canon info about how to tell if the A650 that you are looking at is flawed. It is a quick check of the serial number and / or a tick mark if the problem was fixed if the serial number is effected. The link has very clear photos of how to tell.
How to tell if your A650 is effected by the light leak problem as per canon's service message FWIW... I am totally happy with my A620 and A630, but the A650 is in my sights for the reason of the image stabilizer, and the slightly longer focal length... not the 12.1 MP. The updated processor (III vs. II) might be better too, but I am still happy when I get my prints from my lab.... straight from the card. If the A650 is as good as the other previous models, it should be enough for many as a carry everywhere camera.
"Noise is a veil that your lenses resolution vanishes into. Acceptable to you it may be but to me on a persons face a blob looks like a zit. I am used to shooting with good equipment and for the money you will pay for a G9 or GRD at iso 800 you should get finer results. And lets not forget you may have the time and patience to doctor up the cameras failings in this regard but others should decide if their money and time would be better spent on a camera that could give them cleaner results without resorting to doctoring images."
I simply do not fall into the trap of "noise", whereby if a digicam does not offer noise-free images at high ISO, then it must be useless. Up to ISO 400, the noise in the G9 is not unpleasant to my eyes. I am used to slide film, so I actually do not like the clinically clean images from digital. I like a bit of character and texture. At higher ISO, all digicams smear detail to reduce noise (some more than others), so the option to have RAW is invaluable. That's all I am saying.
With the current crop of cameras, this apporach is unavoidable. You can keep waiting and waiting forever, until the digicam of your dreams comes true, but in the meantime you will pass up many good cameras. So tell me, for 500 dollars US, what other camera can give you images at higher ISO that you do not need to doctor, and built like the G9, and with the same level of professional control? Let me know when you find it.
By the way, I am used to good equipment too.
If you want character then you can use PS to give someone an extra nose, and some pizza topping that is truly Bizzaro. For me I like nice smooth skin and facial features to look well, nice.
There are some really inexpensive Fuji F10 F30 etc. that do fine at iso 800 and ok at 1600. If one wants a rugged camera Pentax, Canon and Nikon make some compact slr that are not that much more than a G9 and would fit large hands better(someone mentioned that G9 is too small for her hands). I don't worry about these little cameras being tough because I have a padded Optech USA fitted case that protects them when not in use, it only takes a second to get a camera out and ready to shoot.
For the money their are better shooters and better values.
No one has mentioned the thing that drives me insane on my G9 (and on my very old G2).
Given that you don't want to turn up the ISO you will probably want to use flash. The G9 has a flash hot shoe that is compatible with EX series flashes.
I typically shoot flash in one of two ways:
1) In manual mode on the camera. Shoot wide open with a shutter speed that I feel comfortable holding and that will give some background exposure.
2) Shoot in Av with negative EC dialed in.
Neither of these works on a G9. In M mode the G9 forces the flash into manual mode too. In Av mode selecting a flash makes forces the shutter speed to 1/60. Generally not enough to expose the background evenly.
Furthermore I have to put the camera in M mode or Tv mode to access long shutter speeds. The camera will not use shutter speeds slower than 1" in Av even if this means grossly underexposing the picture. I am not going to be able to handhold at 1s so why not just flash the camera shake warning and then take the picture as asked. Putting the camera in M mode just to use the on screen matchstick display to determine the correct shutter speed is just doing what Av should be doing but slower and more painfully.
The flash problem continues to bother me. Walking along the banks of a river at sunset I like to take pictures with the sunset in the background and use the flash to illuminate the foreground. The only way I can do this wit any control is in M mode. I guess I need to get facile at those manual flash calculations again.
It doesn't support flash exposure compensation?
I have to check this out.
you cannot use a flash with its own auto thyrister sensor that has say f2.8 and f5.6 auto settings.
That is my current work around. I have a collection of Vivitar 285HV flashes that I use for off camera flash. Still trying to work out the behavior of the flash sensor but it does give me a distance scale for the manual computations (as does the 550EX provided I set the flash to manual).
In mode where it supports flash metering it supports FEC. In M mode it does not support flash metering at all. In Av mode and dim light the ambient meter is ignore when shooting with flash.
Metz made a flash I have it 32cs4 if I can remember the model # and it had a mode for digicam. Seems the sync is not the same as film cameras so film model flashes are off. I think that is why Nikon came out with SB800 series for digital. Anyhow the point is it has two modes one for digital that uses the little on camera flash to trigger the Metz flash which augments the in camera flash and no hot shoe or cords are required. Call Vivitar and check voltages I think some Vivitars had high voltage that may burn out newer flashes. Also, Vivitar can tell you how the canon sync can work with your flash, and maybe you can tell us the story on how digital sync is different than film sync circuits.
It seems like I've been using the EX 220 with exposure compensation. I use it on-camera or off-camera with a cord and have had good results.
I think the G9 is fantastic and have revamped my travel equipment, resorting to the G9 and an SD800IS. A lot lighter than my D200, 12-24, 24-85, and 30mm f/1.4. I am awaiting the WA adapter for the G9, but a recent trip to Utah and Colorado proved this to be a workable combination for me.
The G9 would be acceptable to me if there were a half eveready case for it that exposed the LCD and controls, and provided a firm grip.
As per the following review, G9 offers remote capture via the PC! Did anyone tried the feature? Link The G9 also supports remote capture from your Mac or PC using the RemoteCapture Task build into the Browser software. You can operate nearly all of the camera's features from your PC, and when you take a photo, the image is saved onto your hard drive. This is a feature rarely found on fixed-lens cameras, so kudos to Canon for offering it.
Kerry, the SC-DC55A case is an everready type case that is proving to be popular. Thing is,
it's only available in the US from overseas. Ebay sellers offer both the official Canon version
and a knock-off of it. TechBuy in Australia sells it, as do some UK dealers.
Most film cameras use off-the-film metering. Since digital does not have film and the reflective characteristics of the sensor are different most digital cameras use a different, preflash based, form of flash metering. Not all flashes support this style of metering. Regular optical slaves are triggered by the preflash that is used for metering and do not react to the actual flash pulse.
Improve the handling on the G9 with a "Custom Grip". See http://www.mycanong7.com/65801/460401.html for ordering information. I got mine and love it.
I also love my G9 and get around the noise at higher ISOs by not using them, instead I use good technique (read tripod) just as I did in the days of Kodachrome 25 and Fuji 50 Velvia. See some of my images at http://www.panoramio.com/user/289226/tags/G9
Nice photos Jim. Allow me to make a link which might make it easier for people to visit the work.
Jim Dockery's G9 photos
The grip is something I'll be getting for the G9. Another improvement is an Op-Tech neck
strap. I met the president of Op-Tech during a camera expo and he had agreed to sell to me
a customized version of one of his straps, outfitted with quick release that engages with G9's
diminutive fixings. Very cool stuff. I had customized Canon's strap with some spare
neoprene, but the appearance is a bit hand-made.
Thanks for the link Albert, I should have done that myself.
I don't use the neck strap on my G9 because it would be too big for the Lowe D-pods stretch neoprene case I use for quick access when hiking/skiing. I found an old wrist strap around the house that I managed to jam through the tiny hole on the G9.
Look at the Kata Digital Pouch DP-415. Also good for wrist strapped G9s. It fixes to the belt.
My G9 with L bracket fit beautifully - not too tight and not too sloppy. This is a design
departure from Kata - It's not one with futuristic ribbed rubber. It's conservative. Comes with
a thin shoulder strap and waterproof shroud. Very soft inside throughout to caress the
I agree with Jim regarding good technique and I would also like to thank him for the wonderful gallery shot with the G9. The G9 is the first digital compact I have been tempted by, although I do not own one yet. If you read this Jim, or indeed any other G9 owners, I have a quick question. I have read some reviews which indcate the image might suffer from chromatic aberration and some softening (mostly in the corners) at full tele and wide. Of your shots that appear full frame, I would say that this did not seem to be an issue in real world shooting. How have you found the camera in this respect and do you recall any stats such as focal length used for the apparent full frame shots in your gallery?
I have tried to get an e-mail through to your address and they all bounce.
My guess is you really like the G9
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