Almost exactly a year after the PowerShot G7 was announced Canon has launched its successor, the PowerShot G9 digital camera. Key changes include the much-requested inclusion of a raw shooting mode, a bright new 3.0-inch screen and a new 12.1MP 1/1.7-inch sensor. The face detection, focus and handling have also been improved (the latter through a redesign of the grip and the addition of a small thumb grip) and the G9 is now compatible with Canon's ST-E2 wireless flash transmitter. One thing we have all asked for has now returned; RAW capture. The 6x optically-stabilized zoom remains the same.

Simon: We've had a production quality G9 for a few days and have produced a small gallery of sample shots (click here).

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Press Release (European):

RAW power – Canon raises the bar with PowerShot G9

Amstelveen, The Netherlands, 20 August, 2007 - Canon today launches its new flagship compact for advanced photographers – the 12.1 Megapixel PowerShot G9. The successor to the PowerShot G7 – recently named EISA European Advanced Compact Camera 2007-2008 – the PowerShot G9 incorporates improvements driven by market feedback with a range of user-oriented enhancements, including RAW image capture* and a redesigned grip and thumb rest for improved handling. Other advancements include a high resolution 3.0” PureColor LCD II, enhanced Face Detection Technology and Red-Eye Correction in playback². A wide range of accessories – including optional lenses and Speedlite flash units – now also features Canon’s Speedlite ST-E2 wireless flash transmitter.

“A combination of advanced features, precision Canon optics and user-centric design made the PowerShot G7 our most successful G-series camera yet,” explained Mogens Jensen, Head of Canon Consumer Imaging, Europe. “By incorporating user requests and adding further enhancements, our engineers have made a great camera even better.”

The PowerShot G9 features:

  • 12.1 Megapixels (1/1.7” sensor) with RAW mode for maximum image control
  • 6x optical zoom lens with optical Image Stabilizer and SR coating*
  • DIGIC III and iSAPS for lightning fast response, superb image quality and advanced Noise Reduction*
  • Face Detection AF/AE/FE and Red-Eye Correction in playback
  • 3.0” high-resolution, PureColor LCD II with extra wide viewing angle
  • ISO 1600 and Auto ISO Shift
  • Compact body with dedicated ISO and Multi Control dials
  • 25 shooting modes including full manual control and 2 custom settings
  • Extra telephoto reach with Digital Tele-Converter and Safety Zoom*
  • Hot shoe support for Canon Speedlite flashes and optional lens accessories

*See Technologies Explained

Total image control

With an enlarged 12.1 Megapixel (1/1.7”) sensor, the PowerShot G9 gives photographers the flexibility to crop images and produce high quality prints up to A2 size. The addition of RAW image recording and simultaneous RAW+JPEG recording offers advanced users complete control over image processing. The supplied ZoomBrowser software includes RAW Image Task for fine adjustment of settings such as exposure compensation, white balance, tonal curve and colour temperature. RAW images can then be converted into either JPEG or TIFF format.

Canon precision optics for ultimate clarity

Exceptional optical performance is assured by the fast f/2.8 (W) – f/4.8 (T) Canon 6x optical zoom lens (35-210mm focal length, 35mm equivalent), which includes a double-sided aspherical lens element to counteract lens distortions. The addition of SR coating significantly reduces ghosting and chromatic aberration, while Canon’s optical Image Stabilizer technology counteracts the effects of camera shake. The risk of image blur is further reduced by ISO Shift, which allows an instant ISO boost whenever camera shake threatens to affect image quality. Benefiting from the large pixel count, Safety Zoom allows extra digital zoom with no interpolation – images can be captured at up to 15x zoom with enough resolution for lab-quality postcard (10 x 15cm) prints. Digital Tele-Converter adds extra telephoto reach to every shot (1.5x or 2.0x), without any reduction in aperture.

Improved Face Detection and Red-Eye Correction

The PowerShot G9 offers high speed operation and accurate image rendering through Canon’s DIGIC III processor, which also powers Face Detection Technology. In addition to focus and exposure control, Face Detection Technology has been improved on the PowerShot G9 to adjust for flash exposure – particularly helpful when using the flash close to a subject. A new Face Select and Track function enables the user to manually select and track an individual face from up to 35 faces detected in frame. Photographers will also benefit from Red-Eye Correction in playback, allowing in-camera removal of red-eye from captured images.

Designed for photographers

Built for photo-enthusiasts, the PowerShot G9 provides external controls that include a dedicated ISO dial, multi-control dial and customisable shortcut button. The analogue-inspired design of the PowerShot G9 has been updated on this model with a textured coating and a black alumite lens ring. A larger grip and pronounced thumb rest ensure secure and comfortable handling. On the back of the camera, a 3.0” PureColor LCD II offers several benefits. With 230,000 pixels resolution, the high contrast screen provides vastly improved colour reproduction and better visibility at wider angles of view. An anti-reflective coating helps in sunny conditions, while a protective layer guards against knocks and scrapes. The PowerShot G9 retains its optical viewfinder for extra framing flexibility.

Creativity unlimited

Advanced photographers will benefit from a selection of 25 shooting modes that includes full Manual, Av and Tv, along with two custom modes for user-defined settings. Shooting modes are complemented by a variety of features that assist creative shooting. Safety MF performs fine adjustments to aid manual focusing, while Safety FE reduces the risk of blown highlights when using the flash. Photographers can now choose a smaller AF frame size for finer focusing control – particularly helpful when using the camera’s 1cm Macro mode. Other useful features include an in-built ND (Neutral Density) filter, AEB (auto exposure bracketing), focus bracketing and a live histogram display. A new Image Resize function lets users downsize full-resolution images to 1600x1200, 640x480 and 320x240 sizes. This is equally useful for conserving storage space or preparing images for email or the Web.

Powerful movie functions

The photographic features of the PowerShot G9 are matched by a powerful array of movie capabilities. In addition to VGA (30fps) and high resolution XGA (15fps) movie recording, the PowerShot G9 introduces LP (Long Play) mode. This mode offers movies of half the file size without compromising on resolution or frame rate. The new Time Lapse Movie function allows the extended capture of changing scenes – such as a blooming flower, or bustling city streets - for accelerated playback as smooth VGA-quality movie clips.

No boundaries: Speedlite flash units and system accessories

With hot shoe support for Canon Speedlite EX series flash units, the PowerShot G9 is ideal for existing EOS digital SLR users or those seeking to experiment with creative flash photography. The camera supports the Speedlite ST-E2 wireless file transmitter for multi-flash setups. Additionally, the camera’s menu can be used to control flash settings for the recently launched Speedlite 580EX II.

The PowerShot G9 is compatible with a range of optional lens accessories, including wide (0.75x) and tele (2.0x) converter lenses. A waterproof case allows for shooting at depths of up to 40 metres. Offering a level of flexibility typically only found on digital SLRs, the PowerShot G9 provides photo enthusiasts with a camera that’s fully equipped to lift the limits of their creative potential.

Additional Information

Printing

Full PictBridge support means users can print directly to any PictBridge compatible printer without the need for a PC. A Print/Share button allows one-touch printing and easy uploads to Windows or Mac systems.

Language

The PowerShot G9 user interface supports 25 languages: English, German, French, Dutch, Danish, Finnish, Italian, Norwegian, Swedish, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Japanese, Russian, Portuguese, Korean, Greek, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Turkish, Thai, Arabic, Romanian and Ukrainian.

Memory Card Support

In addition to SD, SDHC and MMC cards, the PowerShot G9 supports the new MMCplus and HC MMCplus formats for storage capacities of up to 32GB. The camera comes supplied with a 32MB memory card.

Software

The PowerShot G9 comes bundled with the following Canon Software:

  • ZoomBrowser EX 6.0 (Windows), ImageBrowser 6.0 (Mac): For organizing and editing images, movies and slideshows, or creating and printing digital photo albums.
  • PhotoStitch 3.1 (Windows) /3.2 (Mac): For creating panoramic photos from multiple images.

The bundled software supports Windows 2000 (SP4), XP (SP2) and Vista, or Macintosh OS X v10.3-v10.5. The PowerShot G9 supports PTP for driverless transfer to Windows XP and Mac OS X, along with MTP for image and movie transfers to Windows Vista. Purchasers of the camera are eligible for membership of CANON iMAGE GATEWAY*, 100MB of online ‘personal gallery’ space for sharing stills and video with family and friends.
*CANON iMAGE GATEWAY is not available in all European countries. Please see www.cig.canon-europe.com for available countries. Movie upload requires users to download and install the movie upload task, available after registration from the CANON iMAGE GATEWAY site.

Accessories

  • Speedlite 220EX/ 430EX/ 580EX/580EX Mark III
  • Speedlite Wireless Transmitter ST-E2
  • Off-Camera Shoe Cord OC-E3

Canon PowerShot G9 specifications

  PowerShot G9
Sensor

• 1/1.7" Type CCD
• 12.1 million effective pixels

Image sizes • 4000 x 3000
• 3264 x 2448
• 2592 x 1944
• 1600 x 1200
• 640 x 480
• 4000 x 2248
Movie clips • 1024 x 768 @ 15fps
• 640 x 480 @ 30fps
• 320 x 240 @ 30fps
• 160 x 120 @ 15fps
• Time Lapse (640 x 480 @ 0.5/1fps, playback @15fps)
Maximum clip length • 1024 x 768, 640 x 480, 320 x 240: 4GB or 1 hour
• 160 x 120: 3 mins
• Time lapse: 120 mins
File formats • JPEG (Exif v2.2)
• DPOF 1.1
• RAW
• AVI (Motion JPEG + WAVE)
Lens • 35-210mm (35mm equiv)
• 6x optical zoom
• F2.8-4.8
Image stabilization Yes (Lens-Shift)
Conversion lenses Yes
Digital zoom up to 4x
Focus TTL
AF area modes • Face Detection AiAF
• 9-point AiAF
• 1-point AF (center, FlexiZone or Face Select and Track)
• Manual focus
• Focus bracketing
AF lock Yes (on/off selectable)
AF assist lamp Yes
Focus distance Closest focus distance 1cm
Metering • Evaluative (linked to Face Detection AF frame)
• Center-weighted average
• Spot (center, linked to Flexizone or Face Detection AF points)
ISO sensitivity • Auto
• High ISO Auto
• ISO 80
• ISO 100
• ISO 200
• ISO 400
• ISO 800
• ISO 1600
AE lock Yes (on/off selectable)
Exposure compensation +/- 2EV in 1/3 stop increments
Exposure Bracketing +/- 1/3 - 2EV in 1/3 stop increments
Shuttter speed 15-1/2500 sec
Modes

• Auto
• Program AE
• Shutter Priority AE
• Aperture Priority AE
• Manual
• Custom (2 modes)
• Stitch Assist
• Movie
• Special Scene

Scene modes

• Portrait
• Landscape
• Night Scene
• Sports
• Night Snapshot
• Kids & Pets
• Indoor
• Foliage
• Snow
• Beach
• Fireworks
• Aquarium
• Underwater
• ISO 3200
• Color Accent
• Color Swap

White balance • Auto
• Daylight
• Cloudy
• Tungsten
• Fluorescent
• Fluorescent H
• Flash
• Underwater
• Custom 1
• Custom 2
Orientation sensor Yes
Self timer 2 or 10sec, custom
Continuous shooting • Approx 0.7fps until card is full (AF)
• Approx 0.8fps until card is full (LiveView)
• Approx 1.5fps until card is full (LCD monitor off)
Image parameters My Colors (My Colors Off, Vivid, Neutral, Sepia, Black & White, Positive Film, Lighter Skin Tone, Darker Skin Tone, Vivid Blue, Vivid Green, Vivid Red, Custom Color)
Flash • Auto, Flash On, Flash Off, Slow Sync, Red-eye reduction
• +/- 2EV in 1/3 stop increments
• Face Detection FE compensation
• Safety FE
• Flash exposure lock
• Manual Power Adjustment (3 levels with internal flash, 19 with external EX Speedlite)
• Range (Internal, Auto ISO): 30cm - 4.0m (wide) / 2.5m (tele)
Viewfinder • Real-image zoom optical viewfinder
• Dioptre Correction
LCD monitor • 3.0-inch P-Si TFT
• 230,000 pixels
• 100% coverage
• 15 levels of brightness adjustment
Connectivity • USB 2.0 Hi-Speed
• AV out (PAL / NTSC switchable)
Print compliance PictBridge
Storage • SD, SDHC, MMC, MMCplus , HC MMCplus compatible
• 32 MB card supplied
Power • Li-Ion battery pack NB-2LH / NB-2L
• Optional AC adapter ACK-DC20
Operating Environment 0 – 40 °C, 10 – 90% humidity
Weight (no batt) 320g (9.4 oz)
Dimensions 106.4 x 71.9 x 42.5 mm (4.2 x 2.8 x 1.7 in)

Technologies Explained

DIGIC III

Canon’s DIGIC III (DIGital Imaging Core) image processor manages all of the camera’s primary functions to optimize operating efficiency. Advanced image processing algorithms deliver superb image detail and colour reproduction with accurate white balance. High-speed processing results in outstanding responsiveness, rapid auto focus and extended continuous shooting ability. DIGIC III also powers advanced Noise Reduction Technology and Face Detection AF/AE/FE.

Optical Image Stabilizer

The PowerShot G9 uses a lens shift-type Image Stabilizer (IS) system to detect and correct slight camera shakes that can cause image blur. Minute vibration gyros detect lens tilting caused by hand shake. These signals – up to 4,000 per second – are processed by a single-chip IS controller, which discriminates between hand shake and intentional camera movements. Shake signals are sent to the IS unit, which moves one of the lens elements accordingly to deflect the light rays and cancel out the effects of shake. For improved accuracy and responsiveness, the moving lens element is supported on tiny ceramic spheres. In addition to minimising friction, ceramic spheres avoid some of the problems that can affect metal spheres, such as thermal expansion and magnetism. The optical IS allows photographers to shoot at shutter speeds up to 3 stops slower with no perceptible increase in image blur due to camera shake.

RAW Image Recording

The PowerShot G9 supports Canon’s proprietary RAW (CR2) data. In RAW images, image data from the CCD sensor is recorded in camera without any image processing. This enables the adjustment of various processing parameters through software after shooting. RAW recording is ideal for applications where image deterioration (due to JPEG compression) is unacceptable, or for situations where only one shutter opportunity is possible.

Face Detection AF/AE/FE

Canon’s Face Detection AF/AE/FE system automatically detects up to nine faces within a frame before adjusting the focus, exposure and flash to ensure optimal results. It is able to determine which faces are intended to be the subject, instantly reverting to the partnering 9-point AiAF system if no face is the primary subject.

iSAPS

iSAPS (Intelligent Scene Analysis based on Photographic Space) automatically optimises key camera settings before every shot. Each scene is analysed and cross-referenced against Photographic Space – a vast in-camera library of photographic data. This enables the camera to make optimal adjustments to auto exposure, auto focus and auto white balance before image capture occurs.

SR Coating

The SR (Small Radius) coating is used on lenses containing elements that have a significantly smaller radius on the back surface of the lens than on the front surface. The coating is optimised for small radii and is designed to maintain the highest resolution and colour fidelity possible by dramatically reducing ghosting and flare, while virtually eliminating chromatic aberration.

Digital Tele-Converter and Safety Zoom

Similar to placing an accessory lens on the front of the camera, Canon’s Digital Tele-Converter adds a constant digital zoom to every shot (1.5x / 2.0x). While optical converter lenses cause a reduction in aperture and consequently require a slower shutter speed, the Digital Tele-Converter maintains aperture size, reducing the risk of image blur.

Safety Zoom protects the image from interpolation at high levels of digital zoom, allowing users to extend zoom magnification without sacrificing image quality.

Level of Safety Zoom possible at each image size setting without loss of image quality:

Large
Medium 1
Medium 2
Medium 3
Small
Powershot G9
6.0x
7.4x
9.3x
15x
24x

Additional Images