PIX 2015
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JPEG/RAW Image Size & Quality

The G5 provides four image size options in combination with three JPEG quality settings. In addition to these there is also the RAW format (losslessly compressed) which can be considered a 'digital negative' as it contains the unprocessed data as it comes directly from the CCD (as well as information about camera settings).

Standard Test Scene

To give an impression of what some of the combinations of image size and quality produce the table below is a cross reference of some of them:

  • 2592 x 1944 RAW
  • 2592 x 1944 Super-Fine
  • 2592 x 1944 Fine
  • 2592 x 1944 Normal
  • 1600 x 1200 Super-Fine
  • 1024 x 768 Super-Fine
  • 640 x 480 Super-Fine

Images below are cropped 240 x 100 area of the image magnified 200% (nearest neighbour).

2592 x 1944
5,495 KB Canon RAW (.CRW) - not available for download

2,709 KB

1,695 KB

801 KB

1600 x 1200

1,173 KB

1024 x 768


494 KB

640 x 480


199 KB

As we have come to expect Canon's "Super-Fine" setting is very clean and as near to "lossless JPEG" as you could ask to get, it uses a very mild compression ratio and exhibits no visible JPEG artifacts or loss of detail. Higher compression ratios are available with the Fine and Normal settings, however these are also relatively clean, certainly compared to some other manufacturers algorithms. Canon also uses a quality interpolation algorithm when producing the downsampled 'lower resolution' images, they are clean and smooth with no hard jaggies. The G5 of course provides a RAW mode which in effect gives you a 'digital negative' which you can 'develop' with different settings (white balance, sharpening, exposure compensation etc.) than were originally set.

Custom Effect

The G5 has a dedicated 'Effect' menu which allows you to apply canned image processing settings to the images before they are stored, these include effects such as black and white, sepia, low sharpening and vivid color. In addition there is a Custom Effect setting which gives you control over three aspects of image processing. You can alter the sharpening, contrast and saturation of images. Although these settings are available in RAW mode they are not applied to the image in-camera but are stored in the RAW image header as the default settings for Canon's File Viewer Utility.

My only gripe must be that while it's good to see control over image processing (to be frank we expect it with this level of camera) I would have been much happier to see a greater latitude of adjustment, +/-3 levels at least.

Contrast and Saturation

Contrast -1 Contrast 0 Contrast +1
Saturation -1 Saturation 0 Saturation +1


Sharpening -1
Sharpening 0
Sharpening +1
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Total comments: 4

Used this like 10 years ago. It looks kinda cool, the size is nice, the lens is nice. It's horribly noisy (optically) at "higher" iso. Back then it was good/ok low-light performance for a digital, but we've come a long way!

1 upvote

So, given this is a 12 going on 13 year old camera, and you could pick one up for 12 bux with extra working batteries, would it still be considered an interesting IF not excellent camera?. I have compact flash cards to go into just laying around from when I had a Canon XT and once had the G2 which took pretty good stills. (Has the feel of one of the classic Canon rangefinders). Anyway, even though 4x zoom isn't much, is it better than a cell phone camera?...Thanks

Comment edited 1 minute after posting

Just picked one up for £40 UK pounds, in great condition, it may be old and feels old. But its very good and clean as its not bloated with too many pixels. The lens is sharp. For what i could buy new for £40 its like 10x better.

1 upvote
jazz camcorder

i bought a bulk lot of cameras camcorders mp4 players gps systems ect about 2 years ago for 48nzd and this camera was in the lot and all it needed was a new battery and i must say it takes some really hq photos and it damn good in low light and seeing as it only 5mp that is good enough for me

Total comments: 4