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Shutter Priority Mode

Shutter priority is where you designate the shutter speed and the camera calculates the correct aperture, if the exposure is outside of the cameras range (either over or under exposing) the nearest aperture will display in red on the LCD screen. For more read my digital photography glossary. The sample below was shot at 1/1000sec in Shutter Priority mode with an external flash (the onboard flash will only sync up to 1/250s).

1/1000s, F8.0, External Flash


Bracketing

Bracketing is the automatic exposure of an odd number of frames, typically three or five, over and under exposed by equal steps to enable the photographer to select the best exposed frame at a later time. The G1 supports bracketing of three shots at either +/- 0.3, 0.7, 1.0, 1.3, 1.7 or 2.0 EV from the metered exposure, it takes the normal shot first followed by the under then over exposed shots. This option is available in P, Tv (Shutter Priority) and Av (Aperture Priority) exposure modes. The sample below was shot with 0.7 EV bracketing.

1/400s, F8.0
(Normal exposure)
1/640s, F8.0
(-0.7 EV exposure)
1/250s, F8.0
(+0.7 EV exposure)


Stitch Assist

The G1's built-in panorama mode named "Stitch Assist" is designed to be used with the provided Photo Stitch Software, essentially you can take a panorama (left-right, right-left, up-down, down-up) or 2 x 2 square, the LCD becomes a guide showing a reduced size image preview against the previously shot images. I personally didn't have much success with Photo Stitch but still used the Stitch Assist mode combined with PanaVue ImageAssembler. Note that Stitch Assist locks the exposure of the sequence to the measured exposure of the first frame. Look, a 6.6 megapixel G1 image! ;-)


Macro Focus

Not fantastic, but then Canon almost admit that by having an optional close-up lens (whch we hope to have soon to add to this review). Without it the macro focus range is rated as 6 cm at Wide and 20 cm at Tele, we found Tele to give the best (closest possible) frame coverage, but even with our best efforts we couldn't manage better than about 3" across the frame. I'll update this section of the review if and when I get my hands on the close-up adapter.


Long Exposure Noise Reduction

A feature the G1 has inherited from its upcoming big brother the EOS-D30 is noise reduction for exposures longer than 1.3 seconds. To test this we took two shots just either side of the cut-off point (there's no way to enable / disable noise reduction on the G1).

1.6 sec, F5.6 (noise reduction) 1.0 sec, F4.5 (no noise reduction)

I think it's fairly clear to see from the above samples that the noise reduction really does work, it appears to use a form of dark frame subtraction (as there is a small "black hole") visible on these crops just at the bottom where the stuck blue pixel is on the 1 second image. The sample below goes even further, an eight second exposure, here even the noise reduction can't stop some of the stuck pixels and where it's subtracted noise you can see black holes but generally speaking it's a good performance compared to other 3 megapixel digital cameras of the same class.

8 sec, F2.8 (noise reduction)


Internal Flash

The flash on the G1 is rated as: at wide: 0.7 - 4.5 m, at tele: 0.7 - 3.6 m. These are pretty brave ratings, as most internal flashes on digital cameras don't work far beyond 3 m. Indeed in our tests we found the G1's internal flash to have an approximate 3 m "usable range" from wide to tele.

Very odd. Focusing was correct (and thus the camera knew the distance to subject) but our plain wall at full wide angle shot came out horribly under exposed. Uh oh.. Do I detect a pale-skintones problem? Trust me, my hand isn't this blue.
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