Conclusion - Pros
- Excellent resolution (as good as the best at the time of writing this review)
- Good metering (improved thanks to the new 'evaluative metering' mode)
- Good natural light white balance, strong, accurate and balanced colours
- Good control over cameras internal processing algorithms (saturation, tone, sharpness)
- Sharp, fast lens with little distortion and reduced chromatic aberrations
- Low noise at ISO 50, not as clean at ISO 100
- Solid build quality, though hand grip would have been nice with a rubber coating
- Good balance of external controls and menu options
- Superb fold-out and twist LCD, bright and assisted by anti-reflective coating
- Excellent range of manual controls (added new flexible AE after AE lock)
- Manual focus now has zoomed 'loupe'
- Flexible continuous shooting modes (buffer after processing)
- RAW file format maintains 10-bits of data
- Noise reduction works well, very few 'black pits'
- Compact Flash Type II and official Microdrive support
- Flash hot-shoe
- Good shot-to-shot times
- AF assist lamp works well
- Infrared remote control included
- Remote Capture software with live video feed included
- Excellent battery life, supplied charger / AC adapter
- Good accessory support
- USB connectivity
Conclusion - Cons
- Slow startup times (lens extension)
- Sharpening / diagonal line artifacts
- Average macro performance
- Zoom controller does not have enough increments / multiple zoom speed
- RAW acquire module / RAW convert doesn't have enough functionality
- Occasionally slow AF at telephoto
- Barrel distortion at wide angle
- Manual mode limits in relation to combinations of aperture and shutter speed
- Flimsy rubber door covering connections is still there
- Poorly positioned tripod mount
Here's my rating of the Canon PowerShot G2: (4 megapixel prosumer)
|Detail||Rating (out of 10)|
|Lens / CCD combination||9|
|Ease of use||9|
|Value for money||9|
Canon took the already successful G1, listened to the comments of reviewers and owners alike, added a four megapixel sensor, made the camera design a little more 'marketable' and came up with the G2. And the whole point is the G2 is a camera that just works, it does exactly what its supposed to and it does it well, and consistently. Resolution is what we'd expect from a four megapixel digital camera, colour balance is good and metering is improved over the G1.
Canon have also addressed some more fundamental things like selectable focus areas, evaluative metering and chromatic aberrations (reduced). These were probably among the top of G1 owners bugbears and they have been solved with the G2. The other nice thing about the G2 which we don't see in all digital cameras is the ability to control the in-camera image processing algorithms, this means that if you don't like or don't want the default colour or tone you can simply adjust it.
When you think about what you get with this camera, unique ISO 50, the excellent flip-out and twist LCD, a huge range of manual controls, RAW file format, Microdrive support, a decent AF assist lamp, a supplied Infrared remote control, flash hot-shoe, software remote capture, excellent battery life, a fast and sharp lens and on top of all this excellent image quality it's easy to see why the G2 is so strong.
Because of the sharpening / diagonal line artifacts I had considered marking the G2 down in my final conclusion, looking at my 'every day' shots it was clear that this was something that wasn't easily noticeable (however I did knock the image quality value result down to 8.5). Considering the overall quality and the extra functionality and features compared to its competition it is still clearly a 'Highly Recommended' digital camera.
So which one should I buy? A question I get asked several times a day, and I wouldn't like to say. In a new addition to my reviews (after the amount of feedback I normally get) I've added a link to a specific forum in which you can discuss the review or ask me specific questions which I've not answered in these pages.