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Top of camera controls

Top of the camera are a variety of controls, at the top right of this image is the shutter release button surrounded by newly shaped the zoom controller (not proportional, simply zoom in / zoom out). Below this is the drive control button (normal, continuous, self-timer, remote). Beside this is the main power / record / play dial which surrounds the exposure mode sub-dial, each exposure mode is described in more detail below:

Power Switch

Record (shooting) mode

Immediately switches to shooting mode, lens extends (if it is not already) zoom resets to the last used position and camera prepares to shoot (depending on exposure mode - below).
OFF Power Off

Switches the camera off, lens retracts. If there are any images still in the cameras buffer it will continue to write them out to the storage card before fully powering off.
Play mode

Displays the last image shot (or the last image on the storage card). All controls revert to their play mode function. Remote control is automatically enabled.

Something new with the G2 - when you power the camera on it plays a little 'tadada' tune and displays 'PowerShot' on a blue clouds background on the LCD.

Zoom Controller (Record mode)

Zoom telephoto

Zooms the camera's lens towards the telephoto setting, maximum optical zoom of 102 mm (35mm equiv.). A full zoom from wide to tele takes 2.8 seconds. If the camera is already at maximum optical zoom and digital zoom is enabled the camera will apply increasing levels of digital zoom.
Zoom wide angle

Zooms the camera's lens towards the wide angle setting of 34 mm (35mm equiv.). A full zoom from tele to wide takes 2.8 seconds.

Zoom Controller (Play mode)

Image magnify (zoom in)

Magnifies the displayed image, the first press goes to 3x, the second to 6x.
Image magnify (zoom out)

If the displayed image is magnified pressing the zoom lever towards wide zooms out of the magnification.

Drive / Self-Timer Mode Button

Drive Mode

Selects between different exposure drive modes:

 • Single shot
 • Continuous (either normal or high speed - menu option)
 • Self-Timer (remote control enabled)

Exposure Modes

Automatic Exposure

Camera has complete control over exposure, point-and-shoot operation, the majority of manual features are disabled, you can't alter exposure compensation, ISO or use RAW mode. You can set flash mode, macro and image size.

Program Auto Exposure

Very similar to AUTO exposure but you have access to all the normal manual controls, can set the ISO, exposure compensation, use AE lock, bracketing etc. New to the G2 is program shift, this is activated by pressing the * (AE-Lock) button, you can then select from various equivalent exposures by pressing left and right buttons on the 4-way controller. Example (pressing * metered 1/50 sec, F4.0):

 • 1/30 sec, F4.5 (left button twice)
 • 1/40 sec, F4.0 (left button once)
 • 1/50 sec, F4.0 (metered)
 • 1/60 sec, F3.5 (right button once)
 • 1/80 sec, F3.2 (right button twice)


Shutter Priority Auto Exposure

In this mode you select the shutter speed and the camera will attempt to select the best aperture for a proper exposure. Shutter speed is displayed on the LCD, press the left / right arrows to select different shutter speeds. A half-press of the shutter release causes the cameras exposure system to calculate the aperture, the LCD view changes to reflect the look of the final image. If the exposure is outside the cameras exposure range the aperture will appear in RED.
Available shutter speeds: * Note: Aperture / shutter speed rule
1/1000, 1/800, 1/640, 1/500, 1/400, 1/320, 1/250, 1/200, 1/160, 1/125, 1/100, 1/80, 1/60, 1/50, 1/40, 1/30, 1/25, 1/20, 1/15, 1/13, 1/10, 1/8, 1/6, 1/5, 1/4, 0.3, 0.4, 0.5, 0.6, 0.8, 1, 1.3, 1.6, 2, 2.5, 3.2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 13, 15 secs

(Shutter speeds of 1.3 seconds or slower will enable the cameras noise reduction system).


Aperture Priority Auto Exposure

In this mode you select the aperture and the camera will attempt to select the best shutter speed for a proper exposure. Aperture is displayed on the LCD, press the left / right arrows to select different apertures. A half-press of the shutter release causes the cameras exposure system to calculate the shutter speed, the LCD view changes to reflect the look of the final image. If the exposure is outside the cameras exposure range the shutter speed will appear in RED.
Available apertures: * Note: Aperture / shutter speed rule

Wide: F2.0, F2.2, F2.5, F2.8, F3.2, F3.5, F4.0, F4.5, F5.0, F5.6, F6.3, F7.1, F8.0
Telephoto: F2.5, F2.8, F3.2, F3.5, F4.0, F4.5, F5.0, F5.6, F6.3, F7.1, F8.0


Full Manual Exposure

In this mode you select the aperture and the shutter speed from any combination of the above. Left and right arrows select shutter speed, up and down arrows select aperture. When you half-press the shutter release the camera meters the scene and displays a numeric indication of how far over or underexposed the image is (compared to its metering). This value is in EV's (exposure value / stops), if the exposure is under or overexposed by more than 2 EV's the camera simply displays -2 or +2 in red. During the half-press the LCD view changes to reflect the approximate look of the final image.

On major operation niggle was that certain settings (spot metering, macro focus mode) are lost at power-off.

* Aperture / Shutter speed rule

Just like the G1 the G2 is limited by the fact that it uses a single iris mechanism for both aperture and shutter. The iris opens at the beginning of the exposure to a certain size for the selected (or metered) aperture and then closes again at the end of the exposure. The speed at which the iris can go from a wide aperture (such as F2.0) to completely closed creates a limitation as to the maximum shutter speed available at different apertures.

The G2 is slightly different in that there's now a sliding scale of maximum shutter speeds versus aperture, on the G1 the aperture was simply locked at F8 for shutter speeds greater than 1/640 sec.

Aperture Value Maximum Shutter Speed
F2.0 - F3.2 1/500 sec
F3.5 - F4.5 1/640 sec
F5.0 - F7.1 1/800 sec
F8.0 1/1000 sec

Scene Exposure Modes

The exposure modes described below are designed to be easy to use camera presets. Macro focus, image adjustments (ISO, contrast, sharpening, saturation), AEB, AE Lock, FE Lock, metering and RAW mode can not be selected in these modes.


In this mode the focal length is locked to maximum wide angle (you cannot zoom). No auto focus is performed, instead the focus is locked (much like a fixed focus lens camera) which allows very fast (almost lag free) shots to be taken. Useful for situations when you need a fast reaction.

In this mode apertures are kept as large as possible (small F number) to produce a blurred background to help define the subject in a portrait shot. Note: Macro focus IS available in Portrait mode.

In this mode the flash is by default disabled (although you can enable it) and focus is locked at infinity. Apertures are kept as small as possible (large F numbers) to produce the largest possible depth of field. Macro focus is also disabled. Designed to be used for taking landscape shots.
Night Scene

Known on other cameras as "Slow Sync Flash". Put simply in this mode slow shutter speeds are used to capture a dimly lit background (buildings at night for example) and the flash fires briefly to illuminate a foreground subject.

Other Exposure Modes

Colour Effect

This new exposure mode replaces the B&W setting on the G1. It allows you to select between four different colour settings. Each of these settings has a slightly different effect on colour output:

 • Vivid - colours are enhanced (saturation increased)
 • Neutral - colours are toned down (saturation decreased)
 • Sepia - image takes on a slightly brown cast B&W
 • B&W - image is shot in black and white
Stitch Assist

Designed to make shooting of panorama / stitch shots easier. You have a choice of five different stitch modes: left-right, right-left, down-up, up-down or 4-frames in a square. The display changes to show previously shot frames in the sequence to help alignment of each frame. Exposure and White Balance are locked to the first frame.
Movie Mode

Record short movie clips:

 • 320 x 240, 15 fps, max 30 secs (including audio)
 • 160 x 120, 15 fps, max 120 ses (including audio)
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G2 was my first digital, which produced thousands of excellent pictures.
I wanted an SLR again so bought a Rebel T1i in 2010.
Later wanted a smaller camera, tried out a Canon SD1200 but poor usability and very poor image quality. I bought a Nikon S6200 which takes very good pictures, but suffers the ills of a small, cheap camera.
June 2014 I didn't want to pack my SLR to Europe, so after researching I chose a Powershot G16 over a Fuji X20 and Panasonic ZS40. VERY pleased with the G16!
Now to Dec 2014. Bought a Canon EF 24-105 L IS USM for my Rebel. Looks impressive, but after a day taking pictures and comparing results, the G16 is so good, in fact, for outdoors, side by side image quality in many cases is as good or better than the Rebel! Maybe my Rebel is getting tired?
IMO, unless photography is your living, the only benefit of a SLR is the picture taking experience (which is significant) and to show off your fancy camera and lenses. Otherwise, a high end compact is sufficient.