The G3 comes supplied with the 'Canon Digital Camera Solution Disk' which contains a suite of applications and drivers. This section of the review is designed to give a brief overview of this suite running under Windows XP. In addition to the five applications listed below the Windows version also installs a WIA driver for the G3. Software suite:
As supplied software suites go this is one of the best, especially noteworthy are the new File Viewer Utility which is a vast improvement on the old RAW Converter (although just as slow), Remote Capture which gives you the ability to shoot from your PC (even with a live viewfinder feed) and PhotoRecord which is a very easy to use Album creation tool.
Canon PhotoStitch is a panorama stitching application which allows you to join several images together to make a larger image. These images (normally taken from a tripod and with AE Lock) can be taken in a horizontal, vertical or square (2 x 2 etc.) fashion. PhotoStitch can be used to create the stitched image and also as a viewer for panning panoramas.
Below you can see that we have loaded six images (from the sample set provided) into PhotoStitch, at this stage we can arrange the images into the correct order and even rotate them if taken in the portrait orientation. The G3 has a dedicated stitch assist mode which makes taking 'stitchable' shots easier by displaying the last image on the screen while aligning the next shot.
The next step is to Merge the images, the software joins the images at their edges applying barrel compensation and a smooth transition between each so that you can't see the join.
Next we can save the image as either BMP, FlashPix, PSD, TIFF, JPEG or even a QuickTime movie. Below you will find the resulting image from this stitch.
The File Viewer Utility is design for the conversion and manipulation of images primarily from the RAW image format. It is a development from the RAW Image Converter provided with the G2 and is now a standalone application with its own file browser. Note that we have covered the FileViewer Utility previously in some detail in our Canon EOS-1Ds preview.
File Viewer Utility features summary
- View as a thumbnail index (three sizes of thumbnail)
- View as full window preview
- Check / Un-check images
- Protect / Un-protect images
- Playback attached voice annotations
- Transfer images from CF card to local hard disk
- Display detailed exposure and camera settings information for each image
- Display histogram for image
- Erase image(s)
- Set RAW parameters
- White Balance (including spot WB)
- Photo Effect
- Convert RAW image
- Save as JPEG or TIFF (8 or 16 bit)
After starting File Viewer Utility the main window is displayed. Window layout is straightforward enough, on the left we have the source folder selection, this can either be directly from the camera or from your local hard disk. Next is the main viewing pane which shows either thumbnails or a preview image and on the right is the information pane with a histogram and detailed exposure information. Selected thumbnails can be deleted, rotated, transferred, re-saved or marked as protected. If the thumbnails selected are RAW images you can also adjust RAW parameters either individually or as a group.
Double click on an image from thumbnail mode (or change the view mode to 'Preview') and the selected image will be shown at one of three sizes (small, middle or large). All of the functions mentioned above for multiple or single thumbnails can be carried out on a single previewed image (such as rotation, protection, deletion etc.).
Canon ZoomBrowser EX
ZoomBrowser is a photo file transfer / browsing / organization / manipulation / printing application with an easy to use interface and a unique method of displaying folders of images. ZoomBrowser can be used as a traditional thumbnail browser or when switched into the View mode of 'Zoom Mode' it displays sub-folders of images as smaller grouped thumbnails.
Below you can see the main browsing window and task list to the left, this provides the following functions:
- Camera & Memory Card
- Browse & Download Images
- Upload Images
- My Camera Settings
- Remote Shooting (launches Remote Capture)
- Layout Print
- Index Print
- View & Modify
- View as a Slide Show
- Edit Image
- Stitch Photos (launches PhotoStitch)
- Process RAW Images (launches File Viewer Utility)
- Email images
Selected images can be viewed, rotated, deleted or moved to other folders as well as the selection of tasks on the left. You can also view properties for an image (including exposure info).
Double-click on an image (or select Edit Image from the View & Modify menu) to display the image in its own window along with several manipulation controls such as color, brightness and contrast.