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Canon PowerShot G5 Review

July 2003 | By Phil Askey

Review based on a production PowerShot G5

The PowerShot G5 was announced at the beginning of June 2003, it is the five megapixel 'companion' (it doesn't directly replace) to the four megapixel PowerShot G3 (which wasn't called the 'G4' because of the similarity between the word '4' and 'die' in certain Asian languages). The difference between the G3 and G5 are limited to:

  Canon PowerShot G5 Canon PowerShot G3
Body Black Silver
Sensor 1/1.8" 5.24 megapixel 1/1.8" 4.13 megapixel
Effective pixels 5.0 million 4.0 million
Image sizes • 2592 x 1944
• 1600 x 1200
• 1024 x 768
• 640 x 480
• 2272 x 1704
• 1600 x 1200
• 1024 x 768
• 640 x 480
Continuous • High speed: 2.0 fps, max 8
• Standard: 1.5 fps, max 11
  * (Large/Fine, LCD Off)
• High speed: 2.5 fps, max 15
• Standard: 1.5 fps, max 14
  * (Large/Fine, LCD Off)

How much bigger?

Resolution upgrades and if they make sense:

  • Two to Three megapixels - 1,225,728 more pixels - 64% increase (Average)
  • Two to Four megapixels - 1,951,488 more pixels - 102% increase (Good)
  • Two to Five megapixels - 3,118,848 more pixels - 162% increase (Very good)
  • Three to Four megapixels - 725,760 more pixels - 23% increase (Not worth it)
  • Three to Five megapixels - 1,893,120 more pixels - 60% increase (Average)
  • Four to Five megapixels - 1,167,360 more pixels - 30% increase (Not worth it)

Thus if all you're interested in is increasing resolution (not necessarily for features or other image quality improvements) you must first analyze just how much more resolution you're going to get. From the quick calculations above you can see that four megapixel digital camera owners should wait for the next big leap (seven / eight megapixels).

Review Notes

Because of the similarity between the G5 and the G3 (they're almost identical apart from resolution) the first half of this review (body, operation, menus etc.) is based on my G3 review posted in December 2002.

If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read the Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this article (it may help you understand some of the terms used).

Conclusion / Recommendation / Ratings are based on the opinion of the reviewer, you should read the ENTIRE review before coming to your own conclusions.

We recommend to make the most of this review you should be able to see the difference (at least) between X, Y, and Z and ideally A, B, and C.

This article is Copyright 1998 - 2015 and may NOT in part or in whole be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author.

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Total comments: 5

If I buy used one on Ebay, how much for good price??. Thanks so much!!


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: 5