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Canon PowerShot G5 Review

July 2003 | By Phil Askey
Buy on From $699.00

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 review (it may help you understand some of the terms used).

Images which can be viewed at a larger size have a small magnifying glass icon in the bottom right corner of the image, clicking on the image will display a larger (normally 960 x 720 or smaller if cropped) image in a new window.

To navigate the review simply use the next / previous page buttons, to jump to a particular section either pick the section from the drop down or select it from the navigation bar at the top.

DPReview calibrate their monitors using Color Vision OptiCal at the (fairly well accepted) PC normal gamma 2.2, this means that on our monitors we can make out the difference between all of the (computer generated) grayscale blocks below. 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 review is Copyright 2003 Phil Askey and the review in part or in whole may NOT be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author. For information on reproducing any part of this review (or any images) please contact: Phil Askey.

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Total comments: 2

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
Total comments: 2