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Conclusion - Pros

  • Good resolution (better in real life than res chart)
  • Punchy color, balanced tone (good shadow detail)
  • Low noise, very low noise reduction / none
  • About a stop more sensitive than indicated
  • Good macro performance
  • Improved lens, much lower fringing than G5
  • Excellent build quality, good ergonomics
  • Proper hand grip
  • Excellent battery life, almost best we've tested
  • Hinged plastic cover over connectors
  • Optional bayonet mount lens adapter
  • High quality lens, large max aperture (F2.0 - F3.0)
  • Bright 2.0" LCD with tilt & twist mechanism
  • External flash support via Hot-shoe
  • Supplied InfraRed remote control
  • Unique switchable ND filter

Conclusion - Cons

  • Shallow angle jaggies affected resolution chart
  • Low continuous shooting speed with LCD on
  • USB 1.1 transfer (slow)
  • Heaviest seven megapixel tested
  • No live view histogram
  • Limited image parameter adjustment

Overall conclusion

As the successor to the popular G5 the G6 has a lot to live up to. First impressions were that Canon decided on a shift in ergonomics and design, going for a more SLR-like appearance with a larger and more usable hand grip and angled shutter release button. Feature wise it's quite similar to the G5, that's not a bad thing as Canon's 'G' line has always been of the more capable prosumer digital cameras.

In use there have certainly been some performance improvements, Auto Focus feels faster and simple things like the speed of the menus is better. However when you compare it to some of the competition (especially the Sony DSC-V3 and Olympus C-7000) you see that the G6 can be beaten (especially in auto focus / shutter lag).

Image quality was as expected very good, noise levels were low and thankfully Canon either don't use noise reduction or it's so subtle as not to adversely affect the image (here at dpreview we aren't big fans of strong in-camera noise reduction). Another interesting point is the conservative approach Canon has taken in labeling its ISO sensitivity, in our tests the G6 proved to have a sensitivity range which was more like ISO 100 - 640 than the labeled ISO 50 - 400, that makes its low noise performance even better.

The G6 isn't quite perfect but the curious thing about this camera is that despite the fact that it doesn't perform as well as the Sony DSC-V3 (our pick of the bunch) it does have the ability to win your favor by delivering consistently good images and drawing you into the photographic process more than you get from some other cameras.

Highly Recommended
Detail
Rating (out of 10)
Construction 9
Features 9
Image quality 8.5
Lens / CCD combination 8.5
Ease of use 8
Value for money 8

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