Pre-Photokina 2006: Canon has finally announced the long-awaited new G series compact to replace the G6 (launched August 2004). The $550 PowerShot G7 features a new Digic III processor, 10 megapixel (1/1.8-inch) CCD and a 6x (35-200mm equiv.) image stabilized zoom lens. The G7 also sports a hot shoe, face detection software and ISO settings up to 1600. Disappointingly what it doesn't have is a raw mode, which appears to have been completely dropped by Canon for its compact models - presumably to protect the sales of entry-level digital SLRs.
PowerShot G7: Canon's most complete compact yet
Amstelveen, The Netherlands, 14 September, 2006: Canon today launches the eagerly awaited PowerShot G7. Following the celebrated PowerShot G6, the classically styled PowerShot G7 boasts an advanced feature set that includes 10.0 Megapixel resolution, a 6x optically image stabilised zoom lens and Canon's new DIGIC III image processor.
DIGIC III delivers rapid performance with improved image quality and incorporates two new Canon technologies - Face Detection AF/AE and advanced Noise Reduction, which extend the camera's low-noise performance to ISO 1600. The high-resolution 2.5” LCD screen has a wide viewing angle and anti-glare coating for easier image framing and playback. Furthering the potential for creative photography, the PowerShot G7 is equipped with hot shoe support for Canon Speedlite flash units and is compatible with a range of optional converter lenses.
PowerShot G7 will be available from early October.
The PowerShot G7 features:
- 10.0 Megapixels
- 6x optical zoom lens with optical Image Stabilizer and SR coating
- DIGIC III and iSAPS with Advanced Noise Reduction and Face Detection AF/AE
- 2.5” high-resolution LCD with wide viewing angle and anti-glare coating
- ISO 1600 for flash-free, low light shooting
- Ergonomic design with dedicated ISO and Multi Control dials for fast, easy operation
- 25 shooting modes including full manual control and 2 custom settings
- Extra telephoto reach with Digital Tele-Converter and Safety Zoom
- Hot shoe support for Canon Speedlite flashes and optional lens accessories
“The PowerShot G7 brings a new level of performance and usability to the G series,” said Mogens Jensen, Head of Canon Consumer Imaging Europe. “By introducing our DIGIC III image processor and new technologies such as Face Detection AF/AE, Canon continues to raise the benchmark for digital compact cameras."
Image Quality and Optics
The PowerShot G7 delivers the image quality and optical performance demanded by advanced photographers. A 10.0 Megapixel sensor captures enough fine detail to ensure large photo quality prints with added cropping flexibility. The fast f/2.8 (W) – f/4.8 (T) 6x optical zoom lens (35-210mm focal length, 35mm equivalent) incorporates optical Image Stabilizer technology to counteract the effects of camera shake, allowing the camera to be used at slower shutter speeds in low light conditions. The lens configuration consists of 9 elements in 7 groups and includes a double-sided aspherical lens element to counteract common lens distortions. The addition of Canon’s SR lens coating – a first for Canon's digital compact camera range – significantly reduces the problem of ghosting and virtually eliminates chromatic aberration.
Canon’s new DIGIC III image processor drives improved responsiveness and colour rendering along with increased noise reduction, extending the camera's ISO range to ISO 1600. A dedicated ISO dial makes it simple to switch between settings. Complementing DIGIC III's performance, the camera features the same DDR-SDRAM used in professional EOS cameras – raising the data throughput rate substantially.
Face Detection AF/AE
For portrait and group shots, the PowerShot G7 is equipped with Face Detection AF/AE, a new Canon technology that automatically detects up to nine faces within a frame and sets the optimum focus and exposure accordingly. If there is more than one face in a frame Face Detection AF/AE is able to determine the face or faces intended to be the main focus. The system operates at the same speed as Canon’s established 9-point AiAF system, which it automatically reverts to if no face detection is required or intended.
Designed for photographers
Referencing classic rangefinder cameras, the ergonomic design features analogue inspired controls, a multi-control dial and a customisable shortcut button for faster access to camera settings. Usability is further enhanced with a high resolution (207,000 pixels) 2.5" LCD. The low-reflection screen coating aids visibility in sunny conditions while a wide viewing angle helps with group viewing or and aids more creative framing options.
A selection of 25 shooting modes includes full Manual and two custom settings, enabling users to tailor the camera to their specific preferences. Shooting modes are complemented by advanced settings such as AEB (auto exposure bracketing), focus bracketing, and an integrated neutral density (ND) filter with 3 stops adjustment. Photographers can also take advantage of second curtain flash synchronisation for creative flash exposures, while interval shooting (up to 100 shots in 1-60 minute increments) allows for extended time-lapse photography of up to four days.
Advanced movie functions include high resolution XGA (1024 x 768 pixels) video capture with sound at 15fps. Users can also record VGA and QVGA movies at a smooth 30fps.
A new Safety Zoom feature allows users to extend the camera's zoom range without interpolation affecting image quality. Images can be captured at up to 14x zoom with enough resolution for lab-quality postcard (10 x 15cm) prints. Photographers can also enable the Digital Tele-Converter3 feature for added telephoto reach on every shot, without the reduction in aperture typically caused by optical tele-converters.
In addition to Canon Speedlite support, the PowerShot G7 is compatible with a range of optional lens accessories, including wide (0.75x) and tele (2.0x) converter lenses. A waterproof case allows for shooting at depths of up to 40 metres.
Full PictBridge support means users can print directly to any PictBridge compatible printer without the need for a PC. A Print/Share button allows one-touch printing and easy uploads to Windows or Mac systems.
Additions to the PictBridge functionality include contact sheet printing with 35 images on one A4 page and 20 image index prints with shooting information, allowing the user to compare images with the settings used to take them.
Memory Card Support
In addition to SD and MMC memory cards, the PowerShot G7 supports the new SDHC format for storage capacities of 2GB and upwards. The camera comes supplied with a 32MB memory card.
The PowerShot G7 comes bundled with the following Canon Software:
- ZoomBrowser EX 5.7 (Windows), ImageBrowser 5.7 (Mac): For organizing and editing images, movies and slideshows, or creating and printing digital photo albums.
- PhotoStitch 3.1: For creating panoramic photos from multiple images (Windows and Mac).
- Speedlite 220EX/ 430EX/ 580EX
- Tele-converter (2.0x) TC-DC58C
- Wide-converter (0.75x) WC-DC58B
- Lens adapter/Hood set LA-DC58H
- Waterproof Case WP-DC11
- Waterproof Case Weight WW-DC1
- Soft Case DCC-600
- High Power Flash HF-DC1
- AC Adapter Kit ACK-DC20
- Rechargeable Li-ION battery pack NB-2LH
- Car Battery Charger CBC-NB2
Canon’s DIGIC III (DIGital Imaging Core) image processor manages all of the camera’s primary functions to optimize operating efficiency. Advanced image processing algorithms deliver superb image detail and colour reproduction with accurate white balance. Key improvements over DIGIC II include markedly faster response times, advanced Noise Reduction Technology and support for Canon's Face Detection AF/AE technology. DIGIC III also enables the PowerShot G7 to support DDR-SDRAM, effectively doubling data throughput rates for even faster performance.
Optical Image Stabilizer
The PowerShot G7 uses a lens shift-type Image Stabilizer (IS) system to detect and correct slight camera shakes that can cause image blur. Minute vibration gyros detect lens tilting caused by hand shake. These signals – up to 4,000 per second – are processed by a single-chip IS controller, which discriminates between hand shake and intentional camera movements. Shake signals are sent to the IS unit, which moves one of the lens elements accordingly to deflect the light rays and cancel out the effects of shake. For improved accuracy and responsiveness, the moving lens element is supported on tiny ceramic spheres. In addition to minimising friction, ceramic spheres avoid some of the problems that can affect metal spheres, such as thermal expansion and magnetism. The PowerShot G7's optical IS allows photographers to shoot at shutter speeds up to 3 stops slower with no perceptible increase in image blur.
Face Detection AF/AE
Canon’s Face Detection AF/AE system automatically detects up to nine faces within a frame before adjusting the focus and exposure accordingly to ensure optimal results. It is able to determine which faces are intended to be the focus, while at the same time it can recognize and immediately revert to the partnering 9-point AiAF system if no face is intended to be the focus.
The SR (Small Radius) coating is used on lenses containing elements that have a significantly smaller radius on the back surface of the lens than on the front surface. The coating is optimised for small radii and is designed to maintain the highest resolution and colour fidelity possible by dramatically reducing ghosting and flare, while virtually eliminating chromatic aberration.
Digital Tele-Converter and Safety Zoom
Similar to placing an accessory lens on the front of the camera, Canon’s Digital Tele-Converter adds a constant digital zoom to every shot (1.4x / 2.3x). While optical converter lenses cause a reduction in aperture and consequently require a slower shutter speed, the Digital Tele-Converter maintains aperture size, reducing the risk of image blur.
Safety Zoom protects the image from interpolation at high levels of digital zoom, allowing users to extend zoom magnification without sacrificing image quality.
1/1.8" Type CCD
|Image sizes|| 3648 x 2736
3648 x 2048
2816 x 2112
2272 x 1704
1600 x 1200
640 x 480
|Movie clips|| 1024 x 768 @ 15fps
640 x 480 @ 30 / 15fps
320 x 240 @ 30 / 15fps
160 x 120 @ 15fps
|File formats|| JPEG Exif 2.2
AVI Motion JPEG with WAVE monaural
|Lens|| 35-210mm (35mm equiv)
6x optical zoom
|Digital zoom||up to 4x|
|AF area modes|| AiAF (Face Detection / 9-point)
1-point AF (any position or fixed center)
|AF assist lamp||Yes|
|Focus distance||Closest 1cm|
|ISO sensitivity|| Auto
|Exposure compensation||+/- 2EV in 1/3 stop increments|
|Exposure bracketing||1/3 - 2EV in 1/3 stop increments|
|Shuttter speed||15-1/2500 sec|
Shutter Priority AE
Aperture Priority AE
Custom (2 modes)
|Scene modes|| Portrait
Kids & Pets
|White balance|| Auto
|Continuous shooting|| Normal: approx 2fps
AF: approx 0.8fps
|Image parameters||My Colors (My Colors Off, Vivid, Neutral, Sepia, B&W, Positive Film, Lighter Skin Tone, Darker Skin Tone, Vivid Blue, Vivid Green, Vivid Red, Custom Color)|
|Flash|| Auto, Manual Flash On / Off, Slow Sync, Red-eye reduction
Second curtain sync
Range: 30cm - 4.0m (wide) / 2.5m (tele)
|Viewfinder|| Real-image zoom
|LCD monitor|| 2.5-inch P-Si TFT
|Connectivity|| USB 2.0 Hi-speed
|Print compliance|| PictBridge
Canon Selphy / Pixma
|Storage|| SD / SDHC / MMC card compatible
32 MB card supplied
|Power|| Rechargeable Li-ion battery NB-2LH/NB-2L
Optional AC adapter kit
|Weight (no batt)||320 g|
|Dimensions||106.4 x 71.9 x 42.5 mm|