Conclusion - Pros

  • Great image quality, resolution, sharpness, on-par or better than the 990
  • Good colours, stronger and more accurate than most, slightly cool skintones
  • ISO 50 produces less noise than the 3 megapixel competition
  • Exellent strong blues (something digicams are normally weak at)
  • Good solid build quality
  • Excellent whitebalance, easy to use preset manual white balance
  • Flip-out & twist LCD with anti-reflective coating
  • RAW file format (superb!)
  • Super-Fine JPEG mode as-good-as TIFF quality
  • Noise reduction algorithm
  • AF focus assist lamp
  • Compact Flash Type II and official Microdrive support
  • Flash hot-shoe
  • Lots of manual features, full range of scene modes, all controls on outside of camera
  • Control over internal algorithms: contrast, sharpening, saturation
  • Fast processing, very fast shutter lag, good internal buffer
  • Can be used as a point-and-shoot and equally satisfying for shutterbugs
  • Battery life - Canon's Li-Ion battery pack lasts ages!
  • AC Adapter / Charger included
  • Infrared remote control included

Conclusion - Cons

  • Very slow startup time
  • Visible chromatic aberrations
  • Average macro performance (needs close-up lens accessory to really shine)
  • Tendancy to over-expose dark scenes
  • Pale skintones when using onboard flash
  • Barrel distortion at wide angle
  • No flexible program AE
  • No histogram in record review or playback mode
  • No sharpening / zoomed image in manual focus (and no distance readout, only blocks)
  • Flimsy rubber door covering AC in connector (how long will that last?)
  • No zoom / sharpening in manual focus makes it difficult to be sure about the focus point
  • Odd F8 problem (camera locks to F8 at shutter speeds > 1/500s)

Overall conclusion

Here's my rating of the Canon Powershot G1: (3 megapixel compact prosumer)

Detail Rating (out of 10)
Construction 8
Features 9.5
Image quality 9
Lens / CCD combination 8
Ease of use 8
Value for money 10

Canon knew what they had to do, they knew of the 990 when they were developing the G1 and they knew what users wanted, they've ensured that lots of the things we've complained were missing from the 990 (and other 3 megapixel prosumer digital cameras) are here in the G1, there's the excellent flip-out and twist LCD to compete with the 990's twisting body, there's ISO 50 to kill some of the noise in good light, there's RAW, Microdrive support, AF assist lamp, a flash hot-shoe, supplied Lithium-Ion batteries, supplied AC adapter, the list goes on.

When you take the whole package and the fact that image quality is at least on par with the 990 (some colours are certainly more saturated) then it's easy to see why the G1 now looks like the choice digital camera for the prosumer looking for a 3 megapixel digital camera. Ok, so Canon are about 6 months late to market and we're all expecting new cameras at PMA next year but, just in time for Christmas. Canon's built an excellent prosumer digital camera and I'm sure it'll become first choice for many people.

Highly Recommended

So which one should I buy? A question I get asked several times a day, and I wouldn't like to say. In a new addition to my reviews (after the amount of feedback I normally get) I've added a link to a specific forum in which you can discuss the review or ask me specific questions which I've not answered in these pages.

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