Canon PowerShot G2 Review
Overall Image Quality
Overall the G2 puts in a very commendable performance. Metering is improved thanks to the new evaluative metering mode, in a session of shooting I didn't once have to reach for the exposure compensation control. Canon have updated the camera's colour processing algorithms to include the stronger colour and more accurate white balance we've seen since the IXUS 300 and A20. And resolution is also there, the lens seems to be more than capable of squeezing a full four megapixels of resolution out of the sensor.
This camera really loves colour, and especially blue skies which it seems to draw out almost as though it has a permanent polarizing filter, rich and deep blue skies seemed to be signature of images taken with the G2.
Something else the G2's algorithms manage to do is maintain dynamic range, they seem to deliberately push dark areas up the grayscale very slightly (to maintain shadow detail) and will do what they can to maintain the top end without creating a very sharp cut-off at the point of overexposure. The deliberate ramping of the black point is something we first saw on the IXUS 300 and it really does help to maintain shadow detail.
Gone are some of the complaints of last year, but there are now hints of sharpening / Bayer interpolation artifacts in the way of jagged diagonals, something some people have noted on EOS-D30 JPEG files.
Purple Fringing (Chromatic Aberrations)
The G2 suffers a lot less in the way of chromatic aberrations. In every day shots there's some visible blooming (the overflow of charge from over exposed pixels to areas of contrast) but there's really nothing in the way of the strong purple (or magenta) fringes we saw when we tested the G1. There is some CA but it became apparent that it was far reduced in 'every day shots'.
|Very little visible chromatic aberrations in an "every day shot"|
|Our now standard chromatic aberration test shot|
Our standard test shot did show up a very slight fringe and blooming.
Barrel and Pincushion Distortion
As we'd expect (this is the same design and focal length lens as last year) the G2's lens distortion measured exactly the same as the G1. There was mild barrel distortion at full wide angle and very slight (hardly noticeable) pincushion distortion at full tele photo.
|Barrel Distortion, 1.1% @ Wide Angle||Pincushion Distortion, 0.5% @ Full Tele|
Jagged (stepped) diagonals
This is an odd artifact which I've only ever seen reported on EOS-D30 JPEG's. It occurs on diagonal lines which are not quite at 45 degrees, these lines are then 'made up' of groups of pixels in a 45 degree line, stepped one pixel and then repeated. This can be attributed to either a problem with the Bayer interpolation algorithm or sharpening algorithm. They exists also in RAW images converted using the supplied acquire module or RAW file converter. You can clearly see this pattern in the examples below (magnified 200%).
It's unlikely these artifacts would be visible on a printed page or computer monitor (and normal viewing sizes) but they are there, and noted.
Having gone back through over a thousand sample images shot with the G2 I'm happy to say that although these artifacts exist in some shots they're certainly not common to all and can be reduced by shooting with sharpening set to -1. HOWEVER, then images will need an unsharpen mask if they're to be used at their native resolution.
The effect can be seen in the 'uneven' width of the vertical lines on our resolution test chart, in the samples below you can see a comparison of Normal Sharpening, Low Sharpening and a RAW file acquired as linear (16-bit, no processing) which has been level adjusted and had a 150% unsharp mask applied (resaved as JPEG from Photoshop).
|JPEG Normal Sharpening||JPEG Low Sharpening||RAW Linear|
CONCLUSION: It does to me at least seem to be an effect of (error in?) Canon's bayer pattern interpolation algorithm which is then being enhanced by sharpening. Using lower sharpening will help some. The RAW linear did look the best overall but is impractical for large numbers of images and it is difficult to return a linear acquired image to its true tone / colour balance.
COMMENT: Despite some comments made on our discussion forums this newly added review item is NOT a retraction, if anything it is designed to highlight this problem and indicate that it does need solving.
As mentioned earlier on this page the G2's white balance presets (Sunny, Cloudy, Incandescent etc.) have all been tweaked and tuned and performed much better than the G1 (no hue shift, good 'white is white'). Auto white balance didn't fair so well, being only really usable in natural light. Manual white balance seemed to work well under any type of light. Note also that Canon has added a new 'Fluorescent H' mode for different colour tubes.
|Outdoors, Auto||Outdoors, Sunny||Outdoors, Cloudy||Outdoors, Manual|
|Incandescent, Auto||Incandescent, Incan.||Incandescent, Manual|
|Fluorescent, Auto||Fluorescent, Fluor.||Fluorescent, Fluor. H||Fluorescent, Manual|
Dynamic range simply defines the range of light the camera is able to capture before it either loses detail in darkness (shadows for example) or blows out a highlight (edges of chromed metals are good examples of this). Most consumer digital cameras only have a 8-bit analog to digital converters, plus their CCD's are not built to have a particularly large dynamic range.
Using our new dynamic
range measurement method we measured the G2's dynamic range as (higher
numbers are better except for noise):
* In-camera sharpening set to "-1"
Noise is low and dynamic range is high at the lower ISO's, the G2's clean ISO 50 produces impressive dynamic range results, ISO 100 is also fairly good (though not as good as some), range drops off fairly significantly at higher sensitivities.
|Hot Air Balloons Over Bagan by User9320321874|
|Yellow Warbler by LeeS|
from A Big Year - birds
|Waiting for the Parade by tcoker1103|
from - La Vida Loca - (Black and White Street Photography+ A Border)
Peak Design's 'consider every detail' approach shines in the Everyday Backpack. While expensive, it's one of the best options out there for a photographer who needs to pack a lot of stuff in addition to gear.
If you're thinking of using Canon's sports glass on the Sony a9, think again. The ultra-fast camera slows way down when you attach off-brand glass.
The Polish town of Katowice is not known as an area of beauty, but as all photographers know, that doesn't mean that beauty can't be found if you know where to look. Mariusz Pietranek used a drone to look down on the colorful sedimentation tanks at an ironworks.
New York Times video journalist Ben Solomon spent a harrowing three weeks accompanying Iraqi Major Sajjad al-Hour as he and his men fought to retake Mosul from I.S. forces.
The 3D VR camera launched through a crowdfunding campaign in 2015 goes on sale beginning June 26.
Noctilucent clouds, a crescent moon and Venus were visible in the pre-dawn sky over Budapest yesterday. Photographer György Soponyai captured NASA's astronomy picture of the day.
Squirming pets won't sit still for photos? A Kickstarter campaign is looking to help.
Find out how Chris Burkard shifted from editorial photography to his true passions: landscapes, conservation and, of course, surfing.
The updated EyeEm app scans your camera roll and picks images that are composed particularly well, have the best quality, or highest chance of selling on EyeEm Market.
It's three years old but still a solid option for a Micro Four Thirds shooter looking for a high-quality, fast, wide-angle prime. Take a look at how we got along with it.
Tamron has announced the longest all-in-one zoom lens currently available, the 18-400mm F3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD. Designed for Canon and Nikon crop-sensor cameras, the lens will be available in July.
When you're ready to step-up to full-frame from an entry-level or midrange camera, the choices can be overwhelming. Find out which models came out on top in our $1200-2000 enthusiast ILC roundup.
Just a guy wearing a VR headset, smashing invisible Goombas in Central Park.
NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured this gorgeous aerial photo of the Martian landscape. And if you look really close, you can actually see the Mars Curiosity rover in the very middle.
The city of Laguna Beach, California has provided some clarification around the kinds of photography permits it offers.
Later this year, a VR180 camera will be Joining Yi's Halo and 360 VR cameras, which will offer stereo 3D capture, yet be as easy to use and compact as a 2D camera.
Caltech researchers have developed an 'optical phased array' chip that uses time delays instead of a lens to focus the incoming light.
Pricing and shipping have finally been revealed for two highly anticipated lenses from Sigma, announced in February.
These macro photos of clouds of paint billowing through clear water might look like high-quality CGI, but they're real photographs. And photographer Alberto Seveso told us how they were made.
Facebook is testing a feature that prevents people from saving, sharing, or even taking a screenshot of your profile picture.
We've reshot the Sony a9 in our studio. The short story: it's sharper! The long story... well you can read it all here.
The collection will be officially launched during the Europeana Transcribathon Campus Berlin 2017 crowdsourcing event which will be held on 22 and 23 June at the Berlin State Library.
Light gives us some insight into the preparations for the launch of the pre-order shipments of its much anticipated L16 multi-lens camera.
OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei has confirmed in a tweet that the second lens on the back of the OnePlus 5 uses a 1.6x optical zoom and that digital zoom is used to reach the claimed 2x zoom factor.
Fujifilm recently unveiled the second in its series of affordable cine lenses, the MK50-135mm T2.9. We got our hands on it for a couple days and took it for a spin.
Leica's first attempt at an M-series digital rangefinder was rough around the edges, but set a pattern for all of the cameras that came after it. In this week's Throwback Thursday article, Barney remembers the M8.
No stranger to extreme situations, legendary climber and filmmaker Jimmy Chin talks to Outside Magazine about his career, and the challenge of filming Alex Honnold's rope-free solo climb of El Capitain.
A company backed by Android co-founder Andy Rubin is attempting to make video conferencing less terrible.
Rangefinder magazine asked five professional portrait and wedding photographers about posting on Instagram; no surprise, they got five different answers.
This captivating stop motion film was created by stripping away one layer of wood at a time. It's hard to look away.