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.
|_MG_5100 by tim and jan|
from Welcome to the Saloon!
|The Grimm 11 year old by Ryan Gardner|
from Trick or Treat
|Heron with fish by APenza|
from A Big Year - birds
See some of the most iconic black-and-white photographs throughout history brought to life by a community of colorization enthusiasts and professional retouchers in the new book Retrographic.
Shopping for a photographer? Whether you are one yourself or not, chances are you could use some ideas. From stocking stuffers on up, we've got some photography gift suggestions for every budget.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017. Drum roll please... the #6 spot belongs to none other than the Sigma 85mm F1.4 DH HSM Art.
Read the story behind this gorgeous wedding photo captured at Trolltunga in Norway by husband and wife duo Priscila Valentina Photography. The 14 hour hike in the rain that preceded this shot was TOTALLY worth it.
Go behind the scenes with filmmaker Nick Arcivos, who recently created a beautiful cinematic short film in Paris using only the iPhone X, a couple of gimbals, and a few lights. The results are very impressive.
A Bay Area startup offering a pay-by-the-photo camera service cleverly addresses the pain points photographers experience when they pick up their first DSLR. But can it survive the smartphone?
It's been a big year for software innovations, dual cameras and huge displays. Take a look at our picks for the top smartphone cameras and why we think they stand out.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017. At the #7 spot is the ready-for-any-weather Olympus Tough TG-5.
By combining his skills as a time-lapse filmmaker and an engineer, Julian Tryba created this out-of-this-world creative 'layer-lapse' of New York City that alternates between night and day in time with the music.
Canon Japan's new lineup of novelty camera-themed gifts was just revealed online, including a lens mug and lens thermos, two retro camera-themed USB drives, and a picnic mat.
The Profoto A1 most certainly isn’t for everyone [...] But for those who are used to using the Profoto systems, and want something that pairs seamlessly with the strobes you already have, there is no better companion.
Fujifilm has asked a US district court to clear it of any wrongdoing, after allegedly being threatened with trademark litigation by Polaroid.
While a couple of our reviewers are out testing the Sony a7R III in Arizona, back in Seattle we slapped the camera in front of our studio scene to get a close look at its image quality. See how it stacks up against the competition.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017, and the #8 ranking belongs to the Nikon D7500.
B+W has announced a new aluminum filter holder that offers three slots so users can use multiple filters at the same time. The holder goes with the 2mm thick 100mm square filters it launched earlier this year.
8K video is coming a lot faster than you think, and Blackmagic is ready for it. Meet the DeckLink 8K Pro, a new high performance PCI-E capture and playback card built to handle 'real time high resolution 8K workflows.'
"Glass is everywhere in photography. From Eugène Atget’s reflective vitrines to Lee Friedlander’s sly self-portraiture, photographers have long been in thrall to the visual complications glass can inject into a composition."
Former Apple Aperture lead developer Nik Bhatt has designed an iOS app called RAW Power that lets you edit raw photos from your professional camera using your phone and tablet.... color us intrigued.
Advertising photographer Blair Bunting got his hands on the new Microsoft Surface Book 2, and it blew him away. Bye bye MacBook Pro...
The OnePlus 5T retains many of the 5's features and specs, but comes with an edge-to-edge display and a dual-camera that is optimized for low light.
Sony's recently announced IMX461 backside illuminated medium format sensor will bring 100MP resolution and almost 2x the speed to the next-gen Fuji GFX and Hasselblad X1D.
With the ‘Rent a Hasselblad’ camera equipment renting program, the camera makers is aiming to give enthusiast and professional photographers easier access to its medium-format photography products.
They say seeing is believing, and that's exactly what happened when one DPR staffer took the Google Pixel 2 out for an afternoon shooting under challenging conditions.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017. At the #9 spot we have the Fujifilm GFX 50S, a medium-format camera that took CP+ 2017 by storm.
Instagram is testing a new feature that lets you follow hashtags in addition to people, making it possible to keep track of your favorite #landscapes or #portraits without leaving your home feed.
Despite the gigantic volume of second hand film bodies in existence, it seems there is still a demand for new 35mm SLRs with a retro feel. The latest is a remake of the Ihagee Elbaflex from the 1960s, but with a Nikon F mount.
The Polaroid Insta-Share Moto Mod straps an instant printer directly to your Moto Z smartphone, so you can print your photos as soon as you've captured them.
The Mitakon Speedmaster 135mm F1.4 lens is being relaunched in 7 different mounts, including: Sony A, Sony E, Canon EF, Nikon F, Fujifilm G, Pentax K, and Leica L. Got an extra three grand lying around?
In January, Kodak announced it would bring back the beloved slide film Ektachrome. The timeline has been pushed back a bit, but Kodak says you can expect to purchase Ektachrome again in 2018.
Instagram popularity is threatening some of the most beautiful landscapes in the US, as hordes of 'nature lovers' trample over the same spots over and over again in search of the same exact shot.