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.
|Fascia walkie talkie building London by ian herridge|
from Abstract Architecture
|Global Reach by cjf2|
This two-part video series takes a deep dive into the world of dynamic symmetry and geometric composition, using iconic photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson's brilliant photographs as a guide.
Award-winning photographer Jeremy Cowart tells the moving story behind this drone photograph, captured in the aftermath of the devastating wildfire in Gatlinburg, TN in 2016.
Happy 2017 World Photo Day! We asked everyone on staff at DPReview to share one photo that they took within the last year that makes them jazzed on photography. Here's what we chose.
French President Emmanuel Macron has lodged a legal complaint against a paparazzo who snuck onto the president's private vacation property to take pictures.
Ever wonder what the difference is between compressed, uncompressed and lossless compressed Raw files? Photography Life's Nasim Mansurov breaks it down for you in this informative article.
The oldest known portrait of a US president was just discovered after over a century in storage. It's going up for auction in October, where it's expected to fetch between $150,000 and $250,000.
If you're using the popular Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 Art lens with Sigma's MC-11 converter, listen up: you'll want to update your lens and converter firmware ASAP.
If you've heard it once, you've probably heard it a thousand times: never check in your camera gear when flying. This shattered $11,000 lens is what can happen when you do.
Lensrentals just did its first Cine lens comparison, pitting five top-notch 35mm primes against each other: the Zeiss CP.2 35mm T2.1, Canon CN-E 35mm T1.5, Sigma 35mm T1.5 FF, Rokinon Xeen 35mm T1.5 and Schneider Xenon 35mm T2.1.
A team of Google researchers have found that slightly warping watermarks when embedding them into images can help prevent automatic removal.
You don't have to empty your savings account to take your photography to the next level. These cheap buys cost about $50 or less, and come with outsized benefits for your photography.
Joey L, Dani Diamond, Brandon Woelfel and Jessica Kobeissi go head-to-head in an episode of "4 photographers shoot the same model."
The latest flagship phone from Asus combines a 12MP 1/2.55" Sony IMX362 main sensor with a smaller Sony IMX351 chip for 2x zoom and a background-blurring portrait mode.
The company behind popular photo editor Picktorial 3 just released the X-Pack: a preset package that allows you to add Fuji's in-camera film simulation profiles to your RAF files in post.
Photoshop. GoPro. Every once in a while a product emerges that defines a category. And sometimes, it vanishes just as quickly as it arrived on the scene. This week's Throwback Thursday remembers the Flip, the pocket camcorder everyone had – until they didn't.
The Nokia 8's dual-cam combines the image data from a 13MP RGB sensor and a 13 monochrome chip for better detail, improved dynamic range and lower noise levels.
The company behind retail giant B&H Photo has agreed to pay out $3.2 million in monetary relief and back wages to settle a discrimination and harassment case from 2016.
After a popular Facebook teaser and some studio portrait samples, Godox has finally officially released the Godox A1 smartphone flash and flash trigger. Cheap, versatile and innovative, color us intrigued.
Canon’s EOS 5D Mk IV has won the European Imaging and Sound Association’s Professional DSLR of the Year award, making this the third year in a row that the brand has beaten Nikon to the top spot in the professional camera category.
A photograph and quote tweeted out by former president Barack Obama has officially become the most popular tweet of all time, receiving over 1.3 million retweets and 3.4 million likes.
Edward Weston was one of the most influential photographers of the 20th century, and in this episode of Advancing Your Photography we learn the extreme technique he used to capture one of his most famous still life photos.
Instagram just released a small update that will make a huge difference if you're active on the photo sharing app: threaded comment replies.
Venus Optics has announced the price and delivery date of the second lens to join its Zero-D line up: the 15mm F2 for Sony’s E mount. A lens they've dubbed, "the world's fastest 15mm rectilinear lens for full-frame."
Cinnac is a new social network for photographers that will help you separate your good photos from your great ones through a Tinder-like community-based rating system.
The Canon EF 35mm F2 IS USM is an understated jewel of a lens, and one that we've enjoyed on a variety of cameras since its release almost five years ago. Its relatively small size and image stabilization make it a versatile tool for a variety of photography - check out our sample gallery.
You don't need a fancy studio or tons of gear to capture the kind of classic product photography you see in magazines. In this video, Dustin Dolby shows you how to do it with just a couple of speedlights and some know-how.
The life-logging camera is trying to make a comeback. Say hello to FrontRow, a live-streaming enabled life-logging camera from Ubiquiti that hangs on a necklace like a pendant.
When a prospective client approaches you, don't just say "yes" right away. Here's a useful list of questions you should be asking before you decide to take the job and name your price.
Samsung just revealed a blazing-fast new Solid State Drive capable of data transfer speeds of up to 540MB/s.
DJI has developed a 'Local Data Mode' that lets pilots fly without being connected to the Internet. The mode should calm recent fears over data privacy and security when flying DJI drones.