Canon PowerShot G3 Review
Top of camera controls
Top of the camera are a variety of controls, at the top right is the new control dial which can roll and also be pressed to change / confirm settings. In use I found it to be frustrating, especially for selecting shutter speeds as you have to turn it relatively slowly otherwise it can't keep up.
Below this we can see the shutter release button surrounded by the zoom controller which is a non -proportional type. There are 12 focal length positions between wide angle and telephoto. To the left of the shutter release / zoom controller is the drive button which allows you to select between continuous and self-timer drive modes. At the bottom right is the exposure mode dial.
Note the unique new power / mode dial, this is spring loaded, simply twist to the left for record mode or to the right for play mode. Press the 'Off' button to power the camera off. Note that the G3 is now a shooting priority camera, this means that in play mode you can simply half-press the shutter release to return to record mode.
Immediately switches to shooting mode, lens extends (if it is not already) zoom resets to the last used position and camera prepares to shoot (depending on exposure mode - below).
Switches the camera off, lens retracts. If there are any images still in the cameras buffer it will continue to write them out to the storage card before fully powering off.
Displays the last image shot (or the last image on the storage card). All controls revert to their play mode function. Remote control is automatically enabled. Half-press the shutter release to return to record mode.
Zoom Controller (Record mode)
Zooms the camera's lens towards the telephoto setting, maximum optical zoom of 140 mm (35 mm equiv.). A full zoom from wide to tele takes 2.7 seconds. If the camera is already at maximum optical zoom and digital zoom is enabled the camera will apply increasing levels of digital zoom.
|Zoom wide angle
Zooms the camera's lens towards the wide angle setting of 35 mm (35 mm equiv.). A full zoom from tele to wide takes 2.7 seconds.
Zoom Controller (Play mode)
|Image magnify (in)
Magnifies the displayed image, there are ten steps up to 10x magnification. Magnifying is very fast, if you hold the zoom controller in the tele position you can be at 10x zoom in around one second.
|Image magnify (out)
If the displayed image is magnified pressing the zoom lever towards wide zooms out of the magnification.
Drive / Self-Timer Mode Button
Selects between different exposure drive modes:
Continuous (either normal or high speed - menu option)
Self-Timer (with remote control enabled)
Camera has complete control over exposure, point-and-shoot operation, the majority of manual features are disabled, you can't alter exposure compensation, ISO or use RAW mode. You can set flash mode, macro and image size / quality.
Program Auto Exposure
Shutter Priority Auto Exposure
Aperture Priority Auto Exposure
Full Manual Exposure
* Aperture / Shutter speed rule
Because of mechanical limitations inside the camera body the G3 has to compromise on the availability of shutter speeds at certain apertures. Note that in this respect it is much better than the G2.
|Zoom position||Aperture||Max. Shutter Speed|
|Wide angle||F2.0 - F3.5||up to 1/1250 sec|
|F4.0 - F8.0||up to 1/2000 sec|
|Telephoto||F3.0 - F5.0||up to 1/1250 sec|
|F5.6 - F8.0||up to 1/2000 sec|
Scene Exposure Modes
The exposure modes described below are designed to be easy to use camera presets. Macro focus, image adjustments (ISO, contrast, sharpening, saturation), AEB, AE Lock, FE Lock, metering and RAW mode can not be selected in these modes.
In this mode apertures are kept as large as possible (small F number) to produce a blurred background to help define the subject in a portrait shot. Note: Macro focus is available in Portrait mode.
In this mode the flash is by default disabled (although you can enable it) and focus is locked at infinity. Apertures are kept as small as possible (large F numbers) to produce the largest possible depth of field. Macro focus is also disabled. Designed to be used for taking landscape shots.
Known on other cameras as "Slow Sync Flash". Put simply in this mode slow shutter speeds are used to capture a dimly lit background (buildings at night for example) and the flash fires briefly to illuminate a foreground subject. Note you can now select between 1st or 2nd curtain sync.
Other Exposure Modes
Designed to make shooting of panorama / stitch shots easier. You have a choice of five different stitch modes: left-right, right-left, down-up, up-down or 4-frames in a square. The display changes to show previously shot frames in the sequence to help alignment of each frame. Exposure and White Balance are locked to the first frame.
Record short movie clips:
320 x 240, 15 fps, max 3 minutes (including audio)
160 x 120, 15 fps, max 3 minutes (including audio)
(3 minute recording requires a high speed CF card)
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