Canon PowerShot G5 Review
It's unusual but good for the buyer that there are three new five megapixel four times zoom digital cameras entering the market at the same time, and all at similar prices. These are the Canon PowerShot G5, Nikon Coolpix 5400 and Sony DSC-V1. The table below provides a quick side-by-side comparison of features and specifications between each of the cameras. Items which are notably better than the other two are highlighted in green.
Features / Specifications comparison
For anyone who's confused the highlighting of what I think is 'better' or 'worse' is my own personal opinion, your mileage may vary.
|Canon PowerShot G5||Nikon Coolpix 5400||Sony DSC-V1|
|Street price *1||US: $ 799
UK: £ 679
|US: $ 799
UK: £ 599
|US: $ 699
UK: £ 549
|Body||Magnesium alloy||Magnesium alloy||Magnesium alloy|
|Ergonomics||Small hand grip||Best hand grip||Compact hand grip|
|Lens zoom||4x optical, 35 - 140 mm||4x optical, 28 - 116 mm||4x optical, 34 - 136 mm|
|Zoom steps||12 steps||20 steps||16 steps|
|Lens aperture||F2.0 - F3.0||F2.8 - F4.6||F2.8 - F4.0|
|Lens thread||With adapter, 58 mm||Various||With adapter, 52 mm|
|CCD||1/1.8" 5.2 megapixel||1/1.8" 5.2 megapixel||1/1.8" 5.2 megapixel|
|Max resolution||2592 x 1944||2592 x 1944||2592 x 1944|
|Aspect ratio||4:3||4:3 or 3:2||4:3 or 3:2|
|1600 x 1200
1024 x 768
640 x 480
|1600 x 1200
1280 x 960
1024 x 768
640 x 480
|2048 x 1536
1280 x 960
640 x 480
|Image modes||RAW, JPEG *2||TIFF, JPEG *3||TIFF, JPEG|
|JPEG compression||3 levels||3 levels||2 levels|
|Sensitivity||Auto, 50, 100, 200, 400||Auto, 50, 100, 200, 400||Auto, 100, 200, 400, 800|
|Focus modes||AF, MF||AF, MF||AF, MF|
|Auto Focus||Center area (3 areas horz.)
FlexiZone (345 pos.)
Auto (5 areas cross)
|Wide area (3 areas horz.)
Five Area Selectable
|AF modes||Single AF
|Continuous AF (LCD on)
Monitor AF (LCD on)
|AF illumination lamp||White light||No||Laser pattern
Night Shot InfraRed
|AF distance||Normal: 50 cm
Macro: 5 cm
|Normal: 50 cm
Macro: 1 cm
|Normal: 40 cm
Macro: 10 cm
|MF assist||Center area magnified||Sharpening||None|
|Auto bracketing||3 images
0.3 - 2.0 EV
|3 or 5 images
0.3 - 1.0 EV
0.3 - 1.0 EV
|WB fine tuning||No||Yes||No|
|WB manual preset||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Noise reduction||Auto||Auto, can be disabled||Auto|
|Exposure modes||Auto, P, Tv, Av, M, C1, C2, Scene, Stitch Assist, Movie||Auto, P, S, A, M, Scene, Movie||Auto, P, S, A, M, Scene, Movie|
|Matrix (256 segment)
|Multi pattern (49 segment)
|AE Lock||Yes, SET button||Yes, AE/AF-L button||Yes, AE Lock button|
|AE compensation||+/-2 EV in 0.3 EV steps||+/-2 EV in 0.3 EV steps||+/-2 EV in 0.3 EV steps|
|Shutter speed||15 - 1/2000 sec *4||8 - 1/4000 sec *4||30 - 1/1000 sec|
|Aperture priority||Wide: 13 steps
Tele: 9 steps
|Wide: 10 steps
Tele: 5 steps
|Wide: 10 steps
Tele: 7 steps
|Bulb||No||Yes & Timed up to 10 mins||No|
@2592 x 1944
|1.3 fps, max 6 frames
1.8 fps, max 7 frames
|2.5 fps, max 7 frames
1.3 fps, max 17 frames
|2 fps, max 3 frames|
|Record review||Flick record/play dial||Press QUICK twice||Press review button|
|Image Params||Contrast (3)
|Remote control||Included InfraRed||Optional wired||Optional wired|
|LCD||1.8" Flip-out and twist
|1.5" Flip-out and twist
|Play magnification||Up to 10x, very fast||Up to 6x||Up to 5x|
|Histogram||Record review, Playback||Playback||Live view, Record review, Playback|
Manual Flash power
JPEG to RAW in review
Multi-Shot 16 cont.
Ultra HS cont.
5 shot buffer cont.
|Battery||Canon BP-511 (8.1 Wh)
|Nikon EN-EL1 (4.8 Wh)
|Sony NP-FC11 (2.8 Wh)
|Battery life||4 hr 33 mins||3 hr 06 mins||2 hr 39 mins|
|AC adapter||Supplied (Charger)||Optional||Supplied (Charger)|
|Storage||Compact Flash Type I/II||Compact Flash Type I/II||Memory Stick
Memory Stick Pro
|Storage supplied||32 MB Compact Flash||32 MB Compact Flash||32 MB Memory Stick|
|Orientation sensor||Yes, images tagged||No||No|
|Weight inc battery||481 g (17.0 oz)||380 g (13.4 oz)||291 g (10.3 oz)|
|Dimensions||121 x 74 x 70 mm
(4.8 x 2.9 x 2.8 in)
|108 x 73 x 69 mm
(4.3 x 2.9 x 2.7 in)
|99 x 65 x 57 mm
(3.9 x 2.6 x 2.2 in)
|Auto WB||Average||Above average||Below average|
|ISO noise levels||High||Average||Low|
|Fringing||More than average||Below average||Less than average|
|Lens distortion||Below average||Below average||Less than average|
|Startup speed||4.2 sec||3.9 sec||3.2 sec|
|Operation speed||Average||Average to Slow||Fast|
|AF speed||Average||Below Average||Fast|
|*1||Prices correct at time of publication|
|*2||During record review you can convert any image shot as JPEG to RAW|
|*3||Nikon have stated that they will provide RAW format support in a Firmware update available sometime in Spring 2004|
|*4||Fastest shutter speeds only available with limited aperture range|
A quick look down the specs and we can see that features wise its between the Canon G5 and Nikon 5400. Performance and value come from the Sony DSC-V1, it's noticeably faster in operation and some $100 cheaper than the other two, it's also smaller and lighter. Clearly if you're looking for a shutterbug's camera with lots of features then you should be thinking of the G5 or 5400, everyone else should have the DSC-V1 at the top of their list. How does image quality compare, click on Next...
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