Canon Powershot G1
By Bryan Young
Full review posted 10/15/00
Click on the G1 to take a QTVR tour
Thanks to the dedicated digital signal processing IC the images are captured at high speed without losing any detail. In single frame mode the G1 can capture Large/Fine mode images in less than two seconds. The autofocus and exposure is set within 0.7 seconds of pressing the shutter button and the image is captured within 0.07 seconds of pushing the shutter button all the way down from the halfway point. In continuous mode the G1 captures up to 10 Large/Fine JPEGs at a rate of 1.7fps with the LCD and flash off. Users can switch between record and playback modes in an instant, the lens remains extended unless you put it in the Off position for more than 0.8 seconds.
Exposure options abound with full AUTO mode or Program AE, shutter speed priority, aperture priority and full Manual or choose one of the Image Zone pre-programmed modes. ISO sensitivity is adjustable between 50, 100, 200, 400 or automatic. White balance can be automatic, one of five presets or manually customized. The focus can be automatic or manual. Auto exposure bracketing (AEB) captures three exposures, taken with a single shutter release, at stops over and under the targeted exposure. For that perfect exposure under not-so-perfect conditions you can switch to spot metering. A special noise reduction feature virtually eliminates digital "noise" for exposures of 1.3 seconds or longer.
The builtin 5-mode (Auto, Redeye, Slow-sync, On, Off) flash will handle most average picture taking tasks. If you need greater flash range or the much prefered lighting of bounce flash -- the PowerShot G1 functions in full TTL with a Canon Speedlite 380EX (shown above) or the 220EX, 420EX or 550EX.
Images are stored on CompactFlash Type I or II cards which are available in sizes up to 300MB or for the ultimate in storage use an IBM Microdrive (170MB to 1GB.) The G1 is powered by a lithium rechargeable battery pack that's good for 300 to 800 pictures per charge. A high-speed USB port builtin eliminates the need for an external card reader.
On the back is a 270-degree swiveling 1.8-inch TFT color LCD with 113,578 pixels of resolution (521 x 218) that can be used for framing, review and menu operations. When framing, approximately 97% of the captured image is shown.
This is the same type of swiveling color LCD that was first seen on the Pro 70 almost two years ago. It can can tilt up or down and can be turned all the way around to face forwards...
or the LCD can be folded up against the back of the camera with the screen exposed or turned around the other way to protect it.
To save battery power switch off the LCD and frame your shots with the eyelevel optical viewfinder. There is a diopter adjustment for those of us with less than perfect eyesight. The LEDs on the side indicate recording, autofocus and flash status. The eyelevel finder shows approximately 87% of the captured image.
The only thing found in the optical viewfinder is a set of cross hairs, no framing or parallax guidelines and no data display. It is definitely time for prosumer cameras to have more sophisticated eyelevel viewfinders whether they be optical or mini-LCD types.
On top is the monochrome data LCD, hot shoe flash with TTL contacts for Canon 220EX, 380EX, 420EX or 550EX automatic speedlights, the combination Mode dial and power switch which also sets the Record, Playback and Connect to PC modes, the combination shutter release and zoom control and the Drive mode button.
The data LCD lets you know the camera settings without using the color LCD. Shown here with a shutter speed of 1/60 and an aperture of F2.0, Medium/SuperFine image setting, single exposure mode, macro mode enabled, self-timer/remote activated, flash set to On, battery level is full, 486 shots remaining and white balance set to Auto.
Depending on the operational mode other icons are displayed on either the monochrome data display or the color LCD for the various programmed AE modes, drive modes, spot metering, exposure compensation, flash exposure compensation, AE lock, manual focus, digital zoom and raw mode. The ISO setting and manual focus distance is not displayed on either LCD.
A flat bottom with a metal tripod socket and the battery access door.
Left and right side views.
The difference that two years makes... If you've been waiting for a replacement for the Pro 70 -- your ship has arrived. It's not only smaller but now it has nearly twice the resolution and a longer focal length zoom.
Continue on to
Canon PowerShot G1 Specifications
Image Capture Device
|Type||1/1.8-inch Charge-Coupled Device (CCD)|
|Total Pixels||Approx. 3.34 million|
|Effective Pixels||Approx. 3.24 million|
|Digital Tele-converter||2x, 4x|
(12x digital zoom when combined with optical zoom.)
|Focal Length||7 - 21mm (35mm film equivalent: 34 - 102mm)|
(measured from front lens)
|Normal AF: 70cm (2.3 ft.) - infinity|
Macro AF: 6cm (0.2 ft.) (wide-angle) / 20cm (0.7 ft.) (telephoto) - 70cm (2.3 ft.)
Manual focus: 6cm (0.2 ft.) (wide-angle) / 20cm (0.7 ft.) (telephoto) - infinity
|Focusing Control System||TTL autofocus (Continuous or Single) |
AF lock and Manual focus are available.
|Optical Viewfinder||Real-image optical zoom viewfinder|
|LCD Viewfinder||1.8-inch low-temperature polycrystalline silicon TFT color LCD|
|LCD Pixels||113.578 dot (521 (H) x 218 (V))|
Aperture and Shutter
|Aperture Range||F2.0 (wide-angle) - 2.5 (telephoto)|
|Shutter Type||Mechanical shutter and Electronic shutter|
|Shutter speed||8 - 1/1,000 sec.|
8 sec. shutter is available in Shutter Priority mode or Manual mode.
High speed shutter from 1/500 to 1/1,000 sec. are available only at F8 setting.
Slow shutter of 1.3 sec. and more operates with noise reduction.
|Sensitivity (Equivalent film speed)||Auto, ISO50, ISO100, ISO200 and ISO400 equivalent (At Auto setting, camera automatically adjusts sensitivity in the range of from ISO50 to ISO100 equivalent.)|
|Light Metering Method||Center-weighted average metering or Spot metering|
|Exposure Control Method||Program AE, Shutter priority AE, Aperture priority AE or Manual exposure control AE lock is available.|
|Exposure Compensation||+/- 2.0EV (at every 1/3-stop)|
Auto Exposure Bracketing (AEB) is available.
|White Balance Control||TTL auto white balance, Pre-set white balance (available settings: Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent or Flash) or Custom white balance|
|Built-in Flash||Operation modes: Auto, Red-eye reduction auto, Red-eye reduction ON, ON or OFF|
|Flash Range||0.7m (2.3 ft.) - 4.5m.(14.76 ft.) (W) / 0.7m (2.3 ft.) - 3.6m (11.8 ft.) (T) |
(When sensitivity is set to ISO 100 equivalent)
|Recycling Time||Approx. 10 sec. or less|
|Terminals for External Flash||TTL Sync-terminals at accessory shoe for|
Canon Speedlite 220EX, 380EX, 420EX and 550EX
|Flash Exposure Compensation||+/- 2.0EV (at every 1/3-stop)|
Creative zone: Program, Shutter priority, Aperture priority and Manual
Image zone: Pan-focus, Portrait, Landscape, Night scene, Black & White, Stitch assist and Movie
|Self Timer||Operates with approx. 10 seconds countdown.|
|Wireless Control||Shooting and playback are available (Wireless controller is included in the camera kit).|
When shooting, image is captured 2 seconds after shutter release operation.
|PC-connected Shooting||Available (at USB connection only. Exclusive software "RemoteCapture" is included in the camera kit).|
|Continuous Shooting||Approx. 1.7 image/sec.|
(at Large/Fine mode and LCD viewfinder is OFF)
|Storage Media||CompactFlash (CF) card (Type I or Type II)|
|File Format||Design rule for Camera File system (DCF*1)|
|Print Order Format||Digital Print Order Format (DPOF)|
|Image Recording Format||Still image: JPEG or CCD-RAW|
Movie: AVI (Image data: Motion JPEG, Audio data: WAVE [monaural])
|JPEG Compression Mode||Super Fine, Fine or Normal|
|Number of Recording Pixels||
|Single, Multi (9 thumbnail images), Magnification (approx. 2.5x or 5x on built-in LCD monitor) or Slide show|
|Single Image, All Images|
|Computer Interface||Universal Serial Bus (USB), RS-232C/RS-422|
|Video Out||Audio/Video Output (NTSC or PAL selectable, monaural audio)|
|Other||CF card slot (compliant with CF Type II standard).|
|Shooting Capacity||Approx. 260 images (under Canon's standard conditions*2 with full-charged battery)|
|Playback Time||Approx. 160 minutes (under Canon's standard conditions*3 with full-charged battery)|
|Operating Temperature||32-104oF (0-40oC)|
(W x H x D)
|4.7 x 3.0 x 2.5 in.|
119.7 x 76.8 x 63.8 mm (excluding protruding parts)
|Weight||Approx. 0.3 lb. (camera body only)|
Computer System Requirements
|Mac Requirements||Please install the software on a Macintosh computer that meets the following system requirements.|
|Hardware||Power Macintosh, PowerBook, iMac or iBook|
|OS||Mac OS 8.1 through 9.0.4, Quicktime 3.0 or higher|
(QuickTime 4.1 is in the CD-ROM "DIGITAL CAMERA Solution Disk" included with the PowerShot G1 standard kit)
|Interface||USB: Cable connection via camera's USB port is limited to genuine Apple Computer brand models with a built-in USB interface (Power Macintosh NEW G3/G4, PowerBook G3, iMac, iBook). iMac computers running OS 8.1 require installation of "iMac Update 1.0" and "iMac Firmware Update 1.0" or higher.|
|RS-422 Serial: Requires compatible Power Macintosh with built-in printer port or modem port.|
|RAM||20MB or more of application memory|
|PC Requirements||Please install the software on a PC computer that meets the following system requirements.|
|Hardware||IBM PC/AT compatible|
Windows 95/98 (including the Second Edition)
|CPU||Pentium 133 MHz or better|
|Interface||USB: Cable connection via camera's USB port is limited to pre-installed Windows 98, Windows 2000 or Windows ME systems.|
|RS-232C: Serial or COM port. |
|RAM||32MB or more (Windows 95/98)|
64MB or more (Windows NT 4.0/Windows 2000/Windows ME)
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