Canon Powershot G3 Review
By Movable Type Admin
First Look posted 9/16/02
Click to take a QTVR tour of the G3
Other features include 12 EOS System-based shooting modes for customizing the camera to the user's shooting style; a new Wide-Area FlexiZone AF/AE system which allow users to focus on off-center subjects without repositioning the camera; Spot Metering; and Zoom Playback up to 10X. A new Intelligent Orientation Sensor automatically rotates images for proper viewing during playback. And like other PowerShot-series cameras, the PowerShot G3 has a Direct Print function that is compatible with Canon's CP-10 and CP-100 dye-sublimation printers as well as Bubble Jet Direct photo printers for fast, high-quality photos from wallet size up to letter size (8.5 x 11-inches).
Over the past 60 years, Canon has accumulated a vast amount of photographic data and know-how and used it to create some of the most innovative camera products in the marketplace. Now, using that same data and know-how, Canon has developed a new technology called iSAPS (an acronym for Intelligent Scene Analysis based on Photographic Space) that can "predict" certain camera settings such as focusing distance, exposure and optimum white balance based on zoom focal length, overall light level and tonal distribution data. Canon refers to this collective data as "Photographic Space." By incorporating iSAPS technology into the PowerShot G3, the camera can analyze and calculate a scene just before the image is made and in doing so, increase the speed and precision of the camera's autofocus, auto exposure and auto white balance.
A Neutral Density (ND) filter has been built into the PowerShot G3 allowing numerous shooting opportunities never before possible with a point-and-shoot digital camera. When using the ND filter, for example, a wider aperture can be used in bright light conditions to blur a distracting background or simply create a properly exposed photograph when simple adjustments to aperture and shutter speeds aren't enough. Furthermore, flash photography becomes possible at macro distances, normally difficult due to overexposure.
Three light metering modes can be selected on the PowerShot G3 - Evaluative, Center- Weighted Average, and Spot. When Spot metering is selected, the light metering point can be linked either to the AF frame or fixed to the center of the photo frame. With the G3, an arbitrary subject in the photo frame can be focused without changing the framing of the shot, regardless of where the subject is located in the frame.
Even when the camera is set to record images in one of the JPEG settings, the PowerShot G3 now allows the captured image to be saved as a RAW file before it is recorded. This feature can be accessed at any time during the Review period immediately after the image is captured, and is particularly useful when the white balance or other planned effects were not obtained, or when resolution, contrast, saturation or sharpening needs to be modified in the execution of the final image. RAW images can be processed after storage by means of the bundled software.
Several images and sounds can be customized on the PowerShot G3 using the My Camera function including the start-up image, start-up sound, operation sounds, self-timer sound and shutter sound. Custom images and sounds can be selected from the Solution Disk included with the camera. Additionally, any image created with the G3 can be used as a start-up image.
The PowerShot G3 offers numerous other camera features including a maximum shutter speed of 1/2000 second; built-in flash with five settings including Auto, Auto with Red-Eye Reduction, Forced Red-Eye Reduction, Forced Flash (fill flash) and Off; an On/Off AF-Assist Beam for proper autofocus in low-light conditions; magnified playback of images up to 10x.; and full support for DPOF-format slideshows and image transfers. Two new Custom mode settings on the Command Dial allow the storage of user-selected shooting parameters for personalized camera control.
Image Management Software
The Canon PowerShot G3 is fully compatible with Windows XP and Mac OS X. It comes with Adobe PhotoShop 5.0 LE and Apple QuickTime 6.0, ZoomBrowser EX 4.0 (for Windows) and ImageBrowser 2.7 (for Mac); PhotoRecord 1.6 (Windows only); PhotoStitch 3.1, File Viewer Utility 1.1, and RemoteCapture 2.6 (for Windows and Mac). RemoteCapture enables a USB-connected Canon G3 camera to be controlled by a compatible personal computer. In addition to all of these software applications, the G3 is supplied with a TWAIN driver for Windows 98SE/2000 as well as a WIA driver for Windows XP/Me and a Plug-in Module as well as a USB Mounter for Mac OS 9.x. The WIA driver and USB mounter allow a compatible PC to mount the camera as a hard drive on the desktop and display thumbnails to facilitate simplified image data transfers.
The Canon PowerShot G3 provides even greater creative flexibility with optional lens converters and adapters. The WC-DC58N Wide Angle Converter shortens the focal length of the camera's lens by approximately 0.7x, resulting in an effective focal length of 24mm. The TC-DC58N Tele Converter extends the camera's longest focal length from 140mm to 240mm. Last but not least, the Canon PowerShot G3 is compatible with all Canon EX-series Speedlite flash units including the 220EX, 420EX, 550EX as well as Macro Twin Lite MT-24EX, Macro Ring Lite MR-14EX and Speedlite Transmitter ST-E2. The use of optional Speedlites provides tremendous creative control over lighting quality.
The Powershot G3 compared in size to a CD
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Canon Powershot G3 Specifications
The Canon Powershot G3 kit includes:
- Digital Camera
- Lens Cap
- Neck Strap NS-DC1
- Compact Power Adapter CA-560
- AC Cable (for CA-560)
- Battery Pack BP-511
- Terminal Cover (for Battery Pack BP-511)
- CompactFlash™ Card FC-32M
- Case for CompactFlash Card
- Canon Digital Camera Solution CD-ROM
- Adobe Photoshop® LE CD-ROM
- USB Interface Cable IFC-300PCU
- AV Cable AVC-DC100
- Wireless Controller WL-DC100
- Lithium Battery CR2025 (for Wireless Controller WL-DC100)
- User Guides
Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.