Steve's Digicams

PowerShot G1

Recording Modes & Exposure Options

Canon PowerShot G1

Now this is Manual recording! We're in Manual mode and set a shutter speed and an aperture, we've also manually set the white balance and we're in the process of manually adjusting the focus. The small square in the center of the frame tells us that we're also in spot metering mode.

I do have to say that the manual focus feature is weak. There is no distance information given, only this bar graph display. And unlike some of the other cameras there is no magnified portion of the frame to aid in critical focusing. Users with excellent eyesight will have difficulty judging proper focus on the small 1.8-inch LCD.

Canon PowerShot G1

The main function of the Mode Dial is to select the desired recording mode:

  • Manual - you set both the shutter speed and aperture
  • AV (Aperture priority) - the camera automatically selects a shutter speed to match the aperture you set. Aperture settings available are: F2.0, F2.2, F2.5, F2.8, F3.2, F3.5, F4.0, F4.5, F5.0, F5.6, F6.3, F7.1, F8.0
  • TV (Shutter priority) - camera automatically selects an aperture setting to match the shutter speed you set. Available shutter speeds are: 1/1000, 1/800, 1/640, 1/500, 1/400, 1/320, 1/250, 1/200, 1/160, 1/125, 1/100, 1/80, 1/60, 1/50, 1/40, 1/30, 1/25, 1/20, 1/15, 1/13, 1/10, 1/8, 1/6, 1/5, 1/4, 0.3, 0.4, 0.5, 0.6, 0.8, 1, 1.3, 1.6, 2, 2.5, 3.2, 4, 5, 6, 8 seconds
  • Program AE - camera automatically set the shutter speed and aperture settings like AUTO but the user can change many options like white balance, exposure compensation, saturation, sharpness and more.
  • AUTO - camera sets everything automatically, this is "point and shoot" mode

The G1 also has pre-programmed "Image Zone" modes that were adopted from the EOS cameras. These modes include:

  • Pan Focus - When you need the fastest "grab" shot possible, sets lens to wideangle for greatest depth of field (25 inches to infinity)
  • Portrait - Sets a large aperture value to have a minimum depth of field so your subject is sharp but the background gets blurred.
  • Landscape - Sets the focus to infinity and uses a small aperture
  • Night Scene - Uses slow shutter speed (tripod recommended) to capture night backgrounds and synchronizes the flash to illuminate foreground subjects
  • BW - Good for text capture or when you want that nostalgic touch
  • Stitch Assist - The user will be aided by the LCD when creating multi-image panorama pictures. Five types of assistance are available:
    1. Horizontal - left to right
    2. Horizontal - right to left
    3. Vertical - top to bottom
    4. Vertical - bottom to top
    5. Clockwise starting at top left.

    Stitch Assist

    Onscreen view of Stitch Assist mode

  • Movie - capture full motion video and sound clips up to 30 seconds in length at 320 x 240 resolution at a rate of 15fps.

    Canon PowerShot G1

    Using the controls on the back of the G1 it's easy to set the advanced exposure options. You must use the color LCD to access the onscreen menu system. In the P, A, M or S recording modes press the MENU button and then navigate the menus using the 4-way jog switch. The SET button accepts selections.

    The middle button brings up the following four onscreen exposure adjustment modes into play. Push it once for Exposure Compensation, again for White Balance, again for Flash Compensation and again for the Auto Exposure Bracket offset.

    Canon PowerShot G1

    Exposure compensation is useful when you want to override the auto exposure system. There is a +/- 2EV adjustment in 1/3EV steps.

    Canon PowerShot G1

    You can set the white balance Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Flash or Custom.

    Canon PowerShot G1

    Set a custom white balance to obtain the optimal setting for the lighting conditions by using a white piece of paper as a target.

    Canon PowerShot G1

    Using the flash exposure compensation you can vary the output of the flash until you get exactly the amount of light on the subject as is desired.

    Canon PowerShot G1

    Auto Exposure Bracketing - In this mode, the camera automatically changes the exposure within a set range to take three shots after you press the shutter button once. You can adjust AEB settings in 1/3EV steps within the range of -2EV to +2EV of the standard exposure setting. AEB setting can be combined with exposure compensation settings.

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