Steve's Digicams - Breaking News - Canon 09/16/02 Press Release


Press Releases - September 16, 2002


New Image Processor, Extended Zoom Range, Wide Area FlexiZone Autofocus, And 9-Position White Balance Make the New G3 More Advanced Than Ever

Canon Powershot G3, photo (c) 2002 Steve's Digicams

Read our Powershot G3 First Look

LAKE SUCCESS, NEW YORK, September 16, 2002 - Canon U.S.A., Inc., a subsidiary of Canon, Inc. (NYSE: CAJ), is once again redefining perfection with the introduction of the PowerShot G3 digital camera. By incorporating a new Image Processor called "DIGIC," along with an extended zoom range and new camera features, Canon continues to position itself as the leader in digital imaging technology. The new camera joins the current PowerShot G2, offering photographers a wider selection of products with multiple features providing greater creative latitude.

Improvements in the new camera begin with its exterior. Canon has strategically re- engineered the PowerShot G3's control layout for easier access to key functions, and the enlarged handgrip provides more comfort and secure handling. Several new and improved features and functions have been added to the PowerShot G3 making it one of the most versatile compact digital cameras available. For example, a new proprietary dedicated signal processor called DIGIC provides better image quality, increased processing speed and Movie clips up to 3-minutes at 320 x 240 resolution. Additionally, Canon has increased the zoom range of the G3's built-in lens to 35-140mm (4x optical / 3.6x digital / 14x combined) while maintaining a maximum aperture range of f/2.0-3.0, offering the widest zoom range and largest aperture of any current Canon PowerShot model.

Other features of the camera 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).

"Canon's goal has always been to provide our customers with imaging products that offer the most advanced features and functions at affordable prices," says Yukiaki Hashimoto, vice president and general manager, Photographic Products Group, Canon U.S.A. "The PowerShot G3 is a classic example of how Canon has added new features while improving upon others at an introductory price that is comparable to its predecessor, the PowerShot G2. The G3 truly represents the point where high-end, professional-quality features and functions meets point-and-shoot simplicity," Mr. Hashimoto added.

Exterior Improvements

Those familiar with the PowerShot G2 can immediately notice many of the improvements and refinements of the camera's exterior. In fact, positioning of the camera's control buttons on the G3 are similar to those found on Canon's EOS System cameras. The Command Dial, for example, is positioned precisely where the user's thumb would comfortably rest, making it fast and simple to change from one shooting mode to another. The new Main Dial, seen for the first time on a PowerShot camera, allows users to control the aperture, shutter speed and exposure compensation, and is conveniently located just in front of the shutter button. All of the camera's primary functions have been repositioned to allow users to change camera settings quickly and easily, especially when in the manual mode.

DIGIC Image Processor

Canon has developed a new Image Processor called DIGIC (Digital Imaging Integrated Circuit) which helps achieve higher picture quality by improving signal processing algorithms. Beyond higher picture quality, the new Image Processor also accounts for faster autofocus performance, improved overall processing speed and the ability of the camera to record movie clips with sound up to 3 minutes apiece at a resolution of 320 x 240 pixels and a framing rate of 15 fps.

High-Quality 4x Zoom Lens

Canon has extended the zoom range of the PowerShot G3 by incorporating a very fast 35-140mm f/2.0-3.0 (35mm equivalent) optical zoom lens. Focusing of the lens is achieved with a rear-focusing method that moves only one lens element, minimizing the weight of the focusing component for greater focusing speed while reducing strain on the battery. The added zoom range now allows users to quickly capture everything from close-up subjects to landscapes.

Beyond the camera's built-in zoom capabilities, users can attach the new 24mm wide- angle or 240mm supplementary telephoto lenses to the PowerShot G3 with an optional bayonet-mount adapter. With the new wide and tele conversion lenses, users now have an effective range of 24mm to 240mm, one of the longest optical focal length ranges of any point-and-shoot digital camera in the industry.

Wide-Area FlexiZone AF/AE

The same extra data processing power that enables other new features such as DIGIC and extended-duration movie clips has also enabled Canon to incorporate a new Wide- Area FlexiZone autofocus system. The new FlexiZone system covers a much larger percentage of the picture area and greatly improves the G3's ability to find and autofocus off-center subjects quickly. The PowerShot G3 can also be set for 1-point central-area AF if desired.

9-Position White Balance

The PowerShot G3, much like the G2, divides the image into thousands of individual blocks and compiles color balance data from each to achieve precise auto white balance control. Eight other white balance settings are available, including a custom white balance function that allows users to simply point the camera at a neutral object, such as a white piece of paper, to obtain proper white balance and store it in the camera. The custom white balance function stores data for up to two different shooting environments or lighting conditions.

Exclusive iSAPS Technology

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.

Enhanced Photo Effects

In previous PowerShot cameras, Canon introduced the Photo Effects mode as a way for users to experiment with various forms of photographic expression, such as high saturation, low saturation, low sharpening, Black-and-White, or sepia toned images. With the G3, these effects are now available in every shooting mode, including Manual and Movie mode, for greater flexibility. Even advanced users may now find Photo Effects useful, combining RAW mode with Black-and-White for example.

Built-in Neutral Density Filter

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.

Selectable Metering

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.

Focus Bracketing

In addition to conventional Auto Exposure Bracketing, the PowerShot G3 offers Focus Bracketing to further ensure proper focus of the main subject. Focus bracketing takes three consecutive shots, moving the focus position in front and behind the current position of the subject. The difference between each shot can be set to large, medium or small, allowing a "fine focus position" to be found which matches the photographer's intention even when precise focus positions are critical such as with macro photography.

Interval Shooting

The PowerShot G3 is equipped with an Interval Shooting function that allows users to take a sequence of photographs over extended periods of time up to 100 hours. The camera can take from 2 to 100 frames at intervals up to 60 minutes apart. This is ideal for nature photographers who want to study animal habitats for research, or for use as a security camera. The intervalometer function can be used with the built-in flash as well as with EX-series Speedlites.

First / Second Curtain Flash Sync

The flash exposure timing can be set to either First Curtain or Second Curtain on the PowerShot G3. With First Curtain sync, the flash is emitted immediately after the shutter opens. With Second Curtain sync, the flash is exposed immediately before the shutter closes. Second Curtain sync is ideal for emphasizing a sense of motion with moving subjects in low light.

Additional Flash Options

In normal shooting conditions, the camera controls the strength of the flash to obtain proper exposure of a scene or subject. However, depending on shooting conditions, it may not be possible to obtain optimal exposure or the user may wish to change the flash output to achieve a particular effect. To accommodate this, the PowerShot G3 has been designed so the flash output can be set manually. When using external flash units, the exposure can be adjusted in 1/3-stop intervals from full exposure to -4 stops. The built-in flash can be set to three levels - weak, medium and full exposure.

Also, the PowerShot G3 now provides added support for the EOS Speedlite System and its dedicated accessories. The G3 is compatible with all EX-series Speedlites as well as Macro Ring Lite MR-14EX. Even more, the G3 adds compatibility with Macro Twin Lite MT-24EX as well as Speedlite Transmitter ST-E2. These accessories provide even greater flexibility and performance to the G3 for close-up and multiple flash photography, respectively.

RAW Settings After Exposure

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.

Movie Recording Up To 3-Minutes

The G3 can record moving images at 15 fps along with audio in two formats - QVGA (320 x240 pixels) and Q2VGA (160 x 120 pixels). Using a method that writes images that are temporarily stored in the buffer to the CF card while recording, long continuous filming times are achieved, up to 3 full minutes. Values for focus, exposure, white balance and zoom position determined at the beginning of filming are used throughout the movie recording segment. During recording, the elapsed time of each segment is displayed on the LCD panel. Movie files are saved in AVI format, and can be played back over a connected video monitor or downloaded to a compatible Mac or PC. An in-camera editing function allows users to delete unwanted "footage" from movie clips to maximize usable storage space on the CF card.

"My Camera" Custom Settings

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.

Other Camera Features

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.

Direct Print Capabilities

The Direct Print function has been added to the PowerShot G3 allowing users to create high-quality prints by connecting the camera directly to one of several Canon dye-sublimation and Bubble Jet Direct photo printers including the Card Photo Printer CP-10 / CP-100 and the S830D and S530D Bubble Jet Direct printers. Canon's Bubble Jet-series printers support Exif 2.2 for optimal print quality.

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. Many camera settings such as focal length, resolution, compression, flash mode, etc., can be adjusted and the images can be recorded directly to the PC. 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.

System Accessories

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 new Canon PowerShot G3 kit includes:

  • 32MB CompactFlash Card
  • BP-511 Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery
  • CA-560 Compact Power Adapter with AC Cable
  • USB Interface Cable
  • AV Cable
  • Wireless Remote Controller
  • Neck Strap
  • Bundled software

The PowerShot G3 camera will be available in October and have a suggested retail price of .

Canon U.S.A., Inc. is an industry leader in professional and consumer imaging solutions and, through its parent company, Canon Inc. (NYSE: CAJ), is a top patent- holder of imaging technologies. The company's comprehensive product line includes networked multifunction devices; digital and analog copiers (color and black and white); printers, scanners, image filing systems, and facsimile machines; camcorders, cameras and lenses; and semiconductor, broadcast and medical equipment. Canon U.S.A. employs 12,000 people at more than 30 facilities throughout North, Central and South America and the Caribbean.

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All referenced product names, and other marks, are trademarks of their respective owners.

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