New Camera – Canon Powershot G9

Boulder Creek

Originally uploaded by mjm1138.

Got a new camera as a carry-around daily shooter, a Canon Powershot G9. Great specs for a (fairly) compact camera, with some important features for photo geeks, notably the ability to shoot raw. It feels great in the hand, very solid, and the manual features are easy to get at and reasonable to use. Yes, we’d all prefer knurled rings on the lens barrel for aperture and shutter speed setting, but let’s all repeat together: “Canon is not Leica”.

The only real quibble I have with this camera is the sensor. At 12 megapixels, it’s way too much resolution, especially for a small sensor type like this. I’d much rather have purchased this camera with an eight megapixel sensor and gotten even lower noise at higher ISO ratings. When you’re talking about the consumer space like this, the main thing that more megapixels buys you is more noise in the image, more disk space taken up on your computer, and longer transfer and processing times.

That said it’s a minor quibble, as it achieves very low noise even at reasonably high ISO, and the extreme ISO settings (800 and above) I’d go so far as to call usable in a pinch. The image above is a shot of Boulder Creek I took this morning before heading in to work. We got a nice little snowfall last night to remind us that spring is not here yet, and in fact March is the snowiest month of the year usually.


3 responses to “New Camera – Canon Powershot G9

  1. Enjoy the new camera. I’ve been using the Canon SD750 for my carry around shooter and it annoys the crap out of me that I cannot shoot RAW with it. Ugh.

    I couldn’t agree with you more on the megapixel count. The problem is that consumers buy megapixels, and nobody seems to have figured out a quality pitch yet. Too bad too… At least people have (generally) stopped selling “theoretical” megapixels.

  2. Raw giveth and raw taketh away. On the minus side I can no longer sit on the fence about whether to spring for an Aperture upgrade, since 1.5 won’t read the raw files from the G9 (even though iPhoto will. Grrrrr…).

    I’ve noticed that by making my megapixel comment I’ve joined a chorus of “keen amateurs” who are asking camera manufacturers to cut it out. Maybe, since the G-series isn’t really targeted at the general consumer market, Canon will take note. Seems like no one can get it quite right in this space though. Nikon’s competing coolpix, the p5100, was attractive to me since I could have used my speedlight with it. But nooooo, Nikon couldn’t possibly support raw on anything other than a DSLR.

  3. great snow shot Mike. We also bought a new carry around (SD750) and I have to say I like it but it reminds me why sometimes you need the real deal.

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