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9 people found this helpful
Did you expect a DSLR?
on May 30, 2008
I'll preface this by saying that my photographer friend and I, who both own Canon's excellent 5D DSLR, both purchased a G9 from Amazon to be our "grab-and-go" compact cameras so we would not have to always lug around the 5D and its lenses. We are both members of the local camera club.
Amazon came through with their as-promised delivery time, as usual.
I'll admit that I am totally spoiled by Canon's 5D, and, as such, my G9 expectations were probably bound to remain unrealized. Nonetheless, there are many "good" G9 reviews.
The first thing that I noticed was that there is noise that simply cannot be ignored: shoot at ISO 200 and there it is.
So, what I take for granted: using most any ISO that I want to capture a low noise image, just cannot be taken for granted with the G9. To be fair, just about ALL compacts suffer from this shortcoming, more or less. For the price I expected "a cut above" in performance. My friend noticed the same thing. Even though Canon software has adaptive noise reduction to minimize this annoyance, it's "just one more thing to worry about," and, in fact, was the deal-breaker for my friend who reluctantly took advantage of Amazon's outstanding returns policy. My G9 had one more surprise in store for me: it almost unerringly "back-focused" so that the subject in the "focus square" on the LCD came out "soft" while the background immediately behind the subject was in sharper (but not tack-sharp) focus. My friend's G9 produced sharper pictures than mine did with no back-focusing problem.
My wife owns a Canon Elph ( SD700 IS ) camera that she keeps in her pocket. It takes great pictures for what it is, and she loves it. My Canon 5D DSLR is simply great, and I have won many blue ribbons in juried competitions with it. I had hoped (perhaps unrealistically) to get another Canon with at least some of the ease of picture-taking that the 5D offers. Although a properly working G9 is probably somewhat superior to the usual compact cameras offered today, if you are seeking a "photographic tool" that won't get in the way of deliberate artistic picture taking, try out the G9, but don't throw away the packaging material that you may need for a return. If you are seeking a grab-and-go compact camera that has a LOT of DSLR-type features in a slick "retro" package, you could do a lot worse than the G9.
I also own an old clunky 7MP Canon G6 which still takes OK pictures. I'll use it until something better than the "OK" G9 comes out. For ME, the G9 is just too much of a compromise for $440,
although, if it was a GREAT compact, I'd be willing to pay more.
As you can see, it all depends on what YOUR requirements and expectations are. I feel almost guilty giving the G9 3 stars since I really like the other fine Canon cameras that I own. But, for the G9, it is what it is, for me.
And YES, when the new Canon 5D comes out, I'll be trading up.