Pros: Easy to Use, Sharp pictures with beautiful color reproduction !
Cons: Slow zoom, Autofocus not as quick as some other digitals
I am a die hard advocate of film photography, but as of late have started to explore what the realm of digital photography has to offer. Because of my work in photo/electronic sales I do get to play with all of the new toys as they come out so I had been eagerly awaiting the arrival of the G2. My first digital camera was a Canon S100, and just a few days ago I decided to shell out the big bucks for a Canon G2. It has definitely been worth the wait =)
Some General Information
I'll spare readers all the technical details of the camera (should you have any more in depth questions please feel free to e-mail me), but overall the main features of the Canon G2 are its 4.0 megapixel CCD, and the ability to have the camera operate fully automatically, or manually control individual aspects (such as aperture, shutter speed, depth of field, etc....) One can also record short AVI clips on the G2 (the actual maximum length of the clip depends on the resolution and what size CF card one is using). Something worth noting, is that like all digital cameras, the G2 records all the settings that you used when each shot is taken. For the more serious photographers, this is a splendid feature to have, as I always like to go back and analyze my shots, and having the information such as shutter speed, aperture priority, sharpness settings, etc... is a real plus. The part that really impresses me though is how easy it is to access this information as opposed to some of the other digicam OS's out there.
What you get with the camera..
Along with the G2, it comes with a few pieces of software, one being Canon's zoombrowser which is in essence a digital photo album which helps you download your photos from the camera ( via a supplied USB cable ) as well as Adobe Photoshop. An interesting piece of software which was also included with the Canon G1 is the remote capture software. Similar to hooking the camera up to a TV to compose your shots when in front of the camera, you hook the camera up to your PC. More control is achieved this way as you can set the camera to take timed interval pictures, bracket, etc.... A very very neat piece of software. For those who own laptops and do a lot of shooting, this can prove to be very convenient.
Also included is beautiful small remote control which you can use to take pictures of yourself, or to use to go through your pictures zooming in and out of them when using the supplied Audio Video cable (which allows you to hook the G2 up to a television set). The G2 comes with a 32 Megabyte Compact Flash card (a nice plus since most cameras in this megapixel range only come with a 16 MB card), and last but not least it comes with a rechargeable lithium ion battery, along with the charger (which is basically an AC adapter which plugs into the camera), the recharging circuitry is built into the G2.
I have mainly used the G2 as a point and shoot camera and have found the pictures to turn out AMAZING ! I have long been shooting with 35mm film and am quite accustomed to the quality that one can get when printing their own prints in the darkroom, but I can honestly say that the quality that a 4.0 megapixel camera offers is beautiful. Provided that the pictures are printed out on the same quality paper that your regular photos are developed, one will not be able to tell the difference between a regular 4x6 or 5x7. I have yet to have any larger photos made, but as soon as I do, I will post on here how well they turn out. Something to add, a feature that the Canon G2 has is a feature it calls "vivid" on the top settings dial. What this feature does is it basically enrichens your colors, saturating them. For people that like outdoor shooting, or like rich deep colors, this setting does an amazing job. As an example, for outdoor shots, it is like using a polarizing filter to obtain the rich blue color that people like so much.
I just printed out a few 6x8 and 8x10's and showed them to some of my co-workers, many of whom are professional and serious amateur photographers. They couldn't even tell that the print was from a digital camera. 4.0 megapixels has proven to be a very good resolution to shoot at when one is rather particular about the kind of quality that they like.
*original review continued*
A note about the battery life, for those of you who have had digital cameras before you should be very familiar with how much power they consumed. Earlier digital cameras would die out after 15 minutes, which grew to be quite costly and frustrating. However, with the G2, I can honestly say that I have only charged the battery once (during the first week of use), and have used it at least 10-15 minutes every day with the LCD on for the past week and the camera still shows a full charge on the battery! Contrary to my S100, the battery life of the G2 should be more then sufficient, unless one plans on filling up a 340 MB Microdrive and looking at each picture twice over. In the G2 manual Canon states that the camera should be capable of taking over 400 pictures with the LCD display on, so far I have found no evidence to doubt this! Something worth nothing though is that although the G2 has an auto shutdown feature, if you leave it in playback mode, it will not automatically turn off, which can leave you with a camera with a dead battery in the morning. It's just a minor detail, now I just make sure it's off everytime I am done looking at pictures. It does however turn itself automatically shortly after the pictures have been downloaded off of the camera.
For those of you who are doing some research because you are interested in going digital, the G2 is an excellent first choice for a camera. Although not as small as some of the other digitals out there, e.g. S110, S300, Konica Digital Revio, Pentax Optio 330, etc.... the advantage of going with a camera such as the G2 (and other similar cameras in its class) is the ability to use the camera with other accesories such as tele-converters, wide angle converters, and other Canon accessories such as their Speedlite flashes (including their macro ring flash). I have been fortunate enough to see shots from a G1 that was using add on accessories and they turned out beautifully. Very consistent metering.
One more thing I would like to add (thank you to all the people who have left me comments, and this is where this addition to the review stems from), is that if you know that you don't need a 4.0 megapixel camera, but want beautiful (and I mean you won't be able to tell the difference) 4x6's and 5x7's; If you are able to find a Canon G1 still around they are being sold at terrific deals as they are no longer being made, but for the price, you will be getting what I consider still one of the best 3.3 megapixel cameras ever made. For the difference in price between the two units you can easily buy a tele-extender, speedlite flash, or perhaps even a combination of other accessories.
I know this review is very limited in what it currently covers, but I will continue to update and expand this review as my experience with the camera increases. don't forget to rate my review please (I enjoy hearing and seeing what people think of the review). Also, for those who are shopping around, another excellent digital camera choice is the Sony DSC-F707, on which I have also written a review.