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“USE - casual social snaps, adventure holiday...”

Written on: 05/06/2004 by zj (2 reviews written)

Good Points
Ability to take really good pictures in a multitude of settings and conditions, simple / logical user interface. Robust build quality, good software, small enough to pocket in a coat

Bad Points
The lens cap (extraordinarily irritating), chromatic abberation in some conditions, over full flash in auto mode

General Comments
USE - casual social snaps, adventure holiday landscapes, nature photography

I've had the Canon PowerShot G5 Digital Camera for about 8 months now and have generally been delighted with it. It's flexible with a really useful range of program / custom modes as well as a reliable auto mode. The build quality is reassuringly solid (apart from the lens cap which falls off at the drop of a hat)and the multi-positionable TFT is very readable under most conditions. The controls are sensibly placed and easy navigation through logical menus is the rule.

In use the exposure, white balance, image contrast / colour rendition / sharpness are all as good as one's going to get with this kind of camera and start up times are short. Focussing in lowish light conditions is a somewhat prolonged experience but the results are usually spot on. Chromatic abberation is, I've found, a major (if infrequent) problem. Many pictures taken of high contrast / bright on black subjects seem to be affected - some so badly as to render them effectively ruined. The flash has also been a moot point - at least in auto mode. In this mode the output can't be varied from a fixed value and i've found it to be just far too bright. The movie mode is easy to access and give results that are just about acceptable but then this is a camera not a camcorder.

On a more positive note the battery life is excellent and not degraded by liberal use of the flash. The USB (?1.1) connection and software (Zoom Browser EX with my purchase) worked faultlessly out of the box

With the recent falls in the street price I think it represents excellent value for money and a nice stepping stone between point and shoot digicams and full blown digital SLRs

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