PowerShot G9

September also sees the very welcome launch of, the new PowerShot G9. It represents a return to form for Canon's flagship semi-pro compact camera, addressing all of the issues that users and reviewers disliked about its predecessor the PowerShot G7.

Outwardly at least the G9 looks very similar to the previous model, with the same chunky and businesslike metal body, the same 6x zoom f/2.8-4.8 image stabilised lens, and SLR-style external controls including an ISO dial and thumb-wheel control interface. The body design has been slightly tweaked though, providing a larger hand and thumb grip, and a selection of optional coloured bezels for the lens surround, so you can personalise your camera.

The most obvious improvement is the new 12.1 megapixel 1/1.7in sensor, which is the same as the one in the new A650 IS. Other changes include a new 3.0-in 230k LCD monitor which compensates for its lack of articulation with an exceptionally wide angle of view, allowing the camera to be held overhead for shooting over crowds. A new Face Select and Track function enables the user to manually select and track an individual face from up to 35 faces detected in frame.

For hobbyists and enthusiasts the most welcome change will be the return of RAW mode, which was missing from the G7, as well as RAW + JPEG for maximum image quality and control. Of course such a semi-pro powerhouse won't be cheap, and the PowerShot G9 will be available from September 2007 priced at £429, which is nearly as much as an entry-level DSLR. I don't care, I'm totally buying one.

Link: Canon compact cameras


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