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Camera Review: Canon G9 vs G10 May 1, 2009

Posted by shwaldman in Family, Technology.
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Canon G9
I got this camera a year and a half ago, just as it was coming out. But I was recently at a gymnastics practice and one of the parents was player with her new toy, a Canon G10. She asked for a few pointers and after I provide my disclaimer that I am no expert, I was happy to help and get a chance to look at this newer model. Having noticed a couple of differences, I thought it made sense to write up why I am still happy with my G9.

Back in 2007, I was looking to replace my four year old 4MP Canon point and shoot. I like the smaller size of pocket cameras, but wanted a fuller set of features. I am not ready for a full DSLR, so this camera really fit the bill. In a pinch, it can fit my my pocket, but it has over 15 pre-programmed scene settings in addition to several manual custom settings. My brother-in-law has a G3 and really liked it. I read the pre-reviews and it just made sense.

Rather than list all the features, here is a link to the Canon website. I will just talk about the things I like most about this camera. First, I will say that I am sure higher end cameras offer a higher quality picture. And it isn’t just about megapixels. This camera has 12.1 MP. I feel like if you take a good picture (that being IN FOCUS), it is going to be more important than number of pixels. And one of the big reasons I like this camera is the different scene settings that allow me to find the right pre-defined settings to get the in focus picture. Most often, I find myself using the Indoors, Kids & Pets, Foliage and Sports settings. On really bright days, I also use the Beach setting. I am sure professional photographers might prefer to be in manual mode and this option is there. However, I feel like the settings are there, they work well, and they allow me to focus on the action and getting the pictures.

Here are a couple of differences between the G9 and the G10. I think the G9 wins on several features, so I am not sure why people would look to this newer version. (see slight retraction below) But I will let you decide.

G9 G10
MegaPixels 12.1 MP, 1/1.7 inch CCD 14.7 MP, 1/1.7-inch CCD
Focal Length 7.4-44.4mm f/2.8-4.8
(35mm film equivalent: 35-210mm)
6.1-30.5mm f/2.8-4.5
(35mm film equivalent: 28-140mm)
LCD Screen 3.0 inch 230,000 pixels 3.0 inch 461,000 pixels
Shutter speed 15-1/4000 sec. 15-1/2500 sec.
Flash 1.0-13 ft./30cm-4.0m (W)
1.6-8.2 ft./50cm-2.5m (T)
12 sec. or less
12 in.-15 ft./30cm-4.6m (W)
1.6-9.2 ft./50cm-2.8m (T)
10 sec. or less
Image/Movie Compression Normal, Fine, SuperFine, RAW
Movie: AVI (Image: Motion JPEG; Audio: WAVE (Monaural))
Normal, Fine, SuperFine
Movie: MOV (Image: H.264; Audio: Linear PCM (Monaural))
Movie Pixels options 1024 x 768 (15 fps),

640 x 480 (30 fps/30 fps LP),

640 x 480 (2 hours at 0.5 fps/1 fps),

320 x 240 (30 fps) available up to 4GB or 60 minutes,

160 x 120 (3 minutes at 15 fps)
640 x 480 (30 fps),

320 x 240 (30 fps) available up to 4GB or 60 minutes

Now, having gone through this exercise, I am less “against” the G10 downgrades. There are clearly some advantages to the G9 still. I often use the 1024×768 movie mode, but I do not use the RAW image mode – maybe someday I will be so bold. But the G10 has a better LCD and better shutter and flash recycle time, which I would prefer. In the end, I see there is no clear winner, which to me is strange when a company comes out with a newer model. I think that is the bottom line. For the same price, a year later, the newer model should have the same and better features and not compromises between the two. Hasn’t Canon heard of Moore’s Law?

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