Canon U.S.A. is upping the stakes in the digital camera market with its new Canon PowerShot G2, the company’s first 4-megapixel model, which is due next month at a suggested list price of US$999. And its bundled software includes Apple’s QuickTime 5.0.
The design of the PowerShot G2 is based on Canon’s PowerShot G1. It sports a champagne metallic coverplate and an enlarged handgrip for better ergonomics. The Canon G2 includes a 7-21mm f/2.0-2.5 zoom lens (equivalent to 34-102mm in the 35mm format), a Vari-Angle LCD viewfinder, a conventional camera body design, a USB interface, compatibility with Canon EX-series Speedlite flash units, and compatibility with Type I and II CompactFlash memory cards, including IBM’s series of Microdrives.
The Canon PowerShot G2 has been improved from its G1 predecessor. The new camera sports higher resolution, better image quality, faster signal processing, lower power consumption, more focusing points, improved manual focusing, faster continuous shooting, more shooting modes and metering patterns, additional playback options and accessory compatibility, and direct print capabilities with the Canon CP-10 printer.
Equipped with a 1/1.8-inch, 4.0 megapixel CCD sensor, the PowerShot G2 supports image sizes up to 2272 x 1704 pixels. The camera also supports resolutions of 1600 x 1200, 1024 x 768 and 640 x 480. The PowerShot G2 uses RGB primary color filters on the CCD chip, and offers a selection of 13 image quality settings including three JPEG compression modes at any resolution.
Improvements in the camera’s image processing circuitry mean that for most operations, the PowerShot G2 is at least twice as fast as the G1. Power consumption has been cut nearly in half, allowing the G2 to run up to five hours in playback mode on a single charge.
The digital camera is capable of displaying a histogram of the photo image on the LCD monitor in a manner similar to the EOS D30 professional model. The histogram is a graph with the horizontal axis representing “brightness” and the vertical axis depicting the cumulative number of pixels that have that brightness. The histogram lets you check the overall exposure of each photo. And if any portion of the photo is grossly overexposed, warning signals are displayed.
The PowerShot G2 offers a Direct Print mode that enables users to print hard-copy images with or without cropping using the Canon CP-10 dye sublimation printer. It comes with Adobe PhotoShop 5.0 LE, ImageBrowser 1.8, and PhotoStitch 3.1.2 for the Mac. Plus, it’s supplied with plug-in modules and TWAIN drivers, as well as a USB Mounter for Mac OS 9.0 and 91 that lets you mount the camera as a hard drive on the desktop and display thumbnails.