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  DSLR Tips

Canon PowerShot G9 Gordon Laing, October 2007

Canon PowerShot G9 gallery

The following images were taken with the Canon PowerShot G9. The G9 was set to Large SuperFine quality, Auto White Balance, Evaluative Metering and with 'My Colours' switched off (the default setting for contrast, saturation and sharpening)..

The individual exposure mode, file sizes, shutter speeds, aperture, ISO and lens focal length are listed for each image.

The crops are taken from the original files, reproduced at 100% and saved in Adobe Photoshop CS2 as JPEGs with the default Very High quality preset, while the resized images were made in Photoshop CS2 and saved with the default High quality preset.

The three crops are typically taken from far left, central and far right portions of each image.

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Landscape: 4.73MB, Program, 1/800, f4, ISO 80, 7.4-44.4mm at 7.4mm (equivalent to 35mm)

  Our first sample image was taken on a very bright day with the G9 zoomed-out and set to its lowest 80 ISO sensitivity. As such this represents near-perfect conditions and you'd expect a good result.

The G9 doesn't disappoint under such conditions, delivering images packed with detail, and while they're not as clean as a DSLR, you'd really have to pixel-peep to notice much noise.

The G9 also avoided fringing on the high contrast areas of the boat deck.

Landscape: 6.34MB, Shutter Priority, 1/4, f4.5, ISO 100, 7.4-44.4mm at 7.4mm (equivalent to 35mm)

    To blur the waterfall in this shot we set the G9 to Shutter Priority mode and selected a shutter speed of 1/4 of a second. The G9's controls make this as easy as a DSLR, and the stabilisation has eliminated any camera shake.

The crops reveal plenty of detail and low noise at 100 ISO. There's a small amount of fringing, but possibly more due to sensor blooming than the optics. Either way, it's small enough not to be a problem when printed.

: 5.67MB, Aperture Priority , 1/1250, f4.5, ISO 200, 7.4-44.4mm at 37mm (equivalent to 175mm)

    Our portrait shot was taken with the G9 zoomed-into an equivalent of 175mm and its aperture wide open. The sensitivity was increased to 200 ISO.

The G9's great manual controls make it easy to select a small depth of field and throw backgrounds out of focus if desired.

Pixel peepers will notice a very slight increase in noise here at 200 ISO, but the results are still very good.

Macro: 5.86MB, Program, 1/1250, f4, ISO 200, 7.4-44.4mm at 7.4mm (equivalent to 35mm)

  The G9 can focus as close as 1cm which allows impressive macro results. Here we were almost touching the surface of the circuit board, with the capacitors looking almost like tower blocks in an aerial shot.

The crops reveal an image that's packed with detail, although for a larger depth of field, you'd want to manually close the aperture a little.

Interestingly the G9 in Program mode here selected f4 depsite very bright conditions. This is the sweet-spot of the lens though.

Macro: 4.67MB, Program, 1/1250, f4, ISO 400, 7.4-44.4mm at 7.4mm (equivalent to 35mm)

  The macro facilities of the G9 are so good we wanted to show another example here, this time taken at an increased sensitivity of 400 ISO.

The G9's again gone for its optimal aperture of f4 in Program mode and the results are very sharp and detailed.

The increase to 400 ISO has however resulted in a noticeable increase in noise, visible as textures on flat coloured areas like the blue sky. Given this is a 12 Megapixel image though, you're unlikely to notice on anything but the biggest prints.

Indoor: 4.92MB, Program, 1/60, f2.8, ISO 400, 7.4-44.4mm at 7.4mm (equivalent to 35mm)

  The first of our indoor shots was taken at 400 ISO.

There's a clear increase in noise over the 200 ISO samples, although modest noise reduction means fine details haven't been smeared-out. This gives you the chance to apply noise reduction later if desired.

It's also interesting to note the G9 zoomed-out with its aperture open to f2.8 has a relatively small depth of field. Unlike most non-DSLRs, the background magazines here weren't sharp.

Indoor: 3.78MB, Program, 1/15, f2.8, ISO 800, 7.4-44.4mm at 7.4mm (equivalent to 35mm)


For this indoor shot we increased the sensitivity to 800 ISO. That said, the low light still meant a shutter speed of 1/15 even at f2.8, but the lens stabilisation kept the result steady.

The crops reveal another leap in noise levels, but again we're pleased to report modest noise reduction has allowed a decent degree of detail to remain.

Images like these can clean up nicely in third-party noise reduction software if desired, making 800 ISO usable on the G9 - with caveats.


Indoor: 3.70MB, Program, 1/60, f3.2, ISO 1600, 7.4-44.4mm at 7.4mm (equivalent to 35mm)

  Our final shot was taken with the G9 set to 1600 ISO, and there's a significant drop in image quality.

Both noise and noise reduction are much higher than earlier samples and there's also a loss in saturation.

This may be acceptable on the smallest prints and in emergency situations, but at all other times, we'd recommend avoiding 1600 ISO on the G9.

That said, the G9 performs well at other sensitivities, and dropping to 800 ISO would give a much better result.

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All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2017 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.

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