Canon PowerShot G6

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Canon PowerShot G6
An attractive enthusiast-oriented alternative to pricier 8-megapixel models.

There's no getting past the fact that the Powershot G6 is one big, chunky camera. If you're moving up the digital photography scale -- and given its feature set, this is more a camera for the aspiring consumer than the professional photographer -- and are used to small, compact and easy to discern cameras, then you'll initially find the G6 to be large, a tad unwieldy and seemingly spattered with buttons on every surface. Having said that, once you've ascertained the basic feature set of the G6, there's little to stop you from using it like a traditional consumer digital camera, with the added benefits of some professional features that'll help you to enhance your photography skills.

Moving up from the ultra compact digitals will involve some sacrifices, and one of the first things you'll have to sacrifice is having a compact stylish camera. The G6 is a perfect example of this, decked out in a plain silver metal and plastic trim, with the accent solidly on functionality over beauty. From the front, it just looks large, while the top and back show off the full range of the G6's features.

For a camera of its size, the designers at Canon have managed to produce something that's reasonably easy to heft around. There's a natural enough grip on the camera's right hand side that gives you quick access to basic shooting functions, although if you do want to play with more advanced settings you'll have to adopt some unusual holding positions while you use the functions of your choosing.

In raw power terms, the G6 features a 7.1 megapixel CCD, offering you shots of up to 3072x2304 pixels that are stored onto a compact flash card. Predictably, the bundled CF card is tiny -- only 32MB, good for nine shots at best resolution -- so you'd be wise to budget a little extra for some extra storage space. As it'll take all types of CF cards, though, that also means you can (funds permitting) slam in a 2GB card if you're particularly photo mad. The optical zoom on the G6 is 4x, with a further digital zoom that is thankfully by default disabled.

One of the accents on the G6 is on a good balance between automated shot taking and user control, with the balance pretty firmly in the automated camp. If you're a photo enthusiast, you may initially find this a touch irksome, but if you are simply expanding your photographic horizons, you'll find it a good hand-holding step, as there's little to stop you from simply taking shots. It's also entirely possible for someone to use the G6 without even dipping a toe into changing apertures, ISO settings or even the automatic flash option, and still come out with some solid photos.

The G6 performed well in our testing at multiple resolutions and using its existing preset camera modes for a variety of photographic chores. We did notice a few smaller irksome factors, like the optical zoom which can often seem like it's taking an age to move in and out. Of a more irritating nature is the fact that the G6's PC connectivity is only USB 1.1 compatible. That's not terrible if you're only using the bundled 32MB card, but if you plunked a 1GB card in there, you'd be sitting twiddling your thumbs for quite some time. It's especially baffling when you consider that it's also Pictbridge compatible, and therefore it's not impossible to say that you may be able to print photos with this camera about as fast as you can transfer them -- as long as you were using a nippier printer like the Olympus Camedia P-10.

There's certainly a market for cameras like the G6; while it's fair to say that many consumers will be happy at around the five megapixel limit for some time to come, if you're looking for a second digital camera -- or simply looking for a model with a little bit more under the photographic hood -- then the G6 is a solid purchasing option.

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Canon PowerShot G6
Company: Canon
Price: AU$1199
Phone: 02 9805 2000

Specifications

General
Depth 2.9 in
Sensor Resolution 7.1 Megapixel
Optical Sensor Type CCD
Total Pixels 7400000 pixels
Effective Sensor Resolution 7100000 pixels
Optical Sensor Size 1/1.8"
Digital Zoom 4.1 x
System TTL contrast detection
Auto Focus Points (Zones) Qty 9
Digital Video Format AVI
Image Recording Format JPEG, RAW
Interfaces Provided composite video
Point-and-shoot highlights Having video capture capability makes this camera ideal for social functions or vacation shots.
Camera Flash
Type built-in flash
Effective Flash Range 2.3 ft - 16.4 ft
Red Eye Reduction Yes
Features AF illuminator, flash +/- compensation
Environmental Parameters
Min Operating Temperature 32 °F
Max Operating Temperature 104 °F
Display
Display Format 118,000 pixels
Display Form Factor rotating
Carrying Case
Type none
Exposure & White Balance
Light Sensitivity ISO 100, ISO 200, ISO 400, ISO 50, ISO auto
Exposure Metering center-weighted, evaluative, spot, spot AF area
Exposure Modes aperture-priority, automatic, manual, program, shutter-priority
Shooting Programs landscape, night mode, portrait mode, stitch assist
Special Effects Black & White, Custom Effect, Low Sharpening, Neutral, Sepia, Vivid
White Balance automatic, custom, presets
White Balance Presets cloudy, daylight, flash, fluorescent, fluorescent light (daylight), tungsten light
Max Shutter Speed 1/2000 sec
Min Shutter Speed 15 sec
Exposure Compensation ±2 EV range, in 1/3 EV steps
Auto Exposure Bracketing 3 steps in 1/3 EV step
Miscellaneous
Included Accessories IR remote control, USB cable, audio / video cable, battery charger, lens cap, neck strap
Lens System
Lens Construction 7 groups / 8 elements
Optical Zoom 4 x
Lens Aperture f/2.0-3.0
Min Focal Length 7.2 mm
Max Focal Length 28.8 mm
Focal Length Equivalent to 35mm Camera 35 m
Min Focus Distance 19.7 in
Macro Focus Range 2 in - 19.7 in
Focus Adjustment automatic, manual
Zoom Adjustment motorized drive
Group Qty 7
Element Qty 8
Features aspherical lens, built-in neutral density filter
Memory / Storage
Supported Memory Cards CompactFlash, Microdrive
Included Memory Card 32 MB CompactFlash
Video Capture AVI - 640 x 480 - 10 fps - 30 sec - max clip duration
AVI - 320 x 240 - 15 fps - 180 sec - max clip duration
AVI - 160 x 120 - 15 fps - 180 sec - max clip duration
AVI - 640 x 480 - 10 fps - 45 sec - with 32MB card
AVI - 320 x 240 - 15 fps - 91 sec - with 32MB card
AVI - 160 x 120 - 15 fps - 241 sec - with 32MB card
Power
Batteries Included 1
Viewfinder
Viewfinder Type real-image zoom
Viewfinder Color Support Color
Viewfinder Type Optical - real-image zoom
Additional Features
Continuous Shooting Speed 1.2 frames per second, 2 frames per second
Self-Timer Delay 10 sec, 2 sec
Flash Terminal hot shoe
Status LCD Display Information AE / FE lock, aperture, picture resolution, program, red-eye reduction, remote control indicator, self-timer mode, shutter speed, white balance indicators, battery condition, drive mode, exposure compensation, flash mode, manual focus mode, metering mode, photo quality, photos remaining
Features AE lock, AF lock, histogram display, FE lock, RGB primary color filter, audio recording, auto power save, built-in speaker, camera orientation detection, date/time stamp, digital image rotation
Connections
Memory Card Slot CompactFlash Card
Shutter
Max Shutter Speed 1/2000 sec
Min Shutter Speed 15 sec
Microphone
Microphone Operation Mode Mono
Software
Type ArcSoft PhotoStudio, ArcSoft VideoImpression, Canon ImageBrowser, Canon PhotoStitch, Canon Remote Capture, Canon ZoomBrowser EX, Drivers & Utilities
Battery
Technology lithium ion
Battery Type Canon BP-511A lithium ion - manufacturer-specific
Details 1 x Li-ion rechargeable battery - 1390 mAh (included)
System Requirements for PC Connection
Operating System Support Apple Mac OS 9, Apple Mac OS X 10.1.5 - 10.3, MS Windows 2000, MS Windows 98, MS Windows 98 SE, MS Windows ME, MS Windows XP
Peripheral Devices CD-ROM drive, SVGA monitor, USB port
Header
Brand Canon
Product Line Canon PowerShot
Model G6
Packaged Quantity 1
Video Input
Type digital camera
Digital Camera Type compact
Continuous Shooting Speed 1.2 frames per second, 2 frames per second
Light Sensitivity ISO 100, ISO 200, ISO 400, ISO 50, ISO auto
ISO (Max) 400
Digital Zoom 4.1 x
Digital Video Format AVI
Image Recording Format JPEG, RAW
Interfaces Provided composite video
Special Effects Black & White, Custom Effect, Low Sharpening, Neutral, Sepia, Vivid
Flash Terminal hot shoe
Self-Timer Delay 10 sec, 2 sec
Features AE lock, AF lock, histogram display, FE lock, RGB primary color filter, audio recording, auto power save, built-in speaker, camera orientation detection, date/time stamp, digital image rotation
Exposure Parameters
Exposure Metering center-weighted, evaluative, spot, spot AF area
Exposure Compensation ±2 EV range, in 1/3 EV steps
Exposure Modes aperture-priority, automatic, manual, program, shutter-priority
Auto Exposure Bracketing 3 steps in 1/3 EV step
Shooting Programs landscape, night mode, portrait mode, stitch assist
Bracketing Modes focus bracketing
White Balance
White Balance automatic, custom, presets
White Balance Presets cloudy, daylight, flash, fluorescent, fluorescent light (daylight), tungsten light
Auto Focus
System TTL contrast detection
Auto Focus Points (Zones) Qty 9
Optical Sensor
Sensor Resolution 7.1 megapixels
Optical Sensor Type CCD
Optical Sensor Size 1/1.8"
Optical Sensor Size (metric) 14.1 mm (1/1.8")
Total Pixels 7400000 pixels
Effective Sensor Resolution 7100000 pixels
Camera Display
Type LCD display
Display Form Factor rotating
Diagonal Size 2 in
Diagonal Size (metric) 5.1 cm
Display Format 118,000 pixels
Features display brightness control
Camera Memory
Memory Card Form Factor CompactFlash Card
Included Memory Card Capacity 32 MB
Memory Card Slot CompactFlash Card
Supported Memory Cards CompactFlash, Microdrive
Camera Specifications
Print Standard DPOF support, PictBridge support, direct print
Optical Viewfinder
Type real-image zoom
Field Coverage 80%
Dioptric Correction Range -3 to +1
Dimensions & Weight
Width 4.1 in
Depth 2.9 in
Height 2.9 in
Weight 0.88 lbs

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