Is Canon late to the 5-megapixel party by releasing its swanky $1799 PowerShot G3 with the same 4-megapixel resolution as its predecessor, the PowerShot G2?
Certainly resolution isn’t the be-all and end-all for digital cameras, but it’s an important differentiator in a competitive field. And Minolta, Nikon, Olympus and Sony all offer high-end 5-megapixel cameras.
Perhaps Canon’s just fashionably late. The G3 doesn’t have the big resolution, but it’s a sophisticated camera that takes stunning pictures. One reason for this is that it steps out with upgrades, including a new 12-bit analog-to-digital converter, which is supposed to provide better colour depth than the G2’s 10-bit converter. That’s important because the older G2 returned among the best output scores of any camera we’ve tested.
The G3 has a 4X optical zoom lens (up from 3X), a faster maximum shutter speed (1/2000th second versus 1/1000th second), and a more sophisticated flash system with nine different modes — you can even adjust the flash output manually. Don’t fire the flash with the lens at its widest setting, though, for the lens barrel casts a noticeable shadow in a corner of your images.
Canon says the G3 takes less time to recover between shots than the old model. It’s certainly not lethargic, but other cameras — notably, the Leica Digilux 1 and several Fujifilm units — seem quicker. I wouldn’t complain if the G3’s zoom were faster, too.
In brief: Canon PowerShot G3
The PowerShot G3 takes some of the best pictures of any digital camera, but there’s still room for improvement.
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