It's not a compact camera, but it's not an SLR either
Digital cameras generally fall into one of two categories. Single Lens Reflex (SLR) cameras are bulky and expensive, but creative photographers love the way they take pictures instantly and give complete manual control for those who want it.
Compact cameras are small, light, easy to use and cheaper, and are preferred by most home users.
Canon’s Powershot G9 is an oddity: it’s a compact camera, but with many of the features you’d expect from an SLR.
For example, most compact cameras take a second or two to focus and take a picture. The G9 doesn’t take pictures instantly like an SLR can, but it is the fastest compact camera we’ve tried. This makes capturing action shots far easier than with most small cameras.
Similarly, the G9 has all the manual controls you’d expect to see on an SLR. As well as the usual automatic mode, advanced photographers will love the aperture- and shutter-priority modes that make it easy to control the image’s depth of field.
The camera is also well built, feeling sturdier even than most entry-level SLRs, and can record images in RAW format. Saving files as RAW allows the user to tweak almost every aspect of the image later using a computer, and makes it possible to recover many images that might initially look disappointing.
The G9 is not without its problems. The back of the camera contains a huge, bright screen, but this comes at the expense of the viewfinder, which is tiny and pretty much useless. The lens isn’t perfect either, producing quite a bit of distortion when using a wide angle to capture as much of the scene as possible.
Finally, there’s the price: we found the G9 on sale for far less than its RRP of £429, but it’s possible to pick up a good digital SLR for a similar amount.
Despite these problems, we were impressed by the G9. A digital SLR is still a better way to take creative photos, but if you want something smaller then the G9 is a good alternative.
Vista compatible: Yes
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Good points Manual controls RAW mode Amazingly solid body Bad points Expensive Lens distortion Unusable viewfinder Overall This tiny camera has ideas above its station, but it is expensive.
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