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Canon PowerShot G6 announced - The professionals super-compact with 7.1 Megapixel resolution
Canon announce their latest camera in the popular PowerShot G-series: the small yet highly specified 7.1 Megapixel PowerShot G6. Successor to the popular PowerShot G5, the G6 features dramatically improved image quality through improvements to the fast f2.0 4x zoom lens and image processing algorithms. AF speed is up to 55% faster than its predecessor, while start-up time improves by approximately 30%.
Over 10% smaller than the G5, the G6 features 12 shooting modes and an ergonomic one-touch design and jog-dial. All key controls fall under the fingertips of the right hand, which wraps around a comfortable rubberised grip. The clear, anti-reflective vari-angle LCD increases in size from 1.8 to 2.0. The camera also offers simultaneous RAW and JPEG recording, with selectable JPEG file resolution.
The G-Series has long been the line of choice for serious photographers looking for a feature-rich super-compact with SLR level performance, said Malcolm Hills, Head of Canon Consumer Imaging in the UK and Ireland. As with previous G series cameras, the G6 is expected to hold a strong position in the market.
Consummate image quality
The G6s 7.1 Megapixel CCD sensor delivers the high resolution expected of a camera in this class, allowing photo prints beyond A3 in size plus scope for creative post-shoot cropping. The fast f2.0 (W) to f3.0 (T) 4x optical zoom lens (35-140mm equivalent in 35mm format) has been optimised to the sensors requirements, with improved spectral characteristics, while fine adjustments have been made to the colour reproduction parameters of the DIGIC image processing algorithms. The combined effect is a significant increase in image quality, with dramatic reductions in the false colours that can beleaguer lesser quality digital cameras.
9-point AiAF appears for the first time on a G-series camera, allowing for automatic, accurate focusing even with off-centre subjects and adding to the capacity of the camera to be used for candid work. Additionally, enhancement of the focussing system means single and continuous AF speeds have dramatically improved by 45% and 55% respectively . FlexiZone AF/AE allows users to specify the particular spot in the frame from which to focus and meter ideal for creative compositions and focus bracketing takes extra shots focused in front of and behind the subject. An optical neutral density (ND) filter reduces light by three stops. This permits slow shutter / large aperture settings in bright conditions and reduces CCD smearing on video footage the vertical lines that can appear when cameras are pointed at a bright light source.
A choice of 12 modes gives users complete control over the camera in every possible shooting situation. Along with all the fully manual and aperture / shutter priority modes expected in an advanced digital camera, the G6 includes two Custom modes for storing preferred camera settings, Portrait and Landscape modes to minimise / maximise depth of field appropriately, and a Night Scene mode providing slow sync speed for realistic shots, balancing exposure to maintain both background and foreground detail. Stitch Assist works in five modes to enable precise alignment of up to 26 images for panoramic and poster shots, merged later with PhotoStitch software. Three minute video clips with sound can be recorded in movie mode, or up to 30 seconds at VGA resolution. Photo effects include sepia, vivid colour, black and white, neutral and low sharpening.
The vari-angle 2.0 LCD monitor rotates fully to allow for shooting with the camera close to the floor or high in the air. The display automatically shows a mirror image for easy self-portraits. Magnification playback from 2x to 10x allows fast, detailed image review to confirm focus accuracy. A rich feature set includes ±2 stop Auto Exposure Bracketing (AEB) in 1/3 stop increments, Focus Bracketing, first and second curtain flash synchronisation and interval shooting (up to 100 shots in 160 minute increments) for up to 4day time lapse photography.
High-end processing, high-end performance
The complex algorithms required to accurately process functions such as white balance and colour rendition have all been integrated onto Canons unique high speed DIGIC processor. This allows the G6 to deliver up to 14 images at 2fps in superb quality, with no trade-off in camera responsiveness. By keeping all key functions onto a single chip, power consumption is also reduced. The G6 is supplied with the powerful BP-511A rechargeable Li-Ion battery, allowing approximately 300 shots or six hours playback from a single charge.
A wide range of specialised accessories further expands the capabilities, versatility and creative potential of the camera. A 0.7x wide converter and 1.75 tele converter cover a 10x zoom range of 24.5 245mm (35mm equivalent). True macro photography is available with an optional 58mm close up lens and professional Macro Ring Lite MR-14EX or Macro Twin MT-24EX flash units. The G6 offers full support of Canons extensive EX series Speedlite flash units, including the new range-leading Canon Speedlite 580EX.
For photo prints without the PC, the G6 is directly connectable to all PictBridge compliant and Canon Direct Print printers. When connected to a Canon Compact Photo Printer, a new ID Photo Print mode saves trips to the photo-booth by outputting a number of passport-style photos to a single postcard sized print, while Movie Print mode automatically selects up to 63 equally spaced sequential images from a movie clip, outputting them as an action sequence to a single page.
The G6 is bundled with the following software
ZoomBrowser EX 5.0 (PC) and ImageBrowser 5.0 (Mac). Canons file/image management application; used to upload/download images to and from the camera and to file, browse, delete, copy and print images and albums. Both ZoomBrowser and ImageBrowser have been upgraded to include a more user-friendly interface and faster, more responsive viewing and zooming. Images can now be sorted, viewed or arranged by an increased range of variables, including file type, shooting or revision date, user Star Rating, comments and/or keywords. RGB adjustment and red-eye removal have also been added
PhotoStitch 3.1 for combining panorama or tiled images shot with the cameras Stitch Assist mode.
RAW Image Task 1.2 for processing images captured in RAW mode.
ArcSoft PhotoStudio and ArcSoft VideoImpression powerful image and video manipulation software for post shooting image/footage editing
Also included are Apple QuickTime 6.5 and Canons PhotoRecord 2.1, RemoteCapture Task 1.1 and Movie Edit Task 1.2. Language support for the intuitive menu system extends to 14 languages and now includes Russian and Portuguese.
Pricing and availability
The PowerShot G6 will be available from September 2004 for £599