Though my G9 is not up to the standard of medium or large format film, the G9 image quality surprised me especially when shooting in Raw at ISO 100. I then process the Raw image in Lightroom 2
This shot of the deer was taken close to Rotorua, New Zealand...it was taken handheld, captured as a jpeg at ISO 200 which of course defies my own advice, it was an overcast day - almost raining day and the subjects were not looking comfortable and about to run, so the camera settings were chosen out of desperation.
It still works as a record shot of an amazing scene but suffers badly from excessive noise caused by the ISO setting of 200, this noise issue is something the G9 is quite well known for.
Despite this it is possible to take very nice shots with the G9, including quality landscapes if you apply good skills...such as shooting in good light, taking the time to use a tripod plus exposing to the right to ensure good shadow detail.
Where the G9 really surprised was the quality of close up shots it produces impressive results easily, being able to check the point of focus and exposure via the large LCD screen took the guess work out of close up photography and removed the need to bracket my shots.
The Canon G9 is a major step up from the hit and miss results I would often get from my Macro Lens attached to my trusty old Nikon F3 and velvia 50 film...though when I got it right with velvia the results were stunning and far more satisfying as a photographer.
Whether you view the G9 as one of the best point and shoot camera's will depend on your expectations and how you use the G9... I feel no need to upgrade to a G12 yet though I expect the improvements would be noticeable as far as a reduction in noise and offering the option of using a higher ISO speed without affecting image quality.
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