The camera I almost bought (again and again): The Canon PowerShot G5



At this level in my life, I might in all probability write a collection of articles on cameras that I thought-about shopping for, virtually purchased, or truly did purchase earlier than reconsidering and returning them. Of all the cameras that may make that record, the Canon PowerShot G5 might be the mannequin that I virtually purchased extra occasions than some other.

Launched in 2003, the PowerShot G5 was in that respect a companion mannequin to the EOS 10D - my first personal DSLR. The G-series was historically marketed at fanatics and semi-pros, with the thought being that whereas most photographers could not afford or fairly justify a DSLR, cameras just like the G5 might ship an analogous consumer expertise, with comparatively good picture high quality and restricted system cross-compatibility, for much less cash.

The considering was that photographers making the costly transition away from movie and in the direction of digital, may use the G-series as an reasonably priced midway level earlier than investing absolutely in a DSLR. Conversely, professionals or well-heeled amateurs that owned a 10D or EOS-1D-series DSLR may contemplate a digital camera just like the G5 as a second physique, for backup and journey.

To courtroom each units of consumers, Canon made positive that the G5 appeared and labored broadly just like the EOS-series DSLRs that it was marketed alongside. It was black, for one factor, which instantly made it look extra 'skilled' than the silvery G2 and G3 that proceeded it. It provided Uncooked mode, and was powered by the identical ubiquitous BP-511 battery because the 10D and 300D. The G5 additionally featured the acquainted EOS publicity mode dial and entrance management dial of the EOS-series, and it even had a scorching shoe, for full E-TTL compatibility with Canon's vary of Speedlites.

And like a DSLR it had an optical viewfinder. A blurry, low-accuracy tunnel-type viewfinder, positive, and nowhere close to a match even for the dim finder within the EOS 300D, however it was higher than nothing, and useful in some conditions. Extra helpful was the fully-articulating rear LCD display on the again, which no DSLR might match.

So far as picture high quality was involved, the G5 was a strong performer by the requirements of its time, however not spectacular. Its lens vary of 35-140mm equal and fairly quick most aperture of F2-Three have been respectable for 2003, however the zoom was restricted on the lengthy finish, and whereas adapters have been obtainable to increase the vary, they have been clumsy and heavy (as a result of they have been lens adapters).

There was even a common feeling, amusing to recall now, that 5MP represented a level of 'maturity' when it got here to digital imaging.

I keep in mind the G5 being extra fascinating to me than the G3 just by advantage of being matte black, and (principally) metal-bodied, however taking a look at it now, it appears blocky and inelegant. For my part the more-rounded G1 and G2 have truly aged somewhat higher, regardless of being bodily a bit bigger. Opinion within the DPReview workplace on this level is split (by which I imply that Dan disagrees with me).

Canon PowerShot G5 samples gallery (2003)

Aside from its shade, the most important differentiator between the G5 and the sooner G3 was the bump in pixel rely from four to five megapixels. In sensible phrases, the rise in efficient decision was very modest ("not value it" as we opined in our evaluate on the time) however 5MP got here to be considered one thing of a benchmark amongst lovers and inside the photograph press. From 1-4MP, every megapixel bounce had introduced noticeably improved decision, however from four/5MP onwards, generational will increase in picture high quality turned extra delicate.

There was even a basic feeling, amusing to recall now, that 5MP represented a level of 'maturity' when it got here to digital imaging. Maybe this was extra of a psychological benchmark than something, nevertheless it was actual nonetheless.

One of many causes I almost purchased the PowerShot G5 so typically is that my EOS 10D spent a lot of the primary yr of its life being despatched repeatedly again to Canon to have its autofocus system adjusted. In the long run although, I simply could not afford it (the G5 retailed for $799 within the US when it was new, which from reminiscence labored out at about £600). After a irritating few months, my 10D was (lastly) fastened, and at that time I did not have any want for a backup. The next yr I ended up shopping for an IXUS 50 (SD400 Digital ELPH) for social images and low-profile photographs at live shows, which was a great deal extra pocketable than the G5. The PowerShot G6, which changed the G5 in 2004, provided higher decision and a extra refined consumer expertise in a extra trendy physique, however the cheesy silver chrome end turned me off.

I did purchase a PowerShot G5 ultimately although, after fifteen years of fascinated with it. This previous weekend, for $9 at my native thrift store. As you'll be able to see from the pictures on this article, it is cleaned up fairly properly. One other itch scratched off the listing.

Do you've any cameras in your previous that 'obtained away' on the time? Let me know.

Read our PowerShot G5 review