Canon has launches its new flagship compact for advanced photographers – the 12.1-megapixel PowerShot G9. The successor to the PowerShot G7, the PowerShot G9 incorporates what the company calls 'user-oriented enhancements', including RAW image capture2 and a redesigned grip and thumb rest for improved handling.

Other advancements include a high resolution three-inch PureColor LCD II, enhanced Face Detection Technology and Red-Eye Correction in playback2. A wide range of accessories – including optional lenses and Speedlite flash units – now also features Canon’s Speedlite ST-E2 wireless flash transmitter.

With an enlarged 12.1 Megapixel (1/1.7”) sensor, the PowerShot G9 gives photographers the flexibility to crop images and produce high quality prints up to A2 size. The addition of RAW image recording and simultaneous RAW+JPEG recording offers advanced users complete control over image processing.

The supplied ZoomBrowser software includes RAW Image Task for fine adjustment of settings such as exposure compensation, white balance, tonal curve and colour temperature. RAW images can then be converted into either JPEG or TIFF format.

The camera has a fast f/2.8 (W) – f/4.8 (T) Canon 6x optical zoom lens (35-210mm focal length, 35mm equivalent), which includes a double-sided aspherical lens element to counteract lens distortions. The addition of SR coating significantly reduces ghosting and chromatic aberration, says Canon, while the optical Image Stabilizer technology counteracts the effects of camera shake.

The risk of image blur is further reduced by ISO Shift, which allows an instant ISO boost whenever camera shake threatens to affect image quality.

Benefiting from the large pixel count, Safety Zoom allows extra digital zoom with no interpolation – images can be captured at up to 15x zoom with enough resolution for lab-quality postcard (10-x-15cm) prints. Digital Tele-Converter adds extra telephoto reach to every shot (1.5x or 2.0x), without any reduction in aperture.

In addition to focus and exposure control, Face Detection Technology has been improved on the PowerShot G9 to adjust for flash exposure – particularly helpful when using the flash close to a subject. A new Face Select and Track function enables the user to manually select and track an individual face from up to 35 faces detected in frame. Photographers will also benefit from Red-Eye Correction in playback, allowing in-camera removal of red-eye from captured images.

Built for photo-enthusiasts, the PowerShot G9 provides external controls that include a dedicated ISO dial, multi-control dial and customisable shortcut button. The analogue-inspired design of the PowerShot G9 has been updated on this model with a textured coating and a black alumite lens ring. A larger grip and pronounced thumb rest ensure secure and comfortable handling.

On the back of the camera, a 3.0-inch PureColor LCD II offers several benefits. With 230,000 pixels resolution, the high contrast screen provides vastly improved colour reproduction and better visibility at wider angles of view. An anti-reflective coating helps in sunny conditions, while a protective layer guards against knocks and
scrapes. The PowerShot G9 retains its optical viewfinder for extra framing flexibility.

Advanced photographers will benefit from a selection of 25 shooting modes that includes full Manual, Av and Tv, along with two custom modes for user-defined settings. Shooting modes are complemented by a variety of features that assist
creative shooting. Safety MF performs fine adjustments to aid manual focusing, while Safety FE reduces the risk of blown highlights when using the flash.

Photographers can now choose a smaller AF frame size for finer focusing control – particularly helpful when using the camera’s 1cm Macro mode. Other useful features include an in-built ND (Neutral Density) filter, AEB (auto exposure bracketing), focus bracketing and a live histogram display. A new Image Resize function lets users downsize full-resolution images to 1600x1200, 640x480 and 320x240 sizes. This is equally useful for conserving storage space or preparing images for email or the Web.

The new Time Lapse Movie function allows the extended capture of changing scenes – such as a blooming flower, or bustling city streets - for accelerated playback as smooth VGA-quality movie clips.