In October 2000, Canon launched the PowerShot G1, the primary in a sequence of massively standard cameras geared toward fans that continues over 20 years later. The G1 packed actually every thing Canon may consider into a comparatively compact physique, together with a Three Megapixel CCD sensor, vivid 3x optical zoom, optical viewfinder, flip-out display, flash hotshoe, RAW recording and full management over publicity. Costing round $1100, it was costlier than many Three Megapixel rivals, however few if any may match its in depth feature-set.
This was the digital camera you purchased in case you couldn’t stretch to a DSLR or just needed one thing extra pocketable with out compromising on management. Discover out the story behind the G1 in my retro video beneath the place I take the digital camera out round Brighton to see the way it performs 21 years later! Or maintain studying in case you choose a written model of the highlights!
The G1 wasn’t Canon’s first digital compact geared toward fans. In 1998 the PowerShot Professional70 whetted their appetites, however Canon had completely different plans for the G sequence. For starters it was a unique form, a chunky field not dissimilar in measurement and form to a pack of butter. Canon coated it with controls to thrill the target market, together with a dial that allowed direct entry to PASM modes together with a number of scene presets. Full publicity particulars had been displayed on a beneficiant prime display, with shutter speeds from eight seconds to 1/1000 and aperture management from f2 to f8, though as a result of shutter and aperture sharing the identical mechanism, speeds above 1/500 had been restricted to f8 solely.
Canon outfitted the G1 with a 3x optical zoom equal to 34-102mm with a vivid f2-2.5 aperture and 6cm minimal focusing, though optionally available adapters had been out there in case you needed to get wider, longer, nearer or match filters. Apparently the lens seemed nearly an identical to the Sony S70 and Epson 3000Z, regardless of every utilizing their very own branding.
Behind the lens was a 1/ 1.8in CCD sensor with 3.Three Megapixels. This was cutting-edge for compact cameras in 2000, and whereas the G1 wasn’t the primary to make use of it, it was the primary too couple it with two key options. First whereas most rivals used a minimal sensitivity of 100 ISO, the G1 prolonged it to 50 and in follow this delivered genuinely clearer-looking photos – a lot so the Auto ISO setting simply switched between 50 and 100, leaving 200 and 400 ISO for guide solely. And secondly when most cameras recorded photos as JPEGs or as optionally available TIFFs in case you had been fortunate, the G1 was one of many first compacts to supply a RAW possibility – not simply offering larger flexibility, however a lot quicker recording occasions too. The Sony S70 as an example may tie itself up for half a minute recording TIFFs.
The G1 additionally offered two decrease resolutions and three JPEG compression choices, nevertheless it wasn’t nearly images because it may additionally report Quarter VGA (320×240 pixel) video clips at 15fps with sound for as much as 30 seconds every.
For composition you had the selection of an optical viewfinder or a fully-articulated side-hinged 1.8in display that would twist to nearly any angle together with going through ahead for selfies and vlogs or again on itself for cover.
For energy the G1 was one of many first cameras to make use of the BP-511 pack, a battery which Canon continued to make use of till 2008. This implies replacements are nonetheless out there, as are exterior chargers in case you’ve misplaced the cable to cost it in-camera.
For reminiscence Canon outfitted the G1 with a Compact Flash slot that would accommodate Kind I and II playing cards together with the IBM MicroDrive. The MicroDrive (as a mini laborious disk) was slower than flash reminiscence however offered capacities as much as 1GB which was huge on the time.
The lens, sensor and picture processing delivered superb high quality and natural-looking images which nonetheless stand-up surprisingly nicely 20 years later, at the least in case you’re not wanting too carefully, though like all fashions again then, the video high quality was very primary.
Once I reviewed the G1 again in 2000, it was simply essentially the most succesful mannequin in its peer group, out-featuring rivals together with the Sony S70, albeit at a better worth and with comparable picture high quality. In the event you may afford the G1, it was the mannequin to aspire to and Canon even recycled the innards for the Professional90 IS the next yr, swapping the 3x zoom for a 10x vary with stabilisation, albeit solely in a position to make use of 2.6 of the three.Three Megapixels.
The G sequence continued with a brand new mannequin nearly yearly, initially boosting the decision and lens vary, however later eradicating key options like RAW and the flip display. This induced an outrage with reviewers and passionate G-owners, forcing Canon to reinstate them on future fashions, earlier than splitting the road in 2012 with the brand new G1 X sporting a bigger sensor. Then in 2014 the usual G sequence switched to the 1in sensor to grow to be a rival to the Sony RX100 sequence, which is the place we stay 20 years after the unique.
The Energy Shot G1 was considered one of my favorite cameras in 2000 and one I loved an awesome deal 21 years later. It’s a traditional and a really sensible possibility for collectors with the batteries, chargers, reminiscence and readers all nonetheless available.