Most helpful critical review
168 of 185 people found the following review helpful
Might be a great camera but for quality control issues
on 19 January 2008
I'm a strictly amateur photographer who, for the last two years, has relied on a tiny Nikon Coolpix S1 compact. I loved the camera, but was frustrated by the lack of manual control. Furthermore, in recent months it developed a minor, intermittent issue with reading SD cards (switching off and on normally solves the problem). So, I decided to upgrade.
After reading lots of reviews, I narrowed my choice down to two cameras - Nikon's P5100, and the Canon PowerShot G9. In the end, I chose the latter, as it seemed to have the edge on features and performance, particularly where shutter lag was concerned. Amazon do the G9 at a great price, so I placed my order.
When the package arrived and I unpacked it, I was very impressed - this is a beautifully-manufactured camera, very solid and extremely well finished. Way, *way* better than any other compact or semi-compact I've seen.
After loading the battery and switching it on, I noticed two or three areas around the edge of the big LCD screen which had a green glow or "blooming". I rang Canon's technical support line, explained the problem, and they said this was not normal for the camera. They recommended I return the camera to Amazon for replacement, which I did...
A few days later (Amazon's returns process is very efficient these days!!), my second G9 arrived. I loaded the battery, switched it on, and - yippee, no green glow around the LCD edges! But OH NO - what's this? A bright white stuck pixel on the screen, just right of centre!! It turns out that this is only visible when previewing the shot I'm about to take, and doesn't make it onto the picture - it isn't even visible during playback, so it means the stuck pixel problem is with the viewfinder CCD sensor.
I've read somewhere on a photography forum that another buyer had exactly the same problem with his G9. Oh dear...
So, I've printed off my return labels and this second G9 is going back - this time for a refund. I'm so frustrated with the G9 that I can't bring myself to try a third (or fourth... or fifth...) - plus, I've since read that many people have had problems with dead or stuck pixels on the G9, both on the viewfinder sensor and LCD screen. I know this technology isn't perfect, but on a near-£300 camera, this is unacceptable in my view, and I'm not prepared to work my way through several examples to find one that works as it should.
As a result, I've gone and bought a Nikon D40X DSLR. With Nikon's current cash-back offer, it was only £60 more than the G9, and it should give me a lot more room to grow my photography skills. OK, it's not as compact and convenient as the G9, but it works perfectly - no stuck pixels, no LCD screen problems. Perfect.
In conclusion - *if* you can find a G9 without any problems, I'm sure you'll be happy with it - it's well made and feels like a professional tool in every respect. It's just a shame that Canon's quality control allows defective examples like this to reach the shops.
I've rated this 2 stars because of the problems I experienced. Had the first camera been OK - or even the second one - I'd have rated it 4 or 5 stars.