The shooting options alone could fill an entire spec sheet. The G6 has Stitch Assist, Movie, Portrait, Landscape, and Night Scene modes; automatic, program AE, aperture- and shutter-priority, and manual exposure; exposure bracketing; and Vivid, Neutral, Low Sharpening, Sepia, and Black And White effects settings. You can also customise combinations of contrast, sharpness, and saturation. There's even focus bracketing, which we rarely see. In addition to automatic white balance, you get presets for taking photos in daylight, in cloudy conditions, under tungsten and two types of fluorescent lights, and with the flash. You also have two menu slots in which to save manual white-balance settings.
Exposure assists include a built-in neutral-density filter for very bright scenes or for decreasing exposures to allow slow shutter speeds, exposure and flash compensation, and three metering options. You can even selectively tie the metering to the frame's centre or the centre of the movable focus area.
You can save both JPEG and raw files, and you can even opt to change from JPEG to raw after you've taken a shot. Though Canon ups the movie capabilities to include 30 seconds of 15fps VGA video with mono sound in addition to three-minute movies at either 320x240 or 160x120 resolution, Canon is falling far behind the curve for shooting movies. There's basic in-camera editing, and you can also annotate images with voice captions during playback. If you prefer time-lapse photography to 15fps video, the intervalometer lets you schedule up to 100 pictures snapped at intervals ranging from one minute to an hour.
With a couple of notable exceptions, I found the Canon PowerShot G6's performance comparatively run-of-the-mill for an enthusiast model. Since this camera houses Canon's first-generation Digic processor, however, I confess I'm not surprised. It takes about 3 seconds to wake up and snap the first shot -- good but not stellar. The camera imposes a shutter lag of about 0.8 to 0.9 second, depending upon scene contrast. That's not bad for digital cameras overall, but many competing 7- and 8-megapixel models manage to drop lag to a half-second or lower. It's certainly not speedy enough to keep up with a curious cat trying to poke his nose at the lens. Likewise, it takes 2 to 3 seconds from one shot to the next, not quite up to the speed of the competition. One bright spot: it takes only about 2 seconds to shoot consecutive raw files, which makes this one of the zippier models for raw shooting. Using the G6's ultra-high-speed burst mode, the camera can shoot both raw and high-quality JPEG images at 1.7fps; the buffer can handle 5 or 12 sequential frames, respectively.
Measured in seconds (shorter is better)
||Raw shot-to-shot time||
||Shutter lag (low contrast)||
||Shutter lag (typical)||
||Time to first shot|
Measured in frames per second (longer is better)
||Minimum continuous-shooting speed||
||Maximum continuous-shooting speed|