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On the G2, there is a full automatic mode where the camera handles ISO speed, Aperture, Shutter Speed, and white balance. If you want to be more creative in your photography, you can switch it to program mode, aperture override mode, shutter override mode, or even manual to get full control of your photo snapping experience. Going even further, there is an array of white balance controls, and AE settings to help you get the most accurate picture.
My experiences with the G2 have been very positive. The camera is able to take very crisp shots when moving outdoors, and is capable of taking well color-balanced photos indoors, even without a flash. The camera is very customizable in terms of what you want it to do for you, and what you want to manually control.
Some features of the camera include:
•Sensor speed as low as ISO 50
•Macro mode for very clean up-close pictures
•An AF (Auto Focus) assist lamp for when the camera does not have enough light to focus in dark situations
•Detailed EXIF information embedded into each picture
•3x optical zoom
•Very solid handling, you can grip it with your whole hand
•For the most part, well placed controls for easy access
•Foldable LCD screen protects it from scratches when not needed
•Adjustable diopter in the viewfinder
•Very crisp pictures at ISO 50
•Excellent battery life, will last weeks on end under normal use
•Manual focus is very tedious, you must hold the poorly-placed MF button while using the directional buttons to focus the camera in MF mode
•AF is very slow at times, and sometimes inaccurate
•The viewfinder is quite small
•The lens takes a while to extend and retract when turning on and off
•Manual control mode does not allow much flexibility for creative aperture/shutter combinations
•The grip could really use a rubber coating
•Battery indicator is not very accurate
•Optical zoom could be better
1. If you are not fully into manual controls, use Aperture override or Shutter override and find out which one you are more comfortable using, and stick to using it until you learn more about the camera's manual controls.
2. If you want to store more photos without losing excessive quality, lower the resolution instead of increasing the compression
3. Buy an extra battery to have around for swapping when battery #1 goes dead
4. Get the adapter tube, such as the Tiffen 43mm lens adapter, and buy a UV Filter to protect your lens. You can also consider a Circular Polarizer for enriching your colors and eliminating bad reflections.
Whether you are into quality point and shoot pictures, or into taking full control of your camera's manual settings, the Canon PowerShot G2 is a very nice camera. The bottom line is that most of the bugs that I mentioned have been fixed in Canon's newer model, the PowerShot G3. For example, it has a rubber coated grip and a 4x optical zoom.
If you would like some sample pictures, you can take a look at my Pbase Gallery or other's G2 shots at PhotoSig.