Canon Powershot G3 - G5
Compact/Prosumer - Approx USD $300 to $500

April 21st, 2004
The Canon Powershot G3 is probably the all-around best digital compact camera Canon has produced. With an amazing f2.0 lens and Canon's superb technology. The G3 is already a classic.

Even though it has been replaced with the G5 (almost identical), consumer demand for the G3 is so strong that Canon is doing another manufacturing run.

Highlights:
Canon Powershot G3 - G5

FAST f2.0 lens - Lens quality and speed are of the utmost importance, and they don't come any faster than the f2.0 lens of the Powershot G3-G5. That extra stop is critical when shooting with natural light, so a fast lens should be at the top of your feature list.

Superb Image Quality - Both the image tone and detail of the G3-G5 is top notch. Credit due to the high quality Canon lens and image processing technology.

Feature Packed - The G3/G5 is packed with features. Shoot videos, time-lapse movies, and take full control of exposure with manual mode.

Proven - The G3 has earned quite a reputation, and for good reason. Good owner feedback is an important consideration, and the Canon Powershot "G" series have built a dedicated following.

Conclusion
Canon Powershot G3 - G5

The Powershot G3 and big brother G5 are great cameras. I cannot begin to stress the value of a good f2.0 lens.

The G5 is almost identical to the G3, but it is black and shoots higher resolution pictures. If you can still find a G3, its probably a better buy for the money.

While these cameras are a little bigger than their newer Powershot cousins, they have a nice boxy look. If you are looking for a tiny camera that slips in your back pocket, then this isn't for you. But if you are shopping for the ultimate compact with all the features of a prosumer camera, I think you'll be very pleased with the Canon Powershot G3, it's a smart buy.

Update: Powershot G6
September 16th. 2004

Canon has announced the Powershot G6, the next in line after the G5. The G6 has some important improvements on the G5, so essentially the G5 is out of the picture.

The G5 is a nice camera but if you're buying now you should jump up to the G6, or cut costs with the G3 (if you can find one).