Are you talking about for fishing or for general photographic use?
The G9's been getting some good reviews. While the camera's 12 megapixel rating by itself is no indicator of image quality, several other features of the G9 suggest it'd be a great choice: Canon lenses are famous for their sharpness, contrast and color saturation; built-in image stabilization reduces hand shake at lower shutter speeds; ability to shoot RAW image files is much preferred to the poor-quality JPEGs most other cameras produce; 6x optical zoom; and big 3" display LCD are all quite desirable. Best of all, at online prices of about $300, it's a hell of a deal. (Just make sure and order it from a reputable dealer like B&H Photo Video or Abe's of Maine instead of some of the sleezballs like Broadway Photo and others.)
But if you intend to use it for fishing, I'd discourage spending that much on something that's eventually gonna get dunked, no matter how careful you are. For about $300, I'd advise a Pentax Optio W30 instead. It's not nearly the camera the G9 is, but it's waterproof construction makes it a far better choice in a fishing environment.
No question that's an industrial-quality underwater housing.
I looked at a similar housing for my old Canon Powershot S30 a few years back. But in reality it was simply too big to fit into a pants or shirt pocket and too heavy to keep hung around my neck all day long. That meant it'd have to go in a back vest pocket or in a fanny pack, making it less than handy when I had to put my rod down to take off my vest or unzip a fanny pack.
By comparison, at no extra cost my Pentax Optio WP hangs on a small lanyard and is tucked into my shirt pocket so it's ready whenever a picture presents itself. I can retrieve it, turn it on and snap a picture with one hand. Here's a shot I took a week or so ago.
It's also worth remembering that like guns, it's people, not cameras, that take pictures. Even having the best camera in the world is no guarantee that someone with a tin eye will take nothing but excellent pictures. The opposite is also true.
I bought and soon after returned the G9. Feature wise it's exactly what I've been looking for in a semi serious point and shoot. Feature wise it's a pretty amazing camera.
Unfortunately Canon decided that G series needed to be pixel plorific, but the 12MP resolution is beyond what it's sensor can stay up with. What that means is, anything outside of ISO 100 or 200 gets seriously grainy and the noise beyond ISO 400 absolutely ruins your photos. In daylight that's not going to be a problem but if the light is low you better have a second camera.
The G2 & G6 were 7MP or less and even with the G9's new Digic III sensor reducing digital noise, the older versions were better in various light conditions.
If you do decide to get a G9, what I've said aside, you will still be happy with it. You will just need to know it's limitations. If you do get it, pick up a Pelican 1020 micro case with a clear lid (the clear lid doesn't have the padding on top, but leaves enough room for the G9). Good waterproof box that doesn't take up a lot of space.
To be fair, this isn't a 'Canon' thing. The focus on megapixels by the public and manufacturers has created a bunch of stupidity.
The fact remains that images from a tiny sensor (and the g9 still has a tiny sensor) will ALWAYS be far more grainy than anything from even the cheapest DSLR. I always tell people that a 4 year old DSLR will take better photos than any of the 12MP fixed lens cameras out today.
I had double page spreads and cover shots published in national magazines with 3-6MP DSLR's. Megapixels are over rated, sensor size is under rated.
Question for the experts here:
Why are digitals (not the SLRs) so slow on the trigger? I've bought a couple now that tout their improved shutter speed but still find them lacking. Can you point to one that can come close to (or match) an SLR's speed?
Hijack not intended but I trust some of you here know the answer and know I'm not the only one aggravated by this conundrum.
One of the G9 features I really did like was that the macro performed brilliantly. The depth of field was really outstanding for close in shots. Reads... Takes excellent fly shots.
Another oddity that fisherman should expect is that you cannot view the screen with polarized sunglasses on. Not a big deal, but given we're on the water most of the time, and usually with those glasses, you will suprised the first time you look and only see a black screen until removing them. Small price to pay for a great quality screen, which it is.
That isn't a "digital" thing, it's a point and shoot thing. Film P&S cameras suffered from the same lag.
Point and shoot cameras just do not have the processing power, lens motors, etc to move fast. That isn't what they are built for. Some are better than others, but if response time is the most important thing for you, you need an SLR.
You should also learn to "pre-focus". Most cameras will allow you to press the shutter button halfway down and set the focus. Then you wait for your "moment". This will speed up response time.
A few weeks ago we were doing the final assembly of a set of contraptions that used three G9's, each connected to its own panel flash. The panel manufacturers assured us that their flash was fully compatible with the G9. All the power specs matched up.
We got everything hooked up and ready to power up. I hit the power supply switch.
Poof! A little puff of smoke came out of each camera. So much for compatibility..
A quick call to B&H and we had three new G9's the next afternoon. Four days after that our photo kiosks were back in place at Madison Square Garden.
I don't think that has been resolved yet. Fingers are still being pointed back and forth.
Maybe I should have said a wisp of smoke as opposed to a little puff but you get the idea. Three new, still shiny but completely dead G9's. Fortunately these relatively cheap Cannon's were well suited to the job. It could have been much worse, the panel flashes are far more expensive.
So I get home from an afternoon of shopping, including the purchase of a Canon XSI 450D, and what do I see but a thread about someone getting a new camera. Beat me to the punch! Anyway, I have been wanting a DSLR for some time now, had a little extra cash so I finally took the plunge. I can't wait to get this baby out and start playing with it.
Enjoy your new camera. Be sure to post lots of pics of the monster fish you are sure to photo with it.