I have sold many fine art prints taken by my Lumix LX2. It is nonsense to say you CAN'T make fine art prints or poster size prints with a P&S.You most certainly can...and WILL,because invariably you will take many great pics with it where you didn't have your DSLR with you. A few of my best pics were taken with a P&S, and the techncal quality is more than adequate.
I really don't think we're arguing, I think we're agreeing actually. Perhaps I overstepped by implying the G9 (or other high-end P&S) "can't" take a fine art photo, but I am sure you understood what I meant ... it's not exactly the tool of choice for "ultimate" image quality.
However, it is
the tool of choice for extreme convenience combined
with reasonable and usable image quality. That is the point I was trying to make, that you seemed agree with also, is the overall convenience, and so I really wasn't trying to quibble over minutia.
Dalethorn touches on a major point also, and that is 99% of the public out there, who are the actual customers for photos (either via photos by themselves or those found in books) really can't tell the difference between a photo taken by a G9, a 5D, or a 1Ds. The general consumer is either attracted to the color and subject of the photo or they are not. So whether some austere photography guru can point out the flaws in one photo vs. another ultimately means nothing to the average consumer. The average consumer either likes the subject photographed, or they don't, and the G9 is fully capable of taking satisfactory photos for most people.
It kinda reminds me what a rock star once said about his musical talent. He said, talent-wise, he was just average technically. He said he would go to dive bars and see these amazing musicians, who were technically superior to him, but these dive musicians were broke because they didn't know what a hit song was all about. These musicians could run circles around the rock star, technically, but they couldn't make music that people wanted to listen to. 99% of the public can't tell the talent difference between two high-level guitar players, only other high-level guitar players can. What matters, therefore, after a certain proficiency level is achieved, isn't the extremest of the extreme talents, what matters is who can touch people by creating the catchiest hit song
There has to be a certain level of technical proficiency to excel in any field, including a camera's technical ability to take clear photos, but in photography the most technically-capable camera isn't necessarily going to take the best photos ... because if it isn't available when the moment is there, or if it doesn't have the right person behind it, what good is the tool?
A camera like the G9 is technically-capable enough to shoot very nice photos, and it is conveninent and available enough
to be there when that special moment is actually there and needing to be captured.
So I hope we can agree on this,