When Canon brought out the successor to the G10 and dropped resolution from 14.7 to 10 megapixels, some eyebrows may have been raised. The trend in compact digitals has been to keep bumping up resolution (while not necessarily keeping pace with physical sensor size), but Canon heard some grumbling about the G10's noise performance and, to their credit, responded.
The G11 is a wonderful combination of a lens with very good optical performance, good auto focus and shutter performance, and lowered resolution on the same physical-sized sensor that produces excellent noise performance for a compact digital. Image quality from the G11 is the best overall of any compact digital I've ever reviewed - at 100% enlargements the images are quite clean, without the artifacts that seem to pop up to one degree or another in the other guys.
The viewfinder is poor for image composition due to its inaccuracy (77% coverage), but that's about the end of the gripes for this camera. It's bigger and heavier than the typical 5x point and shoots and the MSRP is bumping entry-level DSLR territory at $500, but the camera offers something for everyone - full auto controls, scene shooting options, face detection et.al. for the new user, and manual controls with DSLR-like adjustability (and RAW) for the more experienced shooter.
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