DigitalCameraReview.com
Canon PowerShot G10 Review
by David Rasnake -  10/29/2008

My Canon PowerShot G10 review unit hadn't been out of the box ten minutes when the crowd of interested onlookers from the NotebookReview.com offices upstairs started filing by to poke, prod, and play with Canon's latest advanced compact. Of course, what everyone wants to know, and what more than one person who stopped by my office to examine the G10 discussed at length, was how the G10 compares to its venerable predecessor, the Canon G9.

Canon PowerShot G10


Among advanced compacts, Canon's PowerShot G model (most recently represented by the G9) is the undisputed 500 pound gorilla – both figuratively and, in light of the G10's hefty magnesium shell, somewhat literally as well. While Canon didn't give us the revolutionary overhaul some were hoping for with the G10, they've unquestionably upped the ante with the latest G model's 14.7 megapixel sensor, DIGIC IV processor, and sizable magnesium shell. Will the sum total of these upgrades be enough to make the G10 a flagship performer among flagship compact cameras?

FEATURES OVERVIEW
FORM, FIT, AND FEEL
PERFORMANCE
IMAGE QUALITY
CONCLUSIONS
SPECIFICATIONS

FEATURES OVERVIEW
Building on the basic platform set forth in the previous G9, the Canon PowerShot G10 features a 14.7 megapixel CCD imager, a new 5x zoom lens, and a high-resolution LCD. For those unfamiliar with what Canon's latest top-tier PowerShot brings to the table, we put together a short video preview for our First Thoughts piece hitting the specs sheet highlights and showing off the G10 in action.

As noted in the video, Canon's latest flagship compact is among the first PowerShot models to get the new DIGIC IV image processor. The addition offers some key upgrades, including face detection that's further improved and an increase in overall camera performance and shooting speed.

To this end, the G10 also further expands the raw shooting capabilities set out in the G9. The latest G camera's raw files are now fully compatible with Canon's Digital Photo Professional raw conversion and workflow software. Of course, the new model is capable of JPEG capture as well.

The G10 gets a lens that's not as wide-ranging as the one on its predecessor, but may have more appeal nonetheless. Whereas the G9 sports a 6x lens, the G10's 5x, optically stabilized glass reaches all the way out to a 28mm wide-angle end – significantly wider than the G9's spec.

Control arrangement on the G10 is similar to the G9's setup, with a few key changes. Most notably, the new camera adds an additional dedicated exposure control dial on the left-hand side of the top deck, moving the ISO control that used to sit in this location to a position atop the mode dial. More on this change in the next section.

Out back, users will find a new 3.0 inch high-res LCD in addition to an optical viewfinder. The new screen represents another significant step forward when compared to the G9, adding twice as much resolution and an additional half-inch to the G camera's screen specs.

As with its predecessor, the G10 permits high-sensitivity shooting at full resolution up to ISO 1600.

In terms of basic shooting modes, very little has changed with the latest G camera. Specifically, the G10 provides the following options on its mode dial:

Video capture options on the G10 are highly limited by current standards (640x480 or 320x240 resolutions only), and although quality is good and sound quality isn't bad, the fact that zoom is locked while shooting further limits the G10's power in this area. If you're looking to do lots of video shooting with your still camera, there are better options out there.

For a detailed listing of specifications and features, please refer to the specifications table found at the bottom of the review.


FORM, FIT, AND FEEL

Styling and Build Quality
For sure, the G10 stretches the boundaries of what can be fairly termed "compact." It's smaller than a DSLR, but compared to something like an Olympus E-420 and a pancake lens, not by much.

Canon PowerShot G10

If its considerable size and arm-wrenching (for a compact camera, at least) 13 ounces of mass don't turn you off, however, the G10 is also unquestionably a stunning camera for those of us who appreciate the simple elegance of a classic rangefinder or a manual DSLR.

Canon PowerShot G10

Although the back panel is a little button cluttered, a dial-heavy control arrangement on a chunky, square metal body will likely strike the right note with much of the G10's target market.

Canon PowerShot G10

The major manufacturers building cameras for this premium compact space have come around to the idea that build quality is crucial when you're trying to sell a compact camera that costs nearly as much as a DSLR, and the Canon G10 is no exception here either. Even in a field of well-made devices, the G10 is quite possibly the best of the lot, with a level of precision in fit and finish and materials choices usually reserved for advanced DSLRs. If it costs almost as much as a Rebel XS, the G10 also feels significantly more carefully crafted than Canon's baseline interchangeable-lens cameras.

Ergonomics and Interface
Although it doesn't have either the customizable interface of its arch-rival, the Nikon P6000, or the small form-factor comfort of Panasonic's advanced LX3, the G10's very well balanced, easily navigable menu system and control layout somehow manages to manhandle its two strongest competitors in the handling department just the same. As noted above, for a compact camera, this one's downright huge, and its considerable size and loaded weight certainly may not suit everyone. If you're coming from a DSLR though – as Canon's whole design aesthetic with the G10 seems to be assuming – you'll feel right at home with the camera's generous rubberized grip and back-panel controls.

Canon PowerShot G10

When I first saw that Canon had upped the number of top-deck dial controls on the G10 to three – moving sensitivity control into a concentric arrangement with the mode dial and adding a dedicated exposure compensation wheel – I wasn't entirely sure what to think. The thought of giving an exposure comp control this much prominence seemed a little chintzy at first, like Canon was just looking to stick something else on a dial control to score points with the retro chic crowd.

Several weeks of shooting with the camera have permanently changed my views on this one: when shooting in auto-exposure modes (and let's face it: even on a camera as advanced as the G10, that's where most of us will be spending most of our time), exposure comp is probably the most used function on the camera. Being able to see where you're set at a glance and change compensation at a moment's notice with a single motion makes a lot of sense. That's more or less how our DSLRs work in auto-exposure modes, so why shouldn't a compact for advanced shooters work the same way?

Canon PowerShot G10

I also have enjoyed the G10's unusual shutter control: where most cameras these days are moving to flat, short-travel shutter release buttons, the G10 provides a small button with a relative long vertical travel. Although it's a minor part of the G10's overall ergonomics, full button presses provide a little more feedback – more of the kind of solid click that those who learned on manual SLRs from the film days will be familiar with. On the other side, though, some others who used the G10 during its stint in our office complained that it was more difficult to hold half-presses on the G10's shutter release than on most cameras.

Besides its considerable size, if the G10's ergonomics and overall layout have a disadvantage, it's the intimidation factor that a camera with this many buttons and dials brings with it. Again, serious photographers will likely feel much more at home here than on a camera requiring six layers of menu digging to change a white balance setting, but if you're approaching the G10 from the other side – as an aspiring photographer moving up rather than a serious shooter seeking a compact back-up – the G10's interface has the potential to overwhelm.

Display/Viewfinder

The G10's 3.0 inch display is simply superb: composed of approximately 460,000 dots, the screen is better than anything you'll find on an entry-level DSLR. The display is quite fluid when following moving subjects, and preserves most of its smoothness even after gaining up in low-light situations. Although it isn't quite bright enough even at its brightest setting to handle very sunny days in the extremely difficult environments – shooting from the deck of a boat, for instance – most users will find its easily adjustable 15-step brightness control to be more than sufficient for dealing with normal ambient lighting conditions.

Canon PowerShot G10

If not, the G10 also features an optical viewfinder. The eye cup for the G10's finder is a little more carefully thought-out than what you'll get on most point-and-shoots, and actually includes a diopter dial as well for those of us with less than perfect eyesight – though it's almost unnecessary, really, as the viewfinder is a coupled variant (that is, it doesn't show you a through-the-lens view), and thus can't be used to confirm focus anyway.

In spite of better fit and finish, in use the G10's viewfinder is as compromised as basically every other linked viewfinder on the market. The finder is plagued by extreme inaccuracy when shooting close up, and it's extremely small and cramped besides. I also dislike the fact that the lens barrel actually obstructs your view through the viewfinder slightly at wide-angle.

In the same vein, would it have really been too hard to add some labels to those cryptic blinking confirmation lights that Canon always positions next to the viewfinder – or better yet, move them into the finder itself?


PERFORMANCE

Timings and Shutter Lag
Those familiar with the G9 won't be at all surprised to learn that the G10 scores better than average marks on the timings side of our testing.

Shutter Lag (press-to-capture, pre-focused)

Camera Time (seconds)
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W300 0.02
Canon PowerShot G10 0.03
Fujifilm FinePix F60fd 0.05
Nikon Coolpix P6000 0.06
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 0.08

AF Acquisition (press-to-capture, no pre-focus)

Camera Time (seconds)
Fujifilm FinePix F60fd 0.42
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 0.46
Canon PowerShot G10 0.52
Nikon Coolpix P6000 0.61
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W300 0.67

The G10's basically nonexistent shutter lag in particular puts the camera among the handful of compacts we've tested that truly rival DSLRs in terms of responsiveness. And its AF acquisition speed, while not quite at the level of the very quick LX3 and F60fd under ideal conditions, is coupled with a system that remains solid and fast in a variety of situations.

We were also favorably impressed with the G10's ability to start up, extend the lens, lock focus, and capture a shot in a very quick 1.6 seconds.

Continuous Shooting

Camera Frames Framerate
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 4 3.1 fps
Fujifilm FinePix F60fd 3 2.5 fps
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W300 10 2.1 fps
Canon PowerShot G10 1.3 fps
Nikon Coolpix P6000 5 0.9 fps

Note: Continuous shooting framerates are based on the camera's fastest full-resolution JPEG continuous shooting mode, using the fastest media type available (300x CF, SDHC, etc.). "Frames" notes the number of captures recorded per burst before the camera stops/slows to clear the buffer.

Compared to most of its competition, the G10 doesn't impress on the continuous shooting front, however, dashing off full-res JPEG images at a rather leisurely 1.3 fps. Sports and action shooters will no doubt wish for more, but the Canon's one ace in the hole in this case is that it can fire off 1.3 fps bursts seemingly infinitely without slowing or pausing to clear the buffer. For a camera producing such large files, then, perhaps things could have been worse – though for a compact costing as much as an entry-level DSLR, it's probably not asking too much to ask for more in this case.

Auto Focus
As shown in our overview video, the G10's default FlexiZone user-adjusted multi-area AF is easy to control, allowing shooters to precisely target focus just about anywhere in the frame by simply pressing the focus control button and then using the scroll wheel and/or d-pad to move the focus point as desired. The G10 also features Canon's usual AiAF automatic multi-area mode and dedicated Face Detection setting, as well as a manual mode that works (surprisingly well, might we add) by using the scroll wheel to move focus in or out; a small zoom box provides an enlarged view, enabling fine focus that's as precise as what you'll get from any other live view camera.

On the drive side, the G10's default continuous focus mode claims to provide a more responsive shooting experience by focusing automatically on whatever's in front of the lens at any given moment, whether or not the shutter release is half-pressed. Like similar "high speed" systems on competitive models, the idea is that the camera will already be focused correctly whenever the user decides to press the release and take a snap; in practice, however, the system often lags behind by several seconds, and while it clearly speeds up performance at times, we didn't notice any across-the-board measurable performance increase. Overall, the potential toll on battery life was reason enough for us to shy away from the setting.

The G10's focusing system also utilizes a separate Servo AI menu option to control in-shot continuous focus drive for tracking moving subjects. The system lacks the high-speed tracking capabilities of even a basic phase-detection DSLR focusing system, however, meaning that if your subject is moving fast, you'll be hard pressed to successfully track it in real time with Servo AI enabled: even a dog running across the yard in good light was generally too quick for the system, meaning sports shooters won't find the performance they're looking for here.

Particular gripes with Canon's continuous drive modes aside, if the G10's AF system has an overarching performance issue, I certainly couldn't find it. Low light and low contrast can cause problems, but the camera performs in keeping with its competition in these situations: in a room requiring ISO 1600 to get shutter speeds above 1/10 at f/2.8, the G10 was still able to lock focus in well under a second from scratch. The AF assist beam certainly helps in this regard as well, though depending on distance to subject the beam will only illuminate a small area in the center of the frame – which means that if you're focusing elsewhere in the frame, you may be out of luck.

Lens and Zoom
As noted, Canon has traded length for width in the lens of its latest G camera, providing coverage all the way out to an equivalent 28mm at wide-angle. It's a smart move in our view, making the G10 the best advanced PowerShot yet for landscape shooting or working indoors in tight spaces.

Canon PowerShot G10

The retractable lens barrel is extremely robust, living up to the standards of quality evidenced all around in the G10. Motion from one end of the range to other is both quick and quiet – not superbly so in either case, but certainly not disappointingly so either.

If an f/2.8 maximum aperture at wide-angle doesn't exactly provide the kind of headline grabbing break from the norm that the Panasonic LX3's f/2.0 lens has been, it's both reasonably fast and wide enough to provide effective depth of field control.

Canon PowerShot G10

Overall, if sports and nature shooters won't exactly be flocking to the G10 for its considerable optical coverage, a broad field of view at wide-angle, decent telephoto length for portrait work, and impressively consistent macro focusing down to a quarter of inch provide all of the tools a photographer needs for taking great vacation shots or using the G10's inconspicuous profile for urban/architectural work.

Like previous PowerShot G cameras, the G10 has a three-stop neutral density filter built into the lens. Engaging the filter, which significantly reduces the amount of light hitting the sensor, is as easy as turning it on in the sidebar menu. When engaged, the filter – which allows you to use slower shutter speeds in bright light, emphasizing motion blur effects, for instance – pops immediately into place and you're ready to shoot.

Canon PowerShot G10

A minimum aperture of f/8 across the board on the G10 means that stopping down isn't really an option. Hence, being able to get more light reduction than the lens provides on its own for slow-shutter work in bright situations is a thoughtful touch, and the quick test above (taken at ISO 80 with a 1.6 second exposure) shows no negative impacts on image quality or color range reproduction from using the filter.

Finally, while the G10 uses an accessory filter mount/lens adapter tube that's similar in arrangement to the one from the G9, the parts are not interchangeable. If you're moving up from a previous G camera and want to use teleconverters or filters, you'll have to spring for the new adapter.

Flash
As befits a camera with a hot shoe, the G10 sports a fairly advanced flash controller using Canon's latest flash metering protocol to ensure compatibility with the most recent external flashguns. The controller also provides a full range of functions for use with the camera's built-in flash, including flash exposure compensation of up to 2 EV in either direction (also quickly accessible via the function quick menu), auto red-eye reduction settings, and first- or second-curtain slow speed sync.

Canon PowerShot G10

With a claimed range at wide-angle of 4.6 meters (or just over 15 feet), the G10's built-in flash has just a bit more kick than those on its closest competitors. Even working at the tele end of the lens, the G10 was able to convincingly fill up a scene with light, as in the following shot taken in a room without other illumination sources.

Canon PowerShot G10

The sample above also shows off the smoothness and balanced, slightly underexposed look produced from the G10's built-in flash. While an external flash with a bounce head will still give better, less "flattened" results for close-up candid shooting, the built-in strobe's warm, surprisingly natural illumination isn't a bad backup option – especially if you tone the power down by a third to two-thirds of a stop when working at close range.

Image Stabilization
The G10's lens element shifting optical image stabilization system continues Canon's tradition of offering a lot of IS options: Continuous, Shooting Only, or Panning, in addition to an off position for shooting from a tripod or in other situations where IS isn't needed. As always with Canon, the G10's optical stabilization technology wasn't intrusive and seemed to work well: I had success grabbing sharp shots down to shutter speeds as low as 1/10 at wide-angle.

Battery
Even with an upgraded battery, the G10 struggles to approach current DSLR numbers for battery life. Blame it on the need to use the screen most of the time for shot composition (something most DSLRs don't deal with) but our G10 wasn't even able to hit Canon's claimed 400 shot mark: with some flash shooting and, admittedly, a lot of image review, I was never even able to inch over the 300 shot threshold between charges.

Canon PowerShot G10

If you're able to cope with shooting exclusively through the G10's optical viewfinder, though, Canon claims that a much more DSLR-like 1000 shots per charge is possible.


IMAGE QUALITY
If you're looking for huge resolution the G10 delivers, pushing the envelope on image (and file) size to a level that few compact cameras have dared approach. Beyond concerns about limited dynamic range or higher noise with the G10's more densely packed sensor, there is the basic question of what to do with the G10's nearly 15 megapixel captures: the truth is that most of us don't need anywhere near this kind of resolution for the sort of shooting that we're doing with a compact camera. But the flip side of the G10 equation is that this camera packs enough resolving power via its lens/sensor combo to serve as a true professional's tool in a pinch.

Canon PowerShot G10

In examining our studio shots from the G10 early on, one particular measure of this camera's subtleties as a capture device caught my eye. Looking at the surface of the playing card at 100 percent, I noticed something we usually don't see from a point-and-shoot.

Canon PowerShot G10
100% crop

A combination of an extremely sharp, contrast-responsive lens, lots of resolution, and surprisingly good dynamic range allowed the G10 to capture the fine texture of the surface of the playing card when shooting at lower ISOs – a detail area that most DSLRs are able to pull out, but most compacts are not.

Exposure, Processing, and Color
Canon's default image output has a signature look across models, with bright blues and vivid greens, that's hard to mistake for anything else, and even without pumping up the saturation in-camera or in post-processing.

Canon PowerShot G10

In addition to a raw shooting mode that provides better, more fluid integration with Canon's DPP raw workflow software, the G10 features the expected range of settings for tailoring your JPEGs in-camera. Canon's My Colors options appear on the G10 as part of its sidebar-style quick access menu, providing the standard range of processing presets.

Canon PowerShot G10
Standard

Canon PowerShot G10
Vivid

Canon PowerShot G10
Neutral

The difference between these three most basic settings is relatively pronounced, with the Vivid setting pushing saturation hard in greens/yellows and blues, and the Neutral setting cutting both saturation and contrast considerably.

Beyond these basic presets, the G10 features the usual (for Canon) options to make skin tones darker or lighter, and to emphasize reds, greens, or blues with a saturation bump. There's also a custom position, allowing the user to fine-tune contrast, sharpness, saturation (as well as individual sliders for red, green, and blue), and mid-tone contrast curving via a Skin Tone slider. While the user-set system is a bit buried compared to advanced processing options on similar cameras in this class, the range of adjustment afforded is pretty impressive.

Canon PowerShot G10
Custom, all settings maximum

Canon PowerShot G10
Custom, all settings minimum

In the above shots, I moved all settings in the Custom position to the maximum, and then retook the shot with all settings at their minimum values. These samples give you an idea of the G10's wide processing latitude via the Custom processing position.

Canon's been slow to arrive at the dynamic range expansion party. While most of their competitors have spent the better part of the last year talking up some technology for bringing out blocked up shadows without losing highlight detail, Canon has been quiet on the subject. The release of the DIGIC IV processor, however, brought Canon's entry to the d-range expansion scene: i-Contrast.

How Canon got away with the i-Contrast branding without a cease and desist letter from Steve Jobs I'll never know, but the system is pretty conventional compared to some of the function-bloated d-range tools seen on competitive cameras – with Auto and Off settings your only options.

Canon PowerShot G10
Without i-Contrast

Canon PowerShot G10
With i-Contrast

Without level or intensity settings, i-Contrast (which, it should be noted, adds a slight post-shot processing delay) takes a fairly conservative approach to shifting mid-tones. In this case, the mids show a bit more detail without any negative impact on this particular composition's already blown-out highlights.

Sporting a full range of easily accessed metering modes (Evaluative, Center-Weighted, and a Spot mode that can be linked to either the center of the frame or to the AF point), getting exposure spot-on was no great challenge with the G10. I was pleasantly surprised at how reluctant the camera is to clip highlights under its default settings, and a combination of lots of metering options, dynamic range controls, an on-screen composition histogram, and that conveniently placed exposure compensation control make it easy to keep exposure issues in check with the G10.

White Balance
Initial tests with the G10 suggest that DIGIC IV processing had helped to iron out issues with auto white balance under artificial light. Unfortunately, our studio incandescent test tells a different story.

Canon PowerShot G10
Auto White Balance, 3200K incandescent light

With pure incandescent light at the warm (that is, lower Kelvin temperature) end of the spectrum, the G10's shots look about the same – very muted and brown – as what we've seen previously from Canon. That said, it seems that the latest processor does make some improvements in dealing with mixed lighting, and handles fluorescents much better than in the past.

The typical range of presets for a variety of shooting situations is also covered on the G10, and there's a user-set white balance mode for further fine-tuning.

Lens Faults
With a broad 28mm lens, some significant barrel distortion, with lines bowing out from the center of the image, was expected at full wide-angle.

Canon PowerShot G10
Wide-Angle

Somewhat surprisingly, while the G10 shows some obvious distortion right at the end of its range, the issue clears up quickly and is certainly not as intrusive as it could have been. Likewise, there's just a hint of pincushioning at full telephoto.

Canon PowerShot G10
Telephoto

Even shooting at wide-angle with the maximum possible aperture, the G10 does a nice job of keeping chromatic aberration or color fringing at bay.

Canon PowerShot G10

Canon PowerShot G10
100% crop

There's some fringe evident at 100 percent in high-contrast areas, but it's hardly the issue that we're used to from most compact camera optics.

Overall, the G10's new 5x lens appears to be more than up to the task of serving up this sensor's outrageous resolution, with good sharpness throughout – even at the corners and at maximum aperture. Serious shooters probably won't be ready to trade in their Canon L glass for a G10 exclusively, but the results in most cases are certainly on par with what you'd get from a basic DSLR and kit-lens combo: an impressive feat for even a premium compact camera.

Sensitivity and Noise
The G10 doesn't stray far from the expected script here, with a standard user-set range of ISO 80 to 1600, and automatic and high-sensitivity options (as well as a menu-selected Auto ISO Shift option, which provides single-button access for boosting ISO as needed beyond the ISO 200 cap in regular auto mode) providing camera-selected sensitivity as well. While many compacts have gone to full-res ISO 3200 shooting at least, Canon holds firm at ISO 1600 with the G10 – which may or may not be a good decision, depending on how you weight the importance of extreme low light capabilities against the desire for low noise throughout the sensitivity range.

Canon's decision to use an ultra high-res (but not significantly larger) CCD sensor in the G10 had us approaching the noise issue with some considerable trepidation: with nearly 15 million pixels crammed onto that imager, just how bad would things get?

Canon PowerShot G10
ISO 80
Canon PowerShot G10
ISO 80, 100% crop
Canon PowerShot G10
ISO 100
Canon PowerShot G10
ISO 100, 100% crop
Canon PowerShot G10
ISO 200
Canon PowerShot G10
ISO 200, 100% crop
Canon PowerShot G10
ISO 400
Canon PowerShot G10
ISO 400, 100% crop
Canon PowerShot G10
ISO 800
Canon PowerShot G10
ISO 800, 100% crop
Canon PowerShot G10
ISO 1600
Canon PowerShot G10
ISO 1600, 100% crop

All things considered, the G10's results at higher sensitivities are probably better than expected. The bigger issue that many will have with these results comes in the fact that noise is visible almost immediately (certainly by ISO 200) at lower sensitivities; if you're a stickler for such things, the G10's soft edges at ISO 100 and 200, even, will undoubtedly have you up in arms.

What many want to know, of course, is just how the G10 – which (mercifully) doesn't include a higher sensitivity setting than ISO 1600 – stacks up in the noise department against its two primary rivals: the Panasonic LX3 and the Nikon P6000.

Canon PowerShot G10
Canon PowerShot G10, ISO 1600, 100% crop

Nikon Coolpix P6000
Nikon Coolpix P6000, ISO 1600, 100% crop

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3, ISO 1600, 100% crop

Objectively, the G10's shots are no cleaner at ISO 1600 than those from its two main rivals, and while heavier desaturation in the Canon than in many advanced cameras at high sensitivity may be tough to deal with, the G10's significant advantage in resolution over the LX3 especially makes the fact that noise performance at the pixel level is roughly equal between these two mostly moot: with nearly 50 percent more resolution "headroom" than the Panasonic provides, it's easy to make up for the Canon's lack of sharpness at higher ISOs by downsampling, assuming you're not printing larger than 8x10.

The other side of that argument, though, is that it might have been just as easy to build the G10 as an 8 megapixel camera with class-leading low noise that produces the same effective results in terms of noise and sharpness at 8x10.

However you come down on the issue, it's clear to us that while the G10 is predictably noisy, it actually may best its two strongest rivals in this regard – in spite of (but also, in some ways, because of) its resolution advantage.

Additional Sample Images

Canon PowerShot G10 Canon PowerShot G10
Canon PowerShot G10 Canon PowerShot G10
Canon PowerShot G10 Canon PowerShot G10
Canon PowerShot G10 Canon PowerShot G10


CONCLUSIONS
Following in the footsteps of a long and successful line of advanced cameras, the G10 had a lot to live up to. The bottom line in our opinion is that in spite of some minor imperfections, the latest PowerShot G camera proves to be a very well rounded package. In short, even in the face of high expectations, Canon delivered the goods with its latest flagship PowerShot.

At the moment, the advanced compact camera market has settled in terms of price at around the $500 mark. For that kind of outlay, it's not unreasonable to ask yourself whether your needs might not be better served by an entry-level DSLR: basic models from every manufacturer will do essentially everything the G10 does, provide superior high-ISO and shooting speed performance without exception, and do so for only a little more than this PowerShot's considerable price tag (not to mention that the G10 weighs almost as much as many of these larger cameras).


But if having a compact camera is your thing, and you're also the kind of photographer who's looking for serious resolution and manual controls, the G10 may just be the ticket. For landscape shooters, urban/architectural photographers, or anyone else with a need for lots of resolution in a smaller or more incognito package, the PowerShot G10 is a good fit. In our view, its new control arrangement, impressive dynamic range for its resolution, and improved raw shooting and in-camera JPEG processing make the G10 the most high-function PowerShot yet for serious photographers.

Pros:

Cons:


SPECIFICATIONS

Sensor 14.7 megapixel (effective), 1/1.7" CCD
Lens/Zoom 5x (28-140mm) zoom, f/2.8-4.5
LCD/Viewfinder 3.0", 461K-dot TFT LCD; optical viewfinder
Sensitivity ISO 80-1600 (3200 at reduced resolution)
Shutter Speed 15-1/1400
Shooting Modes Auto, Program, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, Manual, Scene, Custom 1/2, Movie
Scene Presets

Portrait, Landscape, Night Snapshot, Kids & Pets, Night Scene, Indoor, Foliage, Snow, Beach, Fireworks, Aquarium, Indoor

White Balance Settings Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Fluorescent H, Custom
Metering Modes Evaluative, Center-Weighted, Spot
Focus Modes Face Detection, One-Point AF
Drive Modes Single, Continuous, Self Timer
Flash Modes Auto, Forced On, Forced Off, Slow Sync, Red-Eye Reduction
Self Timer Settings
10 seconds, 2 seconds, Off
Memory Formats SD, SDHC
Internal Memory
None
File Formats JPEG, RAW, AVI
Max. Image Size 4416x3312
Max. Video Size
640x480, 30 fps
Zoom During Video No
Battery Rechargeable lithium-ion
Connections USB 2.0, AV output
Additional Features DIGIC IV processor, raw shooting, wide-angle lens, optical image stabilization