Canon Powershot G10 Continues G Series

Posted by Admin-Digicam | Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Canon 'G' series is the most consistently targeted photographer family of compact cameras on the market. This is the 8th iteration of that dynasty includes a 14.7MP sensor and a 28-140mm zoom, offering serious flexibility. The family faces stiffer competition than ever of course - from the budget DSLRs now under the price and a number of compelling RAW shooting compact peers who fancy a tilt at its' king of support 'crown. Is it difficult G10 built robust enough to weather such a grueling environment?

The G10 is the third incarnation of Canon’s flagship ‘prosumer’ compact since the G series was reinvented with the G7 in 2006. Announced two years after the G6, the G7 caused quite a buzz; partly because everyone had presumed the budget SLR had killed off this sector of the market, partly because it lacked several of what had become G series trademarks (fast lens, tilting screen, raw mode, secondary LCD panel), and it would be fair to say the response was ‘mixed’. The G9 went some way towards placating the critics, reintroducing raw mode and improving handling, but it still suffered from the fundamental problem that the sensor inside couldn’t deliver on what the fantastic camera promised on the outside.

When we reviewed the G9 last year, we praised it for the styling, handling and build and for its excellent output at low ISO settings. The G10 builds on this by adding handling and control refinements, improving the LCD resolution, and, most importantly, adding a wider lens starting at 28mm (equiv.). It also retains the rangefinder styling and solid build quality, and reduces the amount of silver accents on the camera. All the external controls have been carried over, and a new one has been added (a very useful exposure compensation dial).

The things we criticized the G9 for (the unneeded increase in resolution, and the slow-ish lens) have not been addressed. Instead Canon has increased the resolution for the sensor even more, to 14.7 megapixels. The updated lens, though wider at the wide end, is also shorter at the long end, and has less zoom range overall. The speed of the lens is again almost the same F2.8-4.5, though the wider lens does retain the G9’s relatively compact dimensions. The price remains at around $500.

Note that some sections of this review (feature descriptions where nothing has changed) are reproduced.

Headline features

  • 14.7 Megapixel CCD sensor
  • 5x wide-angle (28mm) optical zoom lens with optical Image Stabilizer
  • RAW image recording plus support for Canon Digital Photo Professional
  • DIGIC 4 for clear, sharp images, high-speed AF (including Servo AF) and fast response times
  • Targets all the main causes of blur with High ISO Auto, optical
    Image Stabilizer, Motion Detection Technology and Auto ISO shift
  • Improved Face Detection AF/AE/FE/WB plus Face Select & Track and FaceSelf-Timer
  • 3.0” PureColor LCD II (461k dots resolution) with wide viewing angle and optical viewfinder
  • i-Contrast boosts brightness and retains detail in dark areas
  • Dedicated Exposure Compensation and ISO dials
  • 26 shooting modes with manual control and custom settings
  • Accessories include tele-converter, Speedlights flashes and waterproof case
  • Smooth, 30fps VGA movies

The G10 continues the G series tradition of incremental upgrades. Here are the key changes:

  • Higher resolution (14.7MP vs 12MP)
  • New wider coverage Lens (starts at 28mm)
  • Redesigned front grip with textured cover
  • Improved Face Detection technology
  • DIGIC 4 for improved image processing
  • New higher capacity battery (1050 mAh up from 720mAh)
  • Improved LCD screen resolution (461K vs 230K)
  • Exposure compensation dial
  • New flat and tilted buttons

Find a Review in video, check this out!