Canon Powershot G10 review

Review Date : Mon, 15 Dec 2008

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Canon PowerShot G10
Canon PowerShot G10 Canon PowerShot G10 Back

The Canon Powershot G10 features a 14.7MP sensor, Raw shooting and range of manual controls. It also boasts compatibility with external flashguns, but is it a viable alternative to the DSLR? The What Digital Camera Canon PowerShot G10 review reveals all...

Pros: Overall image quality, bright and detailed LCD screen, styling, fast operation
Cons: Bulky, poor control over fringing

The Canon G10 is a high-end copact with a rich pedigree. It is the eighth compact in the PowerShot G series. The Canon Powershot G10 features a new 1/1.7in CCD sensor with an effective pixel count of 14.7MP, recording images at 4416 x 3312 pixels at maximum settings. Images may be recorded in both Raw and JPEG formats, as well as a combination of the two, with the latest DIGIC IV processor (as seen in Canon’s latest DSLR releases) driving operation and processing. It's an advanced high-end compact camera that may tempt many to consider ditching the DSLR on occasion, the What Digital Camera Canon PowerShot G10 review reveals all...

Canon G10 review - Features

Instead of the Highlight Tone Priority feature seen on Canon’s range of DSLRs, the Canon G10 has included a new i-Contrast setting that optimises dynamic range for the benefit of shadow detail. As with the previous Canon PowerShot G9, the sensor allows for a standard sensitivity range of ISO 80-1600, though an ISO 3200 function also sits among the camera’s scene modes, taking images at a reduced resolution. Control over noise reduction isn’t possible in the camera itself, though the supplied Digital Photo Professional software allows individual control over reduction of both luminance and chroma noise, along with all other main Raw processing options.

Canon G10 review - Lens

Aside from the resolution and processor, the other fundamental change from the Canon PowerShot G9 is the Canon G10’s lens. The new optic delivers an equivalent focal range of 28-140mm compared with the 35-210mm range that was offered by the Canon PowerShot G9. The lens construction includes one double-sided aspherical element, with Canon’s image-stabilising (IS) system also built in to help prevent unwanted camera shake.

Canon G10 Review - Motion Detection Technology

Also helping to prevent camera shake is the Canon G10's new Motion Detection technology, which helps to detect movement of both the subject and the camera, adjusting the focus or exposure as is necessary. This works in conjunction with a High ISO Auto mode, which essentially increases the sensitivity to the required level, while a more standard Auto ISO option biases towards the lower end of the sensitivity scale.

Canon G10 Review - LCD Screen

As well as offering a viewfinder, Canon also follows Ricoh’s and Panasonic’s example in offering an enhanced-resolution, 3in LCD screen with a 461,000-dot resolution. As on previous G series models, we also see a built-in ND grad filter for landscape shots, which reduces exposure by around three stops, plus a 30fps movie mode.

More info:

Canon G10 review - design & performance

Canon G10 review - image quality

Canon G10 review - specifications

Canon G10 review - verdict

Compare the Canon PowerShot G10 with other high-end compact products

 

Verdict

At low sensitivities the Canon G10's image quality is impressive, with great detail capture, accurate metering, and consistency with its Auto White Balance system. Furthermore, it is perhaps the only compact in its class whose design gives the impression that it wants to be used manually, not simply because at this price we expect some degree of manual control. My only main criticism is with the slight blandness of its JPEGs, regarding sharpening and white balance at default settings. I appreciate that Raw capture is a key concern for a compact of the G10's stature, but we should still expect a certain standard of JPEG images for more 'everyday' images. In any case this can be optimised to taste. Potential buyers may also be interested in the Panasonic LX3, which also produces high-quality images at around the same price.


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Price as reviewed

£350.00

Scores

Scores
Design 18/20
Image Quality 18/20
Performance 19/20
Value 18/20
Features 18/20
Overall Score 91%