Canon's ever-popular PowerShot G series see major changes in both the LCD and sensor configuration, but does it do enough to justify it's substantial price tag? What Digital Camera puts the Canon PowerShot G11 through its paces...
Performance & Value
Canon PowerShot G11 review – Performance
In use, the G11’s start-up time comes in at under a second, with the camera ready to shoot in just a little longer. The G11 is also prompt when composing images, with the AF system operating admirably quickly and reliably accurately. The camera can struggle a touch in low light and sometimes when operating close up, occasionally selecting the wrong subject for focus, but the model offers a simple resolution for this – manual focus. When selected, the LCD of the camera displays a large 100% magnification window in the centre of the screen to aid accurate focus. This, combined with its control wheel operation, means that accurate focus is simple to obtain.
Many photographers view a vari-angle LCD screen as an unnecessary feature, and this may have been the thinking behind Canon ditching it from the G series some time ago. However, when implemented as well as it is on the G11 it’s hard to see what there is to complain about. Not only does it maintain an excellent high resolution – 461k-dots, albeit at 2.8in it’s 0.2in smaller in size than the G10 – but the vari-angle nature is as complete as can be. The screen can be rotated to sit as a conventional LCD screen would, or to face into the camera’s body for closed protection, while it can also be turned 180° outwards and then rotated through 270° for either low or raised level shooting. Not only is the screen a pleasure to use in its conventional setting thanks to the high resolution and excellent colour rendition, but the variety of angles available at your fingertips opens up an entirely different and convenient way of working.
Canon PowerShot G11 review – Value
There is no escaping the fact that the G11 is an expensive camera, even compared to similar models in the field. Consider, for example, the excellent Panasonic Lumix LX3, of which you could nearly buy two for the price of a G11. Many entry-level DSLRs are also comparable in price terms. It’s important, however, to consider the G11 for what it is – a real alternative to the bulk of a DSLR, that oozes quality in both build and performance and produces great images. What’s more is that it offers a distinctive, quirky design and one of the best applications of a vari-angle LCD seen on a digital camera. Bear in mind the high price-tag won’t stick forever too.