back to article Canon PowerShot G10

Camera manufacturers are forever searching for the Holy Grail. They know there’s a vast army of people out there who want a camera that’s small enough to slip into a pocket, but which also delivers top-notch performance that’s closer to a digital SLR than a compact. Canon PowerShot G10 Canon's PowerShot G10: photo geek …


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  1. fishman

    Still not good enough.

    One of the reasons I finally broke down and bought a digital SLR is the poor low light / high ISO performance of cameras like the G10. The purple fringing sounds like the optics are not all that great.

    There is only a $120 difference between the G10 and the Canon Rebel XS (1000D) w/ 18-55mm lens online at my favorite merchant.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Over half a thousand pounds

    I'm not sure this is the best time to launch a pocket camera costing £569. Despite all the controls and the lovely screen etc it's basically a high-end Powershot aimed at the kind of people who automatically buy the most expensive thing in the display cabinet; it has the same sensor as a hundred other compacts, with all the same problems. £569 makes it more expensive than a lot of compact SLRs.

    I understand the desire to make a camera as small as possible, hence the small sensor and small lens; but I have a couple of old 35mm pocket point-and-shoots that have zoom lenses and are barely bigger than a G10, and my old Olympus XA is smaller (albeit that it has a fixed lens). If Canon could make a G11 with an APS-C sensor and a modest 35-80mm zoom lens it would be make more sense at that price. Otherwise it just feels like a pretty box with a mundane heart, like one of those Emporio Armani mobile phones.

  3. Bad Beaver

    Megapixel madness

    The problem with the G10 is exactly the low usable ISO range. If you check out the DPreview

    you will see that the Panasonic LX3 blows it out of the water in terms of picture quality, especially once you leave the daylight scenario — where the G10 shines. The G10 admittedly has the nicer body (it's fat though) and IIRC comes with a RAW format that plays along better with Mac OS X.

  4. Kevin Lloyd

    Is that a technical term?

    "We noticed a fair bit of what serious snappers call 'purple fringing' "

    I thought serious snappers called that 'chromatic aberration' - or is that just us pesky amateur upstarts?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Not that much

    The G10 can be "snapped" up for a little over three hundred quid and has been around for a long time. For the quality and portability of the camera, it is a very good little number and the hot shoe and manually controllable on-board flash output, you can do some seriously creative stuff with this piece of kit.

  6. Matt Bridge-Wilkinson
    Thumb Up

    Its not a slr replacement

    I use my digital SLR for most photography work, but these kind of cameras appeal to the semi-pro and amateurs because of their "take anywhere" size, whilst still allowing full manual control and use of speedlites or even wireless flash for strobist style work on the move. They are also a good failsafe in the event of camera failure.

    I go mountain biking and simply cant carry my SLR, and 70-200 IS lens around with me, its too heavy and cumbersome. Yet the g9 or g10 is perfect for just such work.

    As for chromatic abberation, you can shoot raw with this camera and its easily fixed in software.

    It's a compromise like all things, but its a good one, its not trying to be a SLR, its trying to be a compact with manual controls.

  7. peter garner

    Battery level indicator?

    I really rate the Powershot series and use my G7 for street photography where it's less likely to get noticed. I'm very tempted to get the G10 but the G7's working too well dammit!

    They should really lose that stupid viewfinder though, and there's no mention of whether there's a battery-level meter yet. That's a glaring omission! Talking of glaring, I always found the red-eye actually *added* red-eye - hopefully that's all sorted now!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Kevin Lloyd

    lol exactly what I was thinking... perhaps

    point'n'click < 'serious snappers' < amateur photographer

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    NOT - Over half a thousand pounds

    I picked up one of these for £340, although they've gone up to £380 - still a lot less than £569!

    And it's a nice little camera.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    More wide angle, maybe...

    ...but not wide angle enough. Lack of wide angle is, along with low light / high ISO performance as mentioned, among the biggest shortcomings of non-SLRs. And it's insurmountable. In a large majority of situation, it makes a snapshot the best you can do, no matter how good the rest of it is.

    I'd take a first-generation 3-megapixel Nikon pro digital with a good wide angle lens over the best point-and-shoot available now. If I absolutely can't lug it somewhere, I can't - I'd rather take 10 good shots than 100 crappy ones.

  11. Ray Anderson
    Thumb Up

    G10 is great

    My main camera is a Canon 1Ds MkIII with various lenses - kit price around £4,500, but I got the G10 for less than a tenth of that price and I've found I carry it with me almost everywhere. Low light without flash can be tricky, but the G10 really excells in environments where the size factor is a benefit - i.e. almost anywhere!

    Also I recently invested in its waterproof case - which has opened up a whole new world of photography and fun.

  12. Phil Atkin
    Thumb Down

    Good Lord, look at the 'example' photos ...

    ... any chance we could have somebody who can actually take photographs be the reviewer next time? Hard to take any review of a camera seriously when the photos being used to rate it are so laughably dreadful.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How does it compare to the Powershot SX10

    How does it compare to the Powershot SX10?

    Nice to see some photos of Peterborough though.

  14. Andrew Steer
    Thumb Up

    Various points...

    I haven't used a G10, but have owned a G9 for the past year.

    @PeterG: The G9 has a battery-level indicator, but with only 3-bars, and a tendency to remain on the 3 for a long time, then goes 222222222222222222111110 - it doesn't give a great deal of warning. You wouldn't want to begin a day on 2-bars!

    @Kevin L: While "purple-fringing" (PF) might be regarded as a form of chromatic abberation (CA), it is distinct from that seen on old-fashioned film cameras with simple lenses. Traditional CA results in orange/blue fringes on high-contrast edges (fence-post against snow, branches/twigs against sky) with the orange or blue colour according to whether the edge is light-to-dark or dark-to-light working radially from the centre of the image - simply because the lens magnification is slightly different for light of different wavelengths. PF is commonly seen on digital cameras and is typically purple (except when its green or red) and is possibly more of a lens-flare effect. The curious thing about PF is that it doesn't depend on the direction of the light/dark edge, but the colour does depend whether the edge is in front of or behind the plane of focus. There's an awful lot is misinformation published on purple fringing, but it does have distinctly different physical origins to conventional CA.

    @PhilA: agreed. The samples don't begin to do justice to the camera.

    The whole point of the G-series of Canon cameras is the high degree of manual control, in a carry-everywhere form-factor. Shoot raw (with JPEGs as 'proofs'), work the exposure manually, fine-tune the white-balence and contrast afterwards, if necessary, from the RAW file.

    Sure, the G9/G10 doesn't give the same command over focus as an SLR, and owing to its small sensor the image is noiser than an SLR and has much greater depth of field than an SLR (so you can't creatively cast background into blur). But it does offer vastly more creative control than other compacts on the market. It's the SLR-enthusiasts' everyday camera.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I still have a G3...

    ...that I use from time to time - but what happened to the swivel-out LCD screen? One of the best "usability" features in a camera - which is why I still use my G3 sometimes.

  16. Mark

    Room for improvement

    These bridge cameras are great carry anywhere models when your other camera is a big-arsed DSLR. However Canon does seem to have a problem with image quality and features in that it is as if they've produced this camera type but don't really want you to buy it in case you would have bought a DSLR.

    If they really wanted to sell plenty of these they should give it an APS-C sized sensor, make sure the pixel density is not too high in order to keep low light shooting capability good (like the Lumix), and have a 24/28-100 (ish) zoom range. This way they are prioritising image quality above playing the numbers game.

    As far as not buying a DSLR is concerned you either want the portability or the bigger higher quality changeable lenses. I see these cameras being bought mainly by DSLR owners as a carry anywhere or by people who want quality photos and manual settings without the need for lugging the kit around. They're also good for use in an environment where an SLR states "I'm a rich tourist please come and rob me with violence".

    FYI I use the G9 as my carry anywhere but would gladly ditch it for a G11 if it had the features above.

  17. Mark

    Purple Fringing

    This can also be caused by the size of the pixel sites/lenses which is quite likely in this case with cramming 14 million of them on a tiny sensor. Probably more the case than the glass.

  18. Mark


    The hotshoe on this camera is, to me, what sets it apart from the rest of the point & shoots out there - and yet no mention of that in the review! I'm surprised that such an unusual feature wasn't even mentioned.

    A lot of people who have bought this camera are SLR owners who have flash guns they could use on top or use the hotshoe to trigger external strobes.

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