SOLID POINT-AND-SHOOT WITH PROFESSIONAL FEATURES
The 14.7-megapixel Canon PowerShot G10 is a relatively compact point-and-shoot digital camera that offers professional features and excellent quality. It’s not surprising to hear a lot of professional photographers say that the G10 is their point-and-shoot of choice. One of the main reasons for this is the fact that the G10 can capture RAW files. Once you shoot RAW, it’s hard to go back to JPEG, and the fact that the G10 supports RAW definitely appeals to the professional.
The G10 is solidly built. Even after taking a spill onto the pavement from the floor of a vehicle, I couldn’t find one scratch or other problem with the G10; it just kept on shooting. Most of the controls are easily accessible and intuitive. Selecting the ISO is extremely easy with a dial that sits on top of the camera, and the settings range from 80 to 1600, plus an Auto and a Hi setting. You can also easily adjust your exposure from –2 to +2 with a second dial that sits on the top left of the camera. The best part is that the 3″ LCD reflects the changes in a live preview as you adjust the exposure, which is very helpful when trying to balance the highlights and shadows in a scene. Another nice feature is that there are tiny lights on top of the camera body next to the ISO and exposure dials that indicate their current settings (except when you’re in Auto mode).
The LCD live preview provides a live histogram at the top left of the display. The image preview is constantly updated based on exposure information (which can be set to evaluative, center-weighted, or spot), so as you move your focus point to different areas of the scene, the preview updates based on the available light. The LCD is sharp and bright. All of these features work well together for finding the best exposure for scenes that include things such as bright skies and dark subjects.
The G10 comes powered with a 5x optical zoom (28–140mm equivalent) and an Optical Image Stabilizer. The 5x zoom offers good flexibility for composing your scenes, and the stabilizer allows you to shoot with slightly lower shutter speeds. In Macro mode, I could get within an inch of a subject, and images contained pleasing depth-of-field.
One oddity (and distraction) is that if you’re using the viewfinder to compose a scene, and you’re zoomed all the way in, you can actually see the lens in the bottom of the viewfinder. But I usually used the LCD to compose my shots, so this wasn’t a problem. Startup time is very fast, and you can take your first shot in less then two seconds. In continuous shooting mode, you can capture around 1 frame per second. Battery life was good, and I only had to charge the battery every seven to eight days, after averaging around 250 shots (RAW) and 15 minutes of video.
Noise becomes slightly visible at around 200 ISO, but is acceptable up to 400 ISO. Images shot at 800 ISO are usable, but at 1600 ISO the noise overpowers the image. Colors are excellent, and sharpness is very good when shooting with lower ISOs and faster shutter speeds. If you’re looking for a point-and-shoot, I highly recommend that you take a look at the Canon PowerShot G10 before making any decisions.—Chris Main
Company: Canon U.S.A., Inc.
Hot: Solid build; professional features
Not: Noisy at ISO 800 and above