Canon PowerShot G10

SOLID POINT-AND-SHOOT WITH PROFESSIONAL FEATURES

Canon PowerShot G10The 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.
Price: $499.99
Web: www.usa.canon.com
Rating: 4.5

Hot: Solid build; professional features
Not: Noisy at ISO 800 and above

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  1. Charles van Dijk (Reply) on Friday April 24, 2009

    Also the camera comes with DPP software. I started to use it as Adobe had not updated their Camera RAW in Photoshop. I like the crop tool in RAW, Black and White converter and the curves command.I also found the RED EYE Removal tool very efficient. The RAW image needs to be converted to TIFF or Jpeg before this utility can be utilized from the zoom browser. I found Canon’s soft ware very useful and naturally I still use Photoshop to combine one or more photos. Regards C van Dijk

  2. Lorin Duckman (Reply) on Friday April 24, 2009

    canon just came out with a new point and shoot that does HD video. The reviewers say it has some trouble with highlights and low light situations. How are the highlights with the g10 and how does it handle low light situations.

  3. DesignerMama (Reply) on Friday April 24, 2009

    Might be a nice step up from my current point-and-shoot. Thanks for the info!

  4. samantha levi (Reply) on Friday April 24, 2009

    I bought the Canon G10 just before a ten day trip to Paris. I’d heard wonderful things about the G9 from a friend and was in the market for a new point and shoot.
    I love traveling but hate lugging around a heavy camera and lens. The G10 offered everything my canon 5d did and more. I love how its compact but still looks like a serious camera. I travel alot and the G10 all around passes every test.
    The G10 also produces great video with super sound quality (even at blaring loud concerts it still maintains balance).
    It is the best purchase I’ve made yet and will always be my travel companion.
    The 007 of Canon cameras.

  5. [...] Storyboarding in Premiere Pro by Franklin McMahon Creating Gradients in Flash by Tom Green The Canon Powershot G10 Review by Chris Main [...]

  6. adam (Reply) on Friday April 24, 2009

    canon removed the time-lapse video functio and the maximum exposure is still only 15 seconds. i feel that while the g10 has more bells and whistles than most other point and shoots, its a step down from the g9.

    personally i prefer the panasonic lumix lx3, faster lens, less noise and a sixty second exposure option.

  7. John (Reply) on Friday April 24, 2009

    I’m a retired pro and long-time Nikon guy, but have always liked the G series Canons. Nikon’s P5000 which I have used for about three years, just bit the dust, due to too much abuse on long motorcycle trips. I ordered a G10, because of it’s optical viewfinder and realitive simplicity. Nikon’s “advanced” point and shoots are not as user friendly. Thanks for the positive info.

  8. Slade Stockill (Reply) on Friday April 24, 2009

    Just purchased my G10 on saturday and have already shot everything from photos of friends and pets to motorsports events.
    I own several film slr’s and an extensive medium format setup and always steered away form point and shoots but I must admit this is one damn good and versatile little unit.



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