Canon G10 Camera Review

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A few photos made with my little Canon PowerShot G10 camera (see mini-review below):

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A tree at the National Mall in Washington, DC

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The Enola Gay at the National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA

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The Lincoln Memorial in the evening

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Running with baloons at a local fair

I recently bought a Canon G10 camera. It’s not as small as the typical point and shoot camera, but it’s much smaller than the DSLRs that I use for my work. The G10 can easily be worn around the neck while travelling and sightseeing, and would make a nice gift for many amateur photographers. It offers pretty amazing performance and a great deal of customizability for such a small camera. It took me some time to customize the settings the way that I like them. I love that it has little dials for exposure compensation and ISO settings!

The G10’s low light performance doesn’t come near to that of Canon’s larger cameras (like the amazing 5D II), but it was still sometimes usable indoors and at night. The Lincoln Memorial and Enola Gay photos were both made without a tripod. As with all small-sensor point and shoot cameras, there is very little control over depth of field, so one needs to accept that almost everything in the image will be in focus (except in macro shots).

Advantages of the G10:

  1. Excellent image quality at lower ISO settings (for daylight).
  2. Small size and weight are wonderful for trips, and neckstrap makes it easy to carry.
  3. Manual dials for ISO and exposure compensation, and very customizable settings (including programmable C1 and C2 on mode dial).
  4. Excellent zoom range (for me), effectively about 28 to 140mm.
  5. Very good image stabilization.
  6. Very good autofocus (with optional face recognition).
  7. Optical viewfinder is occasionally useful.
  8. Excellent LCD screen on the back.
  9. Hot-shoe will accept a more powerful flash if needed.
  10. Great macro ability for close-ups.
  11. RAW mode, offered by relatively few small cameras.
  12. It does video — but be careful to hold it steady.

Disadvantages of the G10:

  1. Optical viewfinder shows only about 80% of image area (why not 100%?)
  2. Modest high-ISO, low light performance.
  3. Lens aperture starts at f/2.8 (wish it were f/2.0 like some of the earlier G-series cameras).
  4. Somewhat limited dynamic range (compared to Canon’s professional cameras).
  5. Very little control over depth of field (as with all small sensor cameras).
  6. Some autofocus lag when trying to capture action (but shutter is nearly instantaneous when using manual focus and zone focusing).

The G10 is available at B&H Photo in NYC and locally at Bergen County Camera in Westwood, NJ.

Added August 26, 2009: for a more extensive review of the Canon G10 (with more photos), see Steve Huff’s review at this link: The Canon Powershot G10 Review. Canon has recently announced the G11, a successor to the G10. The G11 offers fewer megapixels but better high-ISO performance as well as a fold-out LCD. The G11 is expected at B&H Photo around October, 2009.

Added October 26, 2009: Michael Reichmann has published his review of the Canon G11 (the successor to the G10) at Luminous-Landscape.com. Michael notes that some photographers may prefer the extra resolution of the G10.

Added September 14, 2010Canon has just announced the G12 (the successor to the G11). It is expected to arrive in October.

Added December 30, 2011: Here are a couple of recent photos I made with the G10:

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One Comment on “Canon G10 Camera Review

  1. Nice photos. It’s important to understand this camera within context: This isn’t a digital SLR replacement or a pocket d-SLR. This is an excellent camera for someone who is a dSLR shooter as a backup, or even someone wanting to graduate from a point and shoot to allow them more control over the camera.

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