By Cliff Smith
12 Dec 2008
Thanks for the review Clive. Alas, your conclusions are pretty much as I feared. The G10 is, for me, very nearly the perfect high end compact camera and I'm itching to buy one. The only thing stopping me is the desire for a larger sensor/fewer megapixels and a faster lens - both hinted at by your review. I can only hope that the advent of the LX3 and Micro 4/3rds will nudge Canon towards both in their next iteration of the G series - with any luck Canon will take that last step in realising the ultimate G series - surely they can see it will be a killer camera. In the meantime the proposed Olympus Micro 4/3rds looks really interesting, or maybe Santa will bring me an LX3. Lastly, why wasn't there a G4 or G8 - I'm intrigued (sad I know!).
Noise starts showing at ISO100, ISO400 is only usable for small prints and you give it 9 out of 10 mark for image quality? Oh, please...If only they've used 10 Mpix CCD or CMOS sensor, like in LX3, and this could be the winner.
@SpiderI couldn't agree more with your opinion on the iso noise, the LX3 is far superior, the car picture difference is like night and day. It's the sunny vs cloudy outside pictures that make the G10 seem to take better outside pics (well that and a bit more zoom)I personally am very tempted by the LX3
Who's Clive?There was no G4 because the word "four" in both Mandarin Chinese and Japanese sounds very much like the word for "death" and is considered unlucky, while "G8" in Mandarin apparently sounds a lot like a very rude slang name for a certain male body part located in the trouser region. That's probably worth remembering if you're planning a holiday in northern China anytime soon.
If you can afford the Canon PowerShot G10 then go for it. It's a stunning little compact camera. I was going to buy the Canon PowerShot G9 in 2008, but my first impression was "Toy" which was poorly built when compared to the 3 Canon EOS 1D’s I currently own and use for my sports photography work. I'm glad I didn't buy the Canon PowerShot G9 because late in 2008 Canon then released the Canon PowerShot G10. The weight and build quality makes it feel worth the money and compatible with the high end equipment I currently own.I've also got a Canon PowerShot S80 which although rather good, I've hardly used and I realised why when I started to use the Canon PowerShot G10 - it's because I can adjust the shooting mode, exposure, shutter speed, aperture and ISO with a turn of a dial rather than using on screen menus. Only one slight draw back is that to alter the shutter speed and aperture requires pressing a button and turning a dial whilst looking at the rear screen.I've tried using my Canon Flashes on the “hot shoe” but have found the 580's I own make the camera top heavy and difficult to handle for those holiday shots etc. So I purchased a simple Vivitar DF22-C flash at 㿧 which is a simple ETTL unit and shoots well as a fill in flash but not for close up work. I’ve found that the in build flash is more than suitable for the close up work.The RAW images are extremely good quality for a Compact Camera but are obviously limited by the size of the sensor and apertures of the small lens, although they are still very usable and saleable images. I was rather surprised when I saw that some of my images shot in RAW had file sizes of 20mb and higher. I’m glad I purchased the 8 GB card which can give over 1200 shots in fully auto mode or just under 400 shots in RAW mode. It will also shoot just over 96 minutes of low quality video and sound on the 8 GB card if that’s what floats your boat.The rear screen is the same size as the EOS 1D MKIII screen and is perfectly suitable for analysing test images to make corrections for the final shots. I've also purchased a cable release which is a good idea for those longer shutter speeds.If you have time and want to use Canon’s numerous photo modes then you’ll find many styles when set to the “SCN” mode. Some of which include the obvious “portrait” and “landscape” modes along with “night scene”, “sport”, “night snapshot”, “kids & pets”, “indoors”, “sunset”, “foliage”, “snow”, “beach”, “fireworks, “aquarium” and “underwater”. All of which I’ve still to test out but I’m sure someone will find useful. You’ll also find that you can set the ISO to 3200 which will allow shooting in very low light conditions with very grainy but good quality results.In summary, as a Sport Photographer it’s not going to be used for my high speed work. Because it is still a compact camera albeit a rather good quality and top end compact camera, it still suffers with shutter lag (i.e. under certain conditions if you press the button it appears to take a lifetime to shoot the image). However, I’m still extremely impressed with my purchase as a handy, carry around easily; everyday camera which I can use for snaps or extremely high quality still photographs, both landscape and portrait. Noise can be a problem at times but to me modern programs can reduce this to acceptable tolerances. The battery life is extremely good and is on a par with the 4 EOS cameras I currently own.
I've owned my G10 for a few weeks, but I'm still amazed at the qualty of the images it produces. I have printed iso 200 images at 13" x 19" and the prints are as good as my 50D prints at this size. This camera would be hard to beat as a walk around shooter. If you purchase one you will be pleasantly surpised with the results. BTW it's built like a tank! It took the G10 to make me want to replace my G3, which is still going strong.
The G10 is a fantastic compact, as was the G9. How anyone (rhodopsin) can say the G9 was a toy is totally beyond me, but there you go. The best improvement for me from the G9, is the compensation dial and the slightly wider lens. I've found the images sensational, although ISO at 200 is pushing it a bit, anything above are virtually useless for a noiseless picture. The flash I've found is perfectly adequate for a compact, although I have used my 580ex with no trouble, apart from being obviously a unbalanced with the small body. It's ridiculous to compare a compact like this to a top end dlsr like the 1d series, so won't even go there. If you want a compact camera with all the trimmings that you WILL USE, then look no further, but if you just want a point and shoot set mainly on auto, then the Panasonic TZ7 is probabl;y a better buy.
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