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Canon PowerShot G16: Image Quality and Verdict

By Cliff Smith

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

8

User Score:

Canon PowerShot G16: Image Quality

One of the hallmarks of Canon’s G-series to date has been the reliability of the cameras in terms of image quality, with the G15 continuing this tradition.

As the G16 features the same lens and sensor, albeit with an improved processor, it would be fair to assume a similar level of performance.

On the whole this rings true with the G16 delivering some of the very best images a compact camera can produce with very few, if any, major concerns.

Canon G16

1/250 sec @ f/8, ISO 400, AWB, Spot metering (Click to full res)

To begin with, the model’s metering system is as reliable as you would expect. The G16 handles almost any lighting scene – be it softly lit portrait or high-contrast daytime shooting – with ease, delivering even exposures in all conditions.

Furthermore, the G16 exhibits a dynamic range that’s certainly above average, while the camera’s automatic DR correction gives even more flexibility should the need arise.

Canon PowerShot G16

1/125 sec @ f/4, ISO 80, Custom white balance (Click for full res)

In extreme conditions you can opt for the HDR setting, although simply shooting Raw files should deliver enough exposure depth to satisfy your needs.

Auto white balance is similarly reliable, with the new multi-area white balance mode proving particularly impressive in mixed lighting conditions.

Canon PowerShot G16

1/400 sec @ f/4, ISO 1600, AWB, Spot metering (Click for full res)

Although the 12MP resolution might be lower than some competing compacts on paper, the way in which the G16 processes images, along with the sharpness of the lens, means that the camera resolves an impressive level of detail.

Canon PowerShot G16

1/40 sec @ f/2.8, ISO 400, AWB, Spot metering (Click for full res)

The only real area in which you could criticise the G16 is in terms of the way it handles noise at higher ISO settings in comparison to some of its peers. Although images are sharp and noise-free between ISO 80 and 800, between ISO 1600 and 6400 noise becomes more of an issue.

Although the G16 sports a high ISO 12,800 setting, by this point noise renders images almost unusable so should be best avoided.

Canon G16 review

Should I buy the Canon PowerShot G16?

There’s no escaping the fact that, at over £500, the Canon G16 is an expensive camera by any standards, let alone those of an advanced compact.

At that price the G16 will set you back more than some entry-level DSLR kits – such as the Pentax K-500 or Sony A58 – as well as some other impressive advanced compacts, including the Fujifilm X20 or Sony RX100.

With that in mind the Canon G16 does currently look a touch expensive. However, if you do decide to pick one up you’ll be doing so safe in the knowledge that it’s a fantastic camera that delivers on all fronts, and will certainly last you a good number of years.

Verdict

While there’s no denying the Canon G16 is a pricey advanced compact, the combination of great build quality, stellar performance and fantastic image quality makes it one of the very best advanced compacts currently available.

Next, read our in-depth group test: the best cheap compact system cameras under £500

Overall Score

8

Scores In Detail

  • Design 9
  • Features 8
  • Image Quality 9
  • Performance 8
  • Value 6

pikachu

November 12, 2013, 9:58 am

Not really worth investing in a quality camera at the moment.

Samsung announced their plans regarding the development of Stacked and High Resolution Image Sensor technology in 2014 and 2015. A quality high-end camera is a long-term investment. With new technology just round the corner there is no point to buying a camera that will become obsolete or mediocre in two years.

Other image sensor manufacturers will surely have a similar time-frame to Samsung.

Fred

November 18, 2013, 9:06 pm

Couldn't disagree more.

Do you need more image quality than currently available high-end cameras provide? I doubt it.

While you are waiting for you new camera which looks better on paper, I'll be out with my current camera actually using it.

soma

November 25, 2013, 6:18 am

when do you think the g17 will come out

quim

December 28, 2013, 2:00 am

Move from G7 to G11 but I'm disappointing with the fact that Canon is using now a fixed LCD Display. My next camera must have a display like G11, it's so nice specially if you want to take photos to yourself or in short distance to a group of people. Maybe it's time to look for another brand.

Angila

June 30, 2014, 12:50 pm

This may help! Have you ever tried - TOST ZON DISCOUNTS (Have a quick look on google cant remember the location)? Ive heard some decent things about it and my mate saved an awful lot of cash with it. They used that little yellow box, that you can find on the website, to find a 45% discount on a coffee maker from Amazon. You may be able to find an amazing item(s) on Amazon at a amazing price using this tool.Just checked and there are a few deals on this product

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