The sensor isn’t the only new feature of the G11 to be guided by public opinion. It also sees a welcome return of the fully articulated sensor, a popular feature of many G-series cameras, but missing from the last couple of models. In this case it’s a big 2.8-inch screen with an ultra-sharp resolution of 461,000 dots and a very effective anti-reflective surface, and can twist and pivot around its side-mounted hinge to point in almost any direction, including folding shut with the screen against the camera body for protection.
I’m fairly sure there would be rioting in the streets if Canon ever got rid of the optical viewfinder that has always been a feature of the G series. As compact camera viewfinders go its a pretty good one, with a large eyepiece and dioptric correction, but it only has around 80 percent frame coverage, and the hard plastic surround of the eyepiece will cause concern to those of us who wear glasses.
The body of the G11 is festooned with controls, featuring no fewer than four dials, ten buttons and a D-pad. Metering mode, AE lock and AF point selection get dedicated buttons, while ISO setting and exposure compensation get their own manual dials. The G11 has a rotary dial around the D-pad which is used for adjusting exposure settings as well as for menu navigation. As I’ve remarked before I don’t really like these type of controls, but this one is particularly well implemented. It is just stiff enough to resist accidental jogging, and has a distinct click when turned, giving a useful tactile feedback. It also has no default adjustment in shooting mode, so even if you do jog it it doesn’t cause any problems It’s a massive improvement over the rotary wheel on the PowerShot S90.
As you’d expect from a £450 semi-pro camera the G11 is loaded with advanced features, including full manual exposure control, with shutter speeds of 15 seconds to 1/4000th of a second and a minimum aperture of f/8.0. However although it is extremely well equipped, the G11 doesn’t offer many additions to the features found on the G10. One new addition is manually adjustable automatic white balance, useful when shooting under unconventional lighting such as the new energy-efficient fluorescent light bulbs.