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on 30 March 2009
Canon PowerShot G10 Digital Camera - Black (14.7MP, 5x Optical Zoom) 3.0" PureColor LCD II Viewfinder

I have had the camera for a month or so now and am extremely pleased with it.
I bought it because I did not want the bulk and hassle of a DSLR but wanted the flexibility of full manual control and high quality images. I was keen to have a view finder for those long exposure shots when you don't have a tripod to hand and have to brace nice and firmly. The view finder is compromised (77% field of view) but is better than nothing. I looked ay the Panasonic LX3 (lens range too limited) and the Nikon P6000 (Gimmicky) and decided that the Canon was the one for me.
I have used it in a variety of conditions from sunny landscapes to poorly lit restaurants and have managed consistently good images.
The build quality is excellent and battery life has been good even when using the camera hard with lots of flash work in a short space of time.
Using a decent 8Gb SDHC card I have found the write speeds good even when shooting RAW.
My only issue has been the size of the camera which is fine for a winter coat pocket but nothing smaller. Getting a case to fit has also been a bit of an issue. The one I have at the moment is too bulky but does protect the camera.
Overall a superb camera and one I would recommend to anyone who takes their photography seriously.
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on 10 April 2009
I really rate this camera. We went for this, wanting a distinct step up from our compact digital Fuji, after considering an SLR. The bulkiness of an SLR put us off, but we wanted similar performance. The G10 responds really quickly when photographing moving subjects. The build and feel is reassuringly chunky. The dials on top are old-school clunky, like on my old Olympus OM2. The range of features is mind-bogling, but some of the basic settings are quite easy to navigate. The screen is big and bright, but stands slightly proud of the camera back, so I have covered it with a screen protector. The camera is rather expensive compared to some of the competition, but this tight Yorkshireman is happy with it.
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on 3 April 2009
Had my G10 my about 2 weeks - and its gone everywhere with me.
Good size, good weight, feels solid in the hand.
Quick to start, and quick to fire.
Has loads of manual settings and is super easy to find it all and control.
Nice bright LCD and long battery life

Only bad point, It came with no card or case (but what does!)

If you want top quality photos and something to play with - & don't want to carry around a SLR - get a G10.
review image review image
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on 3 November 2008
I use a DSLR (20D and 40D) for 'serious' photographic opportunities (foreign travel, shows etc) but for just about everything else I use a compact for the portability. I want manual control of my camera so I've been using a Canon S80 for the last 3 years and to good effect but when the G10 was announced I became interested, primarily after seeing the sample images that Canon provided but also because it has a 28mm lens and I use wide angle more then telephoto. That's why the S80 was with me for so long: the 28mm lens!
So, my G10 arrived a few days ago and to be honest, despite the hype, I didn't expect to be that impressed. I thought it would be an S80 in a bigger case and with slightly higher resolution (and that's if Canon could pull it off: 14.7 megapixels on a tiny sensor is asking for trouble because of signal noise). Well ... it's amazing. The camera construction is solid but not as bulletproof as I'd been led to believe, however the S80 is very tough so I started high. The G10 is as solid as a low end DSLR excluding the lens assembly so no problem really but it's no 1-Series build. I got lucky and had no dead pixels on the monitor or sensor and my lens is sharp to the edges at 28mm.
In good light, or with flash, the image quality at 80 iso is excellent. It's far better than my old S80 and probably better than my 40D using a 17-85 EF-S lens. Even at 200 iso the images are usable but not noise does creep in. At 400 iso it's still printable but cropping would be unwise. At 800 iso we're into emergency only territory but a print might still work if not too big. After that it's a joke but that's to be expected.
The lens and autofocus are really very good. The AF locks well even in low light (there's a good AF assist lamp) and has a plethora of options including servo (full time focussing for moving objects and face recognition. All the usual SLR modes are present and more. The monitor is great and has a handy focus zoom mode that zooms the center of the monitor into the focus point when the shutter is half depressed allowing a focus precision check. This is optional by the way.
The G10 is fast and responsive compared to an S80. It's not as fast as my 40D but that's to be expected. Power on to lens deployment is very quick though.
The flash is actually quite good to my surprise. It doesn't blow the exposure as badly as compacts I've used before and feels like there's some 'intelligence' behind it. I've been getting good facial images with flash in low light that my S80 wouldn't go near. Note that there's a hot-shoe for a Speedlite but I've not had time to affix mine to test it yet.
The G10 has a vast number of options and modes. I've been messing about with the colour accent mode today. I can select a single colour in the image to appear in a mono (black & white) picture. I had a friend with a red umbrella posing and only the umbrella is in colour. As a compositional tool this is quite amusing. There's far more available: all the usual scene modes (Fireworks/Portrait/Landscape etc) and some novelties. More importantly the user can bypass all the automatic systems and work in full manual or a priority mode thereby having a photographic tool at their disposal.
RAW is possible as is (amazingly for a compact) RAW + JPEG.
Facial recognition mode works well. The G10 will lock onto faces in the scene and set itself accordingly to maximise the possibility of getting the faces right.
It has a shadow processing mode that I've not tried: it'll try and pull the detail out of dark areas in the image. Clever but I'd prefer to do that in PhotoShop myself.
Real time red-eye reduction is also an option. This is the computer spotting red eye in the capture image and trying to remove it rather than a pre-capture optical approach like flash strobing. Again, I'd rather use PhotoShop but in an emergency perhaps ...
I could go and on (you probably think I already have) but my summary is that the G10 is a great camera for the price and suitable for beginners to professionals to use as a primary (beginners) or backup (pros). In good light it'll keep up with most other cameras (with the possible exception of DOF control) and in poor light you'll be needing the flash.
Oh, and it fits perfectly in a Lowepro APEX 60 AW case.
Very very recommended!
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on 29 August 2009
You can't really compare this camera to a digital SLR, but then if you wanted an SLR you wouldn't be reading this would you? This is a compact camera that can fit in a coat pocket or the corner of small bag. It may not always do the job as well as an SLR, but it will certainly take better photos than an SLR that you left at home because it was too big to carry.

It's basically a digital rangefinder style of camera for those who want more than a point and shoot snapper and want manual control options. It may not be cheap, but it's not silly money either. OK, the f stops are limited and the optical viewfinder isn't great, but you don't have to use it. However, those who have used optical viewfinders will appreciate the difference from SLR viewfinders. It's a different way of making photos, and although it may not appeal to everyone it's a technique that has kept many famous photographers using Leicas when far better technology has been available for years.
In normal lighting conditions the camera is capable of results are little short of amazing. The lens quality makes good use of the 14.7 megapixel images, and you can produce the sort of photographs that would have required a medium format camera back when film was the only viable option. My only regret is that this camera was not available ten years ago, there are so many times when it would have been very useful over the years.

In short, the camera isn't perfect, but there is not much on the market in this style of camera to compare it against. It's capable of excellent results under the right conditions and it's well made. Those who choose it, do so for what it is, not for what it isn't.
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on 3 April 2009
I've had my G10 for about a month now and I have to say it's the best digital compact I've owned. After years of using film based compacts, SLRs and medium format cameras, I started using digital about five years ago and have owned several compacts from Canon and Casio.

OK, the G10 isn't ever going to be as good as a decent DSLR with a good lens but for a compact it's great. The zoom range is roughly the same as a 35mm zoom of 28-135mm, which is pretty much the range I used to cover with prime lenses when I used 35mm film SLRs.In other words, it's fine for most non-specialised photography. The quality of images produced is excellent, so you can expect to be able to make your own A3 prints with no problem and it looks like the images will stand up to quite large size canvas/art printing as well (I haven't tried this yet but the images viewed on screen at 100% look sharp without any additional processing).

This camera has plenty of user control potential and all the main settings can be done with "hard" controls on the camera body, so you only need to go into the screen based menu for the less frequently changed stuff (the screen is fantastic by the way). I didin't think I'd use the two custom mode settings at first but after using the camera for a while I found that they are actually useful and I use one for my basic AV priority mode with all the other settings I prefer and the second is used for all of these same settings but using RAW + JPEG. Of course, if you want, you can shut down all manual control and use the camera on auto without having to think about anything but pressing the shutter release.

Personally, I like the feel of this camera - probably because it has a similar feel to the more advanced film based cameras of 10 years ago. That said, I also like the very compact digital cameras that that are light/small enough to always carry and use just as a visual notebook or at parties and so on. The G10 seems to be designed for quite serious image making but without the weight and size of a modern DSLR. It does have a small sensor, of course, so it has the limitations that go with this but up to ISO 200 the noise is OK (not too many people would have used film faster than ISO 200 for general photography anyway, and ISO 400 and above film was pretty grainy, as I recall).

Yes, there are cheaper cameras that might compare with the G10 in terms of lens spec or pixel count etc but this camera has the performance and the feel of a quality product - it's very pleasing to use.
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on 18 October 2008
There is a current fixation with noise performance in cameras, largely due to the low noise of recent Nikon D-SLRs like the D300. It seems that every camera that is released now is rated for noise as the be all and end all. I bought the G10 (not from Amazon, from a pro dealer) because I wanted a camera I could take with me when the weight and size of my Canon D-DLR was too great - for example when commuting to work or when out and about in general. I wanted something reasonably small, tough, and with enough control to over-ride the automatic settings easily.

The G10 is perfect for me because it fulfills all of these requirements. It's styled like a rangefinder and looks like a serious camera, not a toy. The higher resolution LCD is great, startup is very quick and it handles beautifully - having an exposure compensation dial to hand is so much better than navigating menus. Also the 5x zoom from 28mm wide is arguably more useful than the telephoto oriented lens on the G9. It's not a camera you can shove in your trouser pocket but it has a nice weight and decent grip for larger hands like mine.

The resolution of pictures in RAW mode at 100 ISO is excellent. I've seen comments elsewhere stating that ISO 200 is "far too noisy". It depends - if you under expose or have dense shadow areas then you can detect some noise at 100% but bear in mind that with 14.7MP, zooming in to 100% is a very small area of the picture; prints up to A4 size should be fine. If you're willing to spend this amount of money on a compact to act as backup to an SLR then chances are you're also using Photoshop (note comments below) and possibly plug-ins such as Noise Ninja to deal with these issues at up to ISO400. The fact is that until compacts with APS sized sensors are widespread - if ever - the tiny sensors used currently will always have a worse noise level than an SLR. I rarely ever shoot above ISO 100-200, using a tripod if necessary. Plus the built-in anti-shake on the G10 allows handheld shots at shutter speeds down to 1/15th second.

The bottom line is this: if you regularly *need* to handhold the camera in low light situations and don't want to use flash (remember the G10 has a hot shoe to use external flashguns, including those with off-camera cords) then the G10 is probably not the camera for you, try the Sigma DP-1 or Panasonic DMC-LX3. On the other hand if you want a robust, high quality camera for all-round photography then I highly recommend it. There are two annoyances I have found, only one of which is Canon's fault. Firstly there is no full manual or memory card in the box - there is a Getting Started guide but unless you're a complete idiot it doesnt tell you much you couldn't work out for yourself. The full manual is supplied as a PDF on CD - not exactly portable.

The second annoyance is with regard to Photoshop. Adobe have just announced the latest release of Camera Raw for Photoshop, including RAW conversion codes for several new cameras...but not the G10. This is apparently the last release of RAW converters for Photoshop CS3 - which means that if I want to edit RAW files in Photoshop and not the supplied Digital Photo Professional (which is very basic in comparison) I also need to fork out £150 to upgrade to CS4. Adobe should continue to support the previous version of their current software, not force people to upgrade.

UPDATE 28/10/08
I've just downloaded the latest Camera Raw update for Photoshop CS4 and it includes the conversion data for the latest cameras including the G10 and 5D Mk II. As suspected, it's not compatible with CS3 but Elements users are luckier - the update is available for Elements 6 and 7.
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on 12 September 2009
I'll keep this brief as plenty of people have given chapter and verse on the technology and features and so on.

Came to the G10 from a Nikon DSLR (D40) and a long line of analogue SLRs before that. The D40 is a fine camera but I wanted something that was more portable without being completely lightweight. I've had it for a month or two now, and have used it fairly extensively. Here's what I've found:

Portability is great: drops down to an inch or so deep, easy to slip into a bag if a bit hefty for a pocket. Still offers plenty of grip and weight for steady pictures though.
Useability is very good, particularly the analogue switches which allow you to quickly and intuitively control ISO, shooting mode, exposure compensation and various menu functions. Reminds me of a Nikon F-series analogue SLR; ergonomically one of the best cameras I've owned, with all the important stuff up front and to hand, and plenty of extras in the background.
Excellent, bright screen *and* a viewfinder - essential for low or bright light situations. I've switched regularly between both. Yes, the viewfinder only gives you 70% of the eventual picture but compensating for that with post-process cropping hasn't been any problem.
Quality of the pictures is tremendous. Received wisdom seems to be that 14 megs is too many for a camera sensor of this size - what do I know - but it seems to provide fantastic potential for optical zoom - either when taking the picture (which gives you up to x20 effective zoom, though the quality is pretty ropey at the far end) or cropping in very close later..
Loads of features, which I feel I've only begun to explore.
Nice retro looks. Nice in the hand too. Really feels like an old school rangefinder. A joy to use, in fact.

It's not an SLR. It doesn't offer that real through-the-lens framing which any photographer loves, and that's the big tradeoff against size and convenience. But that's not a fault of the camera itself.
Response is good for a digital but again it's not an SLR so forget about action shots because - hey - they've gone!
It's pretty pricey - I'd find it hard to describe as good value, particularly once you've added on a good fast memory card (I was talked into the Sandisk Extreme lll SD 16GB 30MBPS) though it offers far mor storage than I'm ever likely to need between uploads, and a case (the Canon Digital Camera Soft Case SC-DC60A for the PowerShot G10 Digital Camera is also great, and highly recommended - though again, pricey).

Conclusion: it's a great compromise camera. Buy it if the size of an SLR gets you down but you still want features and flexibility - but don't expect SLR usability. Or if you're flush and you want a second camera for carrying every day - for what the industry seems to have decided to call 'decisive moment shots'.
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on 4 October 2009
I liked my G9 so much I decided to put that one on e-Bay and pay the extra for the G10 to see whether I could obtain even better results. (Yes, I know the G11 is imminent but I am not convinced that is worth THAT much extra cash to perfect something that seems pretty perfect to me!) I wanted to buy the G10 as it appeared to be a 'fine tuning' on the G9. Most important for me was the more convenient manual overriding of settings. I won't bore you with the details but I rate this even better than my G9 which was excellent. Results seem even better. I think the G11 is being desgined to appeal to the true professional who wants the ultimate compact; the G10 is more than fine for us mere mortals! ;-)
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on 2 May 2009
Having only used average consumer cameras before purchasing this, I was looking for something more versatile to get my teeth into. I'm an amateur photographer, so I needed something that would get some nice "arty" shots, but I also take reference photographs for 3D modelling and texture work, so I needed a camera that produced a faithful image.

The G10 easily ticked both of those categories, with manual mode great for fine tuning exposure and aperture, and RAW recording was the icing on the cake. The fast switch-on time (just over a second) is also great, it helped me out the other day taking pictures of fast-moving trains in that I could spot the train and quickly flick the camera on, rather than standing wasting the battery for half an hour in case one went past.

All in all, a great camera and a purchase that I don't regret one bit (a rarity for me!)
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