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on 26 December 2009
I'm another G10 owner who has been tempted to upgrade to the G11 based on the reported improvements in image quality. What the info on the Canon website doesn't make clear are the little things that have been taken away. You no longer have the option of remote capture, nor do you have the wide-area autofocus option. The things that have been added are aimed very much at point and shoot photographer using the fully automatic modes and these aren't really going to be of interest to the enthusiast.

Still, if great photos are what you are after, then the camera can certainly deliver, especially if you rarely enlarge above A4. There are gains over the G10 at higher ISO, though the G10 is hard to beat at ISO 80. The screen and other menu enhancements are good. The lack of high def video isn't an issue as we haven't got a compatible television. The loss of the voice recorder isn't an issue as I never used it.

It's a good camera that generally does what it says on the tin to a very high standard. The new screen is very good - you'll also notice that when you change a setting, the change is briefly highlighted in orange. That's a nice touch.

If you've never used a Powershot G series, you are missing out big time on great image quality and a camera that's a joy to use. It is designed for photographers as well as the point and shoot happy snappers and on the whole Canon has been listening to it's customers. The price is dropping to a more sensible level too.
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on 19 October 2009
The Canon G11 is an excellent camera.

As a professional photographer I was looking for a compact camera with excellent image quality and, above all, outstanding controllability. The G11 delivers.

Image quality - Up to 400 ISO the G11's image quality is excellent. Whilst the sensor exhibits more noise than an SLR, images are very sharp and colours are reproduced well. 800 ISO is very usable, one of the high point's of the lowering of megapixels and the addition of Canon's Digic 4 processor being very good high ISO performance. This is not a professional level SLR and if you are looking for brilliant low light performance you are much better off getting an entry level SLR and a bright lens. (Canon's 50mm f1.8 would be a good option for example.)

Build quality - This is one of the few slight negatives of this camera. Don't get me wrong, the build quality is very good, but not professional level. The main complaint is the control wheel on the rear of the camera, that feels flimsy, and can easily be turned accidentally. Some critics are saying there has been a drop in build quality from the G11's forerunner the G10. For the amount of money this camera costs the build quality should be exemplary.

The Screen - I've dedicated an entire section to this because it warrants it. The flip out screen is a brilliant addition. It has excellent resolution and colours and the ability to move the screen cures one of my biggest annoyances with compact cameras - using the screen in bright sunlight. The tilting screen lets you get a different perspective by shooting from above or below and when lending the camera to friends they can even flip it round and take self portraits.

Controllability - This is where the Canon G11 outclasses every other compact by a mile. The ability to select ISO, and exposure compensation from the top of the camera, as well as have one control wheel and a customizable button is, for me, the best thing about this camera. If I suddenly decide to shoot an aircraft flying overhead I want to be able to lower the ISO, get the camera to expose correctly against the sky, open up my aperture, zoom the lens and frame all within a few seconds. The speed with which I can do that on the G11 is not far off that of my professional level SLR.

If the sentence about changing all those things scares you then the G11 is not for you. Get the Canon S90 instead. It has the same insides, a very similar lens is more compact AND over £100 cheaper and is much better if you want a very good quality point and shoot. However, if you are used to an SLR and want to have similar controllability in a camera that you can put in your pocket then the G11 represents a brilliant buy.

Some more positives - The G11 can be paired up with any of Canon's flashguns and if all my other cameras broke/were stolen at a wedding I could still complete the shoot, and even fire a flashgun remotely to give directional light. I hope never to need it, but it opens up more creative opportunities. The lens zooms quite quickly and the shutter lag does not feel slow. Autofocus speed is good. You won't be shooting sports with the G11, but in general it is adequate.

The negatives:
The price - this is a very expensive compact. For the same price you could purchase one of several entry level SLR's and get more than one lens. If you want a small camera that gives nearly professional results, but need small package then the G11 will suit you - if you are a war photographer for example.

The write time - the time the camera takes to write files to the card is quite slow compared to an SLR. Being used to top professional speeds probably clouds my judgment, but it would be nice if I could reduce the lag time between shots. (Bear in mind that a fast memory card will help somewhat.)

Despite a few minor complaints the G11 still gets 5 stars. I wasn't expecting its image quality to be this good. If you demand controllability over your shots and need a compact camera then the G11 will be an excellent buy.
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on 31 October 2009
Got this for all the same reasons as other reviewers and concur about their findings. This is a great compact even though Canon did a brave move by dropping the resolution. It paid off though as image quality is very good for most situations. If you are used to working with Canon DSLRs, then this will feel very familiar as will its high level of functionality.
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on 31 December 2009
In the style of Rowan Atkinson, this isn't just a compact. it is so much more that a compact!. I have a couple of DSLRs which I use regularly but wanted something which produced high quality images but was pocket size and easy to use. I already have a Nikon compact which wasn't up to what I needed. The Canon Powershot G11 has proved to be the ideal choice. Image quality is pin sharp and easy to manage and manipulate. for anyone with a bit of experience with cameras the settings and management of the camera is straight forward. For both indoor and outdoor it has handled a wide variety of light conditions very well. Whilst there are compacts with greater megapixels don't be deluded that they will deliver better images, it isn't just the pixels which will provide performance in a camera. The telephoto lens is powerful and of high quality. If there are any criticisms it is the location of one or two of the buttons on the body of the camera which can easily be pressed accidentally. I put this down to driver error a wee bit and is not such a great problem that I wouldn't recommend the camera.
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on 5 February 2010
The G11 is a first rate compact camera with most of the capabilities of an SLR. It's not the right camera for a beginner as it has a lot of functions that you need to understand in order to get the best out of them It is heavier and bulkier than most compact cameras, but takes up a lot less space than an SLR and therefore I am more likely to take this with me and leave the SLR at home. The lens is sharp,exposure is accurate and contrast is controlled well. There appears to be very little noise evident in low light pictures. The lens is the 35mm equivalent of 28 - 140 mm, and with 10mp the image can be cropped to give the effect of a much longer zoom.
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on 9 January 2010
I bought this camera as an addition to my DSLR set up, primerily so that I had a camera I could use which performed better then the normal compact when I didn't want to take my DSLR outfit with me. In this respects it performs very well and I'm more than happy with it and would recommend it to others who are looking for a camera to perform in similar circumstances. It has a wide range of controls, similar to what you'd expect on a DSLR which could be daunting for a novice, but there's also the Auto setting as well as quite a number of scene options a novice could use while getting used to it. I like the fact you don't have to go through loads of menu options to be able to change things like the ISO setting or the exposure compensation because they have their own controls on the top plate and the other stuff like flash options and the timer are easy to get to too. The only downfall on the Auto & scene options though is that you can't shoot in RAW and while in auto it tends to select a higher ISO rating than I'd prefer in low light which introduces digital noise. I like to rear screen and the display options with the "live" histogram being particularly useful. Talking to someone who had the G10 he preferred the newer model because of the movable tilting screen and improved low light performance, but I haven't had any experience with the G10 so can't confirm this. I 'd suggest novices try using either Auto or P mode and if the results they get at the time arn't what they want try the appropriate scene mode too. Just like all other cameras the key thing is to decide what it is you want to do with it. If you've no other camera then you could consider a budget DLSR instead, they would give you more versatility but you'd sacrifice some of the portability advantages the G11 offers as even though it's bigger than a normal compact you can still put it in your jacket pocket or handbag. I've found people also tend to ignore you if you've got the G11 rather than freeze up in front of a DSLR which is better for candid work. Canon have dropped the megapixels compared to the g10 to improve low light performance, but ultimately do you really need any more than 10 mps? take a bit more care with your compostion at the taking stage so you don't have to crop so much and you'll still be able to produce large prints if you need to. You could consider a 4:3 camera like the panasonic g1 or the olympus pen but both are bigger & far more expensive and are more in direct competition with DSLRs in my view. One thing to consider is that the UK spec models do not come with a manual which I consider a real problem. The manual is on a CD, what canon don't seem to realise is that a lot of us would like to carry the manual with us for easy reference, especially during te first few months when we're getting used to it and for a camera costing around £400 this isn't acceptable. Mine's a US import which comes with a hard copy of the manual though the quality of the paper isn't brilliant. Overall though it's a nice piece of kit and I'm glad I bought it.
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on 9 March 2010
I'm not as experienced as the others here so won't go into detail. However, if you're like me, looking for a step up from a normal point and shoot but not keen on the bulk of a proper DSLR, the G11 is perfect. It's not small, and is heavier than you'd expect, but it's a beautiful object and feels great in your hand. The movable screen is sturdier than I expected, and all of the knobs have a satisfying weight to them.
From what I can tell, it has all the functionality of a DSLR, whilst also allowing easy 'auto' photos which will really please you if you're used to 'normal' photos from more basic cameras. Super pleased I bought this.
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on 8 November 2009
I'd had a G6 and loved its image quality if not its high noise over 200ISO.

I wanted a camera that offered the same sort of image quality as my DSLRs, usable image quality at higher ISOs, RAW files and which allowed the use of my Canon flashguns. The G11 ticks all of these boxes and offers the articulated screen that the G6 had. Oh, and a usable viewfinder. I hate standing there with a camera held out in front of me. It's an age thing I guess.

I've done shot by shot comparisons between the G11 and my 20D and Tamron 28-75 (a great lens) and was hard pushed to tell one camera's images from the other. The modern compact cameras are really impressive pieces of technology

Yes, it's too expensive and I could have bought another DSLR body for the same money. Thing is, though, it offers something much more useful and is a great travel camera.

I love it. I'd love it even more if it were cheaper but it really is the business.
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on 15 April 2010
Canon PowerShot G11 Digital Camera (10 Megapixel, 5x Optical Zoom) 2.8 inch LCD
I do have an EOS 40D, but I wanted a cost effective camera for underwater use, I got that and more! The G11 and Canon housing are pretty good for recreational dive photography, and a quarter the cost of a housing for my SLR. But then I started to use the G11 and the fun really started, Image quality is really very good, not quite as crisp or subtle as the SLR but really very good. Heavy for a compact you can still put it in a good sized pocket and take it up a mountain, the SLR weighs in at 1.5kg with a decent lens, compared with 350g and much less bulk to carry. It has raw shooting, good exposure compensation, easy white balancing, sensible IS and a very good optical zoom range, digital zoom takes the effective lens length up to around 500mm (35mm equivalent), but does reduce quality somewhat. It is a very neat package. Added to that the Macro facility is stupendous (better than my SLR, but I suppose I could spend another £700 on a macro lens - see what good value this little sucker is) and the articulated screen means you can shoot from almost any angle and see what you are getting.

If you want an SLR for the interchangeable lenses and sheer quality go buy one, but make sure you buy a really good lens (oops there goes another £700) or 2 (and another)

If you want something small and light (and cheaper) buy one, but you will lose a lot of flexibility

If you want decent quality buy this and put up with the weight, but admire the build quality and the feel in your hand!

Oh I nearly forgot, if you want a compact that will take fully synced flash, this is just about the only one!
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on 23 April 2010
My first Canon G series camera was the G9. It was well made, reliable, performed superbly and my only criticism was a small amount of occasionally noticeable edge fall-off at the wide-angle setting. Last year, I traded this camera in for the G10. I have now been using digital cameras for around ten years (and film cameras for much longer), but I can say without any doubt that the G10 is the best digital compact I have owned. The lens performance is superior to the G9 and Canon has just about got the optical balance right. Even the macro setting is capable of making excellent copies of 35mm slides.

My criticisms of the G10 are the removal of the G9's time-lapse feature, which I found useful and the lower spec movie mode. Otherwise, the G10 has delivered consistently sharp, well-exposed imagines in all manner of conditions. The battery performance has also been excellent and I've never needed to carry more than one spare.

While the very similar Canon G11 is clearly the best digital compact available, I remain at a loss to see any truly worthwhile gains provided by the new sensor having looked at side-by-side images in some detail. Yes there is some improvement in noise, but many users will never notice this. Furthermore, there is still no high-definition movie capability.

Certainly, the movable display is useful, but the re-positioning of the G11 name is pointless, along with the very annoying chrome lens band, which have both been done for cosmetic reasons. No doubt, the G12 is already at an advanced stage of development and it may address some of the G11's minor shortcomings.

While I have considered upgrading my G10 to the G11, I really cannot see any point. Yes this is a nice camera, but it has little to offer any existing G10 user and my advice would be not to bother and hold on to your G10 for the moment.

If you are looking for a new (fairly) compact digital camera, you will not find anything better the G11, but the G11 is currently overpriced in the UK and for this reason, my recommendation would be to check out at some of the digital SLR cameras before parting with your hard-earned cash.
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