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Customer Review

298 of 303 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent camera if you understand the limitations, 18 Oct. 2008
This review is from: Canon PowerShot G10 14.7MP Digital Camera - 5x Optical Zoom, 3 inch PureColor LCD II Viewfinder - Black (Camera)
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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Showing 1-9 of 9 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 19 Oct 2008 16:21:11 BDT
Last edited by the author on 19 Oct 2008 16:22:08 BDT
P. White says:
Very much the review I would have written so obviously I can't fault it. I was irked by the CS3 issue too! Canon DPP is just too clunky and I miss the fill-light option. My only remaining question is why Amazon is shipping my G10 on the 31st of October, several weeks after the rest of the UK retailers have had them in stock?

Posted on 27 Oct 2008 15:09:46 GMT
Howard Perks says:
Thanks for a useful review. This is more a question than a comment: I will upgrade to the G10 from my G7 which has been a wonderful camera (until I scratched the lens!). However, I was always very unhappy with the accuracy of the optical viewfinder, rendering it almost useless. Is this improved on the G10?

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Oct 2008 23:41:06 GMT
Last edited by the author on 28 Oct 2008 23:41:48 GMT
Vinman666 says:
Not really Howard, you can slightly see the lens in the bottom corner and the field of view is not exactly the same as the LCD. The LCD is very good though, much better than my 40D SLR for sharpness and in sunlight. The viewfinder does zoom with the lens, which is better than nothing. I find the live histogram the best reason for using the LCD though - it immediately updates with any exposure compensation changes.

In reply to an earlier post on 31 Oct 2008 12:33:33 GMT
Howard Perks says:
I went and had a look at a G10 this morning. As I feared the viewfinder is pretty awful. What's the point of building in an optical viewfinder if it's not accurate? It's not very big or bright either. They may as well not bother, it's so useless. Why does this bother me? Well sometimes I like to use a camera as one would as a Leica - i.e. with the ability to shoot with the camera to the eye rather than only at arms length. If they made a G series camera with this ability then Canon really would have a world beater, and also attract a lot of rangefinder type photographers as well. I know that Leica make their own compact digital but it's hugely expensive (for what it is!). In the film world many aspire to a Leica M but their budget only runs to a Voigtlander, which in many ways is equally good. My point is that Canon are missing a trick and not making the most of their potential market. I do hope someone from Canon reads this and gives a sensible reason for letting down an otherwise truly excellent camera in this way. Unlike some other comments posted here it seems very good value to me.

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Nov 2008 13:46:02 GMT
Last edited by the author on 23 Nov 2008 13:47:55 GMT
C. Nation says:
It certainly is irritating to have a viewfinder that shows substantially framing from the actual image. I have the same prob with my little IXUS 850. But framing a shot in classic 'sleep-walker' posture was never an option for me, so I have learned the wonky way that the v/finder frames up and I make allowances 'on the fly'. I think that once you have got a clear grasp of the 'offset' needed to get the framing you want, it's a liveable-with prob. As I shoot almost always at the '28mm' end of the zoom, the prob is at its minimum. For close-ups, where the v/finder is way off, the screen comes into its own.

Finally, unless one is a die-hard Cartier-Bresson purist - only the full frame allowed: no cropping - the prob usually goes away in post anyway.

Posted on 24 Nov 2008 18:24:17 GMT
busb says:
A very useful review as are the other ones so far. The reviews I've read so far state that the G10 is considerably better than the G9. I personally think the most camera manufacturers (canon in particular) are allowing their marketing depts too much control over the megapixel count v noise equation. Canon's new 50D sounds to me that they have overdone the pixel count where Nikon have been a little wiser with their D300.
My only camera is a Canon PS A710 that has served me well considering its tiny sensor area. It has full manual control that is the absolute minimum requirement & have found the 6x IS zoom range more useful than I expected & have used full optical zoom with 2-3x digital zoom with usable results but not 4x! The G10's 28mm equiv would suit me more & RAW would make single exposure HDR images easier (when or if supported within Photomatix) than using a tripod with multiple jpg shots that I occasionally use now as well as using Photomatix to tone map single jpgs as well.
I personally would prefer a larger sensor based rangefinder with a faster lens with only 10MP - I don't feel the Sigma fits the bill. Better sensors using the so-called Black Silicon technology are still some way off but should kill the noise.

Posted on 15 Mar 2009 04:34:21 GMT
Last edited by the author on 15 Mar 2009 05:22:07 GMT
Comment on reviewers remarks: "Firstly there is no full manual or memory card in the box" - (I say save Amazon rain forest's) and 'billions of reams of wasted paper' on (wasted paper manuals), the manual comes on CD-ROM Anywayz which is much more handy, +Plus you can make a backup copy for safe-keeping on CD-R; it also let's Canon make the Manual in as many languages as possible on adobe PDF format... on CD-ROM and therefore means less overheads, therefore the customer dosen't end-up having to pay for.! again this is the way all manufactures are heading - cheaper and more compact, & less weight in the box.

Canon is under NO obligation to supply any Memory cards (period), nor any other manufacture (simple) - that's the way it has always been for 10 years, you should already have your own SD Memory cards they don't cost much, (£2 - £3 Quid), so please don't grumble....
Since when did any Digital Camera manufacture start to supply any memory cards FREE, other than a 16mg or 32mg which or practically useless... (only to test the camera is working once battery is charged) These points should be obvious to most Photographers.

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Jul 2009 08:41:20 BDT
I too thought I was a die hard viewfinder user after 20 years of slr's, but now with the G10 I have come to the conclusion that unless you are taking action shots, a viewfinder is a handicap. Why? Because it leads to you to always take pictures from the same height (about 5'3" in my case). The canon's enormous screen is viewable from almost any direction, so now I am always composing from different angles. It also means that can compose pictures from angles that would be physically inaccessible if you had to get your head behind the camera. I see the new nikon dslrs have swing out LCD screens now, which suggests they realise that using screen to compose is becoming more and more popular. I think cartier bresson would have liked using the screen, its like composing on an 10x 8 plate camera!

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Jul 2009 08:42:28 BDT
My G10 came with full printed manual, not CD. May be best to ask as obviously there is some stock out there with manuals included.
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