Real World Review – Canon G10 – A Weighty Decision In The Point And Shoot World

The Canon G10.
It’s the point & shoot that most pros go for.
Sure, while sporting this camera, newly released, the eyes opened and shooters were curious.”Wow, you GOT one!” Yep, your fellow shooters will acknowledge the purchase with a solid nod of approval. Check.

But lets get down to the camera and what it does, and what it doesn’t do, okay?

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First of all, this is a solid brick of a point and shoot that feels solid in your hands and from every operational point.
Knobs, buttons, switches, battery doors, media card springloads, were tight and responsive.

There is a cool looking interface that shows up on your screen as you cycle through the available options, like Program, Auto, Manual, Aperture or Shutter preferred, Manual and Video, Panoramic, and Custom 1 & 2, and of course the graphic Scene choices.

[photopress:REG_1285.jpg,full,centered]general set-up menu

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And now “Kids And Pets” scene choice. Which kind of tells you the customer that Canon is actually speaking to with this camera. Did we mention is also has Face Detection software? It is a pretty excellent piece of technology, that most manufacturers are incorporating into their lines.

Sporting 14.7 megapixels, with a lens equivalent to 28-135 mm.( wider but shorter than the previous model ) this point and shoot does deliver.
Solid, beautiful digital files, even as the Canon RAW format has been incorporated into the most popular photo editing software.

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G10 battery compared to Nikon P6000 battery
The large battery allowed a good walk around the city for the day without a fear of power loss. And the included battery charger is a one piece block that plugs right into the wall. Love these. Less stuff to travel with.

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You also have a standard hot shoe where you can add a speedlight, or as a buddy of mine just did, a sensor with a wireless commander so you can hold the speedlight off camera.
The exposure compensation dial on top was a huge help as I did adjust as I went. No fumbling here.

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Also, if you are a Canon user, the dial setup on the back would be familiar in switching out your operations.

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The manual was referred to, as the buttons to push for white balance shifts was not evident to me.
Yes, even though it was on page 140, it was easy to find listed on the content page.
OK, I’ll admit it it. I had only read to page 98.

But seriously….there are a few competitors in this category, so you do have a choice.
The photographs I was able to make with this, were, to my eye, as expected. Good color, crisp and sharp at lower ISOs, and no lens flex at longer lens extensions.

This is one of the top 3 to consider. Canon, Nikon and Panasonic are the brands to look at this $500 MSRP price point.
Lets talk for a second about why a point and shoot, to begin with: convenient, silent, unobtrusive.
The Canon G10 does all that. Mostly.

Here is our only concern- the weight of this camera is way too much to make it the one you want to toss in your jacket. Maybe a bag or for the women, your purse, but at 13 oz. it is a solid brick of a camera. The lens does retract fully, so the profile is trimmed, and the grip is subtle enough.
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It became a quandry as we were lucky enough to have a choice of the Canon or Nikon to take with us on a walk about town. It was November in Paris and a bit cold, and the warm coats had big pockets.
Truly, it became a question of weight. Depending where we were going, what photos may be possible, and what else we were bring.
Perhaps a game of ounces, but that’s why you bring a point and shoot instead of a DSLR in the first place.
If you carried the G10 in your shorts in the summer, better have a belt.
Honestly, the photos made at night, walking through the city, with both the Canon and Nikon were quite good and since Noise Ninja is our friend, better to correct for noise, than to not get the shot. And with some of the parties, walking home at night, we were very happy to have left the DSLR at home.
The Nikon review is coming shortly.

It does come down to this, though: What do you want in a point and shoot camera? And at what point do you say no to your DSLR, and time to travel lighter? As we all know, when you start with a good piece of glass on a quality camera body, not only is your mind set different, but so is your subjects.
Are you looking to shoot the party scene ? Or walk unobtrusively around town with an apparent “amateur” camera ? ( also love that with point and shoots you can turn the fake shutter sound off.)

Some sample shots:

[photopress:Paris_57.jpg,full,centered] Paris Fountain © Damon Webster
[photopress:Paris_22.jpg,full,centered] A Little Pho © Damon Webster
[photopress:Paris-47_2.jpg,full,centered] Jim & Millie Casper from Lensculture © Damon Webster

You see, this is why photographers own so many cameras. Depends on what you are shooting.
I have one point and shoot that slips into a suit jacket easily without bulking it up. All black, it fits the scene. Only good for happy snaps.
It also fits easily into my jeans.

The intermediate step we are discussing here is more of a subjective choice. The Nikon P6000 is lighter, but not as many megapixels. The shots in good light were comparable.

You will probably use this camera in Auto or Program mode, but as with all digital cameras, you have a plethora of options to customize your shooting.

We recommend this camera highly. It is a well priced, solid piece of gear that will serve you well. Even after the next generation comes out.
The weight is our only caveat.
And of course if you want the full specs, visit Canon. Or any of the many tech review sites.

A short vid from PhotoPlus 2008, with Chuck Westphal of Canon:

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