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Canon PowerShot G10 Review

November 2008 | By Don Wan

Review based on a production Canon PowerShot G10, Firmware version 1.00

The G10 is the third incarnation of Canon’s flagship ‘prosumer’ compact since the G series was reinvented with the G7 in 2006. Announced two years after the G6, the G7 caused quite a buzz; partly because everyone had presumed the budget SLR had killed off this sector of the market, partly because it lacked several of what had become G series trademarks (fast lens, tilting screen, raw mode, secondary LCD panel), and it would be fair to say the response was ‘mixed’. The G9 went some way towards placating the critics, reintroducing raw mode and improving handling, but it still suffered from the fundamental problem that the sensor inside couldn’t deliver on what the fantastic camera promised on the outside.

When we reviewed the G9 last year, we praised it for the styling, handling and build and for its excellent output at low ISO settings. The G10 builds on this by adding handling and control refinements, improving the LCD resolution, and, most importantly, adding a wider lens starting at 28mm (equiv.). It also retains the rangefinder styling and solid build quality, and reduces the amount of silver accents on the camera. All the external controls have been carried over, and a new one has been added (a very useful exposure compensation dial).

The things we criticized the G9 for (the unneeded increase in resolution, and the slow-ish lens) have not been addressed. Instead Canon has increased the resolution for the sensor even more, to 14.7 megapixels. The updated lens, though wider at the wide end, is also shorter at the long end, and has less zoom range overall. The speed of the lens is again almost the same F2.8-4.5, though the wider lens does retain the G9’s relatively compact dimensions. The price remains at around $500.

Note that some sections of this review (feature descriptions where nothing has changed) are reproduced from the G9 review.

Headline features

  • 14.7 Megapixel CCD sensor
  • 5x wide-angle (28mm) optical zoom lens with optical Image Stabilizer
  • RAW image recording plus support for Canon Digital Photo Professional
  • DIGIC 4 for clear, sharp images, high-speed AF (including Servo AF) and fast response times
  • Targets all the main causes of blur with High ISO Auto, optical
    Image Stabilizer, Motion Detection Technology and Auto ISO shift
  • Improved Face Detection AF/AE/FE/WB plus Face Select & Track and FaceSelf-Timer
  • 3.0” PureColor LCD II (461k dots resolution) with wide viewing angle and optical viewfinder
  • i-Contrast boosts brightness and retains detail in dark areas
  • Dedicated Exposure Compensation and ISO dials
  • 26 shooting modes with manual control and custom settings
  • Accessories include tele-converter, Speedlights flashes and waterproof case
  • Smooth, 30fps VGA movies

Powershot G10 vs G9: What's changed?

The G10 continues the G series tradition of incremental upgrades. Here are the key changes:

  • Higher resolution (14.7MP vs 12MP)
  • New wider coverage Lens (starts at 28mm)
  • Redesigned front grip with textured cover
  • Improved Face Detection technology
  • DIGIC 4 for improved image processing
  • New higher capacity battery (1050 mAh up from 720mAh)
  • Improved LCD screen resolution (461K vs 230K)
  • Exposure compensation dial
  • New flat and tilted buttons

Canon G10 specifications

Street price

• US: $456
• UK: £370


• 1/1.7" Type CCD
• 14.7 million effective pixels

Image sizes • 4416x 3312 pixels
• 3648 x 2736 pixels
• 3072 x 2304 pixels
• 2560 x 1920 pixels
• 2048 x 1536 pixels
• 1600 x 1200 pixels
• 640 x 480 pixels
• 4416x 2480 pixels
Movie clips • 640 x 480 @ 30fps
• 320 x 240 @ 30fps
• 160 x 120 @ 15fps
Maximum clip length • 640 x 480, 320 x 240: 4GB or 1 hour
• 160 x 120: 3 mins
File formats • JPEG (Exif v2.2)
• MOV (Image: H.264; Audio: Linear PCM (Mono))
Lens • 28-140mm (equiv.)
• 5x optical zoom
• F2.8-4.5
Image stabilization Yes (Lens-Shift)
Conversion lenses Yes
Digital zoom up to 4x
Focus TTL
AF area modes

• Face Detection AiAF
• 1-point AF (center or Face Select and Track)

AF lock Yes (on/off selectable)
AF assist lamp Yes
Focus distance Closest focus distance 1 cm
Metering • Evaluative (linked to Face Detection AF frame)
• Center-weighted average
• Spot (center or linked to Face Detection)
ISO sensitivity • Auto
• High ISO Auto
• ISO 80
• ISO 100
• ISO 200
• ISO 400
• ISO 800
• ISO 1600
AE lock Yes (on/off selectable)
Exposure compensation +/- 2EV in 1/3 stop increments
Shutter speed 15-1/4000 sec

• Auto
• Program AE
• Shutter Priority AE
• Aperture Priority AE
• Manual
• Custom (2 modes)
• Special Scene
• Stitch Assist
• Movie

Scene modes

• Portrait
• Landscape
• Night Snapshot
• Kids & Pets
• Night Scene
• Indoor
• Foliage
• Snow
• Beach
• Fireworks
• Aquarium
• Indoor

White balance • Auto
• Daylight
• Cloudy
• Tungsten
• Fluorescent
• Fluorescent H
• Custom
Self timer • 2 or 10sec,
• Custom or FaceSelf Timer
Continuous shooting • Approx 0.7fps until card is full
Image parameters My Colors (My Colors Off, Vivid, Neutral, Sepia, Black & White, Custom Color)
Flash • Auto, Flash On, Flash Off, Slow Sync, Red-eye reduction
• +/- 2EV in 1/3 stop increments
• Face Detection FE compensation
• Safety FE
• Flash exposure lock
• Manual Power Adjustment
• Range (Auto ISO):30cm - 4.6m (wide) / 2.8m (tele)
Viewfinder Optical Viewfinder
LCD monitor • 3.0" TFT
• 461,000 pixels
• 100% coverage
• Adjustable
Connectivity • USB 2.0 Hi-Speed
• AV out (PAL / NTSC switchable)
Print compliance PictBridge
Storage • SD, SDHC, MMC, MMCplus , HC MMCplus compatible
Power Rechargeable Li-ion Battery NB-7L
Weight (no batty) 350 g
Dimensions 109 x 78 x 46 mm

* Supplied accessories may differ in each country or area

If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read the Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this article (it may help you understand some of the terms used).

Conclusion / Recommendation / Ratings are based on the opinion of the reviewer, you should read the ENTIRE review before coming to your own conclusions.

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This article is Copyright 2008 and may NOT in part or in whole be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author.


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