Canon PowerShot D10 review: Canon PowerShot D10

You might buy a rugged camera expecting fast performance, but sadly, that's generally not the case. The D10, though not blisteringly fast, is quicker than most in this category. Start-up to first shot takes only 1.2 seconds. Shot-to-shot times are 2 seconds without the flash and 3.9 seconds when using the flash. Most important, however, is shutter lag, which was at the tail end of our acceptable at 0.5 second in bright conditions, but good at 0.7 in dim lighting. Lastly, there is no burst mode, but the D10 has a continuous shooting speed of 1 frame per second.

If you're buying a camera with hopes of making big prints (larger than 8x10 inches) of what you shoot, the D10 is your best bet. The low ISO performance from it is very good. Image noise is in short supply below ISO 200, and fine detail and sharpness were noticeably better than other cameras in its class. Subjects get visibly grainier between ISO 200 and 400, and at ISO 400 details start to get a little softer. There's a big drop-off in quality at ISO 800 where it looks as if something's smeared on the lens. You can pretty much write off using ISO 1,600. Colors from the D10 are generally very good, as is white balance and exposure, though occasionally challenging lighting would cause subjects to underexpose--which is easily correctable.

The Canon PowerShot D10 is probably the best option for a rugged point-and-shoot camera if you spend a lot of time snorkeling, skiing, or poolside. Its design doesn't lend itself very well to other situations, though. If you're only going to have one snapshot camera for everyday shooting and adventuring, you'll probably want to go with the Pentax Optio W80, Olympus Stylus Tough 8000, or the Fujifilm FinePix Z33WP despite their shortcomings.

Shooting speed (in seconds)
(Smaller bars indicate better performance)
Time to first shot  
Typical shot-to-shot time (flash)  
Typical shot-to-shot time  
Shutter lag (dim)  
Shutter lag (typical)  
Canon PowerShot D10
1.2 
3.9 
2 
0.7 
0.5 
Olympus Stylus Tough 8000
1.8 
5 
2.5 
0.8 
0.7 
Fujifilm FinePix Z33WP
1.8 
3.8 
3.5 
1.4 
0.6 
Olympus Stylus 1050 SW
2.4 
6.1 
5.1 
1.8 
1.3 

Typical continuous-shooting speed (in frames per second)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

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Quick Specifications See All

  • Optical Zoom 3 x
  • Optical Sensor Type CCD
  • Sensor Resolution 12.1 Megapixel
  • Image Stabilizer optical
  • Lens 35 - 105mm F/2.8
  • Optical Sensor Size 1/2.3"
About The Author

Joshua Goldman is a senior editor for CNET Reviews, covering cameras, camcorders, and related accessories. He has been writing about and reviewing consumer technology and software since 2000.