Canon PowerShot G10 review: Canon PowerShot G10

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
  • Overall: 7.9
  • Design: 9.0
  • Features: 8.0
  • Performance: 7.0
  • Image quality: 8.0
Review Date:

The Good Functional and fun shooting design; great enthusiast-oriented feature set; very nice photo quality

The Bad Should be a little faster shot to shot.

The Bottom Line The Canon PowerShot G10 is a solid enthusiast digital camera for those who want something compact to complement a dSLR.

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Panasonic's Lumix DMC-G1 offers interchangeable lenses, Nikon's Coolpix P6000 provides GPS--the feature sets on enthusiast compact cameras are all over the place these days. So, should we be disappointed that the whizziest new feature of Canon's PowerShot G10 is its almost-15-megapixel resolution? While this isn't the kind of update that will inspire envy in G9 owners or a must-have feature to experiment with, the Canon G10 holds true to the elements that have made the G series a successful shooter's camera over the years.

The G10 is physically quite similar to the G9. At 14 ounces, it's heavier by about an ounce, and it's also a bit bigger--one- to three-tenths of an inch on all sides, for dimensions of 4.3 by 1.8 by 3.1 inches. As with its predecessors, the Canon G10's metal body feels like a tank. I'm beginning to wish for just a little bit more grip, though, especially since the thumb rest feels kind of slippery.

The dial configuration ranks as the most notable change to the design; Canon stacked the mode dial inside the ISO dial for right-hand operation and added an exposure compensation dial on the left. It retains the four-way switch (for setting manual focus, macro, flash, and drive mode) with a Function/Set button nested inside the navigational scroll wheel on the back. And though the focus point, metering, display, and menu buttons remain in the same positions, they now have an odd, angled design. Overall, I like the changes, and shooting with the G10 feels quick, fluid, and comfortable. The optical viewfinder is relatively large and distortion-free, making it quite usable.

Though Canon giveth with the improved wide-angle coverage, it taketh away in total zoom range. The new optically stabilized f/2.8-4.8 28-140mm-equivalent 5x lens should please landscape photographers, but some folks will miss the 210mm-equivalent reach of the G9. That and the move to a 1/1.7-inch 14.7-megapixel CCD from a 12-megapixel version constitute the most notable feature changes. At least they haven't taken away the stuff I liked in the G9--the built-in neutral-density filter, two slots on the mode dial for custom settings, ability to change the size of the AF area, a hot shoe, exposure lock, raw support, and the bayonet adapter mount--that help distinguish the Canon G10 as a camera for enthusiasts. The addition of Servo AF is nice as well, but it's odd to use while holding the camera out for LCD view, and unlike on an SLR, there's no focus-area confirmation in the G10's viewfinder. I think it'll take some getting used to.

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Where to Buy See all prices

Canon PowerShot G10

Part Number: 2663B001 Released: Oct 1, 2008
MSRP: $499.99 Low Price: $829.95 See all prices

Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date Oct 1, 2008
  • Optical Zoom 5 x
  • Optical Sensor Type CCD
  • Sensor Resolution 14.7 Megapixel
    14.7 Megapixel
  • Image Stabilizer optical
  • Lens 28 - 140mm F/2.8
  • Optical Sensor Size 1/1.7"