Canon PowerShot G10 review: Canon PowerShot G10

However, most of the new capabilities enhanced by the switch to a newer generation Digic 4 processor--face detection improvements, face detection self-timer, and i-Contrast automatic correction--are probably more important to the audience of snapshot-camera users than the manual enthusiasts who tend to buy the G series models. One capability I wish Canon had enhanced is the movie capture: it's still 30fps VGA without optical zoom.

Unfortunately, performance is mixed compared with the G9. Time to first shot is a quick 1.3 seconds, faster than the G9's 1.7-second start. In bright light, a relatively quick focus helps keep the shutter lag to a zippy-for-its-class 0.4 second. In dim light, that increases to a 0.8 second. Both are improvements over its predecessor. Two shots in a row have a decent 2.2-second gap between, a bit slower than the G9's 2 seconds, and adding flash recycle bumps that to a not-very-speedy 2.9 seconds. Continuous shooting is 1.4fps, down from the G9's 1.7fps. The AF system is pretty responsive, though no one would confuse this with an SLR. The 3-inch LCD is big and bright, but sucks quite a bit of power; the camera's 1050mAh battery is only rated for 400 shots with it on but 1,000 without it.

Photo samples from the Canon PowerShot G10

The primary reason to buy a camera like this, however, is the photo quality, and here the Canon G10 doesn't disappoint. Color and exposures are great. There's some wide-angle distortion at the 28mm-equivalent maximum, but photos have very good center and edge-to-edge sharpness at longer focal lengths. ISO 80 and 100 produce relatively pristine images and if you're alert to it, you'll see some noise-suppression artifacts starting at ISO 200. But photos look quite usable up to and including ISO 400; at ISO 800 they get visibly soft. (For more on photo quality, click through the slide show.)

Though I can't yet compare it with competitors like the Nikon Coolpix P6000 or the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3, users of the G9 or previous models who want the higher resolution and who won't miss the extra lens reach won't be disappointed. Only the mixed performance--not bad, just not as fast as it should be for the price--brings down its overall rating. And even if the Canon PowerShot G10 eventually turns out to not be best-in-class for whatever reason, it's still a great camera.

Shooting speed (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Time to first shot  
Raw shot-to-shot time  
Typical shot-to-shot time  
Shutter lag (dim)  
Shutter lag (typical)  
Canon PowerShot G10
Canon PowerShot G9

Typical continuous-shooting speed (in frames per second)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Canon PowerShot G10

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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"