Canon's G-series is designed to be the back-up camera that serious photographers can keep in a pocket when the dSLR gets too heavy. The 14.7-megapixel, £380 G10 is a chunky beast by anyone's standards, but when you consider just how much power is packed in it starts to look very compact indeed.
Although it's hefty, the G10 is still pocketable thanks to its flush-folding lens. It's a military-grade black brick with a dizzying array of wheels and dials. This is clearly not a camera for the casual snapper. But in fact, the dials make operation a straightforward process. A dial on the left shoulder gives quick access to exposure compensation, while another dial to the right of the hotshoe, allows for quick adjustment of ISO speed. Set atop that is a typical scene modes wheel.
Modes include automatic, manual, program, aperture and shutter priority, and two user-defined custom modes. Having one-touch access to these settings is extremely handy, although we would have preferred a dedicated shutter speed dial rather than exposure compensation.
There are other assorted buttons, including focus lock and a flash-firing button. A four-way clickpad is surrounded by a scroll wheel, which should be familiar to EOS users. Menu, display, metering and focus point adjustment buttons are arranged around the wheel, but have a strange angled surface that makes them difficult to press.
At the back of the camera is a large 76mm (3-inch) PureColor LCD II screen, with a high 461,000-dot resolution. An optical viewfinder sits above the screen, with a diopter and playback button on either side. The viewfinder is large and clear, but doesn't display any shooting information.
As well as the physical controls, the G10 benefits from an onscreen sidebar, meaning all the shooting options you'd ever need are easy to access. This is just as well, as the G10 is packed with features.
The lens is a wideangle 28mm equivalent to a 35mm camera, which is wider than the 35mm lens on the Canon PowerShot G9. The cost of this is a slightly shorter 5x zoom, but that's fine with us.