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CNET First Look
Canon ekes out more speed for the G seriesWhile the Canon PowerShot G16 is better than the G15 and remains a nice enthusiast compact, its low-light photo quality disappoints for the money.
I'm Lori Grunin and this is the Canon PowerShot G16. The G15 was a good enthusiast compact and the G16 is a respectable follow-up to that model. Though it uses the same sensor lens and pretty much everything else, it's generally a lot faster with a tweaked body and roughly the same photo quality. New features include pretty WiFi support and above to 1080/30p video, plus some long exposure night shooting modes. It's large with a shallow grip but it feels solid and substantial. It still missed the articulated LCD that Canon dropped 2 generations ago, but the optical viewfinder is surprisingly quite usable. The controls remain pretty easy to access and operate though I still think the placement of the front dial is awkward and the record button is too hard to feel and press. And the more I use it, the more annoyed I get by the function menu operation. You have to press the button again to dismiss it. You really should automatically go away when you press another control like the menu button. White JPEG photos don't really stand up to a pixel-peeping level of scrutiny beyond ISO 200, you can get more mileage out of RAW files as high as ISO 800, even for prints. I think Canon has pushed the 1/1.7-inch sensor as far as it could go even at 12 megapixels. The G16 is a lot speedier in most respects than the G15. They're using RAW still noticeably slower than JPEG. To continue a shooting is significantly better up to 5.8 frames per second with auto focus. The low-light focus still feels a bit sluggish though. Well, it doesn't offer best in class photo quality like the more expensive Sony RX100, it does have the Viewfinder and Hot Shoe that the Sony lacks, and remains a good all-around option for advanced photographers who like Unibody pocket ability. I'm Lori Grunin and this is the Canon PowerShot G16.