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Canon PowerShot G10 review: Canon PowerShot G10

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Optical image stabilisation, face detection and a 15-second long shutter are complemented by assorted scene and colour modes. These include panorama stitch assist, portrait, landscape and aquarium. New features include servo autofocus, which continually adjusts focus on a subject in motion, and i-Contrast. This is claimed to boost dynamic range in high-contrast images to bring out detail in darker areas, without blowing out highlights.

The G10 shoots raw images as well as JPEGs. Sadly, video is no-frills: it hasn't improved over the G9's 30fps VGA-resolution footage, and you can't use the optical zoom while filming.

Performance
The G10 is a joy to shoot with, the features and controls allowing you to grab your photography by the scruff of the neck. This is reflected in the images, which look the business. Colour is well-reproduced and skin tones are natural. The option to tweak the flash, combined with subtle exposure and ISO control make this great for low-light shooting, particularly social situations where a dSLR may be too much.

In darker situations you do have to keep a close eye on the ISO speed. Noise isn't an issue at ISO 400 but clearly registers at ISO 800. Any higher than that results in a severe loss of detail, but that's to be expected. We were pleased to see that there was only the faintest trace of purple fringing in high-contrast images -- overall, they're crisp from corner-to-corner. There is a hint of distortion at the wide angle, but it isn't too noticeable.

The G10 is fast enough when snapping normally -- it's ready to shoot in less than 1.5 seconds and with less than two seconds between shots, even in tricky light. In burst mode, however, things were not so snappy, with a lumbering 1.5fps even while shooting JPEGs, but at least it will snap indefinitely.

Conclusion
We love the Canon Powershot G10: it looks and feels like a serious camera should, yet makes operation easy with a selection of controls that aren't as intimidating as they may initially appear. The Nikon P6000 adds GPS and wireless connectivity to similar specs, while the Ricoh GX200 is smaller and cheaper. But both would have to go some way to beat the Canon's image quality.

Edited by Marian Smith

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