Review: Canon G10
I got a Canon G10 over Christmas and it is definitely a great little camera. I was worried that the high megapixel count and small sensor would drop my approval rating compared to the DSLR I've been using up until now. After getting a first batch accepted, with no rejections for camera issues, I'm very satisfied with this camera, both for personal photos and for stock.
1. Image quality. There is a lot of buzz out there about this camera - it doesn't have the best lens, higher ISO isn't as good, and the per pixel size is miniscule even for a compact camera. But if you shoot in good light at ISO 80 you will be amazed by this camera!
2. Support for Canon flashes. The great thing about the higher end compacts is the support for off camera flash, or at least bounced flash. This shot of the cranberries boiling was taken with a shoe mounted Canon flash, aimed up to bounce off the ceiling. Whether you have a DSLR or compact camera getting the light to the side can make dramatic improvements in your shots.
3. Handling. This camera is amazing from a control perspective. With a separate dial for ISO, Exposure compensation and the mode, plus a control wheel on the back you rarely need to go into the menus. That is a big plus in the winter. These shots were taken in -17C with gloves on and I was easily able to dial in some exposure compensation to deal with the snow, switch to aperture priority and back, etc. The metal body with a small grip is easy to hold, even with one hand.
4. Speed. Compared to a DSLR the G10 is not that fast, but if you force the flash off it can take the first shot surprisingly quickly. I haven't used many compacts, and I've been disappointed in the past - I can't say that the G10 is slow when it comes to action. It doesn't have a very quick burst mode, but that suits me fine.
5. Shoot priority. One of the big differences between a DSLR and a compact is traditionally the switch between playback and capture. With the G10 that is not a problem. At any time you can half press the shutter and switch back to taking picture - no need to switch a button.
6. Movies. I'm not a fan of DSLR movie making for home yet, but I am loving the ability to grab quick clips of the kids. The G10 may disappoint in this area as it is fairly low res by today's standards, but again suits me fine.
7. Cool stuff. The G10 has quite a few cool features that you appreciate pretty quickly. On the playback, you can set it to have a reduced size image plus a central blow up to check focus. You can quickly jump around to faces as well to look at expressions if any faces are found. Custom menu settings on the dial allow you to have some commonly used settings memorized. The review button on the back turns on the camera for review without opening the lens. As they say - this is a camera that makes you wnat to take pictures with it.
Take my comments with a grain of salt - everyone has their personal preferences. I have a solid amount of flash equipment that I can use with this camera so I didn't stray too far when I was looking. That said I was excited about the possibility of having a compact camera to travel with that maximized the current sizes for stock photography. With half a dozen submissions under my belt with this camera I'm pleased to say it scores high marks in my book.
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Photo credits: , Brad Calkins.