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472 of 482 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great in-between camera
I'm a hobbyist who long ago owned a Konica SLR and shot lots of slides. In the digital age, I've only owned point-and-shoot cameras and have become frustrated by their lack of flexibility and quality. I looked long and hard at SLRs but don't yet feel I can spring for the price. I also wanted something more easily portable. But I wanted complete control over shutter...
Published on October 14, 2008 by Lauren Holmes

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334 of 392 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Bad noise over ISO 200
I am a professional photographer who shoots with many different cameras. My SLRs are Canon. I also shoot digital and film with Leicas. I bought the G10 in the hopes that Canon's use of the Digic IV processor would yield low noise images. I was wrong. The noise starts to ruin the photos at levels of ISO 200 and above. That's not acceptable in today's camera market. Unless...
Published on October 6, 2008 by Bradley Husick


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472 of 482 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great in-between camera, October 14, 2008
This review is from: Canon Powershot G10 14.7MP Digital Camera with 5x Wide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom (Electronics)
I'm a hobbyist who long ago owned a Konica SLR and shot lots of slides. In the digital age, I've only owned point-and-shoot cameras and have become frustrated by their lack of flexibility and quality. I looked long and hard at SLRs but don't yet feel I can spring for the price. I also wanted something more easily portable. But I wanted complete control over shutter speed and aperture, and I wanted to be able to shoot in RAW for more post-processing flexibility. I decided to spring for the G10.

Since purchasing this camera about a week ago, I've taken about 2,000 shots. (I went a little nuts!) Here's what I've learned so far:

-- Although the auto settings produced very good pictures, this camera really comes into its own when you shoot in Manual mode. I was able to routinely get some vivid fall sunset scenes on a lake with beautifully saturated color and contrast by tweaking shutter speed and aperture settings separately.

-- I'd say that the noise at 400+ without post-tweaking is considerable, though nowhere near what I used to see on 400 ISO film back in the day. It was easily reduced post-processing using a noise-reduction program that works within Photoshop, and I ended up with some beautiful indoor shots with minimal effort. I even took some night landscape pictures with a bright moon at 1600, and was pleasantly surprised at the results after tweaking them afterward.

-- I was able to get extremely sharp photos in macro mode (closeups of bees in flowers, that kind of thing), again without a tripod. I'm still getting the hang of focusing on the exact part of the flower that I want; I find it more cumbersome to do it with this camera than I did with my old SLR (where you just turned the lens with your hand).

-- The camera did a good job out of the box at face recognition. The built-in flash on auto settings was just OK; it didn't hideously over-expose the faces, but it didn't look entirely natural either. Again, moving away from the auto settings and using fill flash judiciously helped me create some much more natural and attractive portraits. I would imagine adding a separate flash attachment would help even more. I found my favorite portraits were taken with no flash at all and some light tweaking with contrast in Photoshop.

-- The optical zoom met my needs well. I loved having the wide-angle capability for landscape shots, and I got some gorgeous, very clear pictures of a bald eagle at the top of a tree with the telephoto zoom. The camera clearly showed me when I was moving beyond the optical zoom into digital zoom, and my pictures of the eagle deteriorated accordingly. I will probably turn off the digital zoom.

-- The camera comes with all kinds of built-in scene settings (snow, night snapshots, sunsets, underwater, etc.), most of which I haven't yet found that helpful. I did get a couple of fun foliage shots using the sunset and foliage settings, but in both cases I could've gotten the same results simply tweaking in Photoshop afterward. If you don't want to mess with post-processing programs or playing with the camera's controls, I could see how these scene settings could be useful.

-- Photoshop CS3 can't open the RAW files from this camera yet. This is a big drawback for my purposes. I have opened the RAW files in the Canon software that comes with the camera, but it's not nearly as powerful or intuitive as Photoshop. So for now, I'm exporting the RAW files to Photoshop as TIFFs, and they're enormous -- 85 MG. The quality is marvelous, however, and I'm hoping that Adobe will quickly add support for the G10.

I'll try to add some photo examples to this review. I noticed they get a little washed out when saved for the web; the originals are much more vivid.

As point-and-shoots go, this is about as good as it gets for my purposes. I gave it five stars, though I'd like to give it a half-star demerit for the lack of RAW support in Photoshop (a problem I hope will soon be corrected). If you're not quite ready for the leap to an SLR but you want more control and quality than the common point-and-shoot camera, this is an outstanding choice.
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292 of 299 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't be afraid... buy this camera!, November 1, 2008
By 
Amazon Customer (Madison, WI United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Canon Powershot G10 14.7MP Digital Camera with 5x Wide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom (Electronics)
I am what one may call a "serious amateur" photographer. My first serious camera was a WWII-vintage 35mm Leica rangefinder that my dad, while in the U.S. Army, got from a captured German Oberleutnant (he said he won it from him playing cards!). I still have that camera, though it needs work. My first "modern" SLR was a Canon F-1 I got back in the early 1980's. Wife Number One got that - along with all the lenses and accessories - in the divorce. <Sniff!> <Sob!>

At this stage in my life, I still care about the quality of pictures I take, but I no longer have the money or the desire to carry around a bulky DSLR body with a satchel full of lenses, flashes, filters, etc. Forgive me, O gods that guard the purity of the photographic arts - I want a point-and-shoot! But I don't want a toy, either.

My first choices would have been something like a Leica DLUX 4 10.1-megapixel Digital Still Camera or a maybe a Sigma DP1 14MP Digital Camera. Both - sorry to say - are a little too rich for my blood right now. That left me with plan B - either the Panasonic DMC-LX3K 10.1MP Digital Camera with 2.5x Wide Angle MEGA Optical Image Stabilized Zoom (Black) or the Canon Powershot G10 14.7MP Digital Camera with 5x Wide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom.

As much as I have liked Canon products in the past (I have owned Canon scanners and printers as well as cameras over the years and have always liked their products), I was highly suspicious of the Canon G10 on the grounds of its 14.7 Megapixel resolution. How much digital noise would I have to endure so Canon could claim victory in the latest skirmish of the megapixel wars? I was also very intrigued by the Panasonic for its lens - extremely fast for a point-and-shoot at f2.0 and its unusually wide angle of 24mm (35mm equivalent).

In the end I got the Canon G10 for the following reasons:

1. Most of my shooting is either portrait or outdoor scenery shots, where short to long telephoto (60mm-200mm equivalent) is most appropriate, so the extreme wide angle of the Panasonic was less useful to me. If you are someone who takes lots of family group shots in close quarters, you may feel differently, however.

2. The Canon, though with a slower lens than the Panasonic, was nevertheless able to pass my "art museum test." In other words, I could take excellent hand-held shots indoors of art objects in available light at fairly low ISOs of well under 400, sometimes at nearly 200; shots clear enough to show the depth and detail of every brush stroke. I found that to be good enough for me. But if you are someone who likes to do available-light shots in candle light or outdoors around camp fires, the extra speed of the Panasonic's lens may then become crucial.

3. The Panasonic, though admittedly an excellent camera of its type, was awkward to use, at least for me. It was a tad too small for comfort (I am a big guy, 6'4", 280 pounds, with hands like catcher's mitts). The camera always felt on the verge of slipping out of my hands, especially when holding it in my left hand while messing with the controls with my right. And mess around I did, since the controls were not particularly intuitive in their operation. I'm sure one could get used to just about anything, especially if one reads the manual and practices with it long enough. But I am of the school that believes that good interface design means NOT having to read the manual!

4. The Canon G10, in my opinion, just fits. Big enough and properly shaped for my hands to feel comfortable gripping, but just small enough for carrying in a coat or jacket pocket (though admittedly too big and heavy for a shirt pocket). What's more, every major control is plainly marked and positioned right where God intended for it to be. I found that the Canon passed my "users manual test" as well. Only with the most obscure and least-often-used functions did I have to break out the damned book to figure out how they worked. The camera feels satisfyingly solid, with very good build quality; it just feels good in the hands. I found I felt comfortable with the camera very quickly, could take pictures right away, without hassling with learning the manufacturer's perverse sense of control interface logic.

5. I found the image quality to be generally excellent, with great detail present and surprisingly low noise at ISOs below 400. Left to the camera's automatic white balance sensors, I found the color balance just a tad bit cool for my taste, but what do I know... I'm an old Kodachrome guy. In any case, it is easy to set your own custom settings for color temperature to suit your preference. Even if forced to take shots at ISO 400 and above, all is not lost. For Photoshop users, I recommend PictureCode's Noise Ninja ([...]) plug-in. For users of The GIMP (excellent open source free photoshop alternative), try GREYCstoration ([...] Both of these software plug-ins do an excellent job of cleaning up noise without obvious objectionable artifacts. These tools enable shots at high ISO to be much more usable, unless you insist on those poster-sized blow-ups.

In sum, the Canon's worst shortcoming, noise at high ISO (a problem with ANY digital point-and-shoot that sells for less than a grand), is more than outweighed by its sheer usability, its excellent feel, solid build quality and intuitive interface, as well as image quality good enough to satisfy just about anybody. I will step out here and say that on prints 11x13 and smaller, it would take a keen eye indeed to tell the difference between most images from a G10 and those from a DSLR selling for more than twice the price.

What's more, the Canon G10 offers, for those who want to explore the deeper capabilities of the camera, a wide array of automatic shooting modes as well as excellent creative control options, including RAW image support (although Canon's implementation is STILL proprietary and not yet natively supported in Photoshop), shutter or aperture priority, full manual exposure mode, and precise control not only of depth of field, but independent focus and exposure locks, too. This is an easy camera for a novice to just pick up and use, but is sufficiently advanced for the serious amateur or pro when he or she needs high quality with low bulk, and for that novice who wants to grow into his or her new hobby.

For a novice, this camera may seem a touch pricey, but at less than $500 is truly a steal compared to the prices of other high-end point-and-shoots to which the Canon G series is often compared.
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126 of 133 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Shooter's Point and Shoot, October 9, 2008
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This review is from: Canon Powershot G10 14.7MP Digital Camera with 5x Wide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom (Electronics)
If you're in the market for a general purpose advanced point and shoot digital camera, try this one for size.

- The controls are nicely laid out - all the things you need to compose your shot (exposure settings, macro/normal button, flash on/off etc) are all readily accessible on the right side of the camera body
- It's lightweight yet feels sturdy
- It lends itself well to accessories such as teleconverters, external flash units, and even a waterproof shell
- The LCD screen is huge and bright and contains plenty of useful information like (for example) a live histogram, exposure settings, gridlines to help you shoot straight, and even an exposure meter when shooting fully manual
- At 28mm wide you can get a big group of people into the shot quite easily
- There's plenty of shooting options that will cover most needs

I gave the G10 4 stars because I'm being nitpicky:

- When shooting through the viewfinder, there is no info at all about your exposure setting, number of shots, battery life, etc. Nothing. Just the view. (I do like how the image magnifies accordingly when you zoom)
- The aperture opens up only to 2.8 and closes down only to 8.0, when shooting full manual mode.
- And sadly yes, there is a fair amount of pixel noise when shooting in low light without either a flash or tripod. This could be a problem for those of us who have been scolded for popping off flashes where we shouldn't.

I did not expect this camera to rise to the level of a high quality film SLR or DSLR. When I bought it I was in the market for a good street photography camera - something light and surreptitious enough to photograph unique things I would come across in my daily romps in the city. Something that I could tweak a bit instead of relying on the camera's preset exposures.

For that use the Powershot G10 suits me just fine - even exceeding my expectations at certain levels. It's worth a try.
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45 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars G10 exceeds expectations, November 18, 2008
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Canon Powershot G10 14.7MP Digital Camera with 5x Wide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom (Electronics)
The G10 is an amazing camera. I bought it two weeks ago based on Michael Reichman's (luminouslandscape website) and Thom Hogan's (bythom[...]) reviews. I am an advanced amateur/prosumer -- I sell fine art landscapes, and have been photographing for about 35 years.

The G10 is heavy at about a pound, but I like the heft. It is quite compact (at least from my perspective) -- the lens fully retracts and it will fit in a large jacket pocket. I have a medium-large Zing pouch I put it in and carry in my backpack, or alternatively put the Zing pouch on my belt loop.

I'm astonished at the image quality and functionality offered by the G10. I haven't shot any jpegs, only RAW (using DPP to process RAW; the RAW images will no doubt be more malleable with other software when they support the G10 -- DPP is fairly limited). In RAW, at ISO 80 on a tripod, I think the detail rendered by the G10 exceeds or at least equals the Canon 5D. It may have a weaker or virtually no AA filter.

The lens on the G10 is fantastic. There is very little resolution fall off, even wide open, edge to edge and into the corners.

In my mind, the closest equivalent to the G10 is a Fuji 645 medium format rangefinder (remember the small zoom range Fuji 645 compact?), but the G10 is better in almost every way. The G10 is far lighter and more compact, offers a great zoom range (and is sharp throughout the zoom range) and image stabilization, and has enough resolution to produce fine art quality prints, up to 18" or 24" in the long dimension without stitching.

I think the G10 is opening up a whole new world of landscape, street photography possibilities, and what about the incredible macro versatility?

There is a substantial drop off in image quality from ISO 200 to ISO 400 on the G10, but ISO 400 is still very very good (again shooting RAW), much better than the panasonic LX3 that I tried for a week or two at ISO 400.

I must be crazy. I can't believe a compact with such a small sensor can render detail this well. I'm seeing the G10 as a whole new tool that will open up different possibilities and different ways of seeing (and have different limitations than a Canon DSLR). I haven't been this excited about a photographic tool since I purchased my Canon 5D over 3 years ago.

The Canon G10 offers "automatic" settings that I haven't tried. For an advanced photographer it offers a wealth of manual controls and customization, which I'm still learning. One very nice touch is that the custom settings on the top dial (there are two) allow you to save the zoom settings and manual focus setting -- so I have one saved at a 35mm focal length equivalent and another at a 50mm equivalent. This allows quick, street shooting, similar to what one can do with a Leica rangefinder, though the G10 has a much different look given the virtually infinite depth of field due to the small sensor.
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122 of 131 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The happy medium between dSLR's and point and shoot cameras, October 7, 2008
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Canon Powershot G10 14.7MP Digital Camera with 5x Wide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom (Electronics)
It's important to understand this camera within context: This isn't a digital SLR replacement or a pocket d-SLR. This is an excellent camera for someone who is a dSLR shooter as a backup, or even someone wanting to graduate from a point and shoot to allow them more control over the camera.

The Powershot G10 incorporates a few new features over it's predecessor, the G9. It loses it's 6x optical zoom down to 5x optical zoom, but packs 14.7 megapixels, features a wide-angle zoom compared to the G9, and uses Canon's new Digic IV processing engine.

The Pros:
* RAW capture. RAW photos don't feature any of the conversions that JPGs do, but also takes up a lot more space. Your typical RAW photo out of this camera will be 15MB, versus 4MB for a high quality JPG. It's nice having this flexibility.
* Supports Canon's Speedlite external flash units.
* Manual controls over aperture and shutter speed for additional controls. This is the single biggest advantage to the G10: if you have a SLR of any type, you're used to changing f-stops, shutter speed and other things on the fly to take better and more creative photos.
* Shoots VGA video. I would have like to have seen 720p video myself.

The cons:
* Expensive spare batteries. $70? Seriously, that's insane.
* Early adopters will find out that Adobe products (Lightroom, Photoshop) and Apple Aperture won't support the G10's RAW - yet. *fingers crossed* You can use the included Canon software, which I find unweildy and a pain to deal with.

I do recommend picking up a 4gb SDHC card, such as a Kingston or Sandisk. Class 6 cards are recommended to handle those large files that you'll be shooting. Also, this won't fit in most camera pouches (I couldn't get it to fit in any of the Lowepro pouches without me feeling like I'm smushing it in there) so you're better off going to a camera store and trying them out.

In the few days that I've had this camera, I feel happy for having it, and it definitely feels like a more "adult" camera than my previous Powershots (not to say that they weren't any good, it's just that I've gotten to the point as a photographer where I *need* the flexibility that this camera can provide.) If you're looking at making the jump to something more advanced, then give this camera a try. You won't regret it.
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51 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very pleasant surprise and upgrade from the G7, October 31, 2008
By 
Gordon (Tucson, AZ United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Canon Powershot G10 14.7MP Digital Camera with 5x Wide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom (Electronics)
MY MOVE FROM THE G7 to the G10.

I own and really like the Canon G7. I passed on purchasing the G9, not seeing much that would attract me over the G7. But as I read about the G10, I began to see enough new stuff to make it sound interesting to me. Little did I guess what a huge leap up this purchase was going to be.

I'll try to focus here on items you may not have read about in the reviews below, or at least items that may not have been covered in any detail.

Overall, the feel and build of the G10 is simply great. Nothing about it feels flimsy or cheap to me. It has a bigger grip on the right front where your fingers wrap around the camera and the camera is a delight to hold and use.

The LCD is now 3" of course, and much sharper and crisper than my G7. The G10 still uses my SD and SD HC (SD High Capacity) cards and I am happy about that.

I wanted to test the new "I-Contrast" feature I had been hearing about, so I sat my wife in the bay window with a fully sunlit window behind her. I took a series of photographs from several feet away, focusing (with face detect) on her face.

With the test shots where I had "I-Contrast" turned off, her face was visible but pretty dark as were the interior walls around the window behind her. Not an unusable picture, but certainly not a good picture either. I was surprised they were as good as they were but I still wanted better than this.

So I enabled "I-Contrast" and shot the same scene. The results were a very pleasant surprise. The outside scene through the window was still slightly overblown ... almost exactly as in the first series. But my wife's face and the interior walls were now much more properly exposed and the pictures were truly usable ... something most of us would be happy to have taken. It was clear that "I-Contrast" really does work and since it is easy (using the camera menu) to engage "I-Contrast" I will certainly be using that feature often in contrasty scenes where I want to avoid harsh black shadows.

I was quite impressed with the quality of this new lens. I thought I had a sharp crisp lens on my G7 but the lens on my G10 is a definite step up. Or maybe it is the additional pixels ... whatever, the difference is remarkable and was totally unexpected.

I was a bit concerned about the loss of Optical zoom range from the zoom range available with my G7. I never used digital zoom on the G7 because it was too easy to lose picture quality and I didn't want to risk that. But I had read about a new feature of the G10 where it if you set the digital zoom to "standard", the camera would combine Optical and Digital zoom and allow you to seamlessly use them together up to a point just shy of where picture degradation would begin. Then it would stop zooming. If you then tried to zoom some more, the G10 will allow that but you will then be digital zooming into the range where there is a risk of picture degradation. All very clever I thought, but did it actually work?

I decided to test that. I sat the camera on a block wall and shot the street sign across the intersection (about 150 feet). As I expected, when I zoomed in the zoom ran seamlessly to what appeared to be maximum and stopped. I took the picture. Then I twisted the zoom button again and sure enough, the zoom continued zooming (into the possible degradation zone) to the true maximum zoom using not only all optical capability but ALL digital capability.

I fired up my computer and loaded the first shot ... the "standard" zoom. Taken at 14.7 Mega Pixels, I was immediately stunned by the quality of the shot. It wasn't just good, it was simply flawless! There was absolutely nothing about that shot that I wanted to improve except, perhaps, it still didn't bring the street sign all that close. So, using my photo editor, I just kept zooming in on the street sign until it virtually filled my monitor ... and the image was STILL FLAWLESS! I simply couldn't believe my eyes. Color was perfect, edges of the lettering were crisp and absolutely sharp. There was nothing for me to improve in a photo editor. I was stunned. (I may have even laughed out loud). Even the leaves of the mesquite tree in my neighbor's yard which is some 20 feet behind the sign were all visible and definable. WOW! WOW! WOW!

Then I loaded the next shot where I had zoomed the G10 out until it paused, then zoomed more to push the combination of Optical and Digital zoom to the absolute limit. To keep it short: It was about as good as I was used to getting from my G7 using Optical zoom only ... which is OK, but not truly sharp, crisp and the green color of the sign looked somewhat faded. Also the tree leaves in the background were no longer distinct ... Again this is not a picture you'd throw away by any means and one which could be improved with some work in Photoshop but even with that effort, it would be nothing near the quality I could get with the G10s method of combining Optical and just the right amount of Digital zoom. And the G10 gave it to me without any additional effort whatsoever.

My future approach to photography of distant objects in the future was immediately obvious. I will use the G10's built in magic (as I did in the first zoom shot) and then simply crop and enlarge the crop to the size I want for flawless, effortless results.

As I said, I skipped the G9 so I cannot compare the G9 and the G10, but I couldn't be happier with my decision to upgrade my G7 to the G10. The G10 clearly takes this type of photography to a new level with features, a great lens and picture quality.

For several years, I actually had a $6,500 setup including the Canon Mark II and some "L" glass lenses. It was heavy, cumbersome and took pictures which, as expected, cried out for work in Photoshop. Professional cameras produce pictures that expect the photographer to work on them. While I enjoyed fiddling with the pictures from the Mark II, I eventually tired of that weight, bulk and switching lenses so I gave the camera to my son. Now, that I have this G10, I will never look back.

I guess I will need Photoshop again if I try to take pictures in the dark with the G10, it does have a bit more noise at higher ISOs. And if you are a true pro, you will probably rant and rave about noise at higher ISOs I suppose.

For the rest of us, the pictures up to ISO 400 are quite acceptable and if are really picky, noise removal is simple enough to accomplish with Photoshop or any other software capable of noise reduction. In real life, I guess I don't shoot much where I use ISOs beyond 400 anyway.

I have owned cameras all my life and I have never owned a camera I liked more than this G10, or from which I got better pictures right out of the camera than this G10. This camera is Worth every penny to me.
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Advancing from Point and Shot cameras..., October 11, 2008
This review is from: Canon Powershot G10 14.7MP Digital Camera with 5x Wide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom (Electronics)
I have used point and shoot cameras for their size and convenience, as I am always on the go. Most recent camera has been Canon SD800IS - a great camera for spontaneous shots. My needs are growing and photo editing is becoming a more important element of making photos effective. The JPEG files that cameras output, like my Canon SD800IS, look fine, however, because the camera has already processed its RAW info in making the JPEG, the options left for photo editing afterward are limited.

The Canon G10 was my choice for moving to a more advanced camera with RAW file output, higher quality optics, and without the bulk of the Digital SLRs. There are other cameras that compete with the G10 - Given all the pros and cons I decided on the G10 based on its feature set and positive Canon G9 reviews.

My experience with the Canon G10 (acquired Oct 8, 2008)
+ Images on auto settings have been far superior to my SD800IS
+ Menu and settings are easier than my SD800IS
+ Startup time for first shot is fast - similar to what I enjoyed with my SD800IS
+ Construction quality and feel of the camera is solid (but doubles the weight)
+ The lens has an automatic self covering protector - not shown in most web photos
- Canon registration via web is missing option for G10 cameras
- Canon G10 cases (listed on their website & camera manual) not available for sale
- Canon RAW lacks support for Photoshop and Aperture
- Canon's software can convert their RAW to TIFF, but 15 MB files will grow to 83 MB

Overall, Canon's G10 will be an excellent camera
+ small enough to keep in my briefcase or carry around for spontaneous opportunities
+ powerful enough to capture high quality images.

When Canon provides more flexible support for RAW (or I learn other ways to get their files into Photoshop and Aperture), I'll probably give the G10 5 stars.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent point and shoot, October 23, 2008
By 
George (Salt Lake City, Utah) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Canon Powershot G10 14.7MP Digital Camera with 5x Wide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom (Electronics)
Most of the criticisms in other reviews relate to high noise over ISO 200, and that is true. But below 200 they are very good. Luminous Landscape just posted a comparison of the $500 G10 against a $40,000 Hasselblad H2 with a 39 megapixel back and was amazed to find little observable difference in 13x19 prints. 8 professional photographers could not distinguish reliably between them. That is a lot of performance for a camera the size of a cigarette pack and 1/80th the price of the other camera.

I like the controls. ISO and over/under compensation are dials on top of the camera. No more hunting through the menu to make those adjustments. Image stabilization makes it possible to shoot at relatively low shutter speeds. RAW and full manual controls make this a very versatile and easy to use camera.

I rarely shoot at ISO 400 or above so I don't think the noise at higher settings is a major flaw. I previously used a Canon Proshot 1 that cost twice as much as the G10 and it only went up to ISO 400. I suspect Canon included 800 and 1600 in case you had to use them but you will need them less because of image stabilization.

Overall a great camera to take traveling.

Update:

I just returned from a two week trip. Along with the G10, which weighs nothing and fits in a jacket pocket, I took a Canon 1Ds III with a full set of lenses in a pack that weighed about 30 pounds. Hauling the 1Ds around cities was just too much of a hassle so the G10 was the camera that got used except in instances where the big camera was with me or it was worth going back to take a shot I couldn't get with the G10. That gave me a good comparison between the best camera Canon makes and the G10.

First, ignore all the people that found the camera's image quality inadeqate, especially the megapixel freaks. I previously used a Canon Proshot 1 as a carry around camera. It has 8 megapixels and an L quality lens that has about the same range as the G10. The G10 produces a noticeably better image. The color is dead on in multiple light conditions from bright sun to shadow to indoor under artifical light. The quality is comparable to the 1Ds except when a wider lens was needed or light was very low.

The image stabilization is a big advantage. Shots are amazingly clear and sharp. The camera can be reliably hand held down to 1/15 and lower if care is taken. I took one shot of an alter illuminated with artifical lights inside a dark church. The shutter speed was 1/5 but by steadying the camera on the back of a bench I got shots the 1Ds could not surpass on a tripod. What really amazed me was that the color was right on shooting in program mode and making no color adjustments on my own. I also noticed that one shot was at ISO 100 while another was ISO 400. I printed both to compare. The 400 shot has noticeable grain in the shadow areas but the illuminated portions of the alter are very close to 100. The camera also has a lot of exposure range. Rarely was a shot unusable because either the highlights or shadows were blown.

The lens is excellent. Very sharp and free of flare, even with the sun in the frame. The self contained lens cover is also helpful. The cap on the Proshot 1 was prone to falling off if it brushed against someone in a crowd leaving the lens exposed for the rest of a trip. I also really liked having the exposure compensation and ISO dials on the top of the camera. That made it much easier to adjust for shots when needed without having to stop and work in the camera's menu.

In sum, this is a very good camera, especially for traveling. It will not take very wide or long photos and shots are grainy at higher ISOs but cameras with fewer megapixels will not take better photos and the high ISOs combined with great IS and the ease of carrying it around makes it possible to get shots that would be impossible otherwise.

The battery is also very good. I ended up taking about 350 photos with the G10. The battery indicator showed full charge the whole time.

This camera has limits. It was not built to be used for professional quality shots in a studio but it could probably be used for that purpose to an extent. It has too much lag in setting up the shot to be used for sports or active children or pets. It was never pitched as a camera that could do those things. But it does take very good photos. Better than any small camera I have ever used and equal to the best cameras in a broad range of conditions.

2/28/09 Third installment

A mea culpa is in order plus a drop to 4 or even three stars. The camera is inconsistent. It remains great for traveling and shooting without a flash. I keep the 5 stars for that. But shooting indoors with flash is poor bordering on unuseable. Shots of my grandson are full of grain and lack detail. They remind me of shooting 400 asa print film with a mediocre point and shoot camera. The camera is also slow to shoot and slower to recover and shoot again. Shots under similar conditions with my 1Ds III are stunningly clear and I can shoot five or six shots quickly in succession. With the G10, I get one shot and have to wait several seconds before I can take the next shot. The G10 is simply not useable for indoor flash.

It is strange that the camera can be so good in natural light without a flash and so bad with the flash. It is not the settings because I have tried it in auto and AV at ISO 80.
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BEYOND EXPECTATIONS. EXCELLENT PERFORMANCE!, October 22, 2008
By 
Jonathon (San Francisco, California) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Canon Powershot G10 14.7MP Digital Camera with 5x Wide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom (Electronics)
There is a 'MIX' of customer reviews here and I fully understand some of the frustration and yet I can't help but wonder if some of the reviews are also 'PLANTS'.

I've used my Canon G10 for just over two weeks now. Thus, I am not an expert and I certainly do not shoot for or claim such as a profession. I travel for a living and I love photography; especially taken of the adventures I so blessed with.

I have had several of Canon's EOS line SLR's. They are excellent cameras and while I've also had both Nikon and Sony cameras as well, nothing has come close to the Canon line. They simply excel in digital imaging.

The G10 is built like a tank. Ultra rugged and strong. No plastics here.

I found its colors exceeding the quality of my Canon 50D. Even when I used Canon USM IS lenses. I received slight 'BLUR' from my 50D last weekend when my wife and I decided to take some 300-400 pictures of the Napa Valley's Fall colors.

She used the Canon G10 and I used the Canon 50D. Her colors, her sharpness and her black of blur or backlit situations was stunning for what is essentially a POINT & SHOOT camera.

Keep in mind this camera runs a simple $499. With a superior optical system, excessive megapixel range and a shutter as fast as one could ever hope for. The camera is ready always for that next shot.

Battery life was very good. Charging time fast. The entire fit overall for the camera could not be better. I told my wife the Canon G10 was indeed the BMW's of camera performance for that style or type of camera.

Personally I think it's underpriced. More so, this is a POINT & SHOOT. High-end of course but still a POINT & SHOOT.

This was and is an excellent choice. Built in Japan (not China) for quality and small enough to carry around without the weight or size of a SLR.

Doesn't get better...
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Expectations are sometimes too high, November 25, 2008
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Canon Powershot G10 14.7MP Digital Camera with 5x Wide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom (Electronics)
The G10 gets trashed in reviews by people who expect it to take its nearly 15 megapixels on a tiny sensor and give results akin to a full-frame DSLR. Well, that's just plain dumb. If that's what you expect, think again. If you want the highest possible image quality even at high ISOs, you should save up the $$$$ for that DSLR. Or, better yet, learn photographic technique and processes and buy an 8x10 view camera with a heavy tripod and get the best in image quality.

The G10 is what it is. It is a well-built, versatile, small camera that is highly capable in highly capable hands and still very functional to those less capable. It's a camera for the person who uses bigger cameras who doesn't always want or need to carry a bigger camera. It produces satisfying results and it has a super good lens that covers the most useful focal length range (35mm equivalent 28mm to 135mm--I know, it says it goes to 140mm but 135mm is a traditional focal length and 5mm +/- doesn't matter at all when you get into the telephoto range).

My background includes three plus decades in photography as a former professional to present enthusiast. Taking up digital photography some time back, I discovered there's not much difference in the practice compared to using film. Many people try to complicate things, but photography is still pretty basic. You don't have to be a deep thinker, you just have to see things. I like equipment that doesn't get in the way of seeing. I've been using the G10 for the past week and I'm impressed with the results I've gotten. I also like the way it handles. For a number of years, I have used Canon EOS film cameras and more recently DSLRs. The ergonomics and functions of the G10 seem fairly familiar to me. I've also used Leica rangefinders when I wanted something smaller and quieter for candid photography on trips or when attending events. The G10 fits nicely into this niche and for a heckuva lot less than a Leica M8 digital.

I've shot 35mm Tri-X and HP5+ film pushed to high ISOs in order to accomplish pictures under low light without using flash. I'm familiar with grain. It's not my enemy. It's not a bad thing. It just "is". So when people complain of noise at high ISOs with the G10, I have to respond, "So what?" The important thing is not that there is grain or noise in the picture, it's whether or not the picture you took was worth taking. Image quality is secondary under those circumstances. The G10 pictures are perfectly fine under these circumstances.

But if you have to ask about image quality at the lower ISOs, the G10 does a great job. JPEGs straight from the camera are excellent. There are two custom functions that can be set to your preferences. I have one set for black and white and one set for super vivid color. I also have been shooting in RAW and I've gotten good results here as well. I'm still playing with RAW conversions from this camera. The conversion process seems a little more cumbersome than how it is done with my Canon DSLR's software. I'm still in the learning process in the regard. I'm probably complicating a process that is really not that complicated.

Who would benefit from using this camera? Just about anyone from the vacation/family/holiday chronicler of events to the seasoned professional looking for a "pro"-grade point and shoot (a contradiction in terms, I agree). It produces great results shooting in bright light at low ISOs and the results under low light at higher ISOs is only a cause for concern if your expectations are too high.

UPDATE May 30, 2009:

I've used this camera for six months now. It has replaced my dSLR for most general shooting. RAW works great and B&W JPEGs rival results from film. I'm still more interested in prints than in viewing photos on a monitor and tightly cropped 8.5x11 prints from the G10 really look good. Sure, they will fall apart if you enlarged to billboard size but who really prints billboards? B&W photos at ISO 400 are not at all noisy compared to Tri-X's grain. Outside in good light, using ISO 80, the quality is amazing, especially shooting RAW and processing the image yourself. You can even get interesting grain-like effects using high ISOs and playing with exposure compensation. It's a very versatile camera.

The camera is now well used with a lot of scuffs on the LCD and a couple of scratches on the lens, but it continues to function perfectly. It was getting so much use, I decided to buy the Canon leather case to slow down the wear and tear.

Yeah, the camera could be better. A larger sensor would enhance high ISO image quality. A faster lens would make life easier for those of us who hate electronic flash and refuse to carry tripods everywhere. Both of these changes would result in a heavier, larger camera so maybe it's best to accept the G10 as it is.
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