Canon Powershot G10 Review

Published: 09th January 2009
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The Canon Powershot G10 has 14.7 megapixels and a wide angle, 5x optical zoom lens. It is one of the most advanced compact digital cameras you can buy. In fact I can't think of one that is more advanced. It has a full set of manual exposure modes, plus extra options for flash and focusing.

Why Buy the Canon Powershot G10?

The Powershot G10 is very impressive. It has Digital SLR features, great picture quality and the design of the camera puts key features at your fingertips. The build quality is top drawer and the LCD screen is of the highest quality.

Image Quality Canon Powershot G10 test shots

Outdoor 1 (Medium Zoom)

The Powershot G10 takes great photos. Focusing is excellent. This is true both in the centre of the photo and out at the edges. The brickwork on the building in the middle of this test shot is more or less pin sharp, while the name on the boat towards the left hand side of the photo is also easy to read. The colours pack a punch too, with b blues and greens.

Outdoor 2 (No Zoom)

Despite the fact that the Powershot G10 has a wide angle lens this is still a sharp photo. Digital cameras with wide angle lenses can create photos that lack sharpness when the lens is not zoomed in at all, but this camera outperforms the pack.

Outdoor 3 (Maximum Zoom)

This is another example showing sharp focus. I can pick out roof tiles, plus plenty of detail at the widest points of the photo. All in all my test shots have been very encouraging so far.

Outdoor 4 (Building)

This is the sharpest set of outdoor scenic shots I have taken in all the years I have been testing compact digital cameras. The definition in the photos is excellent and as I have mentioned above the levels of sharpness at the edges is outstanding.

Outdoor Portrait

With this photo I would like to have seen that bit more colour in the shot. Aside from that this is another sharp photo and you should be able to take high quality general portrait photos.

Indoor Portrait with Flash

As with other Canon digital cameras the amount of flash emitted by the flash unit is well controlled. This gives the colours a chance to shine and as you can see in this example there is plenty of colour in the photo.

Indoor Portrait without Flash

Without flash the Powershot G10 is still able to produce a photo with plenty of definition. Noise levels are kept to a minimum and although you are likely to need to resort to flash for most indoor shots you should be able to reel off the occasional natural light photograph.


The colours produced by the Powershot G10 are b in most cases. This is especially true for my outdoor scenic tests. Blues in particular come across as being vivid.


I am hard pressed to come up with a compact camera able to take a better macro shot than the Powershot G10. It is able to focus from more or less right next to a subject. If you are serious about macro photography then you will not find much better than this without stepping up to a Digital SLR.

ISO 400 and ISO 1600

At ISO 400 the Powershot G10 is still able to produce a decent picture. Yes there is noise showing, but the quality is again better than I am used to seeing. You should only use ISO 1600 if there is no other way of getting a shot.


The Powershot G10 has produced just about the best set of test shots I have taken. It is an expensive camera, but for me picture quality is excellent.

Shutter Lag and Recycling Times

For such an advanced and expensive digital camera I had hoped to see some very impressive shutter lag times. To be honest though the times are nothing special and there are faster cameras around. A single photo took 0.41 seconds and five took 10.07 seconds. With flash on times increased to 1.75 seconds for a single shot and 14.55 seconds for five.

To turn the camera on and take a photo took 2.57 seconds.

You can compare this camera to other models by taking a look at the Shutter Lag Comparison Table.


I am very impressed by the build quality. It has a very solid feel. It is not easy to describe the camera as it has a different look than most standard digital cameras. It is rectangular with a small grip on the front to enable you to take a steady hold.


109.1 x 77.7 x 45.9mm




Lithium ion (NB-7L). Canon supplies both a battery and charger with the Powershot G10. They estimate you should be able to take up to 400 photos in between charges.

Memory Cards

No memory card is supplied with the Powershot G10 and no storage has been built into the camera. It is compatible with SD and SDHC memory cards.

Ease of Use Rating

Difficult. If you are looking for a straightforward digital camera then you are advised to look elsewhere. This camera has a multitude of features and to get the most for your money you will need to develop a good understanding of what each feature can offer you. This will take time, but you will be rewarded for your efforts.

The addition of various buttons and dials helps to put a number of key controls at your fingertips. This helps to speed up the section process of the right settings when you are out and about with your camera.

Points I Like

Picture quality - build quality - features - LCD screen - lay out of controls

Where it Could Improve

Shutter delay times could be better


There are not that many compact digital cameras with this number of features. Its closest rival is probably the Nikon Coolpix P6000.


The Canon Powershot G10 is not cheap, but in my opinion it lives up to its price tag. It offers that bit extra all round when compared to other models. If you are serious about photography and would like a camera with SLR features, but without the bulk then take a very close look at this camera.

Front View Front View

Back View Back View

Top View Top View

Sample Menu

menu setup

playback functions

Original review of this Digital Camera can be found at

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