I probably sound like a broken record here but companies keep releasing cameras in my range but I don't have enough information to actually purchase one.The camera that I'm trying to replace is a Canon G7 which is currently broken. I can get it fixed for about $135.00 but advances have been made since I got it. Nikon and Panasonic have both come out with replacements to their sub-SLR level cameras. The Canon P5100 was so pathetically slow that it knocked itself out of the running even though the specs and the photos were excellent. I've not seen a review on the P6000 yet to know if they fixed that issue. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX1 and LX2 made photos that resembled Degas paintings at ISOs greater than 200 so they were out even though they had great specs. Now here we are with a new Canon G series camera. I've put together a chart below (ripped from dpreviews comparison page) of the three contenders. Below the chart I'll outline the pluses and minuses as I see them.
|Nikon Coolpix P6000||Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3||Canon Powershot G10|
|Max resolution||4224 x 3168||3648 x 2736||4416 x 3312|
|Effective pixels||13.5 million||10.1 million||14.7 million|
|Sensor photo detectors||13.93 million||11.3 million||Unknown|
|Sensor size||1/1.72" (7.40 x 5.55 mm, 0.41 cm²)||1/1.63 "||1/1.7 " (7.60 x 5.70 mm, 0.43 cm²)|
|Pixel density||33 MP/cm²||24 MP/cm²||34 MP/cm²|
|ISO rating||Auto (64 - 800), Hi-Auto (64 - 1600), 64, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, (3200, 6400 at 3MP)||Auto, Hi Auto (1600-6400), 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200||Auto, 80 ,100, 200, 400, 800, 1600|
|Zoom wide (W)||28 mm||24 mm||28 mm|
|Zoom tele (T)||112 mm (4 x)||60 mm (2.5 x)||140 mm (5 x)|
|Image stabilization||Yes||Yes, Lens||Yes, Lens|
|Macro focus range||2 cm||1 cm||1 cm|
|Aperture range||F2.7 - F5.9||F2.0 - F2.8||F2.8 - F4.5|
|Min shutter||Unknown||60 sec||15 sec|
|Max shutter||Unknown||1/2000 sec||1/4000 sec|
|Built-in Flash||Yes||Yes, pop-up||Yes|
|Flash guide no.||8.0 m (26.2 ft)||8.3 m (27.2 ft) (Auto ISO)||4.6 m (15 ft)|
|External flash||Yes, hot shoe||Yes||Yes|
|Flash modes||Auto, Fill-in, Red-Eye reduction, Slow, Off||Auto, Red-Eye Auto, On, Red-Eye On, Red-Eye Slow Sync, Off,||Auto, Fill-in, Red-Eye reduction, Slow Sync, Off|
|Metering||Unknown||Multi-segment, Center-weighted, Spot||Evaluative, Center Weighted, Spot|
|Lens thread||Yes||Yes, optional adapter||No|
|Continuous Drive||Yes||Yes, 2.5 fps, max 8 images||Yes, 0.7 fps|
|Movie Clips||Yes, 640 x 480, 15/30 fps, 320 x 240, 15 fps, 160 x 120, 15 fps||Yes, 1280 x 720 @ 24 fps, 848 x 480, 640 x 480, 320 x 240 @ 30fps, 320 x 240 @ 10fps||Yes, 640 x 480 @ 30 fps, 320 x 240 @ 30 fps, 160 x 120 @ 15 fps|
|Self-timer||3 or 10 sec||2 or 10 sec||2 or 10 sec or custom|
|LCD||2.7 "||3.0 "||3.0 "|
|Weight (inc. batteries)||280 g (9.9 oz)||265 g (9.3 oz)||390 g (13.8 oz)|
|Dimensions||107 x 65.2 x 42 mm (4.2 x 2.6 x 1.7 in)||109 x 60 x 27 mm (4.3 x 2.4 x 1.1 in)||109 x 78 x 46 mm (4.3 x 3.1 x 1.8 in)|
I can honestly say that I only had a few complaints about the Canon G7 - it was heavy and a bit bigger than I wanted and it didn't have a built in wide angle lens. I bought the external wide angle and rarely used it because it was huge.
Let's look at what's changed with the new Canon G10.
- More pixels (like anyone cares)
- 1/2 larger screen than the G7 but same as the G9
- LCD screen has double the pixels (thank you Canon)
- New top mounted AE compensation dial (thank you, thank you Canon)
- A bigger grip :-)
- Movie mode seems to have gone backward to VGA
- Continuous mode took a drive with AF 0.7 fps without 1.3.
- Slightly larger sensor to accomodate the extra 4.7 mp
- It's bigger in every dimension by a few mm and heavier (NO!!!)
- New wide angle lens!!!
Canon's site is listing 1.3 fps and .7 with AF whereas the G9 did 1.5 and .7 and the G7 was at 2.0 fps. This 1.3 fps is slower than the others but maybe if you dropped the resolution to 10mp it would faster. Also the chart says the G10 doesn't have a lens thread for add on lenses when in fact the photos show what looks to be an identical lens thread to the G7 and G9. I think these specs will be revised as soon as more data is available. Also the Canon site is listing the weight at 12.3 oz and not the 13.8 so it's basicallyonly 1 oz heavier than it's siblings. So the bad news is it gained more girth, the worthless movie mode is gone (1024x768x15fps) and the continous drive mode is slower. Other than that I think it's a nice logical progression for the Powershot models.
I'm not buying any of these cameras this minute. I really need to wait for reviews of the Nikon and Panasonic before making any choices but if I WERE I'd choose the Canon G10. The reason is Canon is predictable. The G10 will be a great camera and there won't be any surprises.
I've written about this before but looking at the changes in the Panasonic LX-3 over the LX-2 it still seems like Panasonic is trying to make up for a poor sensor. They didn't bump pixels and actually increased the sensor size, brought out new noise reduction and replaced the lens with a really fast super wide angle. It appears it's all in an attempt to keep the ISO down and to clean up the pictures. This worries me. Also I'm not sure I could go back to a lens that zooms IN to about normal (60mm). My first Canon S230 would zoom in to 70mm and I always thought the zoom was worthless. As a side note though it goes out to 24mm which would be awesome. Outside of the lack of any real zoom the specs on the Panasonic look wonderful - but I still don't trust them. I do have to say though that size wize the Panasonic could replace both my G7 and the new SD870. It would be nice to have one camera.
The Nikon looks good too with a lens that's nearly the same as Canons (but with less zoom), the pixel count is similar, the sensor size is similar, movie mode is identical, size is a bit smaller and weighs significanly less than the G10 but they too have to prove themselves to me. In the past the P series was painfully slow and I can't live with that.
All said and done I'm still in a holding pattern over my future G7 replacement. I figure I'll still have the G7 fixed and sell it with it's wide angle lens on Ebay or Craigslist for about $400 so I'll only have to outlay about $100 for any of the new cameras.