Grant McWilliams

Photography Canon G10 - finally a G7 replacement

Canon G10 - finally a G7 replacement

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
Image Nikon Coolpix P6000 Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 Canon Powershot G10
Price (street)
$499.97
$485.30
$499.00
Click for help Max resolution 4224 x 3168 3648 x 2736 4416 x 3312
Click for help Effective pixels 13.5 million 10.1 million 14.7 million
Click for help Sensor photo detectors 13.93 million 11.3 million Unknown
Click for help 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)
Click for help Pixel density 33 MP/cm² 24 MP/cm² 34 MP/cm²
Click for help 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
Click for help Zoom wide (W) 28 mm 24 mm 28 mm
Click for help Zoom tele (T) 112 mm (4 x) 60 mm (2.5 x) 140 mm (5 x)
Click for help Image stabilization Yes Yes, Lens Yes, Lens
Click for help Manual Focus Yes Yes Yes
Click for help Macro focus range 2 cm 1 cm 1 cm
Click for help Aperture range F2.7 - F5.9 F2.0 - F2.8 F2.8 - F4.5
Click for help Min shutter Unknown 60 sec 15 sec
Click for help 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
Click for help Metering Unknown Multi-segment, Center-weighted, Spot Evaluative, Center Weighted, Spot
Click for help Aperture priority Yes Yes Yes
Click for help Shutter priority Yes Yes Yes
Lens thread Yes Yes, optional adapter No
Click for help 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
Orientation sensor No Yes Yes
Click for help Uncompressed format Yes RAW RAW
Click for help Viewfinder Yes No Optical
Click for help LCD 2.7 " 3.0 " 3.0 "
Click for help LCD Pixels 230,000 460,000 461,000
Click for help Video out   Yes Yes
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.

  1. More pixels (like anyone cares)
  2. 1/2 larger screen than the G7 but same as the G9
  3. LCD screen has double the pixels (thank you Canon)
  4. New top mounted AE compensation dial (thank you, thank you Canon)
  5. A bigger grip :-)
  6. Movie mode seems to have gone backward to VGA
  7. Continuous mode took a drive with AF 0.7 fps without 1.3.
  8. Slightly larger sensor to accomodate the extra 4.7 mp
  9. It's bigger in every dimension by a few mm and heavier (NO!!!)
  10. 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.

Photography Canon G10 - finally a G7 replacement