Aimed at ‘serious’ users, we’ve always liked Canon’s Powershot G range of cameras, with their rugged looks, no-nonsense black lines and full feature set.
The recently introduced PowerShot G11 wisely bucked the ‘megapixel wars’ dictum, and aimed for image quality rather than ever-escalating pixel counts, reducing the resolution down to 10 MPs from its predecessor’s 14.7MP.
Overall, the new G11 pulls together a feature set designed to hit photographers in their soft spot (i.e. the wallet), offering a 2.8″ swivel and tilt vari-angle screen, 5x, 28-140mm zoom lens(f/2.8-f/4.5), RAW shooting mode, optical image stabiliser, optical viewfinder, 1cm macro mode, and full range of manual shooting modes.
It’s still a chunky fella, mind – particularly when compared to our current favourite compact digital camera, the Lumix LX3 – with the G11 proving a pocket challenging proposition at 112.1 x 76.2 x 48.3 mm.
In line with it’s enthusiast aspirations, the camera’s top plate comes with solid, rangefinder-like dials to set the shooting mode, select ISO speed and adjust exposure, plus a flash hotshoe and shutter release.
Shooting modes on offer include auto capture, program, shutter priority, aperture priority and manual, plus two user customisable settings, with a total of 17 scene modes and a stitch assist mode available.
Surprisingly, the G11 can only capture a feeble 1.1 frames per second at full resolution in continuous-shooting mode, so sports photographers – jog on.
There’s also a video mode available, although the resolution remains stuck at a disappointing, non-HD 640×480 pixels at 30fps, and the optical zoom is disabled when filming.
The G11 has picked up pretty positive reviews about its image quality, with Photographyblog praising the vibrant colours and fine detail, although noting that sky detail tended to burn out at default settings.
Wired Magazine found the Canon’s files to be sharp and impressively noise free up to ISO 400, with noise becoming an issue at ISO 800 and above.
What Digital Camera were equally impressed, applauding the G11’s “reassuringly reliable exposures” and digging the “impressive dynamic range displayed by the sensor,” and the way the camera preserved shadow detail and prevented highlights from blowing out in difficult lighting. However, the white balance was found to be a bit on the iffy side.
We love the old-school top-plate controls, beefy build and manual controls, making the Canon PowerShot G11 an excellent all round compact, capable of taking a few knocks.
It looks like the kind of camera that’ll give you many years of faithful service, with its range of high end controls and features meaning you’ll rarely miss a shot and be able to produce shots of the highest quality.
However, it’s certainly heavier and bulkier than rival cameras and the price tag of £569.00 nudges it deep into dSLR territory and leaves it perilously close to Panasonic’s sensational Lumix GF1, which is almost the same size.
If you don’t mind carrying around a more man sized compact, then we can thoroughly recommend the G11 – it’ll do everything you ask of it – although the smaller Lumix LX3 may prove more practical as a carry-everywhere compact.
If you’re stoked to the max by this review, scoop yourself one on Amazon for around £450: Canon PowerShot G11
Type 1/1.7” CCD
Effective Pixels Approx.10.0M
Colour Filter Type Primary Colour
Type DIGIC 4 with iSAPS technology
6.1 – 30.5 mm (35mm equivalent: 28-140mm)
Optical 5x. Digital approx. 4x (with Digital Tele-Converter approx. 1.4x or 2.3x and Safety Zoom¹)². Combined approx. 20x
Maximum f/number f/2.8-f/4.5
11 elements in 9 groups (1 double-sided aspherical element)
AF System/ Points
AiAF (Face Detection / 9-point), 1-point AF (Any position is available, fixed centre or Face Select and Track)
Single, Continuous, Servo AF/AE¹
AF Point Selection
Manual selection using FlexiZone AF/AE, Size (Normal, Small)
AF Assist Beam
Manual Focus Yes
Focus Bracketing Yes
Closest Focusing Distance
1cm (W) from front of lens in macro
Evaluative (linked to Face Detection AF frame), Centre-weighted average, Spot (centre or linked to Face Detection AF or FlexiZone AF frame)
AE Lock Yes
+/- 2 EV in 1/3 stop increments
Enhanced i-Contrast for automatic dynamic range correction
ND Filter (3 stop)
AEB 1/3 – 2 EV in 1/3 stop increments
AUTO, 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200
1 – 1/4000 sec (factory default)
15 – 1/4000 sec (total range – varies by shooting mode)
Auto (including Face Detection WB), Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Fluorescent H, Flash, Underwater, Custom1, Custom2.
White Balance Correction
Real-image zoom, optical viewfinder
Dioptre Correction Yes
Vari-angle 2.8” PureColor II VA (TFT), approx. 461,000 dots
Adjustable to one of five levels. Quick-bright LCD
Auto, Manual Flash On / Off
Slow Sync Speed
Yes. Fastest speed 1/2000 sec
Red-Eye Reduction Yes
Flash Exposure Compensation
+/- 2 EV in 1/3 stop increments. Face Detection FE. Safety FE.
Flash Exposure Lock Yes
Manual Power Adjustment
3 levels with internal flash (up to 19 levels with external EX Speedlites 270EX and 430EX II. 22 levels with 580EX II¹)
Second Curtain Synchronisation Yes
Built-in Flash Range
50cm-7.0m (W) / 4.0m (T)
E-TTL with EX series Speedlites¹, Macro Twin Lite MT-24EX, Macro Ring Lite MR-14EX, Canon High Power Flash HF-DC1
Auto*, Program AE, Shutter priority AE, Aperture priority AE, Manual, Custom (2 modes), Low Light¹, Quick Shot, SCN (Portrait, Landscape, Night Scene, Sports, Night Snapshot, Kids & Pets, Indoor, Sunset, Foliage, Snow, Beach, Fireworks, Aquarium, Underwater, Color Accent, Color Swap, Stitch Assist), Movie
*with Scene Detection Technology and Motion Detection Technology
My Colours (My Colours Off, Vivid, Neutral, Sepia, Black & White, Positive Film, Lighter Skin Tone, Darker Skin Tone, Vivid Blue, Vivid Green, Vivid Red, Custom Color)
Single, Continuous, Self-Timer, FaceSelf-Timer
Approx. 1.1 shots/sec.¹, AF: Approx. 0.7 shots/sec.¹, LV: Approx. 0.8 shots/sec.¹ (until memory card becomes full)²
RECORDING PIXELS / COMPRESSION
(L & RAW) 3648 x 2736, (M1) 2816 x 2112, (M2) 2272 x 20%4, (M3) 1600 x 1200, (S) 640 x 480, (W) 3648 x 2048. Resize in playback (M3, S, 320 x 240)
640 x 480, 30fps
320 x 240, 30fps
Up to 4GB or 1 hour¹
Still Image Type
JPEG compression, (Exif 2.2 [Exif Print] compliant) / Design rule for Camera File system, RAW, Digital Print Order Format [DPOF] Version 1.1 compliant
MOV [H.264 + Linear PCM (monaural)]
Canon SELPHY Compact Photo Printers and Canon Inkjet Printers supporting PictBridge (ID Photo Print, Fixed Size Print and Movie Print supported on SELPHY CP & ES printers only)
Yes, during shooting and playback
My Camera / My Menu
Start-up image and camera sounds customisation. Menu customisation
Image tagging feature
Intelligent Orientation Sensor Yes
Approx. 2x – 10x
Approx. 2 or 10 sec., Custom or FaceSelf-Timer
Hi-Speed USB (MTP, PTP) dedicated connector (Mini-B compatible)
Other HDMI Mini Connector. A/V output (PAL/NTSC)
Type SD, SDHC, MMC, MMCplus, HC MMCplus.
SUPPORTED OPERATING SYSTEM
PC & Macintosh
Windows XP SP2-3 / Vista (including SP1-2)
Mac OS X v10.4 – 10.5
Browsing & Printing
ZoomBrowser EX / ImageBrowser
Digital Photo Professional for RAW development
Rechargeable Li-ion Battery NB-7L (NB-7L battery and charger supplied)
Approx. 390 shots¹
Approx. 420 min. playback
A/C Power Supply
Optional, AC Adapter Kit ACK-DC50
Cases / Straps
Soft Case DCC-660, SC-DC65A
Waterproof / Weatherproof Case
Waterproof Case (40m) WP-DC34, Waterproof Case Weight WW-DC1
Tele-converter 1.4x TC-DC58D
Lens adapter LA-DC58K
Canon Speedlites (including 220EX, 270EX, 430 EX, 430EX II, 580 EX, 580EX II¹), Macro Twin Lite MT-24EX, Macro Ring Lite MR-14EX, Speedlite Transmitter ST-E2, Off-Camera Shoe Cord OC-E3, Speedlite Bracket BKT-DC1
High Power Flash HF-DC1
Remote Controller/ Switch
Remote Switch RS-60E3
Power Supply & Battery Chargers
AC Adapter Kit ACK-DC50, Battery Charger CB-2LZE
Ring Accessory Kit RAK-DC2
Canon HDMI Cable HTC-100
0 – 40 °C, 10 – 90% humidity
Dimensions (WxHxD, excl. protrusions)
112.1 x 76.2 x 48.3 mm
Weight (body only) Approx. 355g