Canon Powershot G10 and the future of compacts

I have just purchased a new camera- a Canon G10 – after losing my Nikon SLR in the Alps.  The money from my insurance company was not enough to buy an SLR of the quality that I would want and the size of the G10 makes it perfect for travel and climbing.  This makes it perfect for me at the moment – if I need higher quality I can borrow or rent an SLR.

The quality of the camera isn’t bad either (see the DP Review here).  The G10 has a pretty sharp lens and a solid body with several control dials to change settings quickly which I love.  The zoom range is also fantastic with a fairly wide-angle lens.  For me, the main reason for buying a camera like this, rather than a cheaper, more compact one, is the abilty to shoot RAW.   Clearly a camera this small cannot produce the same quality images as an SLR having a smaller sensor and one zoom lens.

There are few features that I am disappointed that were not included however.  The main one would be improved performance at high ISO.  Increasing pixel counts at the expense of noise at ISO 400 and above seems to be in contradiction to what the type of consumer that would buy a G10 wants.  The speed of the camera is not fantastic either.  Not quite so importantly I would like to see High Definition video on the G10.  Again this is technology that is available to lower end SLRs.  Perhaps it is not in camera manufacturers interests to create such a well featured camera that could impact on their lucrative consumer SLR market, with all its potential add-ons (think extra lenses and flash guns etc.)

Hopefully the camera manufacturers will soon realise that their customers buying cameras such as the G10 or Nikon’s P6000 are not fooled by huge pixel counts and start providing them with what they want – a compact camera that performs well in low light, has a wide angle and can be used efficiently in manual and auto modes.

Still, the G10 seems to be a great camera for its convenient size and look for to having fun with it and hopefully taking some great photos.

~ by peterdarch on December 13, 2008.

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