Canon G10- New but not improved

G10 review.

This is the review I have been excited to write for months. I have read the rumors on the blogs about Canon discontinuing the G9 and all the new and improved features for the G10. I pre order the rig on Amazon and sure enough it delivered today October 3rd, 2008. With the excitement of a 10 year old I ripped open the box and unleashed the new toy.

That is where the excitement ended.

Being intimately familiar with the G9 I intuitively reached for the Video function of the G10 as I have heard about the new and improves DIGIC 4 chip and the ability of it to produce HD quality video on an SLR. How exciting to have better video!! Wait, what’s this, small video format and NO TIME LAPSE feature. WTF??? I pay $50 more and Canon drops features that turned me onto the G9 in the first place. WTF!!! I am pissed! Who was the genius at Canon that is living in a bat cave to loose sight of what makes the G9 wonderful in this new world of bloggin! Was the decision maker a frustrated SLR engineer that wanted to gets rocks off on a 14.7 megapixel CCD senor? Why even have the G10 at all. Other point and shoots are smaller and have a large enough meg for decent prints, the larger SLR have better quality and better everything so why go with this G10 product that has nothing more to offer than less noisy images in low light and a faster processing speed that is negligible to the end user any way. WTF??? The over under dial is handy and more convenient but come on guys, I can tweak that exposure on the back end in photoshop and the G9 over/under function wasn’t that horrible. Shit even the lens cover looks cheaper than the original G9 lens cover. I bet this one scratches the lens in its poor construction too. WTF? You could have at least made that better for $499.

Sell me more hokus pokus BS features like Image Stabilizers and make me thin k I am getting an upgrade.

Mr. G10 engineer, you go thru the whole mechanic of moving the over / under dial on the physical body of the camera and the programmers can’t even make the RAW feature of the camera up front and easy to use. Get out of your retro film mentality and get on the digital age.

i-Contrast doesn’t even exist on my camera; I can’t find it to test it and who does this stuff in the camera anyway. This is all done in Photoshop. Come on guys. WTF??

Face Detection- come on. That’s all you guys got for advances in the G10.

Here is why I like the G9 and where you can go with the G11 to make this camera rock!

1. The G9 had a metal chassy that made it more durable for hard-core adventures like mountain bike rides and punk rock concerts.

2. The retro styling gave it a hipster flare that mad subjects feel important yet relaxed. A traditional SLR is too much camera for intimate setting where the goal is to capture amazing people being real.

3. It was a 12 megapixel camera that has the ability to shoot RAW. The fact that it shoots RAW implies that the user has Post Production skills and understands the art and craft of developing a digital image. How big a file do we real need? 8 meg is more than enough for most output use; I am not impressed with 14 meg over 12 meg as an added feature/ function in the G10. This just means I have a larger storage needs over the long haul.

4. VIDEO. This is where the G9 broke thru. It has the ability to shoot more than a 30 second clip of low res video. The convenient QuickTime’s were easy to flow into an I- Moive blog post. I am so sadden by the removal of the TIME LAPSE. You work hard on blowing up features that are needed in the chassis and better used in postproduction on a computer. The video you give me in trade on the G10 is 640 when I had 1080 on the G9, I feel ripped off. Its like you did get the whole magic of the g9. The G9 was able to switch back and forth from digital to still so quickly and efficiently. The G9 is a bloggers dream come true and the G10 proves that Canon has lost sight of its end user.

I hate being the hater. In true good sportsman ship it is only fair to include some constructive ideas to help my consumer experience and I am sure other fans of the G9

In this world where Nike ID allows me the consumer to go online and design my own color way shoes, products are called the IPhone, HP has a customizable computer called the Blackbird, why can’t we have a camera that is also customizable? The experience idea is like this:

The “I-camera” comes a 14 meg CCd sensor. It comes with the ability to shoot video and RAW images. Instead of pre loading the feature/ functions at the factory, include on the CD with the camera pre loaded bundles of feature/ functions that the I-camera loads up off their computer. The bundles could pre arranged for specialty shooters. The “Blogger” package has 72 dpi setting, good audio features and a range of video choices. The “Friends and Family” package includes more face recognition; in camera filter packages and the ability to upload to Flickr from the camera. The “Pro-sumer” package has RAW features up front and easier to adjust, action auto tracking, a better zoom lens feature. The “Landscaper” packing has filters with split ND for better sunsets; auto bracketing is up front and easy to use. The point is you already have these configurations on the camera from the factory yet you include it all and it comes off like you haven’t thought about anyone’s specific needs. Then you don’t drop a feature and discontinue the old model is sheer arrogance. Dropping the Time Lapse video feature along with the compact video feature was a huge mistake. Why not let me as the customer choose my experience with your product? I promise to break multiple cameras to insure that I continue to stay in your consumer circle and feed your corporate hunger, if you promise to appear to care about how I use your camera and the personal experience I want to have with it.

It feels like the Canon G10 team forgot what made the G9 cool and focused on some lame film throw backs with the design. It’s a digital camera, why bracket in 1/3 stops when in a RAW images you have plenty of latitude to adjust the exposure. Why not have the consumer choose their firm ware option and have an iCamera experience. It would be a unique palc ein the market place, it is easy enough to install and we are not robot consumers that will but what ever you put in front of us. Consider the user experience and give the people what they want!

Canon G10 review – New but not improved from Dave Allen on Vimeo.

22 Responses to “Canon G10- New but not improved”

  1. Souney says:

    Shucks, I was actually really looking forward to this being a great camera.

    Somehow I suspect Canon will not be as quick to use your video to promote the G10 as Vincent LaForet’s 5Dmk2 film.

    … and that poor apple!

  2. Zimmerman says:

    Whoa now, I’m so glad I just read this. I was just about to put my G9 in a box and list it for sale.

    First Apple forces glossy Macbook “Pro” screens on us and then Canon pulls this stunt? Why aren’t these companies listening to their consumers?

    Frustrating.

    - Tim

  3. keeney says:

    (rolling on the floor laughing…)

  4. squid says:

    i’ve heard from photo people that….the….Panasonic LX3 was or is the way to go.

  5. dano says:

    YAA! Smash! Smash! Looks lie I’ll have to take the g9 in to clean out the dust and keep it instead of upgrading.

  6. Nicholas says:

    so if i don’t have the g9 is the g10 the way to go. If not, which else is there in the market with similar features, image quality, etc??

  7. kurtizone says:

    Why are you saying that the G10 doesn’t support RAW in Av mode? The table in the G10 manual (p. 300) clearly shows RAW support in M, Tv, Av and M modes. Only P mode doesn’t support it.

    http://gdlp01.c-wss.com/gds/0300001565/PSG10_CUG_EN.pdf

  8. trevorgraves says:

    As you write “Only the P mode doesn’t support it”…..is there an internal button in your head that says, why doesn’t Canon make RAW work in ALL modes?

  9. kurtizone says:

    Well, there are many buttons that go off in my head about these small cameras. The issue, of course, is deciding which ones you’re willing to live with. Can I live with no RAW in M, Av or Tv modes? Absolutely not. Can I live without RAW in P mode? Yes, because in P, I’ve already given up most of the control to the camera anyway. However, I can’t say that I’m clear about why that should be the case, other than it’s more logic to be implemented on the chip. Who knows what compromises are forced onto the engineers when they try to design a $500 camera?
    As I reviewed the manual, I’m a lot more concerned about a photog’s UX, as he tries to set up critical features before the dog runs away. The 40D UI saved me from departing from Canon, and while the G10 appears to improve on earlier G series (I still use my G6 because of the f2.0 lens, its RAW capability and the fact that you can fit a polarizer with the DC58 adapter), it’s clear that, if you want to have one in your pocket, you’re going to have to come to terms with a klutzier interface.

  10. trevorgraves says:

    kurtiezone
    Thanks for the insightful reflection on the G10. You are so right when you say you can live with the RAW modes in this or that mode. After all you get what you pay for at the end of the day. The manufacture has real time issues with the physical components of a camera to deliver at a price point the customer will swallow. The inspiration for the post to was to address the idea that the manufactures can design a user interface that is more suited for the end user. After all, the firm wear doesn’t take up anymore space. In this age with the iPhone and iPhone applications, (heck an iPhone can shoot and post to flickr from the phone) the current user interface systems in camera today feel and operate like a Commodore 64.

  11. kurtj29 says:

    I really liked your post and had already thought I had decided to get a G10. Your post made me think twice. But now I am seeing a lot of posts that are raving about the IQ of the G10, being a significant improvement over the G9. I think this is the best post out there – made me decide to put the G10 back on the Christmas buy list.: http://luminous-landscape.com/reviews/kidding.shtml

    My question – did you look at the IQ of the images? Or were you just so upset over the video and UI concerns that those alone were a deal breaker? I really don’t care for video. Post processing of images takes me a lot of time. I just don’t have enough hours in a day to consider video post processing. I think I can live with a compromise if the IQ is as good as the LL post says it is. I am excited by the camera again.

    Thanks for the post – it was funny.

  12. trevorgraves says:

    Hey kurtj29-
    I read the post in your link and it sure sounds like the G10 is impressing the author. In the studio we have a Hassy H1 with the 42 meg Phase back and tested it vs. our Nikon D2x and the Phase back won in many areas, mostly the shadow detail. However, if you are in the market to spend $500 to have a decent rig to capture still images, I won’t take that away from the G10. I had that G10 for about 5 hours before I thought it would be a great idea to have my friend with a 400 FPS, 16m film camera capture my frustration.

    Before it’s “execution, I did do a quick side by side with the G9. The G10 had a better image quality in a poorly lit room. The image stablization, not so sure. It did seem to have better Shadow detail, the highlights, I wasn’t able to compare. To shoot stills at 28mm, ISO 200 or less, in good light, the image quality is pro, a great deal at $500. To shoot the family and blog posts, I will stick with the army of G9′s I have. If I needed a non intrusive camera to capture editorial stills of people being real, I would consider the G10. I didn’t try the i-Contrast feature, it might save you some post processing, it sounds like you are guy that tweaks the digital images until they are just right!

    Keep me informed on what you learn!

  13. Frank says:

    WTF???????

  14. kurtizone says:

    I’d suggest that anyone concerned with IQ out of a digicam – G10 or otherwise, spend some serious time on Michael Reichmann’s website in order to find out what a histogram is, what it tells you and how to use it to maximize IQ.

    For starters, try
    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/understanding-series/understanding-histograms.shtml

    and then read his piece on exposing the histo to the right:
    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/expose-right.shtml

    The key idea behind the expose to the right thinking is that a digital image of any bit length (generally 12 bits, but now moving up to 14 in new Canons and Nikons) has a number space that can be mapped to brightness levels. A single pixel run through a 12 bit analog-digital (A/D) converter has 2^12 or 4096 possible brightness values. A histogram is just those brightness values for all of the pixels on the sensor chip.
    In the table from the second URL ref, Reichmann shows how much of this ‘brightness space’, as represented by 4096 different values, gets allocated as you move from the aperture value holding the brightest value to the dimmest one 5 f-stops down. What’s striking about these values is how few of them in the number space are used to encode shadows. Reichamann”s article was written a few years ago when a 5 stop range was typical for digital cameras – now they’re pushing 7 and 8 stops of brightness, making the problem more severe. So, in the real world, what this means is, that if you shoot in a dim light, and your histo is biased into the lower end, when you try to re-balance it in LR or Photoshop, you have very little information in those pixel values, and you end up with posterized images and lots of luminance noise – AKA bad IQ. Making things worse is the tendency to jack up the ISO value, which changes the gain of the amplifiers that take the output of each pixel as it reacts to the light. In low light you have signal/noise ratio problems, unless you take steps to increase your exposure time. This, of course, will push the histo over to the right – it’s like the light is filling up the pixel buckets. If the light is dim, you have to wait longer for them to fill up than in bright conditions. But if you do this by allowing for more exposure time, then you get a fat, well-distributed histo and much better IQ.

    It’s interesting to take some shots in dim conditions and look at the amount of luminance noise you get in shadows for images shot with various types of histo. No question – biasing a fat curve to the right produces the cleanest images

  15. Tom says:

    Smashing a G10 like that…you simply show no respect for people.

  16. Ex G9 User says:

    My G9 died yesterday, just wont turn on. I took it into a shop and they tested it. Dead. It is nine months old.

    The guy suggests I part ex for a G10.

    I have a wide angle adaptor but…. the G9 lens adapter doesn’t fit the G10!!

    I google G9 and find out they have ditched the timelapse and the large format video.

    INSANITY.

    All they had to do with the G10 was bump up the res to 14.7mp and leave the rest alone and I would have bought TWO.

    How much are those Nikon D90s again?

  17. trevorgraves says:

    I am feeling ya. A new ship in a G9 and Ill buy it too. Maybe Canon can give us a call and we can share our thoughts and insight and maybe the g11 will be the point and shoot we need!

    I have been grabbing G9s on ebay and craigslist. in the studio we now have 4 in reserve. These little G9 work horses are sure to get dropped in a lake, dragged behind a car or have beer tossed on them, but they get the shot!

  18. [...] a todos, Para poner m

  19. [...] you remember a few weeks ago, Trevor Graves posted his thoughts about Canon’s new Powershot G10. I know I know, you can’t believe someone would ruin [...]

  20. Joe Mason says:

    i own several Canon L Lenses and they have the best quality. even better than Nikon.,;;

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