The capable Canon PowerShot G10 garners the most enthusiast reviews among critics as the best advanced digital camera. An upgrade to its highly rated predecessor -- the Canon PowerShot G9 -- the G10 has a wider-angle 28 mm lens, a beefier 14.7-megapixel sensor and a gorgeous 3-inch, 461,000-pixel LCD display, which has double the resolution. In addition, the G10 supports RAW image format for full editing capabilities and has a 5x zoom lens with optical image stabilization, a flash hotshot and an energy-saving optical viewfinder. Video records to QuickTime files that make for easy uploads to YouTube. While enthusiasts say that the real fun in using the G10 comes from the manual mode -- which includes aperture and shutter priority controls for greater creative flexibility -- Canon has included a selection of 18 automatic and scene modes to give those with less experience a bit of help when needed. Experts say that the Canon PowerShot G10 can produce outstanding photos, particularly when shooting in RAW mode. However, noise is a problem. Cliff Smith at TrustedReviews.com says noise can be clearly seen at settings as low as ISO 200, a fault noted by more than a few users at Amazon.com. Don Wan at DPReview.com says some noise can even be seen at ISO 80 but adds that as long as you stay below ISO 400, the camera is capable of good -- and even spectacular -- standard-sized prints. Mark Goldstein at PhotographyBlog.com says colors are "punchy" but not inaccurate, and the G10 delivers "excellent night and macro performance." However, in tests at InfoSyncWorld.com, Mike Perlman found the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 to deliver better overall image quality.
Most of the reviews we found of the PowerShot G10 are at photo-enthusiast websites: Imaging-Resource.com, PhotographyBlog.com, DPReview.com and Steves-Digicams.com all give it thorough treatment. InfoSyncWorld.com also offers a full review, while Amazon.com has a number of owner reviews, which offer insight into long-term use of the camera.
"The Canon G10 is an impressive photographic tool for the discriminating enthusiast," reviewer Mike Pasini says. Despite the grainy image noise and its extra heft, Pasini gives the Canon G10 high grades for build quality, manual flexibility and great ergonomics. Overall, it rates as one of the best advanced digital cameras ever tested at the site.
Review: Canon PowerShot G10, Mike Pasini, Jan. 30, 2009
Photo expert Mark Goldstein praises the Canon PowerShot G10, designating it as "the best ever Canon G-Series camera" and a worthy alternative to the highly rated Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3. Welcome improvements include a better grip and control buttons, intuitive interface and a brighter LCD. Like other experts, the excessive image noise -- particularly at lower ISO settings -- gives him pause.
Review: Canon PowerShot G10 Review, Mark Goldstein, Oct. 27, 2008
Like many experts, Don Wan is smitten by the Canon PowerShot G10's upgrades in build, ergonomics and features. "The G10 is a camera you don't want to put down once you have picked it up," he says in regards to its full palette of manual controls. However, the increased megapixel count and consequent image noise disappoints, and he wonders "How good could this camera have been, had Canon taken a more conservative approach to resolution and put as much effort into optimizing image quality as it did into making such an impressive camera body?"
Review: Canon PowerShot G10 Review, Don Wan, Nov. 2008
The editors at Steves-Digicams.com say the Canon PowerShot G10 is the perfect camera for anyone who "isn't quite ready to jump into the DSLR world" but wants a powerful yet user-friendly compact digital camera. In addition to excellent image quality, the G10 has plenty of manual features for budding to advanced photography enthusiasts. A lack of HD video and an inaccurate optical viewfinder are among the few shortcomings.
Review: Canon PowerShot G10 Review, Editors of Steves-Digicams.com, Dec. 29, 2008
"For the advanced amateur looking for manual versatility, the PowerShot G10 is the golden choice," says reviewer Mike Perlman. The G10's plethora of manual controls offers plenty of room for creativity, although Perlman stops short of a full recommendation because of image quality. Like other experts, he finds the increased megapixel resolution to undermine full photo capabilities, and in the end, he prefers the now on-its-way-out Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3.
Review: Review Center: Digital Camera, Mike Perlman, Feb. 2, 2009
Over 230 owners of the Canon PowerShot G10 weigh in on the camera's performance at Amazon. Most praise its versatile feature set and excellent image quality. As one user says, the G10 is the "happy medium between DSLR's and point and shoot cameras." Complaints occasionally surface, among them handling issues -- particularly with control buttons -- and image noise at much above 200 ISO.
Review: Canon Powershot G10 14.7MP Digital Camera, Contributors to Amazon.com