Canon’s new flagship in its PowerShot range is the G10, successor, unsurprisingly, to the G9. It retains all the G9’s chunky styling while upping the megapixel count to a whopping 14.7, adding a wide-angle 28mm lens and, well, fiddling about with the controls a bit.

Jack of all trades

It has a ‘prosumer’ tag, which means it’s aimed at both professionals and us average Joes, but the danger can be that it misses both markets.

Not so here: while the sheer heft of the PowerShot G10 makes it an unlikely purchase for teens wanting to snap their mates drinking WKD while wearing nu-rave garms, it’s certainly suitable for general digicam users looking to up the ante with a bit of creative control.

And DSLR users will appreciate the full manual capability and sheer picture quality from something which, compared to their usual kits, is pretty pocketable.

Ugly duckling

The G10 certainly won’t win any beauty contests. But while it lacks style, looking like something your dad may have used in the early 80s, it’s actually really pleasing in the hand.

It feels solid and serious, and those four little click-wheels are mighty satisfying to use. Who needs touchscreens anyway?

Screen test

Speaking of screens, this one’s a doozy: there are 460,000 pixels packed into its 3 inches, and boy is it pin-sharp. What’s more, it displays all of the picture you’ll take, which is more than some DSLRs can say, and takes the guesswork out of composition.

You can see a live histogram, which is handy, plus a slightly kindergarten-style animated representation of the shooting mode dial. It’s a shame it doesn’t switch off automatically when you use the optical viewfinder, though.

Picture this

The PowerShot G10’s 28-140mm wide-angle lens makes it a very versatile camera that’ll even take decent landscape shots (though you can only stoop down to f8, in common with most compacts).

And while it’s never going to rival a pro SLR, performance in low light is commendable; the G10 offers ISO 80, plus an automatic high ISO setting.

We do question the addition of a dedicated exposure compensation dial, though; it’s useful functionality, sure, but hardly worth cluttering up the top panel for.

Specs ’n’ effects

There are now 26 scene modes, and it not only boasts Face Detection, but Face Detection Self-Timer – the shutter is released when a new face enters the frame (though not necessarily when the new face has had time to paste on a smile).

On the more serious side, you can attach an external flash unit, a ring flash and a 1.4x teleconverter, and the G10 works with the RS60-E3 remote control, which is useful when it’s mounted on a tripod.

The G10 certainly isn't for the beginner, but the peerless controls, excellent ergonomics and stunning picture quality make it the best upgrade yet for casual users or SLR owners looking for a new toy.


Stuff says... 

Canon PowerShot G10 review

Chunky, but that's a small price to pay for the finest camera yet to bridge the SLR-compact divide