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Canon PowerShot G11 8 to 10 Megapixel
Product DescriptionYou asked, and Canon not only listened, but delivered big-time. Advanced amateurs who have overwhelmingly embraced the G Series will be delighted with the PowerShot G11, which features RAW mode for unlimited editing options, a 28mm wide-angle lens, and a 2.8-inch Vari-Angle PureColor System LCD. Add to that Canon's new High Sensitivity System and high-speed ISO for incredible image quality, and Canon's top-range compact digital camera is a truly groundbreaking successor.
Submitted by askrd a Expert
Date Reviewed: July 11, 2010
Strengths: 1. Really good results under low light conditions. Just don't expect the performance of a dSLR or evien a Micro 4/3; this is a compact camera with a tiny sensor. Really good results mean that you are not stuck at ISO 80 (that happened to me a lot with my previous G10), now you can go up to ISO 800 having a good quality.
2. Construction. Built like a tank.
3. Swivel LCD. It is a little smaller than G10's 3" LCD, but this 2.8" version is good enough, and you have the possibility of moving the screen which, to me, was a great feature of the G series. I owned Gs from the second generation (G2) and I loved the movable screen that finally is back with the G11. And the resolution is really good too.
4. Optics. I also own a Canon S90 and many reviewers say that the quality is the same in both cameras: I respectfully disagree. I have made tests of the same subject under the same light with both cameras and my suspicion was right: the G11 delivers better sharpness and detail. I guess that's because of better optics. The focal length of the G11 is really useful. OK, it is not a super zoom, but the optical quality is much better, without chromatic aberrations.
5. Manual control. It's not just that you have manual controls with the G11 but how these controls are implemented. First, it is great to have dials for the ISO setting and the exposure compensation. The only thing I miss is not having a control for the speed and another for aperture in manual mode, you have to switch with a button. Although you can leave the camera in AUTO with great results, going manual opens the full capabilities of the camera, and thus a great companion for dSLR users.
6. Compact. OK, if you put side by side the G11 with any ultra-thin compact (even de S90) you'll think that the G11 is the size of a Sea Monster. But when I spend a lot of time shooting with my 5D Mark II and then I pick up the G11 then I feel it is really small and compact. Although it is bigger than most compacts, it is way smaller than the smallest dSLR.
7. RAW. It is a must for me, I avoid JPGs as much as I can because I love to have the overall control over my images. And Lightroom 3 has a new and improved noise reduction capabilities that are a great companion to the G11's own capabilities. The G11 is a serious photographer's camera and I just can't believe that Canon took of this capability from the G7, but the G11 has it.
8. Easy to use. There are other nice and capable cameras in this segment, such as the Lumix LX3 and Canon's S90, but in both cases the G11 is bigger, but much easier to use. The user interface is very polished and those dials make your life really easier.
Weaknesses: Low res video. The lack of HD video these days is somewhat strange in such a high end camera. I don't really use this function that much, so this is not an importante weakness for me, but it may bother some users. The G11's VGA video resolution is a weak point.
Resolution. Canon trade better high ISO performance by reducing the resolution. Not that many years ago the Canon Rebel XT's 8mpx seemed to be just perfectly enough, and even the G6 was 7.1mpx. No the G11 sports "just" 10mpx. For some this may be a disadvantage and I think that to write a fair review this must be appointed. I'm not bothered at all with this.
Bulky. If you want to put it on your shirt or jeans' pocket don't even think about it, it just won't fit. If you are a dSLR user, then don't worry, you'll feel the G11 really tiny.
Slow lens. I'd love to have the f/2.0 lens that pre-G7 camera had in the G lineup. I love that in the S90
Slow performance. Not suitable for kids, pets, sports or any other fast moving subject. It is not sluggish, but certainly don't even dream about shooting fast moving subjects because the camera just won't be ready on time, as it happens with practically all compact cameras.
A solid high-end camera that delivers great results and has a usable high-ISO capability (up to ISO 800) with great ergonomy, an excellent swivel LCD, superb build quality and a really nice array of manual controls. Take in mind that is has sub-par VGA video resolution, a relatively slow performance, bulky size compared to the average compact camera and "just" 10mpx resolution.
Duration Product Used: 21+ years
Similar Products Used: I compare the G11 to Lumix LX3 and Canon S90.
A wonderful camera, small and powerful, and although it has a f/2.0 lens the focal length at 24-60mm (35mm equiv) is really short. It really depends on your style of photography and particular needs, but most of the time the limited zoom really becomes an issue when shooting with the LX3.
I love the Lumix LX3, but certainly Canon's S90 is better: comparable image quality and resolution but with a much more versatile 28-105mm focal length and with the same biggest f/2.0 aperture. It is even smaller. The only think I dislike about the S90 is ergonomy and the rear round control that could be really much better. Regarding a comparison with the G11, the S90 main feature is a much smaller size with comparable (yet not identical) quality. I use my S90 when I want to carry a really small camera that has a great quality, but if size is no problem, then I prefer the G11's swivel LCD monitor, overally ergonomy and all those dials. Oh, and, by the way, although the ring control of the S90 sounds great and tempting, I found that I almost never use it and it is not as useful as it sounds.
Type of photography: People
Submitted by frederick a Intermediate
Date Reviewed: July 2, 2010
Strengths: Picture quality is terrific once processed from raw to a jpeg in Photoshop or similar program. The build is strong and high quality. It has image stabilization, but most do. The LCD screen opens and swivels--something I find absolutely essential. It has a variety of tricks, like a built-in neutral density filter. The video function has several useful modes. Flash can be compensated--either turned down or up. It nearly always needs to be turned down. Macro capability gets used 30 percent of the time to get really close. It has the raw format (unprocessed data). Auto white balance works very well. It has a screw-in feature on the bottom for attaching to a tripod--something essential if you can get the tripod in the suitcase. Exposure compensation is a handy wheel on the left top of the camera. Manual focus includes an enlarged section on the viewfinder that lets you use tiny details of the subject to set focus.
Weaknesses: Zoom is not powerful enough. Video is a low 640 resolution, not good if you are editing video from different cameras, and one of them is high definition. The controls on the back are a bit tiny and are easily bumped and actuated by accident. I've hit he manual focus many times when I didn't intend to. The intervelometer (timed exposures that let you capture a flower blooming, but replay it back in a few seconds}. is gone, compared to the G9 I formerly owned. It really isn't a pocketable camera--too thick for that. Probably too heavy for a shirt pocket as well. Lots of features to learn and not using it for a month means relearning, or opening the owner's manual once again.
The Canon G11 sits at the top of the G series. I formerly owned the G9. I miss the intervalometer that allows a times series of shots, although I never used it much. I just miss not having the capability. I am more concerned about the loss of a powerful telephoto range that the G9 had. I needed it then, used it, and need it now but don't have it. More recently I needed to back up our pro photographer with video that I might get, but he couldn't. For example, recently we took simultaneous balloon rides in different balloons. One went one way, my balloon went the other. I then realized I can't shoot 1080 video. Far from it. More like 640. That got me looking to Nikon, but the P100 Nikon offers has no raw format. I shoot raw. It's really important because the pro can clean up my mistakes if I got a shot he didn't. I use it, carry it everywhere, and get great shot with it. We can use them in our magazine and of course online on my company's Web site. I bought a non-Canon brand of super wide angle attachment that is a bit of a nuisance, and of course the Canon telephoto attachment offers little power. Even the off-brand attachment doesn't correct for the G-11's weakness, compared to the G-9. Would I buy it again? I might. I need the raw format, but next time around I really have to get HD video capability. And I really miss the telephoto capability of the G-9, considering that I work for an aviation publication and frequently need a strong zoom. I know you are thinking I need a DSLR. I have always had one and am about to buy another. But with the airline fees and hassle, and delay in getting checked baggage, I never check baggage. That means a DSLR system makes the suitcase way to heavy. It makes it way too full, as well, meaning good luck on stuffing it in the overhead bin while anxious passengers behind you wait. I of course can't take a camera bag. My suitcase and the computer case use up my allotment of bags, so all the expensive DSLR stuff has to come out of its protective cases, and rely on clothing for protection. Not a good situation for thousands of dollars of equipment. In the final consideration, it is the image that matters and must be, in my case, publishable. For that, I trust the G11 and its raw capability, and the ability to add an external flash which I have purchased.
Duration Product Used: 21+ years
Price Paid: $499.00
Purchased At: B&H
Similar Products Used: As I mentioned, I had a G9. Before that I had the S-series and really enjoyed the super telephoto of those cameras, like the G9. Now that is missing. I have also owned three Canon DSLR cameras and most recently a Nikon D300, which was sold because it lacks video. I've never had anything but Canon point-and-shoots and I feel they have an advantage over Nikon point and shoots. If Nikon ever gets all the features I want in one camera, I might switch. As far as picture quality is concerned, Nikon and Canon are tops, although I have seen great results from Olympus and other brands.
Type of photography: Other
Submitted by robwestcott a Professional
Date Reviewed: December 16, 2009
I bought the Canon G11 to have a high-quality digital camera that is more compact than my Canon DSLR. A fellow Coast Guard Public Affairs instructor highly recommended it.
I got even more than I bargained for.
The G11 is a well-built camera with lots of options and features that make it a good choice for the advanced amateur and the working pro who needs a relatively small and light-weight alternative to the DSLR.
The LCD monitor is exceptionally clear and versatile with the ability to tilt when needed. A great feature is the internal software that automatically makes the recorded image previews change to real perspective when you tilt the camera. Portrait orientation always has the heads up in preview.
The camera has various useful modes covering everything from landscapes to fireworks, and includes the ability to in-camera shoot and stitch panoramas.
A great feature is the exposure compensation dial that allows for manual bracketing and exposure adjustment. You can also have the camera to automatically shoot a three-exposure focus or exposure bracket series.
The G11 has the ability to shoot video as well as stills, a great feature when you can only take one camera. When we go to the Far East next Fall, this will allow me to capture some of the culture in video.
The camera accepts numerous add-on accessories, including tele-extender, filters, and macro lights. The hot-shoe works well with my Canon 580-EX flash and other Canon-compatible flashes.
I've used many cameras on assignment over the past 40 years, and highly recommend the G11.
Duration Product Used: 21+ years
Price Paid: $450.00
Purchased At: Best Buy
Type of photography: Other
Submitted by daq7 a Intermediate
Date Reviewed: December 4, 2009
Strengths: I really like the fact that you can to a three shot exposure bracket with one push of the shutter button. The Rebel does not do that, and I think it helps a LOT with image stability. Also, you can put yourself in as a subject of HDR photos, so that is really cool.
It was pretty easy to learn to use, and the big screen is gorgeous. I think the swivel ability will also lead me to expand the kind of angles I use.
It seems solidly built and so far I have not run into any annoying issues like always hitting the timer shot button accidentally on the XT.
Weaknesses: Nothing major, but there are certain things the manufacturers do that always annoy me. For example, if the required exposure is more than one second on an automatic exposure bracket, the camera will no longer do the automatic three shots with one button push. Why? There is no good reason for this restriction and it is just frustrating.
Also, in low light mode, the camera has access to film speeds that you cannot select manually. This is also highly annoying.
Now I admit neither of these things is the end of the world, but...
Oh yeah, and when I installed the new camera window software, it now says the Rebel XT is not compatible and I can no longer download raw files from the XT. I am sure there is a solution, but, again, very irritating.
I primarily bought this camera, because I did not want to be hauling the Rebel XT with a bunch of lenses around on my motorcycle on long trips. I wanted smaller and lighter. I also wanted a point and shoot that could do camera raw and automatic exposure bracketing, because I really like doing HDR photography.
Another thing about the XT that always tweaked me was the utterly useless LCD screen on it, so having a large and swiveling screen seemed like a great thing.
Also, point and shoots seem to do a better job with non-flash low light than I could ever do with no tripod on the XT. I really don't understand why. I don't take a lot of low light snapshots, but I wanted to be able to once in awhile without a lot of fuss. This camera, on limited experimentation, seems to do that quite well.
Duration Product Used: 6-10 years
Price Paid: $500.00
Purchased At: amazon.com
Similar Products Used: None really.
Type of photography: Other
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