By contrast, the controls located at on the back panel are less steadfast, and I often found myself changing settings without realising. Indeed, the delete button – inserted close to the resting position of the right thumb – is easily activated by mistake. That said, the buttons on the rear of the camera are cleverly angled, which makes them easy to identify by touch. So, as the G11 becomes more familiar, these controls eventually become more difficult to press in error.
Manual controls maintain this compact's appeal among the pros
The G11 is large and heavy compared to most 5x compacts but feels quite balanced in your hand and gives you the sensation of handling a professional small camera. Appealing to professional photographers is the inclusion of a viewfinder, but the reduced size and limited 77 per cent vision together with an almost total lack of data indicators makes it practically superfluous. Canon went out of its way to design a compact that gives a similar shooting experience to a SLR, even down to an analogue-style light meter needle, so it’s a pity so little attention was paid to the most pro-friendly feature of all.
The lens itself is great for such a small camera and a main advantage over larger-sensor cameras like Olympus PEN E-P1 or Panasonic GF1, that offer either fixed lenses or interchangeable lenses at extra costs. The optical quality of the G11’s lens is the same of the G10, with very little softness at the edges and not much chromatic aberration, but the lower resolution of the G11’s sensor smoothes out any minor flaws and gives better overall image quality.
The in-built zoom lens is not only exceptionally bright and sharp for its size but it is also a versatile all-rounder with a Macro function capable of focusing as close as 0.8 cm, a wide angle with very sharp edges and a bright, stable 5x zoom.
However, The zoom lever surrounding the shutter was also a frustrating, with a less than smooth action and an annoying delay in responding. Considering that the 5x, 28-140mm, f/2.8-f/4.5 stabilized lens is one of the main selling points of this camera, it is a pain that accurate zooming to the desired focal length isn’t easier to achieve.
Great lens, but the zoom control lever lacks sensitivity
Canon’s image stabilisation greatly enhances the already excellent performance of the lens. It can be selected in two modes: Continuous for faster shooting or Shoot for maximum level of correction. A nice addition is the Panning option that helps reduce camera shake when tracking horizontally moving objects. The G11 includes a built-in flash unit that features nice professional manual settings like flash exposure compensation, rear-curtain sync and a new increased sync speed of 1/2000th of a second. The flash performs well as both main and fill-in light.
Next page: Sample Shots and Video
It would be great to be able to shoot RAW remotely. Now you can.
CHDK is a firmware mod for cameras.
One of the things it provides for the Canon G7 is RAW shooting.
I hope you find this useful.
It may be repairable for nothing apart from a couple of quid postage. Our A85 had a sensor fault, and Canon repaired it free despite being 4 or 5 years out of warranty. There's a known issue, and if confirmed, they'll repair or replace.
Much cheaper in the USA? Not really, at least not this time.
Once you take British VAT into acount the kit is only about 24 quid cheaper across the pond. Though it is certainly the case that the AV manufacturers do take the piss when they can. If you compare the price of Sammy's 55 inch LED TV in Blighty and in the States (one has to compare specs to work out which models can be compared, they are very carefull to make it as difficult and confusing as poss.) one sees that the equivalent model is about 40% cheaper! However on this occasion it does not seem as if Canon is taking the piss by very much.
Back down to earth my old Canon Powershot A80 had a swivel screen, Loved it so good to see this G11 has one too, hope Canon and the others bring them back :)
The A80 sensor don't work properly but cant bring myself to chuck it lol
How can they justify the price? It's around the same price as many entry level DSLRs. And a DSLR comes with a number of advantages over a compact like that. The much larger sensor on such a camera will give less noise, more control over depth of field and the larger photosites should give a better dynamic range. Of course a DSLR has a wide choice of lenses where the G11 is stuck with it's fixed and rather slow lens.
Yes it's a nice camera, but it's list price is at least twice what it should be.