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Sharp shooter

The excellent photo quality and user-friendly features of the camera called 'Sharp Shooter' justify its price tag. Read on.

tech reviews Updated: Jun 15, 2010 14:23 IST
Sandeep Balachandran

The Canon PowerShot G11 is more than just a digital camera — it is built keeping the professional shutterbug in mind. It’s far from an entry level digital camera, but that shouldn’t stop anyone from buying it.

Build
The G11 is so feature packed and user friendly that it actually makes other digital cameras look a tad underrated. It has one of the best builds in the segment — with approximate dimensions of 112 x 76 x 48 mm, the G11 is one of the larger cameras with zoom below 10x.

It weighs 380 g, which is definitely on the heavier side, but it’s lighter than its predecessor, the PowerShot G10. At 10 MP, the G11 also has fewer pixels than the G10, which had 14.7 MP. What remains the same is the 28 mm wide angle lens.

The overall fit and finish of the G11 is one of the best we’ve seen. It is encased in a black matte body that doesn’t attract fingerprints. The protruding outer shell along with a thin rubber padding ensures superior grip. The tilt-swivel screen gives the user the freedom to hold the camera at almost any angle without losing out on the subject. The screen is decently big at 2.8 inches and performs well even under broad daylight. The buttons are large and nicely spaced out.

Features
A lot of out-of-the-box thinking has gone into the G11. For instance, almost all the controls that one would use are placed on the camera’s body. This eliminates the need to access the camera’s interface to change settings. So apart from the mode selection dial, which is a common feature in almost all cameras, you also get a dial mode for the ISO and EV. You also get an optical view finder along with a Hot Shoe through which you can attach a number of external flashes. The inbuilt flash is powerful enough to light up the darkest of areas.

If there’s one thing that goes against the G11, it is the process of selecting scenes. Without the option of viewing them in a grid format, you are forced to scroll through the scenes one by one. The awkward placement of the review button also makes the camera tough to operate.

Video
The camera does a very good job of video. It handles overall colour and contrast efficiently. The saturation level tends to be on the high side, but the overall picture sharpness is very good. However, the lens takes a little while to make the transition from a decently lit area to a low lit one. One would expect that for its price, the G11 would record in HD (1920 x 1080). Sadly, it comes with a maximum support of 640 x 480.

Performance
The overall sharpness of the G11 is simply super. It also does well in low light. There is some noise in images, but I don’t think that the picture can get any better than this with the ISO at 6400.

The Canon PowerShot G11 is by far the most consistent digital camera you can get your hands on. If you have your mind set on a compact digital camera, the price tag of Rs 31,995 is totally worth it. DSLR users looking out for a compact point and shoot should consider this.

What we like
Dial modes for ISO and exposure compensation
Excellent colour, contrast and sharpness
Superb ease of use Excellent build

What we don’t
Grid view for the scene mode would have been better
Placement of review button

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