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Canon PowerShot G11 Digital Camera Black - Expert Reviews
Canon PowerShot G11, the latest entrant in Canon’s G-series which is designed to satisfy the demands of all the amateurs and photography enthusiasts, who all willing not to compromise anything in the power, size and backup regions. Canon PowerShot G11 shares a number of key specifications with its predecessor, including a 28-140mm equivalent 5x stabilised zoom, full manual exposure control, flash hotshoe, RAW recording, and a retro-styled body which looks virtually unchanged from the front and top. The two biggest differences with Canon PowerShot G11 concern its sensor and screen. Canon PowerShot G10 sported a 14.7 Megapixel sensor, but rather than boost this further, Canon’s taken a leaf from Panasonic and reduced the resolution to 10 Megapixels in an attempt to improve sensitivity and reduce noise.
In terms of the screen, the G11 swaps the 3in fixed panel of the G10 for a fully-articulated 2.8in version – it may be a little smaller, but it’s a fair trade for the compositional flexibility and both panels share the same 460k resolution for a detailed image. Canon PowerShot G11 also provides scene detection in Auto, which is a very new Low Light mode which can tackle sensitivities upto 12,800 ISO at reduced resolution of 2.5 MP, also gives an HDMI connection to HDTV, although still lacking in HD Video recording. The retro-styled body remains essentially the same as the earlier G10, with the three separate dials for adjusting the exposure compensation, sensitivity and shooting mode.
Along with the thumb wheel on the rear, these large and satisfyingly tactile controls make Canon PowerShot G11 quick and easy to operate. As before, Canon PowerShot G11 also features full PASM modes for manual control over exposure. Completing the picture as mentioned earlier is a flash hotshoe, which allows Canon PowerShot G11 to use selected Canon Speedlite flashguns, and if you mount the Speedlite 270EX, 430EX II or 580EX II models, you can even enjoy the same built-in control over them as Canon’s DSLRs. So to summarise, Canon PowerShot G11 still may not feature HD video recording, but the inclusion of a good feature in a flip out screen, and better low light performance definitely bring it a lot closer to the classic G series models of the past.
Design and Build Quality
Exterior design of Canon PowerShot G11 is almost the same of G10, the only visible difference being the addition of articulated screen. So like its predecessor, Canon PowerShot G11 is a solid block of a camera which borrows design cues from classic rangefinders to greatly appeal to photographic enthusiasts. The exact dimensions of Canon PowerShot G11 measure 112mm x 76mm x 48mm and is a couple of mm larger than its predecessor in every dimension, but only a few grams heavier at 402g including battery. This makes it chunkier than most compacts, but considerably more pocketable than any DSLR. Another interesting comparison to make though involves the Olympus E-P1 and Panasonic GF1 which exploit the Micro Four Thirds standard to squeeze a DSLR-sized sensor into a compact body. Both the cameras, when you look at the body are almost the same as Canon PowerShot G11, but attach a superzoom lens, they become noticeably larger.
Focus and Face Detection
Canon PowerShot G11, up its sleeves. Offers user with two auto-focusing modes: Face AiAF or Flexizone. Face AiAF automatically switches the G11 between a nine-area AF system and face detection, and it’s great to have the two most common AF modes on a single option rather than having to manually select face detection on the earlier G10. Alternatively, Flexizone allows you to manually adjust the size and position of a single AF frame. If AF-Point zoom is enabled in the menu, the G11 will also magnify the AF frame for checking with a half-press of the shutter release. In use the G11’s autofocus was accurate and fairly quick in operation, while the main Face AiAF mode never failed to switch to face detection when pointed at a human subject.
Lens and Image Stabilization
Another same feature, Canon PowerShot G11 comes with the same 5x optical zoom as its predecessor, delivering an equivalent range of 28-140mm and a focal ratio of f2.8-4.5; the actual focal length is 6.1-30.5mm and we counted 14 discrete steps when zooming from wide angle to telephoto. The closest focusing distance in Macro mode with the lens set to wide is just 1cm. Canon PowerShot G11 employs optical Image Stabilisation to counteract camera-shake. Canon offers three modes: Continuous where the system operates all the time, Shoot Only which only applies stabilisation as you take the photo, and Panning which only stabilises in the vertical axis for when you’re moving the camera horizontally as you take the photo.
Screen and Menus
Rear of the camera possesses the biggest change that the camera had to offer, the screen though being slightly smaller is fully articulated. This is the first time there has been an existence of a flip out screen since G6 in 2004.To be precise over the specifications of the screen, it measures 2.8 inch, slightly smaller than the 3in of the G10, although both share the same 460k resolution to deliver an image which looks much more detailed than average 230k monitors. Most would be happy to trade the slight decrease in size for Canon PowerShot G11’s full articulation, which allows you to tilt the screen for easier composition at high or low angles, not to mention flipping it around to face the subject or back on itself for protection.
The body remains the same, so it is not a huge surprise that the camera is powered by the same NB-7L rechargeable Lithium Ion battery pack as its predecessor, which Canon estimates is good for 390 shots with the screen or 1000 when exclusively using the viewfinder which is roughly the same as Canon PowerShot G10. The battery compartment is also home to the SD memory card slot; we used a Lexar Professional 133x 8GB SDHC card during our tests. Both the card and battery become blocked when Canon PowerShot G11 is mounted on a tripod.
Sadly, Canon PowerShot G11 does not offer HD video recording, a feature commonly found in cheaper cameras, the best that Canon PowerShot G11 can offer is 480p SD video recording which is below satisfactory.
Canon PowerShot G11, varies from G10 in very few fields and sensor is one of them, although both sensors share a the same specifications, a 1/ 1.7in CCD, G11’s is definitely more sensitive.
5x zoom with 28mm wide and 1cm macro.
Flash hotshoe, RAW files and high ISOs.
Great quality 2.8in / 460k articulated screen.
Good controls, build and ergonomics.
Slow burst shooting – just 1.1fps at full res.
No HD movies or zooming when filming.
Noise better than G10, but beaten by M4/3.
Older G10 delivers more detail at 80 ISO.
Canon PowerShot G11 Digital Camera Black - User Reviews
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