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Product review: Canon Powershot G11

By Jonathan Lawton
The Canon Powershot G series cameras are ideal for photography enthusiasts who desire the image quality and versatility of an SLR camera, but not the added size and weight. The recently-released Canon G11 is the G10’s successor. With the G11, Canon specifically set out to improve on the G10’s low light sensitivity and overall image quality. The two look similar in physical appearance and share a few core specifications. Both cameras feature the same image stabilized 5x zoom lens, RAW image capture, optical viewfinder, external hot shoe and full manual exposure control.
Even though the new G11 shares the same 1/1.7” size sensor as its predecessor, its resolution has been reduced from 14.7 megapixels to 10 megapixels. This enables the G11 to produce cleaner images and reduces digital noise commonly exhibited when shooting in low-light situations at higher ISO speeds. The G11 also features an expanded ISO range topping out at 3200 ISO, a full stop greater than the previous model.
Just like the previous G series cameras, the new G11 is built exceptionally well. The sturdy, full-metal body is well-balanced and fitted with a rubberized hand grip. On top of the camera, in addition to the power and shutter buttons, three manual dials control mode selection, ISO and exposure compensation. These allow you to quickly change critical settings. Another nice improvement can be found on the rear of the camera. With the addition of a fully articulating 2.8 inch rear LCD screen, Canon has re-introduced a much appreciated feature absent since the G6. The adjustable screen allows you to easily frame your photo in low or high angle situations, which can make it much easier to get creative with your photo composition.
The G11 offers an impressive range of features and includes manual controls that are typically unavailable in the point-and-shoot market. The improved low light performance coupled with the versatile LCD screen make the G11 an attractive option for someone looking for a full-featured compact camera. The G11 kit currently sells for $499 and includes a rechargeable lithium battery, charger, neck strap, USB/AV cables and the Canon Digital Camera Solutions software. ◊
If you have any questions on the Canon G11 or any other photo related topic, feel free to contact Jonathan Lawton at jlawton@wbhunt.com. Lawton is a 2003 graduate from the Rochester Institute of Technology, where he studied photojournalism. He operates a photography business, specializing in wedding and portrait photography. www.jonathanlawton.com.
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