Field Review: Canon G11 (Day 1)

Despite the fact that point-and-shoot cameras are not often reviewed here, the Canon G11 is a camera that is surely worth it. As being the closest thing to be a competitor to the Micro Four Thirds cameras (besides the Rebels) this large compact cam can sure hold its own. Here are my initial impressions.

Ergonomics

This camera is actually pretty clunky. Well, that’s what I initially thought. The reasons for this was because of the fact that I typically come from shooting DSLRs and have recently finished a review of the Leica M9. That said, going to a compact makes the muscle memory have to readjust itself. The camera isn’t bad ergonomically speaking, it just takes getting used to. One needs to hold it like a point-and-shoot and also needs to really get a feel for where the buttons are.

After using it for a while, it will start to feel like the old film rangefinders. The reason for this is because of the dials on top, the viewfinder (which is essentially useless) and the small feel of the camera. In fact, after shooting I often feel as if there is an advance lever that I need to pull so my thumb immediately goes towards doing this.

Metering

Wonderful. Let me try to flesh that out some more: shooting in manual and reading the exposure meter on the side provides results closest to what the photographer will really want. This is also very critical when it comes to shooting. For example, if the camera is telling you that you need to shoot at a very slow shutter speed and you’re without your tripod, then you’ll know that you can just turn the ISO dial to try to remedy that problem.

It’s nice to have reliable and accurate metering as that can be the deciding factor sometimes in photos that can be saved in post production.

Features

This camera doesn’t have very many bells and whistles. It is designed really just for image quality. Because of this, there is no HD video recording. If you just care about stills, then this is fine. Otherwise, you may have a bit of an issue with this.

Image Quality

I’m actually very impressed with the image quality that is coming out of this camera so far. The colors that it produces are wonderful and as with other Canon RAW files from other cameras, they have lots of versatility in post-production. If you’re primarily shooting for the web, then this is the camera to get.

To be fair, these results are only so with the flash off. As it is, I cannot get the 430 EX II to meter with the camera and the on-camera flash makes photos look like those of any other point and shoot with some added warmness to them.

Autofocus

It almost never misses. The camera has face detection, which can be useful when you are casually shooting a party or a BBQ. That’s not to say that the camera will tell you that it can’t focus. In fact, it’s done that quite a bit so far.

More of an analysis to come in the days of this review.

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