Comparing the Canon G10 and G11

G10G11

As most of you know by now, Canon has introduced a new “G” series model, the PowerShot G11 to replace their flagship model the G10. In the coming days there will be reviews galore posted on the various industry watching blogs with in depth discussions of this new model’s features and benefits. Folks that recently purchased the G10 will start to feel “buyers remorse” and “upgraders envy” over the perceived differences between their G10 and the new G11. The amount of forum traffic on DPReview.com will jump as folks begin to post their rants and raves about this new camera.

To help cut through some of the rhetoric I thought I’d post a quick and dirty comparison of the G10 and G11 cameras based upon the information currently available. Right off the bat let me state that this comparison is from a still photographer’s perspective only. The video capabilities of both cameras are cool but not my cup of tea.

Sensor:
According to Canon, the “i-Contrast” system in the PowerShot G10 has been enhanced in the G11 to deliver better coverage from low light shadow details to highlights with minimized blow out. This sounds very similar to their “highlight tone priority” setting found in Canon’s DSLR line. Canon also claims that the DIGIC 4 processor carries out image processing in-camera and in combination with the high-sensitivity 10.0 Megapixel sensor to deliver exceptional performance in all lighting conditions up to ISO 3200. They state that they have “improved the signal-to-noise ratio by around two stops when compared to the G10 camera”.

ISO:
G10 – AUTO, High ISO Auto, 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600
G11 – AUTO, 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200

Pixels:
G10 – 14.7 MP
G11 – 10.0 MP

Processor: Same (DIGIC 4)
Lens: Same
Focusing: Same
Exposure Control: Same
Shutter: Same
White Balance: Same
Viewfinder: Same

LCD:
G10 – 3.0″ PureColor LCD II, 461,000 dots
G11 – 2.8″ Vari-Angle LCD II, 461,000 dots

Image Size:
G10 – 4416 x 3312
G11 – 3648 x 2736

Interface:
G10 – A/V Out
G11 – HDMI, A/V Out

Flash Sync:
G10 – 1/500th
G11 – 1/2000th

Continuous Shooting:
G10 – Approx. 1.3 shots/second
G11 – Approx. 1.1 shots/second

Sound memo:
G10 – Up to 60 sec per image
G11 – Missing ???

Conclusions:
If all this preliminary information is correct then there are really two primary differences between these two excellent cameras; the low light / high ISO performance and the articulating LCD screen. I certainly hope the low light / high ISO performance (lower noise) of the new G11 is better than the G10 which is really poor. Especially since this improved performance comes at the expense of image resolution (which I really like for landscape and nature photography).

To be honest, I’m having trouble understanding the benefits of an articulating LCD screen, especially in outdoor conditions. Will this screen be easier to see in bright sunlight if it’s tilted somehow? Does this feature make composition easier? Is this feature aimed at videographers using the G11? Personally I’d have preferred a higher resolution 3″ LCD like that found on the new EOS 50D and 5D Mark II, which is much easier to see outdoors.

Some Final Thoughts:
I think the G9/G10/G11 are superb cameras capable of delivering exception results under the right conditions. I do think that Canon has done the right thing in concentrating on improving the sensor in these cameras, rather than on just adding more megapixels with each new model. As a nature and landscape photographer I think the G10 fits my needs very well and I personally have no use for the G11’s articulating LCD, especially since it’s smaller that the LCD on the G10. I just don’t see many G10 owners rushing out to buy a G11 but for new owners its a pretty impressive point & shoot camera.

Here’s another good review from photographer Bill Lockhart: Canon Announces Powershot G11

109 thoughts on “Comparing the Canon G10 and G11

  1. I would call myself a semi-pro user of the Canon G11 and I use it for a wide range of uses from childrens portraits for printed books to simple visual note taking for graphic design. After about 3 months of fairly regular use I noticed two fairly severe scratches on my lens and put this down to my own carelessness. However having now read this forum it makes perfect sense to me in that it is clear that their is a very apparent design floor on Canons behalf at play here. Alas I wasn’t careless, Canon were. Even with a solid leather case lens’ are becoming scratched due to their close proximity with the shutters which are too flexible. After my considerable investment I now cannot shoot into any form of direct light or I get all sorts of horrible blurs and distortions in the image due to the scratches. I feel somewhat cheated by the Canon brand but I will attempt to get a replacement via the retailer. I hope I haven’t got a fight on my hands.

    • See my posts on July 1 and July 20 below. I have been taking hundreds of pictures lately since the last post and have been watching the lens carefully for any new scratches. I believe my lens assembly must have been replaced because so far nothing new has shown up and all is perfect. I am mystified as to why a G11 would have the problem if Canon has a new assembly that works for the G10.

  2. After a few thousand more shots taken with the G11 (and the S90, which I also bought), I must say that they are fine cameras…however, the results I get from my G10 are far superior. I shoot mainly in good light and noise has not been a problem with the G10. If I am shooting low light subjects with the G10, I de-noise the images (I use Paint Shop Pro Photo X2) and I can very effectively control the noise. The ability of cropping images given by the higher resolution of the G10 has enabled me to improve many pictures.I honestly believe that the G11 is a (small) step backwards, after weighing all the pros and cons of the two cameras. IMHO, of course!

  3. I have a G10 bought in December 2008. I first noticed a scratch on the lens within 6 months but assumed I had been careless, although I couldnt see how that was possible considering I use a protective hard case when travelling and clean the lens with a brush and blower. I more recently noticed a parallel scratch beside the first and almost touching it. When I had to send it to Canon in Toronto for a flash problem I asked them to look at the scratch and the automatic cover as a cause. They denied any responsibility so I started to look online and found problems reported to G10 and G11! I suggest we start a Googable website or G Group to find others searching for this problem and find if it is being corrected by Canon. Any ideas of the best way to do this? I do see one person on dpreview or Amazon reporting that Canon has replaced his lens because of the problem, can’t what country he was in though.

    • Bingo! I wrote on 1 July about scratches on my G10 lens and have been finding similar reports on this site and in dpreview. At the time my camera was at Toronto service centre getting a new flash controller and the service centre refused to acknowledge a G10 problem of scratching with the automatic lens cover. I requested them not to replace the lens assembly as it would be about half the cost of the original camera, but to fix the flash and power problem. Yesterday I picked up the repaired camera from Vistek and found the lens with the scratches no longer there. I am very happy but mystified. Is Canon quietly fixing the problem without acknowledging any issue? Thank you Canon, but why the mystery?

  4. As I posted before, I had the vertical scratch problem in the middle of lens on my original purchase and again after Canon repaired it. The scratch appeared within the first month that I had the camera and I have never scratched a lens on any of my other cameras during the last 40+ years of photography.

    I absolutely loved the compactness of the camera and the video capabilities made this a perfect camera to take on trips or just for snap-and-shoot purposes. It was convenient to have while doing library research — the low-light images from the microfilm readers were perfectly acceptable for my purposes when hard-copy printing was unavailable. The low-light noise on my G-10 was annoying, but did create some “interesting” photographic effects that I passed off to friends as “intentional.”

    However, when I contacted Canon and they denied the vertical scratches were an issue, I lost a lot of faith in the company. Professionally, I have two Canon film cameras and a Canon SLR digital camera. Because of the customer service and twice-scratched lens on the G-10 (which ended up being stolen on the last day of a cruise I took in December — thank God for backing up pictures to my laptop), I’m serious looking to see what Nikon has to offer.

  5. I’m a pro with lots of L- and Zeiss ZE lenses on Canon 5DII and 1DsIII bodies. I’d like a small camera for lesser occasions and my wifes use. I just sold our Leica D-Lux 3 โ€” great lens (I love the full round glass, 24mm, manual and RAW) but low-light noise was terrible. And, for me, I prefer a viewfinder. The D-Lux 4 viewfinder is super-expensive and bulky. Again, I’d like something less bulky.

    So, I guess I’m leaning towards the G10. The lens scratching is a whole new problem I just read about here. Anyone NOT having this issue? Am I better off with a different option? Viewfinder is a must and some focal length flex (24mm+ would be great). For this cameras use, RAW and manual aren’t that important. Thanks in advance, people.

    • I have both the G10 and G11 and I have not had any problems with the cameras. No scratches on the lenses, very good reliability from both.

  6. I think we can all come to agreement that we ALL hope the next generation G12 has more resolution and something that feels like a real reason to buy and for me I do hope they keep the articulating lcd…I really do find it very useful for my self-portraits and also for my macro work. Oh…and HD video would be a bonus too considering the G9 offered that and that will be 3 generations old by the time the G12 hits! ๐Ÿ™‚ @.

  7. I see that G10 cameras now sell for $1,000 and over!!!
    Clearly, there’s a demand for the higher resolution offered by the G10 over the G11.

    • Giovanni,

      I have moderated the discussion generated by your comment. I have no problem with people presenting different points of view but I do require everyone remain civil in their language. If you and Anthony would like to continue your discussion on this topic, please do so via email.

      Jeff

  8. Hi, I loved my G10 and it was just stolen about a week ago. Went to the store today to check out the new G11 and was somewhat disappointed with the immediate differences that I saw. Camera feels different, not as rugged? Also I am not sure I like the swivel lcd – I loved how large it was on the G10. My G10 was one of the models with the the pixel problem but I had never gotten it fixed. I like the slightly larger controls on the G10 also. I just am torn as to which one to get. Anyone have any suggestions or insights? I have really been using this camera to take all my pictures, and my husband thinks it shoots better photos that his Nikon DSLR. thanks!

  9. Cindy,

    The G11 is still an amazing camera and is perfect for many people’s needs. I have two G10’s and one G11 and love them all! ๐Ÿ™‚ Although only the G9 shot HD video and neither the G10 or G11 does, the G10 was a big jump in my opinion from the G9 and the G11 from the G10 not so much other than handling noise better in low light at higher ISO’s and the articulating lcd display. I personally do not use this that often at high ISO’s so not that big of a deal to me…usually I am at 80 or 100 when using my G10 or G11. But the lcd display being able to move is HUGE for me because I am always shooting very low and getting unusual angles and is nice to actually see as opposed to crawling all over the ground trying to get a glimpse of what you are composing. It also works GREAT for self-portraits which I do all the time of myself and just having this as my self-portrait camera…meaning the G11…is worth having all day long to me! Don’t get too hung up with people geeking out saying the G11 is crap…it is NOT and you can still print a nice size print with a G11 file. So really unless resolution is a real factor and you know you will need the most file size out of your camera then that would be the only reason to buy the G10 or search one out since obviously being discontinued. They are out there and some morons are trying to sell them for $600 and $700+ as if they are rare gems. I bought both of mine new from B&H for like $430 or something so people like that can go scratch! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Hope this helps.

    @.

  10. Well I been looking for a great point & shoot camera and I been thinking of getting the Canon G10. So I went to Best Buy this past Saturday and so far they have the Canon G11 instead. I don’t really see any difference between the two until now, reading the article and all. When it comes to a camera I’m more interested of getting a good camera that would be easy to carry around and at least take good pictures instead of the usual pictures I take with my Easyshare Kodak Camera. Does either the Canon G10 or Canon G11 offers HD video? if so, is the video quality good? please someone let me know.

  11. OK, I now have taken many photographs with the G11 (and with the G10): I prefer the G10. The difference in resolution is very apparent. Noise is lower in the G11, but unless you shoot a lot in low light, the noise level of the G10 is fine. The noise structure of the G11 is different, less obtrusive, but, in my opinion, it also contributes to the softness of the images. The pictures taken with the G10 look sharper and crisper. The higher resolution enables me to crop for best composition without unacceptable tradeoffs in image resolution. In my honest opinion, the G11 is a step backwards in terms of image quality. I’ll keep them both, but I’ll pick up the G10 for the times when I need the best possible performance in good light.

  12. My A95 took a wave in the surf so I’m shopping. The A95 had very good image quality and as I look for a replacement the one gripe my wife had was the shutter lag. I suspect that the G10 or G11 may still have that issue. Any recommendations for a non DSLR that has great IQ and minimal shutter lag?

  13. I am using my G10 and absolutely love the results. I came upon a good deal for a G11, so I ordered it and will report on my impressions after I get a chance to use it. In the meantime, I see that the retail price of the G11 is coming down and that new G10s are now selling at Amazon for 800 bucks!!!!

  14. Nice comparison. Personally I enjoyed my G10 so much I bought another one when I heard about the G11 and the lower resolution. So I wanted to make sure that I always had one good working G10 at my disposal! I am buying a G11 sooner than later and for me these cameras are complete creative cameras and the articulating screen I know I will completely love and wish I had on my G10! I am always shooting at crazy angles super low and high and all over the place that my bigger bodied cameras just don’t do so well. I have had many published works off these little guys and DO consider this a must have tool when on jobs and in no way is a toy for me. Although I have a TON of fun with it so possibly a toy in that regard! ๐Ÿ™‚ I try and use mine at the lowest ASA/ISO possible so having the ability to jack it way up is not so important to me. If it is I will grab my D3S and call it a day. But it can’t hurt to have it handling noise in low light better so….

    My conclusion…they need to have the resolution at least as high as the G10 was, keep the articulating lcd as that is an upgrade and evolution of being able to be creative with these cameras, and have the better low light ability like the G11 has now too. Those three things and I am in!!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. I have now taken hundreds of pictures with my G10: I love this camera.
    The extra resolution (over the G11) allows me to crop closer to my subject, effectively extending the range of the zoom lens. The all metal body is solid and very well balanced. NIght shots show some noise, but I find them still very usable, the noise is similar, in structure, to film grain and can be reduced in post processing, if desired.
    Great camera!

  16. I love taking photos of my grandchildren, often in an auditorium, or gym. We travel and take lots of photos too. I am looking for a camera that works well, not too much fancy stuff, but good photos. Currently I have a nikon 5200 and everything is coming out in a blur indoors. Zoom is good, but the photos are bad Outdoors is great.
    So I need something that will take good photos, with little effort, so I can capture the moments, instead of a blur. I have been looking at the G 10 and 11, but wondering if that is not overkill….. and I am a scrapbooker, so we do spend time looking at our photos. Thanks.

  17. Hi, would just want to ask something regarding G10 and G11. Which one is better? I’m not into photography, but I would like to buy one that has a touch of SLR thing.

    • Bea,

      Thanks for reading. The new G11 has a better sensor than the G10 for most users. If I had to choose between the two I’d buy the newer G11.

      Jeff

  18. Hi Jeff,
    I have just sent my Canon G 10 back to Canon for the third time with scratches on the lens. When I called Canon this time, I talked at length with a repair assistant, and he suggested that if particles of dust [or similar small debris] blow onto the lens, and then the automatic cover closes, then this could be what causes scratches. I see this as a design fault. I realise that not all G10’s have this problem, so I have asked Canon to replace my unit.

    Bridget

    • Bridget,
      I suspect the scratch on my G11 lens was also caused by the lens cover. The scratch is in the center of the lens and is lined up with the direction of the lens cover’s line of travel. Did Canon replace your unit?

      Steve

  19. Hi

    the “scratch lens” which is happened on G10 is it ษ‘ common issues?

    And will it affected on the image result?

    What about in G11, Did it got same “scratch lens” issues?

    Thanks

    • Catherine,

      I’ve taken thousands of shots with my G10 and never had this issue so I suspect it may be a hit or miss thing. Haven’t hear any reports of the same problem with the G11.

      Jeff

  20. Dear Jeff,

    It’s really good to read all the posts, and yet, I still remain puzzled about which camera to buy for my son’s 21st birthday. While he is a complete amateur, with no experience of taking photos, he is very good at understanding and using technical information. A camera to use at college and abroad, that will give good results for some years to come is what I am looking for. A camera enthusiast suggested we look at the prosumer range, but I would be very glad of your thoughts.

    Thank you

    Ruth

    • Ruth,

      Thanks for reading. If I were starting over (oh to be young again) I’d pick up a Nikon D90 with the kit lens. It’s a super little camera and takes both still photos and movies. Now, don’t tell all my friends that use Canon gear. I’ll never change but if I had to do it all over again…

      Jeff

  21. I REALLY wish camera reviews would all emphasize to the manufacturers the need for replaceable UV lens filters. I am ultra-careful with my lens, but I have somehow managed to get ROUND pin-head-sized scratches on my G10. I don’t believe the scratches were caused by the sliding lens covers.

    PLEASE, every camera over $300-400 should be able to attach a cheap/disposable UV lens filter to stay on the camera all the time to prevent scratches.

    Seems like a no-brainer, yet seemingly I am the only one in the universe who complains about it.

    Grrr.

    • Terry,

      I’ve heard lots of folks having issues with the front lens element on their G10. I’ve got over 5000 shots on mine and not a sign of trouble.

      Jeff

  22. I have also had major problems with my G10 and scratches on the lens ‘appearing’ without obvious cause. The first time the scratches appeared [Oct 2009], I assumed I had caused them, and had the lens replaced at my cost $159 US. The second time the scratches appeared, within 2 months, I researched blogs on line [like this one] and found the theory of the lens cover causing the scratches. I sent my G10 back to Canon, and after two telephone conversations, Canon agreed to replace the lens under the warranty [valid til end April 2010]. I have had the G10 back for about one month, used it very little and now there is a new scratch on the lens … I have taken photos for over 40 years, and have never scratched a lens. I will be asking Canon for a full refund, of camera cost plus the first lens replacement charge. Wish me luck!

  23. As I reported here, I had the same verticle scratch problem, had the camera repaired, and the exact same verticle scratch appeared. Fortunately (or unfortunately) the camera was lost (or stolen) during transit off a cruise ship while I was in Chile and I’m going back to my old Canon SLR clunkers. I thing the shutter lens cover idea was the cause of both scratches.

  24. i am a dental technician by profession and looking forward to buy a g10 or g11.

    mainly use the camera for macro..please suggest

  25. Pingback: Canon G10 vs. Canon G11 | Canon G Series

  26. I replaced my old Nikons (5000 & 5400) with a G10, and I have to say I really missed the swivel-out screen of the Nikon! With the G10 I can’t compose a shot with the self-timer without getting behind the camera, can’t take shots from waist-level or held high over my head, and the screen is already scratched up just from wearing the camera around my neck; metal zipper from sweater falls right on the screen, and any movement like walking bangs it against buttons, zipper etc. One other advantage of the Nikon was a really excellent little grip… easy to hold with one hand and shoot. I always feel like I’m going to drop the G10.

  27. Hi..
    May I ask some question.. I really need camera for low light condition.. Just like for dinner.. N capturing the firework..
    Is it great if I choose g11??
    But I’ve heard that g11’s shell is not the same material as g10..
    What do u think?
    Is it matter for the long lifetime using??
    Thanks a lot…

    • The construction of the G10 and G11 is very similar but the outer covering is different. I don’t really think it will make much difference over the lifetime of the camera however. As for low light / high ISO capabilities, neither camera produces clean images above ISO 200 but the G11 does better than the G10.

      Jeff

  28. First of all thanks a lot for this wonderful review. I have a bit of analog photography background and I want to start taking digital pictures in a more serious way. Does the megapixel difference between G10 and G11 matter so much(assume I am a beginner at digital photography)? Can you replace the lens of these cameras?
    I am living in Los angeles so which one of the cameras would be better to shoot under that much sun?

    Thanks
    SInan

    • Sinan,

      The G10 is no longer being produced (as far as I know) so you may have to get the G11. Both are very similar but the G11 produces images with less “noise” than the G10. The only other advantage is the swiveling LCD on the back.

      The G10 & G11 have a fixed zoom lens but there are adapters available to add a macro lens or filter.

      Jeff

  29. Hi all…

    just another opinion regarding the swivel display. I had the G2 and later the G10 which was stolen just this weekend. The G10 had two serious gripes for me:
    1) lack of the swivel screen
    2) low light picture quality

    The swivel screen is priceless for family selfportraits using the timer. The kids never hold still and after finally snapping what seemed to be the perfect picture, I later found they stepped out of view …

    In Rome the swivel was great as I could hold the camera over my head to ‘see’ over the walls or fences…

    I’m not sure if the G11 has a remote but the G2 did and that was a great combination with the swivel display.

    As mentioned, the display is also priceless for special angles (ground level views, macro photos, etc..etc..). I’m sure Canon did some serious research before bringing this back.

    Regarding low light… I’m not a photography expert but the G2 had a mere 4Mp resolution if I recall. Lowlight pictures were great though. With a tripod, I’d set a 15 sec exposure and I could get really cool pics in virtual darkness.

    The G10 didn’t come close to my frustration and so night time pictures while criss-crossing europe were limited to places that had quite substantial artifical illumination.

    Improvements in this department would be very welcome.

    In any case both were great cameras and after the loss of the G10, I’m looking forward to the G11.

    Brian.

  30. I just ordered a Lumix LX-3 but even before it arrives I am reconsidering and looking at the G11. I shoot architecture/urbanism and wonder about the barrel distortion on the G11 lens – is it corrected in the camera’s software like the Lumix? What about the RAW, does it correct in the RAW or let you have the distortion if you want it? And finally, how does the viewfinder look – are verticals very distorted at 28mm? Thanks

    • Sandy,

      Thanks for reading. The G10/G111 produces images with very little perspective and barrel distortions due to the lens and the size of the sensor. As for the viewfinder, it’s not really very useful in the real world. Using the cameras LCD and “live view” works much better for composing your pictures.

      Jeff

  31. Hi,
    I am a total amateur, but I have begun to take still pictures lately and now I want to learn to take pro pictures, both of my garden and nature, and near pictures of vegetables and food fotography. Does G10 and G11 fit my needs, or should I rather buy an Eos 450d? I would like to take my own pictures as illustration to a book sooner or later. What do you recommend?

    • Katalin,

      Either camera can produce great mages of food although a DSLR is more versatile since you can use different lenses with it.

      Jeff

  32. I had a G-10 and liked the still photography aspects, but somehow the lens developed a small vertical scratch in the center. I had the lens repaired and within a week of use, the same vertical scratch appeared. I kept the internal lens cover over the lens when not in use. Is this a design flaw in the G-10? The camera was subsequently lost/stolen while on a cruise last month, so now I’m evaluating whether the G-10 or G-11 is a better choice for travel-photojournalism.

    • Alan,

      Thanks for reading. I’ve never seen this issue in my G10 so I’m not sure what would cause it. Before buying another G10 you might want to rent the G11 to see if it suits you better. Both are excellent small cameras.

      Jeff

      • Same scratch problem with my one month old G11. I’ve done about 4k magnificient pictures with it and suddently a small vertical scratch appeared right in the center of the lens. I take extreme care of my cameras i also have a xh-a1 for video, before that a sony vx-1000 and never had any scratch on any lens on any slr’s that i have used since i’m 15. and that is 38 years ago….ouch… i never had a camera with a shutter in front of the lens though. I guess this little shutter is too close from the lens and sometimes touch the lens. My hypothesis. Also dust got behind the lens even if i carry the unit in a special pouch. I hope i can have the lens changed with the warranty.

    • I had the same issue happen on my G10, within couple of months of purchase, wherein a vertical scratch appeared on the lens right next to the center, for no reason. I am very careful with the camera and could not understand how that happened. Reading that some one else had the same thing happen to them makes me wonder if this is some design flaw. I am out of warranty now though.

    • THere is a recall with the canon g10 with gray lines appear in pictures and the magenta affect on picture. I had the problem in my G10 and I send it in to Canon (Canon paid for all shipping) and they replace the whole internal of the camera. I don’t remember the link but you can find it somewhere on http://www.usa.canon.com. You can email me and I will email you back the link.

  33. Hi,
    Like everyone else on here, I am torn between the G10 and G11.

    One of the people who commented said the G10 body is metal (aluminum-magnesium). Does that apply to the G11 too? Are they both constructed with the same material?

    Build quality and durability are quite important to me.

    Thanks in advance – great site.

    • Jim,

      Thanks for reading. The frame of both cameras are made from the same aluminum-magnesium alloy but the outer shell of the G11 is plastic similar to the shell of a Canon DSLR. The G10’s entire shell “seems” to be made from metal, however both cameras seem very sturdy and rugged.

      Jeff

  34. hello! I’ve been seriously considering buying myself a new digicam and just wanted to try my hand at more slr like photos so i wanted to know for an amateur who will use it mostly for sceneries and portraits which is the better model? I already read that the difference is the lcd and sensor for g11 but is the sensor bad for the g10 because i don’t even know what iso’s are

  35. Dear Jeff,

    Thanks for this excellent review.
    You did answer for the most part my questions comparing the G10 to the G11. I also called Canon, your review was more helpful.
    More than likely I will also buy the G11 (currently have the G10 which I will keep for the time being) for the macro mode light sensitivity.
    My work is primary at both ends of the spectrum, “macro mineral specimen photography” and “outdoor environmental scenes”.

    Best Regards,
    KenG

  36. To me the choice is easy: I went for the G10. It’s like choosing between Kodachrome 25 (the G10) and high speed Ektachrome (the G11). I have always gone for resolution over speed and the G10 images taken in low light at high ASA, when scaled down to 10Mp (the resolution of the G11) can still be post processed and look decent. Still, I’ll be using my G10 at 80ASA most of the time and the resulting images are stunning. The G10 also has the Super Fine JPG mode, which is missing from the G11.

  37. I have the G9/G10 and now the G11. The german test site DKamera did some very detail comparisons..( check yourself) and these tests indicate that the low ISO image IQ from the G11 are superior to that from the G10… and at ISOs higher than 200 it’s not even close. I can say that from my own tests I do indeed like the IQ from the G11 better at ISO 80/100 and I LOVE the articulating screen.

  38. Hi,

    I’m looking for a compact camera for a quality,landscape/nature shots. I’ve red all the reviews and still cannot understand what is the impact of the changes done in G11 vs. G10. Also, could you please reccomend annother camer in the same price range that may answer the requirements.

    Thanks, Greg.

    • Greg,

      Thanks for reading. The biggest change between the G10 and G11 is the sensor in my opinion. The G11 has one to two stops better low light performance (higher ISO settings) than the G10.

      Jeff

  39. Iยดm a pro photographer specialising in Film stills. IE, i compete with kodak cine 35mm 500 asa film stocks, shot at, for example, 2.8 1/3 1/50th. So my workhorse, is the Nikon D3, and even then i have to rate at 640. But i also depend, for the “making of / candid backstage” shots, on a p&s. Compact-wise, pre-digital, I was Ricoh GR1 100%. Then the Ricoh GR dig, then the G9 Canon, which iยดm upgrading now. Faced with the option of the G10 or the G11, Iยดm inclined towards the G10. Donยดt much care for plastic cameras. Any advice, anyone ? Jeff ?

    Thanks, adriano

    • Adriano,

      Thanks for reading. The G10 body is metal (aluminum-magnesium alloy I believe) and very solid feeling. Nothing plastic about it. You may also want to look into the new Olympus EP-2. Larger sensor and less noise.

      Jeff

  40. I am thinking to buy either G10 or G11, can you advise which is the better option.

    Thanks,
    Magam

    • Magam,

      Thanks for reading. These two cameras are virtually the same as far as image quality so it really depends upon which features you prefer. The articulating LCD on the G11 and it’s one-stop improvement in lower noise may be a compelling reason.

      Jeff

  41. I forgot to mention that the shape of the control dials on the G10 are easier to turn and are superior to the shape of the control dials on the G11. And even a little detail like the placement of G10 emblem on the body is superior to that of the emblem placement on the G11. I suppose Canon had to cut some corners in order to add swivel screen and improve the sensor in order to keep the price point the same.

  42. Just a couple more comments……. There are lots of photojournalists who would love to have a pro version of the G10, a compact camera that would have in addition to what I posted above: weathertight sealed body, f/2 upgraded lens with L coatings to minimize flare, zero shutter lag, super fast auto-focus in low light. In many pro photojournalistic situations, you simply can’t pull out a DSLR and expect to walk away with your camera and/or your life. You need something that looks like a “harmless” point-and-shoot, but performs like a DSLR. As far as I can see (after looking at 20 different high-end p&s cameras), the Canon G10 is the most logical camera that could be modified and upgraded to achieve those ends. Personally, I would pay $1250 for such a camera, and I would be very happy to do so.

  43. I have a G10 and I really love the form factor and the controls. I also like the heft as I think it adds stability to the shots. After looking at the G11 at a local store, it seems to be lighter and more plasticy compared to the G10. Since I don’t use the movie feature to make Hollywood productions, I do not mind at all the SD video. In fact, the low res video makes it more convenient to post videos on the internet. For me, the G11 swivel screen is a big minus as I think it would be easy to snap off in certain stressful PJ situations, thus rendering the camera basically useless, and it also means there is a hinge protruding from the left side of the body, all in addition to causing the viewing screen to be a bit smaller. What I would really like to see upgraded for my use of the G-Series is an extremely high quality EOS 1D Mk4 sensor shrunk down to the current G sensor size and at 6mp, thus providing me clean ISO 3200. Since I rarely use the G10 to make prints larger than 8×10, I would rather see dramatic gains in dynamic range and low-light high ISO performance. Another upgrade that would be very valuable for photojournalists who are using the discreet G-Series for assignments is an internal wireless file transmitter so that in the event the camera is forcibly taken away from you, an assistant could have the image files on an iPhone 100′ away, or the like.

  44. Hi. Great advice all the way. I have neither of the cameras noted but keen on the G11. I require a camera for macro / close up photos. Is this the one? Thx in advance. Jim

    • Jim,

      Thanks for reading. I think the G10 would make a fine macro camera but I’d recommend renting one before making your final decision.

      Jeff

  45. Thanks for all the great information about the G10/11. I have a 50D and need something I can carry a little easier when the need arises. I have a friend who carries a G10 for similar reasons. I was a bit unsure about which one to purchase. After reading the information above I think I will go with the G11 primarily because of the swivel screen. It allows me to take shots from odd angles, like setting the camera on the ground or leaning over a ledge. Thanks again.

    Cho

  46. I was wondering if it is worth spending the extra money on the G11 when I have been told the G9 was fantastic. Any thoughts?

    • Geraldine,

      The G9 is a great little camera and if you already own one then I’d stick with that. The only advantage in the G10/G11 is the new wider angle zoom lens.

      Jeff

  47. Thank you for your good comment. May I ask you some question.
    I’m a doctor and I’m a new in photographer. Now I’m looking for the new compact camera that I can use to take a picture of X-ray film of the patient , The people and landscape. (I had the G10 once but I droped it in the sea and it cannot function anymore.)

    So thank for your kindness to advice me.

    Newbie (Thailand)

  48. Thanks for that information. I feel much better now about having my G10 and feel i still have a good camera compared to the G11.

    For the record i like the fact that i dont have a pull out screen because i would have broken it weeks a go lol. I think the G10 is an exceltent camera and hoperfuly the price will come down for others to purchase it.

    nuever

  49. Hi Jeff,

    Some excellent thoughts you have provided.

    Like most other G10 owners I am not ready to jump to the G11 simply because I can’t see any advantages other than the swivel LCD screen. And yes, that can be really useful when doing landscape photography or street photography. It also will be a great boon to those who enjoy macro photography. However, before I go plop down another $500 for a G-series camera, I want HD video. That would have been a big plus for me if Canon had done it.

    One of my biggest gripes about the G-series is the viewfinder. One would think that Canon engineers would come up with a viewfinder that matches what one sees. As an old journalist, I was trained to shoot with a viewfinder and I miss that in any camera I pick up.

    The S90 doesn’t have one and that can be a big issue in bright light where it is nearly impossible to frame a shot since one can’t see the LCD screen! Further, in some situations, using the LCD panel for composition is simply impossible unless one is willing to lie down in the mud or get back pain from leaning low enough to compose the shot. For that reason alone I would not consider the S90 seriously. And I refuse to use a black clothe over my head like they did more than a century ago!

    I enjoy your blog and look forward to reading your thoughts along the way.

    Best regards,

    Bill

    • Hey Bill,

      I hadn’t thought about pulling the cloth off an old view camera but I have tried just about every other means to see my G10’s screen in the bright sun. If they make a “G” series camera with the LCD from my 5D2 I might be tempted. Right now I just use my hat to shade the LCD when composing a shot.

      Again, thanks for reading and commenting Bill. Your thoughts are always welcome!

      Jeff

  50. Hi
    will some one please tell me which camera has the best macro feature for taking pictures of coins.

    many thanks
    harry

  51. There is another important feature – the 1/2000s high speed flash sync. I have very little experience with dedicated flashes, but in my opinion this is very handy especially with dedicated and more powerful flash unit. For example – you have very bright backlit scene which require fast shutter speeds even at iso 100, but has very deep shadows. In this scenario you need a fill flash. But with normal cameras this usually means dropping the shutter speed to 1/180, which might overexpose the background. This can be corrected by closing the blend, but point and shoot cameras rarely go above f8(and f8 can deteriorate image quality because of difraction). So the only other option is ND filter, which requires adapter.

    Another p’n’s camera that has hss of 1/2000 is panasonic lx3. Even semi-pro dslrs have no more than 1/500 hss. It is not fatal because there are ways to go around it, but it is good to have such option since there is no mechanical shutter. If I had Canon system I would consider it(because of the dedicated flashes), but since I use Pentax dslr and want Nikon dslr, Canon is a bit off the charts for now.

  52. Speaking as a traveling writer who takes pictures as visual notes and occasionally sells them along with my texts, the G11 seems to suit me more than the G10. Smaller image size doesn’t matter a whit to me–10 mp is still way more than I need. If I were into huge pixel counts and poster size prints of landscapes, I’d go with a full frame SLR. Swiveling lcd is good for people photography. The claim of improved low light performance is what really intrigues me–and compared to my g9, the wider lens. Now where’s my credit card…

  53. The swiveling LCD is a great boon when traveling to places where people are not used to getting their pictures taken. I first started doing this when I was in China some years back. Many people did not want their pictures taken until I turned the viewfinder around on my Sony Coolpix. Once the people could see their own image in the viewfinder they would crowd around and line up to get their pictures taken. I got some of the best portraits that I’ve ever taken. I’ve been doing it ever since.

    I often found that I got better photos of people (especially in places where they are not used to cameras) this way than I was getting with my SLR.

    A few years back I started looking for a better digital with a swivel LCD as the old Coolpix didn’t have the quality of the newer cameras. I was really impressed with the quality of the G10. The one thing that kept me from buying a G10 was the lack of a swiveling LCD. I’m going to be ordering a G11 in the next few days.

    John

  54. I am going to purchase my father either the g11 or g10. He really has not much idea about cameras. What he needs is a point and shoot camera. He will be using it for travelling, dinner parties, and taking photos of furniture he sells. He will always have the camera set on auto. I am thrown as I don’t know which camera to pick.

    What do you think?

    • Amanda,

      Thanks for reading. I’d recommend looking at the new Canon S90 instead of the G10/G11. It uses the same sensor as the G11 but offers much simpler operation for folks just getting started with digital photography.

      Jeff

    • Amanda….
      The G10 or G11 is going to be too much camera for your Dad.
      Canon has just announced the S90 which uses much of the same materials that are inthe G11 in a smaller and more compact size.
      Look into it.

  55. I was pretty disappointed when Canon dropped the articulated screen with the G10. It allowed a lot of flexibility for shooting in difficult situations. I’ll wait to see more info on image quality for the G11, but it could be in my future.

  56. Pingback: G11 v G10 « Michael Jeans

  57. Thanks for the comparison. I thought the G series already had an articulating screen, which I’d seen on much earlier G models. But if it was gone and is back, I think that’s good. BTW advantages for photojournalists include getting shots in crowded situations and from creative angles. With screen face-up, you could hold the camera at waist or chest level, like an old Rolleiflex, or even down at shoestring-level. You also twist the screen and set the camera on a desk, table or file cabinet in the corner of a small room for a wide shot. With the screen face-down, you could hold the camera overhead (and over the heads of a crowd of competing press photographers) without having to say a “Hail Mary” about the framing. http://bit.ly/3S7MpF

    And, for the paparazzi , I suppose you could also reverse the screen and point the camera behind you… perhaps to frame shots over your shoulder while you were running away from an angry celebrity or mob of irate fans. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • I think the articulate screen’s benefits are quite obvious, as described here already. just wanted to add one more advantage and that is self portraitures or couple portraitures. its a very common thing in social networking and beyond in our days. You can hold the camera on your own, twist the screen to you, so you can actually see how the picture will be when you take it.

        I think the screen is a huge advantage.

        Low noise is the other one. as a professional travel photographer the sensor quality and NOT the MP’s are the most interesting feature. Of course a bigger sensor would hav even less noise, but the number of MPs are essentially useless.. so thumbs up for the changes in the G11.

  58. Jeff, thanks for a very balanced review. Here is what I have to say:

    I have the G10 but I’m disappointed that the new G11 has so little to offer after a long wait of nearly one year!

    Canon should have retained all the features (including the 15 megapixel image quality AND the 60-second sound-memo recording feature), AND also given us the facility to PAUSE during video shoots.

    In the megapixel race, ordinary people will be very disappointed by the G11’s 10 MP specification. At least Canon should have increased the sensor size in the G11. Not everyone realizes that larger sensors (and not more megapixels) mean better results.

    I’m not buying the G11 just because it has (a smaller!) variable screen and somewhat lower SNR figures. I’d rather shoot with my G10 at lower ISO settings AND use a tripod to get better results.

    Thanks.

    Tahir G.H (Pakistan)

  59. I’ve heard that the articulating screen can be handy for macro work close to the ground coupled with Live View. I’ve not used it myself.

  60. One reviewer said the articulating LCD screen is of interest to photojournalists who are not allowed to take photographs in a certain area of the world. I guess it helps to be more discrete. *shrugs* I’m interested in that they dropped the pixel size.

Comments are closed.