Panasonic's Lumix DMC-G1 offers interchangeable lenses, Nikon's CoolPix P6000 provides GPS--the feature sets on enthusiast compact cameras are all over the place these days. So, should we be disappointed that the whizziest new feature of Canon's PowerShot G10 is its almost-15-megapixel resolution?
First, the basics:
|Canon PowerShot G9||Canon PowerShot G10||Nikon Coolpix P6000||Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3|
|Resolution||12 megapixels||14.7 megapixels||13.5 megapixels||10 megapixels|
|Lens (35mm equivalent)||f2.8-4.8 35-210mm (6x)||f2.8-4.5 28-140mm (5x)||f2.7-5.9 28-112mm (4x)||f2.0-2.8 24-60mm (2.5x)|
|LCD||230,000 pixels, 3 inches||460,000 dots, 3 inches||230,000 pixels, 2.7 inches||460,000 dots, 3 inches|
|Max ISO sensitivity at full resolution||ISO 1600||ISO 1600||ISO 1600||ISO 3200|
|Raw format supported||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Movie capture||VGA 30fps, 1024x768 15fps||VGA 30fps||n/a||848x480 30fps|
|Mfr. pricing and availability||$499.99; now||$499.99; October||$449.95; late September||$499.95; now|
First, this doesn't look like the kind of update that will inspire envy in G9 owners. The couple extra megapixels probably isn't worth it, and though Canon giveth with the improved wide-angle coverage, it taketh away in total zoom range. The bump to Digic 4 will probably help with photo quality; usually each generation of image processing does eke out some improvements, but some of that must go to compensating for noise on the same-size but higher-resolution sensor, as well as to maintaining performance. The new capabilities in the processor--Face Detection, Servo AF, Face Detection Self-Timer, and Intelligent Contrast Correction--are probably more important to the audience of snapshot-camera users than the manual enthusiasts who tend to buy the G series models. As for the competition, the Nikon P6000's built-in GPS is a mighty attractive option, but traditionally the Nikons have had disappointing performance, so a lot may be riding on how well they stack up against each other for speed.