It really feels as though Canon's trying to recapture the past, or at least make up for some possibly poor decisions it's made over the past few years. For instance, though in many ways it bears little resemblance to the PowerShot G6, announced 5 years ago this month, that was the last G-series model with an articulated LCD, a feature beloved by many of the series' fans. And while last year's G10 jumped to 14.7 megapixels, bringing with it an increase in noise--anathema to the pixel peepers who play with these models--the new PowerShot G11 drops back to the 10-megapixel resolution of the several-generations-old G7.
Some points of comparison:
|Canon PowerShot G10||Canon PowerShot G11||Olympus E-P1||Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3|
|Sensor (effective resolution)||14.7-megapixel CCD||10.0-megapixel CCD||12.3-megapixel Live MOS||10.1-megapixel CCD|
|1/1.7-inch||1/1.7-inch||17.3mm x 13mm||1/1.63-inch|
|Color depth||n/a||n/a||12 bits||n/a|
|Lens||28-140mm f2.8-4.5||28-140mm f2.8-4.5||n/a||24-60mm f2.0-2.8|
|Sensitivity range||ISO 80 - ISO 1,600||ISO 80 - ISO 3,200||ISO 100 - ISO 6,400||ISO 80 - ISO 3,200|
|Continuous shooting||1.3fps n/a||1.1fps n/a||3.0 fps
n/a JPEG/10 raw
4 JPEG/3 raw
|Viewfinder||Optical||Optical||Optional hot-shoe optical (with 17mm lens)||Optional hot-shoe optical|
|Autofocus||n/a||n/a||11-area contrast AF||n/a|
|Shutter||15-1/4000 sec||15-1/4000 sec||60-1/4000 sec; bulb to 30 minutes||60-1/2000 sec|
|Closest focus||0.4 inch||0.4 inch||n/a||0.4 inch|
|LCD||461,000-pixel, 3-inch fixed||461,000-pixel, 2.8-inch articulated||230,000 dots, 3-inch fixed||460,000 dots, 3-inch fixed|
|Video (max resolution at 30fps)||640x480 H.264 MOV||1280x720 Motion JPEG AVI||848x480 Motion JPEG MOV|
|Battery life (CIPA rating)||400 shots||390 shots||300 shots||380 shots|
|Dimensions (WHD, inches)||4.3 x 3.1 x 1.8||4.4 x 3.0 x 1.9||4.7 x 2.8 x 1.4||4.3 x 2.3 x 1.1|
|Mfr. Price||$499.99||$499.99||$749.99 (body)||$499.95|
|$799.99 (with 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 lens)|
|$899.99 (with 17mm f2.8 lens and optical viewfinder)|
It doesn't look like Canon brought back the old technologies, though. The new LCD is larger and higher resolution and the sensor is possibly slightly larger (but CCD technology has definitely evolved). Plus it's got all the standard trappings that debuted in the G10, like the Digic four-level image processing and a wide-angle lens. The design looks similar, if a bit streamlined and updated for 2009. I'm not quite sure why it takes a performance hit in continuous shooting or battery life, however, and it remains to be seen if the overall speed improves over the G10's rather mundane performance. And no HD video. Ouch.
The PowerShot G11 is slated to ship in October.