Wednesday, August 19, 2009

G11 Announced

Canon’s G11 was announced today. The announcement was expected but I was very surprised by the feature set of the G11. I’d made my own G11 prediction a few months ago but didn’t exactly hit the mark. Well, taking a more positive attitude, I did get a few things right: the name G11; same form, appearance, controls but a little larger; same focal lengths and apertures; fewer pixels but higher ISO; highlight recovery option. Perhaps not so terrible after all.

On the down side, I completely missed the mark with my prediction of a 12MP CMOS sensor manufactured by Canon that would be slightly larger than the G10 sensor. The G11 uses a 10MP CCD sensor and, at this point, the manufacturer is not known. The G11 sensor is the same size as the G10 sensor.

Even more surprising to me is that the G11 does not include HD video. Actually, I’m shocked at this omission. It never even occurred to me that HD video would not be in the G11 feature set. The omission of HD video in the G11 is probably a serious marketing error by Canon. (Having said this, I must admit to using movie mode very infrequently on my G3 and G9 but was looking forward to trying HD video with my next camera. Also, I’m well aware that the need for HD video in a compact camera is a much debated topic among photographers.)

The G11 even has the articulated display screen in spite of my prediction that it would not. However, I’m happy to have been wrong!

Other features that I mis-predicted include: launch date (I thought September); price (a good thing!); new lens (apparently is the same as the G10); pixel binning at ISO 12800 (instead of 6400) – sounds interesting; new conversion adapter (will use the G10 adapter); RAW files from AUTO mode.

The G11 may also have some minor tweaks to shutter lag and flash performance. There’s a new mode, “Quick Shot”, that sounds interesting but is not described in detail.

Canon’s launch information leads me to believe that ISO 400 and possibly 800 might be routinely usable with respect to noise. Of course, noise and noise reduction are greatly debated topics and others may very well disagree. With my G9, I was beginning to feel OK about ISO 400 after suitable processing. The G11 would appear to have the potential to go to even higher ISO speeds.

As always, DPReview has additional information and summaries. I’m looking forward – and impatiently so -- to their review of the G11.

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