Monday, December 22, 2014

Canon Powershot G16 Review

Canon Powershot G16 Review
December 2014, Carl Garrard

Canon Powershot G16 Review: The G16 is the culmination of years of progressive G series design, and it shows. Canon's G series cameras are very popular and historically have shown excellent customer satisfaction and overall sales. Today, the G16 faces off against a new even more serious breed of compacts with larger sensors and, as a result hasn't necessarily been the top talk of the tech forums or other photocentric sites. Despite that, G16 sales are brisk, and customers who have them are highly satisfied. There is a good reason for that, to which I'll attempt to explain in this review. Sorry to burst your bubble detractors, but small sensor cameras like the G16 are definitely still viable.

Canon G16 Amazons Best Current Price Taking a look supports the blog, purchase or not, thanks!

Canon Powershot G16 Review: Introduction

It's easy to get overwhelmed and excited about new advancements and technology, I do it too. The new compact cameras with large sensors show certain improvements in image quality (improved DR, isolation of depth of field, color response, for example), but they are also facing heavy optical limitations. You don't necessarily get to have your cake and eat it too.

Canon G16 Amazons Best Current Price

There are trade offs, and you'll have to be informed well enough to know what they are and what you’ll be sacrificing (and/or gaining) when making a choice on a serious compact. The Canon G16 is so fine-tuned and progressively well designed, it’s what I’d consider a “safe” pick. It's simply a camera I could just recommend to about anyone and feel confident that I’d not get blamed for a bad recommendation.

And while the G16 may not have the same capability sensor wise as some of the newer larger sensor camerasthe output is quite good from its 12mp BSI CMOS sensor. It can handle a lot more photographic tasks than some are quick to dismiss it from doing. That is unfortunate for them, but luckily for the G16, it is a minority of shooters who seem to be counting it out (despite how loudly they cry from the rafters).

Extremes- ISO 12,800 in low light, processed in Adobe Camera Raw. Minimal noise reduction applied (chroma at 15%). Not bad for an out of date and obsolete "small sensor", right?

When you look at the G16 online and read specs in comparison to the hot competition it faces on the market, it’s a totally different camera than when you use it in the real world comparing it equally to those cameras. How do I know? Because I have used the large sensor compacts as well as the G16.

Today's entrenched trend is that enthusiasts are asking for larger sensors in smaller bodies, and they are getting them. Ricoh's GR, Nikon's Coolpix A, Sony's RX100 I-III, Canon's G1X MI-II and GX7, and Panasonic's recently announced LX-100 are but a few of the gems on the market today that can crank out some serious image quality from relatively small and compact packages. Most come with good to even stellar lenses (on the fixed focal length compacts especially). All come with a more than premium price, but all are a great bang for the buck considering the overall performance.

As I stated, I’ve used many of the larger sensor compacts, some with APS-C sized sensors which are many times larger and perform noticeably better off the sensor. And while the larger sensor cameras have advantages, they also come with a list of disadvantages. The G16 may not beat them in the best IQ off the sensor race, but is that really the only parameter important to photographers? I say hell no, a big fat no. There are a list of equally important factors that determine overall image quality and the sensor is just one of them, granted, a major one. We'll discuss those in the rest of the review.

Canon Powershot G16 Review: G16 Improvements and Comparison

In reviewing literally hundreds of cameras I can rightly say that no camera is deemed excellent until I've used it extensively and in many circumstances- in real life. The more a camera begs me to pick it up and shoot with it, the more I know something is right in the design. At any given point I may have up to a dozen different cameras in here for review but I always pick up the camera that I want to use first. That may seem unfair to manufacturers, but it's really not. Generally speaking, the best designs get the best press because they get used the most.

This short video shows the before and after external design changes between the G15 and G16 cameras. Even subtle changes can make a world of difference in a camera design to the experienced user- if the are done correctly. The brilliance of the G16 is not the headlines it grabs, but the small moves Canon made to make it better than the G15. Canon may be conservative to some buyers, and not always nail everything, but they make calculated decisions based on a number of criteria (customer feedback being one), and they make cameras that function and sell very well. 

 Before I purchased the G16, I found the G15 to be the most complete compact I've ever used/evaluated. And trust me when I say that I've used some great ones, and liked them all for their pros and cons alike. Ricoh compacts have entrenched an endeared place in my heart. Yet, they really need a modern, fast, bright aperture zoom lens compact again (GX300 please). Otherwise, I've bought and sold LX's from Panasonic, RX's from Sony, Coolpix from Nikon, and none seem to keep my interest as long as the latest G series compacts do.

What was great about the G15 is not so much any single specification, rather it was the sum total of its design. More important than that even, was how well that sum was implemented and how that translated in real life. Great cameras, the best cameras, are designed this way. Sad thing is, most aren't great.

That's not to say it was perfect because it wasn't, no camera is, and I clearly found a couple of annoying design decisions. Since the G-16 improves on the G15 (admittedly much more progressively than most would desire), without taking away anything that made it great, it's a shoe in that I'd like it. This, in despite of the advances made in the marketplace to compact cameras since the G15 was announced.

And like the G16 I do, very much so. There are many sound reasons that I like the G16 though, so let me explain further. Canon has addressed some of the 'weaker' spots of the G15 that I mentioned in my review before, but not all of them  unfortunately. Lets talk about all of the changes though.

Canon G16 Review: Improvements of the G16 Compared to G15 
  • Much longer exposure capability (still limited to certain ISO's though), up to 250 seconds now.. up from 15 seconds max at base ISO
  • Much quicker and more decisive auto focusing
  • An even more refined exterior and build (dare I say sexy, solid)
  • Made the best compact camera grip even better
  • Noticeably improved image quality from a new 12mp backside illuminated CMOS, its subtle, but just enough to score points with me- especially at base ISO
  • Faster, more refined processor- which weaves its way into many improved performance characteristics
  • Wifi-if you need/want that
  • Better video and control over making those videos (optical zoom is quiet, nice touch!)
  • HDR improved, 3 shots auto stacked and auto-aligned (hand held HDR now vs. tripod only from the G15), with the addition of additional effects allowed now
  • In-camera, time lapse movie making (Star modes.. although pretty limited, not what I hoped for.)
  • Slightly improved battery life
  • Addition of adjustable focus peaking 

Now what did Canon remove from the G16 that I liked on the G15? See list below:

What I like about the G16 in addition to the above (most of the text is lifted from the G15 review)
  • A fast lens with an excellent all purpose range and macro capabilities that gives you a surprising amount of photographic creativity and control for a compact camera
  • Extremely effective optical image stabilization ( I shoot hand held easily down to 1/5th second with no blur) in stills and video
  • A dual axis electronic level that you can calibrate (excellent option Canon)
  • Good low light image quality by any standard (and improved over G15)
  • Superb build quality (and improved over G15)
  • Excellent ergonomics (grip/placement of controls, balance, again improved over G15)
  • Excellently implemented and placed external controls 
  • Blazingly fast autofocus (much improved over G15)
  • Raw Files (Supported by popular convertors)
  • Excellent battery life (360 shots per charge or more)
  • Included AF assist lamp
  • Excellent glass covered LCD screen
  • Pocketable (just)
  • Affordable price compared to other serious compacts (as the price dropped)
  • Comfortable spacious grip on the front and rear (better than G15)
  • Optical viewfinder when you need one
  • Quick start up and shut down, and really fast overall operation (image scrolling, accessing menus, in camera development, etc.)
  • Hot shoe and fast sync speeds with external flashes
  • Mostly customizable menu system 
  • Two custom menu settings on the mode dial (use them!)
  • Addition of XFine Jpegs, and some NR control of high ISO shots (low to high)
  • New Night Display Function (turns down LCD and changes color so you don't blind yourself during night shooting)

Canon G16 Review: User Report
Canon G16 Amazons Best Current Price

First of all, Canon’s seemingly small incremental improvements on the G16 on paper over its predecessor translate into a big deal in real life. Secondly, when you take into account its extremely good optics, versatile focal length, fast aperture from wide to telephoto, excellent size/build/ergonomics/external and internal controls… the G16’s points all add up to one killer score. This camera is much more capable than you may realize, but the caveat is that you must use it in real life on regular basis to see what I’m really talking about. 

Don't be an armchair quarterback, get out and throw the ball.

Plenty of controls without looking cluttered. In use they all work great and are right where you need them. My only niggle is that the exposure compensation dial seems to be labeled in opposition to what is natural. Turning left with the thumb should be less compensation, not more.

And let’s not forget the sensor.

Yes, it’s smaller. However, there are real advantages to a smaller sensor though. Greater depth of field (for a given comparable aperture setting) can be a big advantage. The lens that is subsequently in front of it is brighter, sharper, and much more versatile in comparison to larger sensor compacts of the same size. And since its modern tech, the 1 1/7” sized BSI sensor in the G16 is probably the best I’ve ever seen in a sensor this small. The output is quite good at all ISO values and more importantly quite usable even for serious shooting and prints!

Great tonal range and color depth from a very easy to shoot subject.

The older small sensors are not like this sensor. And mated with a bright lens means that you’re less likely to dip into higher ISO values at all- or stop down for needed depth of field. If you indeed need too, then you’ll be quite surprised to find out that the raw output from this camera is quite excellent up to 3200 ISO, and totally 
usable for prints up to 11x14 up to 6400 (with a little care to processing, and good exposure techniques of course).

Low ISO dynamic range (ISO 80), not only good retention of highlights in raw files, but very little shadow noise penalty at all, even when raising shadow levels up 3-4 stops as I did in this shot.

So while Canon's 1 1/7” sized sensor didn't make a big splash with the press and gear junkies, it does however impress users needing a tool to get the job done. I know I’m impressed. You’re simply getting a lot of out such a small sensor. Keep in mind that I also use a Ricoh GR which has an APS-C sized sensor, so I’m not just talking out of the side of my mouth. Of course that sensor is better, but at base ISO the advantage isn't as large as you may think. Practically speaking, so long as I can make a nice sharp 13x19" print from base iso that delivers sharpness corner to corner with good color and tonal range, I'm happy! The G16 delivers the goods. 20x30"s? No problem.

Fall Sycamore, detail galore, again nice tones and good contrast. Raw converted, ISO 80 f/4.

Subsequently, the G16 is making a good case for itself; I've not desired to pick up my GR much since it arrived. The advantages of the G16 are vastly starting to outweigh the GR, and the disadvantages are so minimal in comparison most of the time, I’m preferring to take the G16 with me instead. Bottom line, if the GR and G16 are on the table and I’m walking outside, I’m grabbing the G16 9/10 times. And it all starts with the G16's lens- a nice wide angle 5x zoom with a bright aperture through the range.

This is an amazing design achievement to me. I can’t say that the older G15 would win that battle against the GR as much if I had both at the same time. The GR is a fantastic compact, and trust me, in certain situations; I will choose it over the G16. But right now, I’m going to choose the G16 to take with me as a reliable/ trusty and versatile companion almost all of the time. While I thought the G15 was great, the G16 is bordering on fantastic.

It's fast lens means even in very low light levels a moderate ISO can be chosen, here a 1/15th second hand held ISO 500 shot in very low light shows almost no noise and great color depth. If you take into account the G16's radically good image stabilization, static subject shots can be made at up to 1 second exposure times with wide angle in low light and moderate ISO levels. That's ridiculous. Look Ma, no tripod.

At some point enthusiasts have to look at a camera choice and ask themselves “ok ok, what is enough?” At what point is image quality and overall performance good enough? How highly do you rate handling and ease of operation? How highly do you regard versatility and say, battery life? How important is lens performance to you, and what focal length(s) do you need? These are questions we all ask ourselves, and in choosing a compact to carry, are very important to answer.

Excellent handling is countered with excellent design. Notice the flush camera strap lugs (comfort on the shooting hand), a real hard door hiding well organized and common ports, front mounted control wheel, led lit power button, and more. The grip is just sexy, it's so nice to hold. and operate the G16.

After reviewing and/or using countless compacts (probably 95% of the enthusiast models out there), It is my opinion that the G16 is probably the most versatile and capable compact of any to date. Sure it’s not the ace of sensor based IQ. But, the G16 is an ace in handling, battery life, overall image quality (lens is counted in this factor), ease of use, and overall versatility in a very compact and comfortable package. It’s very speedy responsiveness gives me full confidence in making images when I have to make choices quickly. 

That is nearly invaluable. If you miss a shot because of a slow operating camera, it’s gone. No large sensor can help you there. Sorry, shot is gone, go home.

Canon G16 Review:  Recommended Improvements
Canon G16 Amazons Best Current Price

With all that said, I’m basing much of my conclusions about the G16’s IQ based off of raw image quality. I’m not so hot about the Jpeg output. There’s some interference in the processing that is mushing up detail at all ISO values despite having the NR setting to low. That’s a shame because the raw data -sans any noise reduction- makes wonderfully looking Jpegs!

Why mush it up Canon? Let the user turn off noise reduction completely, there is nothing to hide here! Have confidence in your sensor and entrust power to your intended audience (enthusiasts!).
Other complaints I have about the G16 are minor. The inability to record any Jpeg alongside a Raw file with user chosen parameters such as sharpness, noise, contrast, saturation, etc… is kind of lame when we know so many other companies have been doing that for so long now. 

There is one custom Jpeg-only setting mode, but that’s it, and you can’t shoot anything but color only. The processor in this camera is certainly fast enough to handle the task I present, so I really don’t understand. There are workarounds you can do in camera (processing internally for example), so it’s not a big deal to me- yet could be for others. It’s worth mentioning because there are a lot of Jpeg shooters out there. Canon shows it can produce amazing Jpegs, so it’s surprising they would dumb them down like this.

I think the G16 should have a true intervalometer as well, and the ability to combine time lapse photos into a video in camera if needed (cough Panasonic). It’s Star mode iterations are a step in the right direction, but too simple and basic for enthusiasts to get excited about- i.e. not enough control over the output, or the parameters. You can add the HDR, and other special settings to that list – give the user more control please.

That’s about it in terms of what’s not right, which to me says a lot. There are zero deal breakers with the G16 regardless of what I've mentioned. Annoyances or limitations maybe, but no deal breakers. It’s a tool you can count on to get most of what you want done right. And that is a mark of an excellent camera design.

And a nice neat suggestion/wish list for a future replacement of the G16:
  • Ability to adjust sharpness/contrast/saturation/noise reduction on all color/monochrome modes, not just the custom color mode. A TRUE NR off setting.
  • Ability to shoot a raw file alongside all special image modes (i.e. creative filter modes, etc)
  • Faster continuous raw shooting (right now its about 1 raw/jpeg combo at 1.5 seconds)
  • True intervalometer (star movie mode is only one small step toward this, and just ok in my book), or included timed remote, the first being preferred (Canon, talk to Panasonic they'll show you how to do this right)
  • OVF replaced with one of the excellent EVF's on the market (it's time Canon)
  • Or improved OVF (cough X10/20) w/eye sensor that turns off the LCD, focus points overlay... etc.
  • More powerful and tiltable popup flash (tiltable for bounce like many new built in flashes can do, example GX7).
  • Customizeable Control Ring around the lens 
  • Threaded Shutter Release (within the shutter release button)
  • 24-135mm f/1.4-2.0 Lens (If Canon stays with the 1 1/7" sized sensor)
  • 24-120mm f/1.8-2.8 Lens (If Canon goes with a 1" sized sensor)
  • Include a damn full sized printed manual

Canon Powershot G16 Review: Versatility
Canon G16 Amazons Best Current Price

A compact in my opinion should be a versatile unit. It should be able to shoot landscapes, macros', street, indoors, video, and moderate telephoto at the lowest ISO settings possible. That means it needs to have a good lens that has a bright aperture. The GR, Coolpix A, are eliminated. Both have excellent handling and a fast aperture, but both have a fixed lens which limits their versatility.

I have a Ricoh GR, and I love it, but I miss a zoom lens every time I take it out to shoot (I get along without it). Trust me, it is a VERY difficult camera to eliminate in this contest. The Coolpix A is very decent too, but the grip and menu interface/options turn me off - not even a competitor to the GR in my opinion. Yet it remains a very decent option out there for those who like Nikon's interface.

Canon's G16 is probably the most versatile compact out there (unless you consider the bulkier, heavier, and more expensive Nikon CP 7800 a compact camera). It's lens is excellent, by any standard. It's fast, its got excellent macro capability, and a wide to moderate telephoto range. It deploys quickly, zooms quickly, and works quietly during video. Its hard to ask for a more versatile lens in a compact. I'd say the G16, while not the best camera (best in its class can be argued) for street/landscape/macro/action, it can be used for all applications and do a pretty darn good job. It's a tool that has a jack of all trades master of none emphasis in its design.

And yet, the G16 can do a better than average job in almost all segments of its required use. This is what a compact camera should be. A tool you can bring with you anywhere that offers serious portability with as little compromise to your DSLR system as possible. That, or it should be a good one camera solution. Canon's G16 does well in both roles and leaves little to desire.

Canon Powershot G16 Review: Handling

I don't know about you, but when I use a camera often, it had better have good handling. Good handling to me means a great grip that is free of camera strap lugs, excellent external controls, well balanced, and ease of shooting/adjusting controls single handedly.

In order to shoot one handed, that means I don't want a post style lug strap sticking into my right hand, and I want controls that I use most often at my fingertips configured in such a way so that I don't have to re-position my hand to change settings. The G16 is by far the best handling zoom enthusiast compact camera of all the models out there right now, based on my extensive experience with the G15 and G16.

Canon Powershot G16 Review: Image Quality

For me image quality is about what the sensor and lens both produce together. A duet is only as good as both of the musicians. They both must be good enough for my needsMy expectation of what I consider good enough image quality? I want good low ISO performance (clean of noise and good "enough" dynamic range in raw files) which translates into a sharp 20x30" low ISO print, and acceptable prints from raw at 11"x14" at ISO 3200.

Otherwise anything beyond that is just icing on the cake- and not personally needed. If a camera will give me those expectations I'm fine. These days the best small sensors can do that, just as the G16 will. Lets chat about a few other cameras in comparison.

The G1X Mark II has better overall image quality off the sensor (but not by far) but the G16 handily meets my needs in raw up to ISO 5,000 (i.e. it surpasses my needs). So sensor wise, both meet my needs perfectly fine. I don't care that the G1X has a larger sensor and is a slighty better overall performer after all factors are taken into consideration.

The lens is another matter, and I am picky about a lens for a compact. It's because I expect a compact to do a lot, and do it well in many different circumstances. Optical performance, focal range, macro capability, and max aperture are all considerations. I want it to have a fast aperture and have a versatile range from wide to moderate telephoto.

I want a fast aperture because I like hand held shooting, and having the choice of blurring backgrounds more. The more light a lens will allow, the greater the chance I'll have to hand hold a shot without blurring a scene or, that moving objects will blur- i.e. shutter speeds remain higher. Both the G16 and G1X Mark II have a fast lens, with the latter being slower through the range than the former.

Lens wise the G1X Mark II has a more versatile range in my opinion. I love a 24mm wide angle equivalent start, and 120mm is still what I consider moderate telephoto. I'd take 24mm -120mm vs 28mm-140mm any day of the week.  Think I'm making an argument now for the G1X Mark II? Almost, but there are a triad of practical caveats that keep me from choosing that one as the winner.

Canon Powershot G16 Review: Competition Comparison

A compact should be compact as possible without too much weight or bulk. Sorry the G1X Mark II loses out here, its not small enough for me, and if I'm gonna go this big I'll use my Pentax K5IIs. Add that it doesn't have a built in viewfinder of any kind and it means that if you want one on it, it only becomes clumsy, bulkier, and slightly heavier. Not what I want in a compact camera.

And when I factor price into the equation, the G16 is a much better proposition as well. Mine cost me $360.00 brand new from a nice Ebay seller in Canada. The G1X Mark II on Ebay is amost twice that price right now. Its not that it isn't affordable, but I'm asking why I would want to spend double if half as much takes care of my needs. Right? Right.

The G1X Mark II also lacks a built in viewfinder. Granted the G16 has what I call a "minimalist viewfinder" and no EVF option, but I don't care because I don't stick those add on viewfinders on compact cameras to begin with. It ruins the experience for me. So while I'm not going to do cartwheels over the G16's viewfinder, it works in a pinch, it's optical, and built in. Would I like a better built in finder? Yes.

Just for giggles: G16 vs G1X Mark II Googlefight

If you've noticed that I've left out some of the Fujifilm cameras, there is a reason for that. I don't like the X10/20/30 lens design implementation (great focal range and bright aperture). It yields two handed operation only most of the time, and for me, a compact must retain the ability to be used one handed. If the X30 had a regular zoom lens and on/off switch, I may be beating a different drum. To me, they are too small for two handed operation and if I want to use two hands I'll use a DSLR.

That said... Fuji make one larger like the X100S/T and now we're talking!

So, with all that said my process of elimination is pretty logical. Again, I must stress that I value how a camera works in real life, not how it specs out. I use cameras for making images, I don't make a hobby or career of reading about cameras online, or pixel peeping cross comparing sample images. I.e. I'm not into a Google Camera Fight. Its entertaining sure, I've done it, but not practical in real life.

Let me reiterate that all of the cameras that I've mentioned are excellent enthusiast cameras, and I've enjoyed (or currently still enjoy) using them all for their strengths- whether they are better than the G16 in some areas or not. I love the raw output of the RX100 immensely, but didn't like the Jpegs to save my life, and the lack of a grip/general handling just sent me over the edge. I know that series is very popular to many on the market and I'll take heat for my opinion, but I'm just being honest. It's not that I don't want to love the RX100 cameras, my gosh, quite the opposite in fact!

So, by process of elimination, that means the RX100 series and LX100  are eliminated. The RX100 has no grip unless you buy one (and even then it's mediocre), and the LX100 has a weak grip with a post style strap that digs into my right hand. Both annoy the hell out of me, and maybe not you. In the end if I don't like holding a camera and it makes my hand feel uncomfortable, I'm not going to use it. Have at it if you don't mind, but I certainly do. Remember handling is mostly subjective, so if you like any of the cameras I've mentioned don't take it personal.

Enthusiasts put a lot of thought into choosing a camera and therefore can be quite defensive of their purchase- rightly so! Look I get it, I understand. But if you buy a camera and the honeymoon wears off quickly, then its simply not the camera you hoped for. I'll admit it no problem, then just move on.

I say shoot with whatever camera you enjoy shooting with the most, not the most popular camera. Photography is your hobby or a career, enjoy it to the maximum and don't compromise.

Canon Powershot G16 Review: Price 
Canon G16 Amazons Best Current Price

Most of the serious enthusiast cameras mentioned above have a higher price tag than the G-16, bar the Fuji X series and LX7. Since price alone is not the main factor in which I choose a camera, I don't add or eliminate any camera by price alone. Don't get me wrong, if I can save a buck I will, but price is not necessarily a major consideration unless we're talking insane Leica prices. I will pay to get what I want, so long as it is indeed what I'll use.

I envy the money that Leica owners have, so what. But I've used some of the Leica's out there and I don't envy the way they perform! If they performed to my expectations, I may save up for one, but so far, none have. Point being, more money doesn't buy you the best performing camera in many cases.

G16 holds its value well, and gives a lot of bang for the buck.

Canon G16 Amazons Best Current Price

Canon G16 Review: Concluding

Back to piling on with its pro category are other areas worth mentioning in my final conclusion: special touches.

Items such as a glass LCD screen, night shot LCD mode (subdued so it doesn’t blind you), magnesium body, excellent battery life, dedicated AF assist lamp, hot shoe, front mounted control wheel, customizable controls, easy to use and navigate menu system… piles up the smiles. The fine touches like this are icing on the design cake. Canon’s expertise with the G series shows just how serious they are about making a fine compact camera.

To me the design of the G16 exudes a well refined product that shows the rich history of the G Series Powershot line. The look is a proportional, well sculpted, balanced but also a serious looking tool. It looks like it holds- roomy (for a compact), comfortable, extremely well built. Note the flush strap lugs, nice grip, durable finish, and recessed flash. I could go on.

In the end, my message here is to not count out the G16. G15 users may already be experiencing many of the joy’s I’ve mentioned. After using both extensively, the G16’s fine touches put the G series in a category higher. Canon has made a very fine camera even better. They have addressed some of the con list I made in my G15 review, mainly the bigger cons. 

Summing up, the G16 is an excellent compact companion. It's a jack of all trades but master of none (although you could argue that its its macro capability is). It operates fast in almost every single way, it's versatile, has good battery life, very comfortable to shoot with, and has an excellent and easy to navigate menu system. The G16 is a well thought out design that benefits from years of G series heritage, and, its at a very nice price right now. 

Compared to competition with larger sensors, the image quality is not that far off at all, and when you factor in its bright lens helping you to keep the ISO lower, it's almost a wash. However, if the sensor size puts you off remember that you get the benefit of a usable (depending on who you ask) viewfinder, glass covered LCD screen, and most of all- excellent handling. Handling holds very high value to me.

I’d recommend the G16 without any hesitation to just about anyone looking for a capable camera they can take anywhere- for many, it's all the camera they would ever need, and for the discerning photographer- a great companion on the go when you want good image quality you can rely on for prints.

Happy Holidays, be safe and happy shooting!

-Carl Garrard

Canon G16 Amazons Best Current Price

Canon G16 Review- Sample Gallery

All samples here are raw processed that demonstrate the capabilities of the G16 out and about. Click on each image for a larger preview. Images are all converted from raw- unless noted otherwise. Copyright of the author, of course.

ISO 640 from raw, she was a very cooperative model and worked for nothing.

100% crop
ISO 80 Macro Sample
100% crop


  1. Thanks for the review. The G16 is THE travel camera for me.

  2. Thanks Carl for the excellent review. G series has definitely fallen by the wayside in the current trend for large sensor compacts.
    As you pointed out the old dog still has a few tricks left. I can't help but wonder what you think of the Canon G7x from the same stable, would be great if you could do a review on it soon as I own both the s90 and the G12 and looking for an upgrade compact

  3. I think the OVF is one of the G16s best tricks. Anyone who is over 40 (or who had cataract surgery, like me) and can not see close-up without reading glasses but has good distance eyesight benefits from an optical viewfinder with optics set at infinity. Not to mention the greater stability it offers. All my cameras are either SLRs or compacts with an OVF. No eye-level viewfinder is a no-no for me in any camera.

  4. Woow Carl it was and excellent and very complete review, thank for sharing your nowlege and time

  5. Thank you for making my G16 decision a final one, and with more confidence. I will probably buy new and I'll take it out on my dog walks leaving the complex dslr for learning and for 'special' shooting moments - and enjoy better day to day photos than my present low end point and shoot.
    You made a good case for not just focussing on the latest hype or the latest offerings, but for choosing a good solid all purpose camera.