Canon Powershot G11 Digital Camera: Field Test Report

Peter Burian tests this premium-grade camera with 10MP resolution to determine how it compares to the very popular G10

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One of the top rated digicams on the market, the 14.7 megapixel PowerShot G10 was recently replaced by the G11, with lower resolution said to provide superior image quality. The G10 was definitely an ideal second camera for serious photographers. In fact, this is the one that many of the pros carried when we went out for dinners while working at a week-long photo seminar in Dubai. (Also see Jack Neubart’s Canon PowerShot G10 Review here at Photocrati.com)

After testing the G10, I fell in love with that camera and bought one for my own use. While it received rave reviews about its conventional controls and low ISO quality, most test reports complained about its high ISO performance.

The 14.7 megapixel G10 was a highly-rated camera and produced fabulous images at low ISO but the G11 is even more desirable in some aspects. While resolution is lower at 10 MP, most reviewers agree that this is plenty for a digicam with built-in lens. (G11; ISO 100; f/8; 1/40 sec.)

The 14.7 megapixel G10 was a highly-rated camera and produced fabulous images at low ISO but the G11 is even more desirable in some aspects. While resolution is lower at 10 MP, most reviewers agree that this is plenty for a digicam with built-in lens. (G11; ISO 100; f/8; 1/40 sec.)



In my own review for a Canadian magazine, I made the following comment about the G10: By ISO 800, images made in low light are still very sharp but very grainy although that’s not a problem in 5×7″ prints. At higher ISO, JPEG quality really suffers due to speckling and some smearing of fine detail by Noise Reduction processing. At ISO 800+, slightly better results are possible with Raw capture since Noise Reduction and Sharpening can be set to the optimal level in the converter software.

Most technical experts indicated that the problem was caused by the excessively small pixels (photosites). Apparently the engineers at Canon agreed since the company responded by replacing the G10 with the G11, with substantially lower 10 megapixel resolution provided by a new High Sensitivity sensor. That step made sense of course, since it allowed for larger photosites – with greater light gathering ability – for superior results at high ISO. [Read more...]

Comparative Digital SLR Lens Review: Fast, Wide Aperture Lenses

Field Test Report

Peter Burian tests five lenses with great light gathering ability: the Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM, Tamron AF 70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD (IF) Macro, Tokina AF 50-135mm f/2.8 AT-X Pro DX, Nikon 17-55mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S DX and the Sigma AF 30mm f/1.4 EX HSM DC

Because most digital SLR camera owners demand compact, lightweight lenses, the vast majority of zooms feature a small maximum aperture. A typical kit lens is designated as f/3.5-5.6 indicating that the maximum aperture is quite small at the short end and becomes very small at longer focal lengths. In practical terms, that translates to moderate light gathering ability. The larger the numeral the smaller the opening in the lens and the less light that will reach the camera’s digital sensor.

A wide aperture lens is ideal for fast shutter speeds in low light conditions when you cannot use flash or a tripod. Shooting at f/2.8 allowed me to get many sharp photos at 1/125 sec. during a stage performance, using ISO 1000. With a more typical (smaller) aperture, much higher ISO levels would have been required for the same shutter speed and the images would have been seriously degraded by digital noise. (Nikon 17-55mm at f/2.8.) (c) 2009 Peter K. Burian

A wide aperture lens is ideal for fast shutter speeds in low light conditions when you cannot use flash or a tripod. Shooting at f/2.8 allowed me to get many sharp photos at 1/125 sec. during a stage performance, using ISO 1000. With a more typical (smaller) aperture, much higher ISO levels would have been required for the same shutter speed and the images would have been seriously degraded by digital noise. (Nikon 17-55mm at f/2.8.) (c) 2009 Peter K. Burian

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Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM EF Review Round-Up

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If you own or have used this lens, let us know what you think! Leave your comments and thoughts below.

Get information and user reviews for this lens from Amazon: Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras

Photo Zone

The Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 USM IS is a very good lens but not a stellar one. The resolution characteristic is excellent at 70mm and 135mm but at 200mm it disappoints – more so regarding its price tag. The results are still very good here (just at f/2.8) but when putting things into perspective (e.g. vs the superb EF 70-200mm f/4 USM L IS) the delivered quality is not overly impressive. Based on the performance at 200mm the potential with tele converters seems “limited”. Lateral chromatic aberrations (CAs) are relatively well controlled but, again, inferior to the in-house competition (inc. its predecessor). Distortions are nothing to worry about as is vignetting. The build quality of the lens is superb and the IS as well as the very fast AF makes it a joy to use. If only it was better at 200mm. READ FULL REVIEW

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Canon 28-300 f/3.5-5.6 USM L IS EF Review Round-Up

canon-28-300-f35-56If you own or have used this lens, let us know what you think! Leave your comments and thoughts below.

Get information and user reviews for this lens from Amazon: Canon EF 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM Lens

Photo Zone

The Canon EF 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6 USM L IS is an impressive extreme range zoom. The optical quality is on a very high though not exceptional level. The resolution figures are generally very good without any major flaws. Vignetting, CAs and even distortions are very well under control. The build quality is exceptional though some may not like the push-pull zoom design. … The 3rd generation IS is a significant and highly welcome addition to the feature list. On the downside the lens is heavy and not exactly small especially when used at 300mm – not exactly a low profile lens. The price lifts it beyond the reach of most amateurs but then this is true for many L grade lenses out there. … So if you can live with its limitations and the price tag it is surely worth a deeper look! READ FULL REVIEW

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Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM EF Review Round-Up

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If you own or have used this lens, let us know what you think! Leave your comments and thoughts below.

Get information and user reviews for this lens from Amazon: Canon Zoom Telephoto EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS (Image Stabilizer) USM Autofocus Lens

Photo Zone

The Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 USM L IS is a very good performer with few weaknesses … that’s assuming you get a good sample – the first tested sample was mediocre whereas the second one performed very fine. The resolution of the lens is on a very high level throughout the zoom range with only a marginal performance penalty at 400mm. Vignetting, distortions and CAs aren’t really field relevant on an APS-C DSLR. Typical for Canon L grade lenses the build quality is great. However, you may need to get used to the push-pull zoom mechanism which is a bit unusual these days. Regarding the sum of its characteristics the EF 100-400L is THE still portable super-tele zoom for Canon users. READ FULL REVIEW

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Canon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS EF-S Review Round-Up

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If you own or have used this lens, let us know what you think! Leave your comments and thoughts below.

Get information and user reviews for this lens from Amazon: Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Standard Zoom Lens for Canon DSLR Cameras

Photo Review

A general-purpose lens with an extended zoom range for Canon’s DSLR camera bodies with ‘APS-C-sized’ image sensors. Designed to provide a wide zoom range in a compact and lightweight form factor, Canon’s EF-S18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS telephoto zoom lens can only be used with cameras that have ‘APS-C-sized’ image sensors. Supporting a zoom range of approximately 11 times, it covers a focal length equivalent to 29-320mm in 35mm format but weighs only 595 grams. Built-in image stabilisation provides approximately four f-stops of shutter speed advantage and the stabilisation system can detect when the camera is panned. READ FULL REVIEW

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Canon 50mm f/1.4 USM EF Review Round-Up

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If you own or have used this camera, let us know what you think! Leave your comments and thoughts below.

Get information and user reviews for this lens from Amazon: Canon EF 50mm f1.4 USM Standard & Medium Telephoto Lens for Canon SLR Cameras

Photo Zone

The EF 50mm f/1.4 USM showed an almost flawless performance during the lab- and field-tests both in terms of optical and mechanical quality. If I had to list a few negative points it would be vignetting and low contrast at f/1.4. So if you’re looking for a lens in this class the EF 50mm f/1.4 USM is a great option. READ FULL REVIEW

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Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L USM EF Review Round-Up

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If you own or have used this lens, let us know what you think! Leave your comments and thoughts below.

Get information and user reviews for this lens from Amazon: Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM Standard Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras

Photo Zone

The Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 USM L proved to be a worthy representative of the pro-grade lens league … if you can get a good sample. During the last two years four lenses has seen the lab with only one within specs – this is disappointing especially for a lens of this price class. If you ´re lucky enough to get a decent sample you can expect a very high performance level, especially when stopped down a bit. Distortions, vignetting and CAs are well-controlled. The build quality is superb with only the reverse zoom extension as a minor downside. Even so the 24-70mm range is not all that attractive on APS-C DSLRs (39-112mm) – the EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 USM IS is a better and cheaper bet except regarding build quality. READ FULL REVIEW

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Canon 85mm f/1.2 USM L EF Review Round-Up

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If you own or have used this lens, let us know what you think! Leave your comments and thoughts below.

Photo Zone

I was quite sceptical regarding this lens. Not so much because I expected a bad performance but what to do with this lens. I’ve to admit that after a week of testing I’m in love and it’ll be very hard to part with it again. Isolating objects via ultra-large aperture settings is more fun than I ever imagined. Besides the performance of this lens is exceptional with scaringly sharp results (from f/2.8 and up) and a super-smooth bokeh. The build quality is, naturally, up to pro standards. Regarding its price tag it is certainly not a mainstream lens but if you belong to the financially-gifted you may consider to take a long, deep look at this lens. READ FULL REVIEW

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Canon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 EF IS USM Review Round-Up

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If you own or have used this lens, let us know what you think! Leave your comments and thoughts below.

Get more information and user reviews for this lens at Amazon:
Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens for Canon EOS SLR Cameras

Photo Review

An affordable long-zoom lens with two effective image stabilisation modes. Released concurrently with the EOS 5D, Canon’s EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM telephoto zoom lens replaces the 10-year-old EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM lens. We tested it on Canon’s new EOS 30D, where it covered a focal length range equivalent to 112-480mm in 35mm film format. The new lens combines ultra-low dispersion (UD) and aspherical lens elements and includes an improved optical image stabiliser (IS) that allows users to shoot at approximately three shutter speed increments slower than a non-stabilised lens. This is a one-stop improvement over its predecessor. READ FULL REVIEW

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