Friday, February 5, 2010

How to Shoot "Professionally" with the Canon Powershot G10


At first, this short manual was intended for my friend Tania to whom I lent my Canon G10 for a trip to Europe. Then I decided that it might be interesting for the readers of this blog. It is not for advanced amateurs, but casual street shooters or tourists.

Why did I put "professionally" in quotation marks? Because it doesn't mean: "shoot like a pro", but "shoot in P-mode", which used to be called "program" and now is called "professional". I use P-mode for about 95% of my shooting with the G10 and get the best results with it.

Why Not the "Auto" Mode?

The G10 is a fine camera that in most cases can produce acceptable results in fully automatic mode, but it can't think for you and sometimes makes mistakes. It also has some drawbacks inherent to all compact point & shoot cameras, the most serious being low dynamic range and poor image quality at high ISO. To work around these drawbacks and correct camera's mistakes, manual adjustments are required that can easily be done in P-mode.

The following are a few simple tips that allow you to greatly improve your image quality in comparison with fully automatic shooting:

  • Shoot in P (Professional) mode.
  • Adjust exposure carefully, avoid highlight clipping, use exposure compensation.
  • Check exposure and focus after taking every picture. Reshoot if necessary.
  • Keep ISO sensitivity at minimum
  • Use proper white balance and colour settings.

These tips are explained in detail below.

All this can be applied to Canon G11 as well, except it has better high ISO performance.

All photos of the camera and screenshots © Dpreview.com.
Sample images taken by Tania and me.

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