The new Canon PowerShot G16 is the latest of this retro-looking series of cameras. Today, we’ll see if it can be considered a worthy successor of this excellent lineage of cameras designed for creative photography enthusiasts.
If you thought the latest Canon PowerShot G had little room for improvement, you’re wrong. The new G16 has raised the bar for compact cameras. After testing almost every camera of this series, today we test the most recent member. Canon is undoubtedly making great efforts with these cameras design for creative photography enthusiasts who like something simpler than an SLR or a CSC.
Improved retro-looking design
Design-wise, the PowerShot G16 is very similar to its predecessors, although it’s slightly smaller and lighter. This is one of the best features of this series, something that hasn’t changed with the G16.
Controls and ergonomics
The body is light and nice to the touch, it feels solid and robust. It kind of looks uncomfortable at first sight, but it actually isn’t. Despite being smaller than its predecessors, using it with one hand is easy.
The controls to activate and manage its many features make it easy and agile to handle. It features two dials to control the diaphragm and the shutter, as well as shortcut keys to control the sensitivity, video recording, and exposition and focus mode. The only thing we missed was the foldable screen, something the previous models had.
The Canon PowerShot G16 offers many connectivity options. Like any digital camera, it features a USB port to connect it to the computer and transfer pictures. Curiously, Canon has also preserved the almost obsolete mini USB connectivity.
It also includes mini HDMI video output to watch your pictures and videos in every compatible screen (cable not included). It also features Wi-Fi connectivity to instantly transfer your files to your computer and/or mobile devices.
Connectivity-wise, however, the best feature, is the possibility of using it with the remote controller Canon RS-60E3, a very valuable feature for some users.
We also missed a GPS function to locate the pictures on a map. Although it quickly consumes battery life, Wi-Fi connectivity is also quite consuming, so we don’t see a reason to not include it.
The first thing you notice about this camera is how fast it is, no matter if you’re using it in manual or automatic mode.
The delay is almost unnoticeable and the many effects and filters it includes are applied instantly, like the automatic contrast or the improved dynamic range, even both at the same time. This is thanks to the new sensor and the Digic 6 processor, no matter which memory card you use.
It doesn’t matter if you’re shooting in JPG or RAW, the burst modes are very fast (12.5 FPS and 9.4 FPS, respectively).
Excellent image quality
The image quality of these cameras is no surprise, but with the G16, Canon has managed to surprise us. This model features a backlit CMOS sensor that despite being similarly-sized as the G15’s, offers better results. Also, compared to most compact cameras, it boasts excellent noise control in any ISO level (especially below 1200).
Naturally, the quality isn’t as good as the one SLR or CSC cameras with Micro Four Thirds or APS-C sensors can offer, but it still surpasses any compact camera. We can assure you this model offers excellent results. Here you can take a look at some pictures taken with this camera.
Very luminous lenses
The G16’s lenses are pretty much identical to the previous model’s (28-140 mm; f1.8-f2.8), but thanks to the new sensor, they’re capable of offering better results. The six-axis optical stabilizer has also been improved, which in turn improves its performances even further. And, like in similar cameras, it is completely adjustable.
This camera is also capable of recording Full HD video at 60 FPS, offering very good results for a compact camera. It is also capable of recording VGA-quality video at 120 FPS and 320 x 240 video at 240 fps. The results are acceptable at 120 fps, but at 240 the colors lose quality and the picture is too small to notice some details. It can be useful in certain circumstances, however, like recording fast-moving objects.
The Canon PowerShot G16 not only offers great image quality, but also a vast array of different features that will surely meet the needs of any user. These are some of them:
- Several exposition adjustments, with manual controls for the diaphragm, shutter speed and ISO sensitivity. This allows you to combine, for example, a slower speed with certain diaphragm settings.
- Several exposition and focus modes, including manual modes and a face recognition system. It also features a mode designed to shoot objects at a very close distance.
- Automatic contrast mode, which allows you to make the darker sections of a picture brighter without generating bloom. This tool is a classic among PowerShot G cameras, and it works commendably in the G16.
- Overall dynamic range improvements. You can control the degree of intensity of this function and you can also increase the dynamic range artificially. Under certain circumstances, this translates into a highly noticeable image quality, and even the smaller change in this regard can greatly affect the quality of your pictures.
- HDR, a feature to merge three different pictures into one. This allows you to get the absolute perfect picture by combining different aspects of the three. It is recommended to use a tripod if you plan on using this feature, although it’s not absolutely necessary.
- Flash control with three levels of intensity. You can also synchronize it with the shutter.
- Vast array of customization options, capable of using two memory cards and several shortcut buttons.
Using this camera is much easier than it might appear at first. Despite having so many buttons and features, you can start getting great results right away. The users of previous PowerShot G cameras will find specially agile and easy to use. This, along with how fast it is, makes using this camera a very enjoyable experience.
Accessories to further increase its features
The possibilities of this camera aren’t limited to the manual modes and vast array of features, since you can attach several different accessories to it and further increase your options.
You can connect an external flash to it thanks to its hot shoe, as well as a mount where you can attach an accessory that further increases the filters available to you. You can also get one of the many Canon Speedlite flashes, leather cases and an accessory to take underwater pictures.
The Canon PowerShot G16 is, without a doubt, one of the most powerful and versatile compact cameras on the market. It features everything you need and more, like an improved picture quality, better performance in low-light scenarios and an overall faster and more agile experience.
Don’t expect it to be inexpensive, however –although it’s totally worth the price-. This is a solid and trustworthy camera that offers everything beginners and intermediate photographers will ever need.
It’s important to note that everything we’ve said here is based solely on our tests and personal experiences with this formidable camera.
- Great picture quality
- Shutter speed
- Full manual settings
- Integrated WiFi
- It has no GPS receiver