Unlike most pseudo-DSLRs that offer a smaller chassis, the Canon PowerShot G11 is as large as one of the big boys. Color scheme is standard black though with plenty of space for a comfortable grip while the non-interchangeable lens slides in and out. Asides from a large optical viewfinder, the camera utilizes large control dials much like a typical DSLR.Using a 10MP CCD sensor and Canon’s proprietary Digic 4 image processor, the Canon PowerShot G11 offers a good amount of power for just a prosumer pseudo-DSLR. With 4x digital zoom and a 35mm equivalent focal length of 28 – 140 mm the camera is more of an up close and personal camera than a long-range one. Since the lens doesn’t have much of a wide range individual objects are probably better shot subjects than group shots. Most of the specs and features on the camera are automatic but since it is prosumer targeted, all of these functions can be accessed and tweaked on the fly. The camera takes still images in RAW, JPEG and RAW+JPEG file formats along with digital video at 640 x 480 and 320 x 480 resolutions for 30 frames per second H.264 video files.
Features for the Canon PowerShot G11 include an optical image stabilizer, ISO 80 – ISO 3200 light sensitivity and various shooting modes with custom presets. A max shutter speed of 1/4000 of second offers very quick snapshots, while the minimum shutter speed of 15 seconds gives you plenty of range to experiment with. The camera has the usual white balance modes and metering modes but offers other excellent features like an articulated LCD viewfinder for shots you don’t actually need to see, an integrated neutral-density filter, AF area size adjustment, a hot shoe, exposure lock, support for RAW files and a bayonet adapter mount for add-on lenses. The camera supports MMC and SD memory cards.Performance on the Canon PowerShot G11 is great, especially if you’re moving down from a DSLR. With the ability to go to first shot in 2 seconds the camera is a bit slower than its predecessor, but a quick 0.4 second focus that works well in bright light makes up for it. A shot to shot time of 2.5 seconds to 2.9 seconds makes for a rather deliberate method of taking pictures but it’s always better than flailing away without any thought to actual composition. Image quality is great with softening of features only happening at ISO 400 and above.
Overall, the Canon PowerShot G11 is an excellent prosumer digital camera with a large comfortable grip and easy dial-based controls. Those looking for a step down from their clunky DSLR’s will particularly enjoy this camera without having to sacrifice the same power and features of a standard DSLR. However its huge feature list does make it a bit intimidating for the beginner user, so its probably not the best step up from an entry-level user.