Canon Powershot D10 - the review
A compact waterproof camera is the perfect piece of photo tech that appeals to both gadget afficionados and practical anglers alike. Does the Canon Powershot D10 measure up to the task?
Review by Paul Sharman
As anglers we find ourselves in environments that are naturally hostile to electronic and optical items such as cameras in particular. Water, sand and dirt can all cause damage and even prove fatal to our gadgets in extreme doses. Waterproof items therefore always appeal and I recently got the chance to take a Powershot D10 from Canon down to Ascension Bay in Mexico to see how it fared out on the flats.
Out of the box the camera appears a little 'chunky' and almost bulbous compared to what you would normally expect in one of todays modern compact cameras. I am not sure of the reason for this as competitors such as the Pentax Optio are indeed of the more usual dimensions and more importantly (well to me anyway) slimmer. That said it fits into the hand perhaps much more comfortably because of the rounded nature of its design which is a bonus over other more standard angular designs.
The default silver and blue colouration makes for an eyecatching statement and is a nice change from the norm of solid silver or black without being gaudy (an optional cover set is available with orange, camo and black interchangeable covers) but I am not sure of the necessity for the wrist strap holder to be quite so prominent or to have the choice to attach it to any of the four corners of the camera (leaving the other 3 corners with empty sockets).
The screen on the back is nice and large at 2.5 inches which was good to see.
When I am on assignment I always have two full size digital SLRs with me but having a compact camera is also a real bonus as others I have had can just be slipped in a pocket easily and taken where it might be too risky to take the expensive full-size gear.
The first problem I noticed was that due to the shape and bulkiness of the design it did not slip easily in and out of my pocket which was a shame - it was too noticeable to me that I was carrying it around. I would have preferred something a little more unobtrusive.
The other problem I noticed straight away is that the lens is always exposed as there is no built-in cover of any sort. This worries me as it only takes one stray grain of sand to get on the lens while you are carrying it in your pocket or bag for a scratch to occur and ruin it. Yes you could and probably should buy a case for the camera for transit but while in use I want to have my camera handy and ready to go. In an ideal world all I would want to do is give a quick tap on the power button to open a lens cover and be ready to shoot.
Once in use however the true strengths of the D10 shine through. Canon have been in this business a long time and the quality in both the usability and the end results are obvious. The large screen coped well with the bright sun as I was composing shots and allowed me to see the results well enough. Back at the lodge this was also useful in being able to review and show the best shots to my companions where a smaller screen would have had them squinting.
There was a nice richness of colour to the final results which I liked - this suits the outdoor environment we anglers find ourselves in particularly well. A variety of pre-set shooting options are available too to make things easy which is the norm these days. The underwater, beach and sunset options may be of most use and I liked the results from the latter one inparticular as compared to the normal setting it really did warm up those oranges and reds.
The 12.1 megapixel sensor is plenty large enough to allow poster sized reprints as well as cropping unwanted background our your shots still leaving a clear final image.
There are many other options to numerous to mention - please see the link under "Specifications" further below to view the full set on the Canon website.
Overall the Canon Powershot D10 was a pleasure to use when actually engaged in taking pictures. I do feel it is a little bulky when carried on your person but on the flip side is very ergonomic once in your hand. That lack of RAW image capture also wrankles me slightly too but as I said, this is of no consequence to the casual photographer. What you will get is a great set of photos with the peace of mind that no matter what the elements throw at you the camera will be safe and it can even take a knock or two.
Would I get one? Yes I probably will for my shots of fish underwater and for family holidays at the beach or by the pool for example, but will probably have to get another compact with that RAW capability too for general use.
RRP is £319 but you can expect to pay from around £200 online.
Articles by the same author
- Where Eagles (and Salmon) Dare
- FlyFishing The Welsh Borderlands by Roger Smith
- Rivers of a Lost Coast
- Havana good time - fly fishing Cuba
- The Source - New Zealand
- Wilson's World Class - It's Official!
- Sportfish Spring show highlights
- Canon Powershot D10 - the review
- Ascension Bay - a saltwater fly fishing paradise!
- Fish&Fly Winter 2009 ezine - 'Focus On... The Seychelles'