Overall Rating:


Canon PowerShot G16



Price as Reviewed:


With a 12.1-million-pixel, back-illuminated sensor, Wi-Fi functionality and a new Digic 6 processor, does Canon’s new compact offer enough to rival other premium models? Read the Canon PowerShot G16 review...

Canon PowerShot G16 review – Build and handling

The G16’s matt-black body is made of magnesium alloy, so it feels very solid and well constructed. The lens protrudes by around 1cm, while a rubberised hand grip is only slightly raised and doesn’t jut out as much as the lens. This helps the camera to be more pocketable. With a length and breadth measuring 108.8×75.9mm, the camera body is slightly smaller than a wallet, although its depth of 40.3mm makes it perhaps somewhat thicker. A jeans pocket would be a squeeze but not impossible, although I think it is better suited to a large coat pocket. The supplied strap is also very useful when using the camera a lot during a day’s shooting.

One of the most significant differences between the G16 and the Nikon’s Coolpix P7800 is the way in which they handle. The P7800 has menu systems and physical buttons very similar to those found on the Nikon DSLR line-up. In use, it feels like a DSLR squeezed into the body of a compact camera. The G16 is almost the exact opposite, featuring the same menu style as much of the Canon PowerShot compact-camera line-up. However, I think this is to the benefit of the G16, giving the camera a far more user-friendly experience. The function menu, which controls most of the shooting-related settings, is open to a lot of customisation, allowing specific items to be placed higher, lower, added or removed. It can therefore be tailored to an individual’s needs. Also, like many of Canon’s other compacts, the G16 carries My Menu, which allows users to register commonly used menu settings for quick access.

The G16 feels very good in the hand. The small rubberised grip at the front has ample space for the user’s shooting fingers, and there’s a comfortable grip on the rear for the thumb. This thumb grip is slightly raised to the right and features a movie-record button and a custom function-button sunk into it. At first glance I thought the position of the buttons could be problematic and prone to accidental pushing while operating the camera. However, my fears proved unfounded and it was actually very handy to have them there. This was especially true of the function button, which I assigned to My Colours so I could switch between black & white and colour modes with minimal effort.

A D-pad, which doubles as a scroll wheel, handles most of the menu controls and value adjustments. Another scroll wheel above the thumb grip changes shutter speed, aperture and white balance correction. Around the D-pad are four other buttons that have different uses when in playback or shooting mode. For example, the ISO button doubles as ‘delete’ in playback and the button to change the focus point position when shooting also acts as a Wi-Fi button in playback. I found the buttons were all laid out well with everything easily accessible.

  • Video: (Full HD) 1920 x 1080 pixels, 60fps/30fps (HD) 1280 x 720 pixels, 30fps, (L) 640 x 480 pixels, 30fps.Star time-lapse movie (full HD) 15fps.Super-slow-motion movie (L) 640 x 480 pixels, 120fps (M) 320 x 240 pixels, 240fps
  • AF Assistance: Yes
  • White Balance: Auto, 8 presets, plus 2 custom
  • Built-in Flash: Yes
  • Memory Card: SD, SDHC, SDXC (UHS Speed Class 1 compatible)
  • Viewfinder Type: Optical
  • Output Size: 4000 x 3000 pixels
  • LCD: 3in (7.5cm) PureColor II G LCD (TFT). Approx 922,000 dots
  • Max Flash Sync: Up to 1/4000sec
  • Sensor: 1/1.7in CMOS with 12.1 million effective pixels
  • Hotshoe: Yes
  • Weight: 356g (including battery and memory card)
  • Exposure Modes: Smart auto, hybrid auto, program, shutter priority, aperture priority, manual, C1, C2, scene (7 modes) creative filters (10 modes) and movie
  • Power: Rechargeable Li-Ion battery NB-10L
  • Lens: Canon 5x zoom lens, 6.1-30.5mm (28-140mm equivalent) f/1.8-2.8
  • File Format: JPEG, raw or raw + JPEG
  • AF array: 9 points, selected manually or automatically
  • Colour Space: sRGB
  • Drive Mode: Single, auto drive, continuous, continuous with AF, self-timer
  • Shutter Speeds: 250-1/4000sec (total range – varies by shooting mode)
  • Exposure Comp: ±3EV in 1/3EV steps
  • RRP: £529
  • ISO: 80-12,800
  • DoF Preview: No
  • Focusing Modes: Manual, single AF, continuous AF, face detection
  • Dimensions: 108.8 x 75.9 x 40.3mm
  • Metering System: Evaluative, centreweighted average and spot (can be linked to the active AF point or face detection)
  • Connectivity / Interface: USB, Wi-Fi, HDMI
  • Compression: Fine, Normal

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