Canon PowerShot D10 – A Bubble Body Camera
Good photo quality, easy to use even with gloves on.
Slow performance, the design of the body makes it inconvenient to hold
The Whiz Kid Speaks:
Canon PowerShot D10 is a 12.1 mega pixel camera, ISO settings include ISO 80, ISO 100, ISO 200, ISO 400, ISO 800, ISO 1600, ISO 3200 and ISO auto. It has 4x digital zoom, shooting programs include high sensitivity, night snapshot, stitch assist, portrait mode, slow shutter, night scene, kids and pets, underwater, landscape, fireworks, aquarium, foliage, sunset, indoor, beach, snow.
Special effects include lighter skin tone, darker skin tone, positive film, black & white, color accent, vivid green, vivid blue, color swap, vivid red, vivid and sepia. The camera also has optical image stabilizer. Minimum shutter speed is 15 seconds, white balance presets include tungsten light, florescent, daylight and cloudy. Videos are stored in H.264 format and pictures are stored in JPEG format. Video capture resolution options are H.264 – 320×240 and H.264 – 640×480. Image storage resolution options are JPEG 4000 x 2248, JPEG 640 x 480, JPEG 1600 x 1200, JPEG 2592 x 1944, JPEG 3264 x 2448, JPEG 4000 x 3000.
Flash modes include red-eye reduction, flash off mode, slow synchro, fill-in mode and auto mode. The camera has Zoom lens – 6.2 mm – 18.6 mm – F/2.8-4.9 with focal length of 6.2 mm – 18.6 mm, minimum focus range is 11.8 inches, macro focus range is 3-50 cm, lens aperture is F/2.8-4.9, optical zoom is 3x.
Additional features are I-Contrast (Intelligent Contrast Correction) system, Automatic face tracking technology, Camera orientation detection, Motion Detection Technology, Scene Detection Technology, Face Detection AF/AE/FE/WB, Face Detection Self-timer, RGB primary color filter, Digital noise reduction, Digital image rotation, USB 2.0 compatibility, In-camera red-eye fix, PictBridge support, Exif print support, Resizing an image, Histogram display, Built-in speaker, Water resistant, Shock resistant, Direct print, DPOF support, Freezeproof, FE lock, AE lock.
The camera has out of the box design, if Canon made this body with the intention of making this camera look attractive, it has failed miserably. Not only is the body hard to grip but the abnormal shape also makes it hard to put it in your pants pocket.
The Canon PowerShot D10 is a weather proof, dustproof and water proof camera and this is clear from the shape of the body. However, the body isn’t detachable, you cannot remove it if you don’t need waterproofing. The camera can stand cold up to 14 degrees Fahrenheit, is shock proof up to four feet and can stand water up to 33 feet. The picture quality of this camera is great and is great for usage in snow, surf and sand.
Considering the camera is water proof, we expected Canon to give us better grip for the camera while diving. Unfortunately, the camera it is difficult to get a comfortable grip on the camera. For $110 more, you get a shoulder/neck strap, neoprene case, three faceplates and a carabiner strap. The face plates are used to change the color of the device from gray to blue, camouflage or orange.
The buttons are changed from the usual layout that we see in Canon, they are raised and bigger than other models. You can press these buttons easily when wearing thick gloves. Above the screen, there are button for selecting photos to print, changing shooting modes and playback. The photo print button can be used to change settings like switching to Movie Mode or ISO options.
Unlike the buttons, the menu system is unchanged from previous Canon cameras. Func button gets you settings specific for shooting mode where as menu buttons gets you two tabs – one for system settings and the other is for general shooting options. The camera is a simple 12 mega pixel device and doesn’t have any advanced features that will intimidate a newbie.
The Canon PowerShot D10 has 18 scene modes to choose from, however if you are unsure about which one to pick, you can always use the Smart Auto mode which detects the environment and adjusts accordingly. For advanced users, there is program mode which gives you control over color effects, light metering, focus, white balance and ISO settings. The most commonly used Scene modes are there like Landscape, portrait and there are also a couple of new ones like Long Shutter, Underwater and Fireworks. The camera can capture movies, there is a movie mode for that. The gadget can capture at 640×360 pixel resolution at 30 fps. You cannot use the optical zoom while shooting clips.
Rugged looks and great performance don’t go hand in hand. Such cameras are rare. The PowerShot D10 is a rugged camera but isn’t good in performance. Fortunately as compared to other rugged cameras, it is a bit fast. It takes 1.2 seconds for the camera to wake up and start shooting. Shot-to-shot times are 3.9 seconds with the flash and two seconds without it. The shutter lag is acceptable, in bright conditions, it is 0.5 seconds and in dim light it is 0.7 seconds. The camera has continuous shooting speed of 1 fps but there is no burst mode.
The D10 is a good option if you intend to take big, 8×10 inches or larger prints. Till ISO 200, the picture quality is good. Graininess starts to crop in from ISO 400 and details start getting softer. There is a big dip in quality from ISO 800 and the picture quality there is really awful. Anything below that will only degrade the quality further. The exposure and white balance from the pictures is really good and so is the color representation.
In spite of the drawbacks, we think Canon PowerShot D10 is a great buy if you are looking for a waterproof, dustproof, weather proof and shock proof device. Be wary of the design of the camera though, because it won’t be easy squeezing it in your pants. If you don’t like the design but still want a camera with similar features, you can take a look at Fujifilm FinePix Z33WP, Olympus Stylus Tough 8000 or Pentax Optio W80.