New Canon PowerShot D10, a Waterproof Point-and-Shoot

Yesterday, I purchased the new Canon PowerShot D10 at Yodobashi Camera in Shinjuku, Tokyo, to take over for an old Canon IXY 500. The IXY has served us well and works OK still, but the waterproof and shockproof nature of the D10 were attractive because of the proximity to the Shonan beach area near where we live, and how often we’ve been nervous about taking electronics to the beach! It’s going to be nice to drag the camera right into the surf or even underwater.

Photo of Testing the New Canon D10 Waterproof Point and Shoot.I compared this D10 with other waterproof and shockproof models from Olympus (the Tough-8000) and Panasonic (the Lumix TS-1 or FS-1), but ultimately chose the Canon. I liked the way it felt in my hands at the store, and there were too many quirks in reviews about the others. At any rate, I thought I would share some first impressions and photos with everyone.

Specifications of the Canon PowerShot D10

Let me summarize some of the specs.

Megapixels - A solid 12.1, combined with the Digic4 processor. I’m not so interested in huge megapixel figures, because I really don’t need to print posters.

Lens - it’s got a bright f/2.8 3x optical, 4x digital zoom, with lens-shift Image Stabilization. This is a nice lens, and it’s in line with the sensor and not “folded”, which contributes to its rather bulbous shape.

Focus - face-detection auto-focus.

Media - “Secure Digital” SDHC format.

File Format - JPEG (Fine only, not Super-Fine) for photos and Motion JPEG for movies up to 1 hour and 4GB.

Toughness - it’s an outdoor-use camera, waterproof to 10 m and shockproof to 1.2 m.

ISO - 80 to 1600 but pretty noisy at high ISO.

Viewfinder - none, it’s an “LCD only” camera.

Battery - Lithium Ion

Unprocessed Samples from the Canon PowerShot D10

Here are some unprocessed sample photos, and a gratuitous motion JPEG video from the Canon PowerShot D10.

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Impressions of the Canon PowerShot D10

I’ve only used the camera just for a few snaps, but I like it. It turns on very quickly, has a whole slew of “scene modes” like aquarium, beach, underwater, foliage and so forth, as well as a program mode for some manual tinkering as usual in the PowerShot range. It has a programmable print button, so you can for example link “video record” to that for an easy way to start recording without fishing through menus.

I don’t care too much about the fashionable, replaceable faceplates that you can swap in (it has blue on there in the box but there’s also black, orange and camoflage), but I really love the straps that came with the “Canon D10 Outdoor Kit”. There’s a wrist strap, a neck strap, a caribiner strap that you hook to your belt, and a shoulder strap that lets you sling the D10 over your shoulder, and whip up when you want to take a photo. The design of the camera itself is pretty funky, but each corner has a connector that looks like something you’d see in a submarine. These connectors make the straps really easy to connect. You just slot it in and turn. Easy! And since there’s a connector on each corner, it’s nice for left- or right-handed people.

As for negatives, despite the nice fast f/2.8 lens, Canon bastardized the JPEG settings so there’s no “super fine”. I suppose this is to try to prevent you from having to swap SD cards at the beach, but I’d rather make that decision myself. Also, there’s no HD video like Canon’s introduced into their newest IXY models. Something I noticed in the manual, it says to turn up the volume on any videos you take with the camera because the mic is “not so sensitive due to the waterproof characteristics of the camera.” So say we all. Finally, I’ve owned other PowerShots but this one’s manual settings feel a little limited.

In the end, I think I’m going to probably take this camera everywhere because I don’t have to fret about damage from water. I like it quite a bit, especially the fact that I can sling it over my shoulder with the useful straps. I’ll update when I get some samples underwater.

Comments?

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—by Rick Cogley