Who says compact cameras are dead? Well, the market actually does; the mobile phone has pretty much killed the category altogether, so it’s interesting to see Canon trying to get into the market again. The PowerShot series of cameras has today received its newest member of the family, the V10.
The main question this product should answer is “why not just use your phone,” and the camera geek in me is relieved to have a good answer: phone cameras are great, but they have to be small. With that restriction lifted, Canon can do what Canon does best – build cameras. On paper, the little camera looks great; it’s built around a 1-inch CMOS sensor. That alone is a big deal; phone cameras are getting good enough now that we’re at the edge of what physics can do for us: sensors are getting hot, and with all those pixels packed into a small space, and limitations on how good and accurate lenses can be, you’re up against the practical maximum image quality you can get.
If you want to get better from there, you’ll need to add smarts (i.e. image processing enhancements, which are increasingly AI-driven), or switch to larger sensors. Canon’s Powershot V10 treats us to both: it has 14 built-in color filters and the ‘Smooth Skin’ mode to help you look your best.
The sturdy vertical housing is an all-new design for Canon – and it makes a lot of sense in a world where these cameras are more likely to be placed somewhere to film yourself, rather than handheld and shoot. That’s an additional point: smartphone cameras are getting great, but a lot of this kind of content is filmed with the selfie camera, which is often lower resolution and quality than the rear-facing cameras. Canon’s V10 solves that by making the screen flippable, and you get the best of both worlds: full-quality camera and a preview to frame your shot.
Canon’s latest tools allow shooting in both vertical and horizontal orientations to suit different social media platforms. If you want to use the camera as a webcam, streaming cam, or content production cam, you’ll be fine whether you’re shooting for YouTube, TikTok, or – a favorite among home cooks – OnlyPans. Whatever the cool kids do with their video, Canon hopes it can convince people.
The camera contains two high-quality stereo microphones and a third microphone added to reduce noise. It also connects to the Canon Camera Connect app to transfer videos over Wi-Fi (no more fumbling with memory cards!).
For those on the go, the camera charges via USB-C, which is a nice touch, and it has a built-in kickstand that allows you to easily tilt the camera up to 30 degrees. Genius; it’s like camera manufacturers are finally realizing that’s not the case everyone is as excited as I am to buy tripods of all weights and sizes.
The Canon PowerShot V10 can be purchased as part of two different bundles. The standard kit includes a power cable, soft case, lens cap, windshield and wrist strap. For those who want more creative options, an advanced kit includes a cage that can be used to connect additional lighting options or hold external microphones, etc.
Starting at $429, the camera is well priced to be positioned as cheaper and better than a smartphone and a stepping stone towards a full-size interchangeable lens camera.
Canon has made a video to show how it all works, along with some sample images from the camera: