At first glance, the G16 looks just like its predecessor, the G15, but there are some minor changes to the placement of buttons.
The G16 might be a bit bulky by today's standards, especially when compared with the more compact Sony Cyber-shot RX100 II. But the build is more solid and its grip more rounded for added comfort. Overall, the handling of the camera is superb.
One bugbear these years in the G series has been the optical viewfinder (OVF). Although its competitors have incorporated great OVFs into their compact prosumer cameras, such as Fujifilm's X20, the G16's OVF is still stuck in the last decade. The field of view is narrow with no settings indicators.
You are better off using the 3-inch LCD screen to compose your pictures. However, it is not tiltable.
Furthermore, the G16's 1/1.7-inch image sensor is much smaller than the PowerShot G1 X's 1.5-inch and RX100 II's 1-inch image sensor.
Thankfully, the optical lens has a convenient range of 28mm to 140mm with a maximum aperture of f1.8 at 28mm and f2.8 at 140mm.
The G16 is pretty fast. It starts up at 1.2sec with an equally quick shutdown of 1.4sec. By comparison, its peers usually take around 2sec.
Autofocusing (AF) is almost immediate in bright sunlight. In poor lighting conditions, it can take up to 2sec to lock on to a focus with the aid of its AF assist light.
Using an SD card rated at 45MB per second, the G16 is able to shoot JPEG images at nearly 10 frames per second for 512 continuous frames.
Other prosumer compact cameras would have slowed down or stopped after 20 continuous frames or so.
Image quality is good with sharp rendition of pixels and accurate colour reproduction. However, its images are not as sharp and vivid as the RX100 II's. Noise performance is decent but not stellar. Expect clean images until ISO 400. Anything ISO 1,600 and above is not recommended.
The 1,080p video quality is great, with very little ambient and wind audio being picked up. The only downside is that video AF is a tad slow, sometimes taking up to 4sec to lock on to a focus when you pan to a new scene.
Battery life is average - you can get 350 still images on a full charge.
If you prefer fast operation and superb handling above all else, the Canon PowerShot G16 is definitely your kind of camera.
Image sensor: 12.1-megapixel 1/1.7-inch backlit CMOS
Display: 3-inch fixed LCD with 922,000 dots
Lens: 28-140mm f/1.8-f/2.8
Sensitivity: ISO 80-12,800
Shooting speed: Up to 12.2 frames per second
Weight: 356g (body with battery and memory card)
Value for money: 4
Battery life: 3
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