Canon G16 review

Canon's workhouse G series premium compact gets refreshed

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Our Verdict

If you're looking for a good workhouse camera to carry around with you, then the Canon G16 a good bet. Take a look at the Canon S120 though if you need something a touch more pocket friendly – it features the same sensor.


  • Full manual control
  • Raw format shooting
  • Built-in Wi-Fi


  • No touchscreen
  • Limited flexibility with digital filters
  • Can't use Wi-Fi for remote shooting
Scores in depth
Canon G16
Canon G16
Canon G16
Canon G16
Canon G16

The Canon GXX series has long been considered the natural back-up camera for DSLR users, especially those already familiar with the Canon brand.

As such, the outward design of this range has changed little from its first incarnation. The Canon PowerShot G16 is no different, looking outwardly almost identical to the year-old Canon PowerShot G15 it replaces. But of course, inside there have been a few notable changes.

First up is the sensor. While it remains the same pixel count, at 12.1MP, and physical size, at 1/1.7-inch, Canon says that the CMOS sensor is a completely new design, featuring back illumination.

Canon PowerShot G16 review

The Canon G16 now includes inbuilt Wi-Fi, something which Canon's David Parry says is "pretty much essential" for new compacts.

What Canon is most keen to shout about, and perhaps the most exciting new feature, however, is the Digic 6 processor. This is Canon's latest generation of processor which enables some pretty special things, most notably an impressively fast 9.3fps (JPEG, without continuous autofocus), which doesn't have a buffer - in real terms that means you can, in theory, keep on shooting until your card runs out. It also means you can shoot a sequence, stop shooting and be ready to shoot again.

It should also mean that low light performance is once again improved. The Canon G16 is capable of shooting at up to ISO 12800. Canon also claims that AF speed has been significantly improved - apparently it is 41% quicker than its predecessor, the Canon G15.

Canon PowerShot G16 review

Two new creative modes have been created for this camera. Background Defocus shoots two photos, one completely in focus, one out of focus, then combines the two images to produce DSLR-style background defocus effects. This is done in-camera automatically.

The second is Star Mode, which has been designed with night time photographers in mind. Canon says that it is so confident of the camera's low light capabilities that it actively wants to encourage photographers to use it in pitch black conditions.

Star Mode is a fully automatic mode that triggers the best settings for capturing night time skies. It's also capable of recording star trials and creating time-lapse movies - again, all captured and created within the camera without the need for post-processing. HDR mode has also been improved to include new digital filters.

Canon PowerShot G16 review

Manual Focus Peaking has been introduced for the first time in a Canon compact camera. It's a technology that has existed in Canon's range of video cameras before, and we have seen it from other manufacturers fairly recently. The sensitivity of focus peaking can also be set depending on how strong you want it to be. Different colours can also be set, which can be useful depending on the subject you're shooting.

As found on the Canon G15, the Canon G16 features an f/1.8-f/2.8 5x optical zoom lens, with a maximum wide-angle of 28mm. At its full telephoto zoom it offers a 35mm equivalent of 140mm and a maximum f/2.8 aperture.

The exterior of the camera is pretty much identical to its predecessor, the Canon G15. Canon says that this is because it has been honed throughout the years and is one that consumers feel comfortable with.

Canon PowerShot G16 review

Canon has also announced a replacement for the Canon S110 in the shape of the Canon S120. That takes a lot of the features of the Canon G16 but places them in a slimmer body, and is worth investigating if you're looking for something a little more pocket-friendly.

When the original Canon G series camera launched it had far less competition that it does in the current market. Probably the biggest competitor for this camera is the Sony RX100 II, as well as the Nikon P7700.

The Canon PowerShot G16 will have a full price of £529.99 (around US$830/AU$920), making it slightly more expensive than the Nikon but a fair bit cheaper than the Sony.

Tech Specs

Product TypeCompact Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Wireless LANYes
Effective Camera Resolution12.1 Megapixel
Product FamilyPowerShot G
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC UHS-I), Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC), Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC UHS-I)
Image StabilizationOptical
Optical Zoom5x
Digital Zoom4x
Brand NameCanon
FeaturesFace Detection, Smile Detection, Wink Detection, Live View, Continuous Shooting Mode, Orientation Sensor, Time Lapse Function
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsMOV, MPEG-4
Viewfinder TypeOptical
Weight (Approximate)314.7 g
Image Sensor Size1/1.7" (7.60 mm x 5.70 mm)
Maximum Image Resolution4000 x 3000
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height75.9 mm
Width108.7 mm
Depth40.4 mm
Product SeriesG
Focal Length6.10 mm to 30.50 mm
Image FormatsJPEG, RAW
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
ManufacturerCanon, Inc
Product ModelG16
Product NamePowerShot G16 Compact Camera
Product LinePowerShot
Exposure Control
  • Program AE
  • Aperture Priority
  • Shutter Priority
  • Manual
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part Number8406B001
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing InformationIncredible Imaging, Ready to Share
With performance and creative expression approaching that of an SLR camera, the new PowerShot G16 camera makes unlimited imaging not just portable, but now wireless, too! Built-in Wi-Fi® offers easy set-up and powerful capabilities: upload stills and video to Facebook®, Twitter®, YouTube™ and Flickr®; send to email; share to tablets and smartphones; print wirelessly; and transfer to PCs. You'll be eager to share the spectacular images you create with the 12.1 Megapixel High-Sensitivity CMOS Sensor and DIGIC 6 Image Processor. Together they create the Canon HS SYSTEM for significantly improved resolution in an expanded ISO range of 80-12800. Stunning 1080p/60p Full HD video is possible thanks to the DIGIC 6 Image Processor: vividly realistic and incredibly smooth. A 5x Optical Zoom offers excellent shooting versatility, and the bright f/1.8 lens performs brilliantly in low light. Continuous shooting with full resolution has been boosted up to EOS-caliber speeds, and High Speed AF puts images in focus almost the moment the camera is aimed, so you can freeze that perfect shot. Intelligent IS counteracts camera shake for clear shots in any situation. Shoot HDR photos without a tripod, and add dynamic new finishing effects. You can also capture breathtaking images of the nighttime sky with new star shooting modes. Enjoy pro-like advantages such as Multi aspect RAW, which lets you take control over the editing process, and compatibility with Canon Speedlite flashes and a variety of EOS System accessories.