Hands on: Canon PowerShot D10 review

Canon's camouflaged Powershot G10
Canon's camouflaged Powershot G10

Canon released details of its spring camera line-up this week and, as always, TechRadar was invited by the company to try out models from the new range.

While we are not usually to be blinded by gimmickry, we have to admit it was the company's new waterproof PowerShot D10 that first caught our eye – mainly because it's a bit of an odd-looking camera.

The model we were given to play with didn't exactly adhere to the water theme. For a start it was camouflaged. At least you won't lose it when trying it out in the crystal clear waters of Southend-On-Sea.

Canon assured us there was another model around, which had a splash of blue.

Heavyweight contender

First impressions were of weight. While the camera looks positively toy-like in appearance, its solid weight means that it feels decent in the hand, not at all throwaway.

Start-up time was swift: nay to yay in around two seconds. Once turned on, the menu system is a breeze to use. Cute, little icons represent which shooting mode you want – there's 18 to choose from – if you want to shoot underwater, then you choose the Fish; in the snow, then pick the snowflake.

If you can't choose, then the camera will. Controlling your shooting decisions using some crazy Jedi mind trick (officially called Smart Auto mode), the D10 will analyse your surroundings and pick a suitable mode.

Shock tactics

We would have loved to take the camera out for a real test-drive to try out the waterproof features. Sadly, Canon didn't let me chuck it in the Thames. They did plop it in a nearby fish tank and let me try it afterwards and, yes everything worked. Which is lucky as the camera is capable of diving to depths of around 10 metres without carking it.

A few angry taps on a nearby table also showed off its dexterity – it's also drop proof from around shoulder height, so drunken snaps should turn up no matter how many times you drop the snapper.

Canon also assures us that the camera will survive in temperatures as low as -10 degrees. We have to take its word for it as, despite numerous icy stares, we couldn't get the temperature down that low.

Costly camera

During our quick hands-on, the PowerShot D10 feels like more than a camera with a gimmick. Despite its quirky chassis, it's a camera you would happily whip out in a pub and one you would have no problems dunking in water.

The only real gripe would be the zoom. At just 3x it's just not enough to get those close shots – especially if you are exploring the Blue Planet.

Oh, and there's the price: £379 is a little steep in these credit-crunching times. But if you've got a few hundred quid stashed away for a rainy day and you want to take pictures of that rainy day without fear of your camera breaking, then the PowerShot G10 could well be for you.

Marc Chacksfield

Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, Shortlist.com at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.