Canon G16 Review: A Powershot Camera for Everyone

The Canon G16 is nearly identical to its predecessor, the G15, in both shape and function; instead, the differences are obvious where they count most — under the hood. With the addition of Wi-Fi capabilities and an innovative image processor that improves burst shooting speed and improves the overall video quality, the Canon G16 is a solid choice for all enthusiasts. Although not necessarily the best bang for the buck, for those desiring a longer zoom lens and basic user-friendly functions, the G16 could be the one. Let’s take a peek at some of the Canon G16’s features, pros, cons, and specs.

view of the control panel of a Canon G16

Canon G16 Review

Although the design of the Canon G16 maintains the chunky feel of the G15, the design is well worth it, thanks to the inclusion of a built-in optical viewfinder, as well as a top-mounted exposure compensation dial. At the time of its release, the Canon G16 was one of only a handful of compact cameras that came equipped with an optical viewfinder. That being said, the viewfinder isn’t one of the camera’s absolute best features, causing some users to point out its tunnel vision-type feel, which sometimes results in less accuracy in framing. Something to note is that although the design choice is worth it, the bulk of the camera, though not much larger or heavier than the G15, means that one wouldn’t be able to slip it into a back pocket — a jacket pocket or small purse, likely so.

For those who prefer shooting with an LCD monitor, the Canon G16 comes equipped with a generous 3-inch, 922k-dot resolution display. A major pro when it comes to the G16, the LCD monitor is sharp and allows for an overlay menu while shooting, which covers only a small strip on the left and bottom of the display. This mini strip allows users to have quick access to shooting controls that are only available within the camera, rather than a physical control, such as drive mode, white balance, metering pattern, and file format. Although a great monitor overall, the display is fixed, meaning it lacks a tilting mechanism, and instead of being controlled by touch, it’s controlled by buttons only.

The image sensor of the Canon G16 comes in at 12MP and is a 1/1.7-inch design. Thanks to the size of this sensor, the G16 is capable of a robust zoom and wide aperture, despite the compact size of its body. The G16 is packed with physical controls, in order to allow users to get the best shot possible. For instance, the front has a control wheel, the top has a mode dial and exposure compensation dial, and the rear includes buttons to control the ISO, engage the exposure lock, adjust the flash output, activate macro focusing, start movie recording, toggle between manual and AF operation, and move the active AF point. Beyond the excellent image quality, the Canon G16 also records crisp video at up to 1080p60 in MP4 format. The accuracy of colors is maintained, the camera is quick to refocus as the scene changes and barely audible is the sound of the lens zooming in and out while shooting.

Canon G16 with built-in Wi-Fi

A major highlight, perhaps even the best new feature of the Canon G16, is that of its built-in Wi-Fi capabilities. The free Canon CameraWindow app, available on most smartphones and tablets, allows users to connect the camera to the internet, or more specifically, to social media like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Flickr. Users can also connect the camera to a smartphone or tablet in order to view and save images, as well as attach GPS data. The last main feature of the Wi-Fi component is the ability to connect to another Canon Wi-Fi-enabled camera to share images. A welcome surprise to users of the G16’s predecessor, although lacking remote shooting capabilities, the new Wi-Fi component has quickly become a useful favorite.

Add-ons for the Canon G16 are available for purchase. For instance, there is a Canon conversion lens adapter, the LA-DC58L, priced at $28.94, which aids in protecting the lens from impact. Also available is the Bower adapter tube (58mm), priced at $18.95, which serves to attach auxiliary lenses and filters. Attachable flashes like the Canon Speedlite 270EX II, priced at $169, and the Canon Speedlite 430EX III-RT, priced at $249, are also useful additions to the Canon G16.

Canon G16 Specs

• 12.1MP 1/1.7” CMOS Sensor.
• DIGIC 6 Processor.
• 4:3 aspect ratio, 3” 922k-dot LCD monitor (no touchscreen).
• Optical zoom viewfinder with 5x optical zoom lens.
• ISO 80 – 12800.
• 9.3 fps for continuous shooting.
• Intelligent IS image stabilization.
• Standard hot shoe.
• Secure Digital, Secure Digital High Capacity, Secure Digital Extended Capacity media formats.
• Full HD 1080p60 video mode.
• Built-in Wi-Fi capabilities.
• Remote control port, mini USB port, and mini HDMI port.
• Standard SD, SDHC, and SDXC memory cards supported.
• Lithium Ion battery type.
• Weighs in at 12.5 ounces.

Canon G16 Pricing and Extras

Although the Canon G16 is not currently available for purchase on the market, you can find it for sale in varying conditions by other independent sellers. The MSRP of the camera is $549.99, but depending on the particular condition, you can get your hands on a Canon G16 (base-only, black version) from the minimal price of approximately $350 for a gently used one up to approximately $770 for a brand new one.

Overall, the Canon G16 is a great camera. Despite looking and feeling very similar to the G15, it is known for its many improvements, like its wide-aperture lens, full HD 1080p60 video, and built-in Wi-Fi. While not groundbreaking in its viewfinder, especially when compared to other higher-end cameras, the G16 manages to achieve a balance between functionality, capability, and image quality — and it does not disappoint. If you have some thoughts about the Canon G16, let us know!