• Canon PowerShot V10

Canon PowerShot V10 review – small size, large sensor (+ video)

The Canon PowerShot V10 is a pocket-sized camera with a large one-inch sensor and a really wide-angle fixed lens. What does it offer? And who is it actually for? Let’s explore that in a quick test.

This is a bit of an atypical article – I usually review proper cameras or  flagship mobile phones. The Canon PowerShot V10 falls into a completely different category – it’s a multi-purpose camera (that can take photos, of course). And it’s aimed more at mobile phone users, which should be attracted by the high quality video and interesting remote control options via a handy app.

As I readily admit everywhere, shooting video is not really my area of expertise. Yes, I actually do film all the time, but I either use an iPhone in combination with a full frame DSLR (or APS-C mirrorless), or I avoid cameras altogether by using screen capturing on my computer. And so I can’t put the Canon V10 in context and answer the essential question: how does it perform compared to the competitors. I’ll leave that consideration to the readers.

Important disclaimer: In the test I was using a so-called pre-production sample, i.e. a version of the camera that may differ from the final version in some minor firmware details. Usually the differences are small to negligible, but it is fair to point it out.

Canon PowerShot V10
Canon PowerShot V10 – here including the protective plastic cover… An iPhone photo.

Canon PowerShot V10 – Key Features

So what’s important to know about the Canon V10:

A 1-inch sensor with 20MP resolution: this is, of course, probably the most important thing. The so-called one-inch sensor is by definition significantly larger than those found in mobile phones (with exceptions like the Xiaomi 13 Pro) and therefore generally has the potential to offer noticeably higher capture quality. It is the sensor size that is really worth investigating in cameras, mobiles and camcorders. For cameras, it plays a key role in so-called professional compacts á la the famous Sony RX100 series. You can find examples of the 4K output of this sensor in the video.

Canon V10
The power of the 1-inch sensor is very much felt in the Canon V10 photos – they are really impressive. But it has to be said that taking photos is really just very basic, and there’s almost nothing you can set up. Unedited, just a resized photo – like all the photos in this arcticle.

Fixed ultra-wide-angle lens: the camera is equipped with a lens with a focal length of 18mm when shooting stills and 19mm when recording video  (aperture is fixed: 2.8). The second dimension, which Canon likes to mention in official materials, is the simple fact that it is an ultra-wide angle lens. So in short, you can really fit a lot into it. Which is useful for a variety of action shots and also, yes, selfies… I’m not an expert on them, but my daughters liked this wide angle a lot.

Canon V10
The ultra-wide angle is also perfect for similar scenes.

Really small size: I expected it to be a small toy, but its actual size still surprised me. The Canon V10 is really small and fits comfortably in any pocket. Dimensions are 63.4 × 90.0 × 34.3 mm, weight only 211 g. The camera will, I understand, be sold with the SmallRig cover/protector/holder (see photos and video). The cover provides some mechanical protection, but also gives the possibility of easier mounting on tripods, for example. The dimensions will then be a bit bigger, but still small.

Canon PowerShot V10
The Canon V10 is really small – here compared to the big beer glass (0,5 litre). Shown without the protective plastic cover. An iPhone photo.

A solid built-in stand and a flip-up display: these two parameters are actually crucial for quick use. The first is a really handy stand, in short a reclining piece of plastic that can be used to quickly adjust the angle of the camera. The second feature is the flip-up display, which can be flipped up to 180 degrees, and whoever is filming/photographing selfies can happily keep an eye on himself.

Canon PowerShot V10
Canon PowerShot V10 on the official photo, showing the stand and the flip-up display. Photo: Canon.cz

Highlights of video: of course, the camera can shoot in 4K (according to the official specifications: 4K UHD video recording at 29.97/25.00 fps and Full HD at 59.94/50.00 fps). Of course, all essential parameters can be adjusted: white balance, exposure correction, various “color enhancement filters”. It is also important that it is possible to switch between stabilized and non-stabilized versions of the shot, and digital zoom is available (1.5, 2 and 3). Plus you can also take photos, see the photographs on this page, but the settings are really limited – you can’t zoom, which is a bit of a shame.

Sophisticated mobile connectivity: what really matters is of course the quick and easy connectivity to your mobile phone, which not only allows you to do the expected: quickly send a video or photo from your phone “somewhere else”, but it also gives you a handy remote control, which was a pleasant surprise to me – see below.

Video: The Canon Powershot V10 Review – 14 min in 4K

Canon PowerShot V10 – what to expect form videography and photography

I tested the camera for a few days in Prague and on a cycling trip to southern Bohemia, in a number of different lighting conditions. Here are a few highlights.

The ultra-wide angle in really very useful: Although, see above, cameras like this aren’t really my field of expertise, I was keen to try out how an ultra-wide angle lens would work when filming and shooting on trips á la a bike ride through the countryside. I have to say that it works really well – thanks to the stand, it’s just possible to “drop off” the Canon somewhere by the side of the road and not worry about fitting everything into the frame – by definition, it will just be there.

The 1-inch sensor delivers quality output: if you watch my YT video, you can easily assess the quality of the footage, and it’s easy to see right from the opening take that the rather large 1-inch sensor is simply doing a very good job. Though of course, it is ultimately the light (which was very good here) that matters most. Which is undoubtedly one of the important summaries: if we are filming in great light, the results will be great (á la spring/evening sunlit landscape). Of course, poorer light (less bright sun, more contrasts) can complicate things – the camera (like virtually all cameras) by definition cannot “compute and adjust” photos as much as mobile phones.

Canon V10
Spring landscape in the south of Bohemia.

Important video settings: zoom and stabilization: it is very important not to overlook two important settings. The first is the possibility to use digital zoom (1.5, 2 and 3x) for video, and the 1.5x is very important: it changes the “ultra-wide angle” into “normal wide angle”, in other words: for example, the figure will no longer look distorted. And it will be a type of image similar to what standard mobile phones offer (and what is generally most suitable). Of course, it’s digital zoom, so it comes at the expense of quality, but it’s a tolerable compromise. Understanding how the video stabilization works is very important – because it is not automatically enabled and cannot be triggered when using that basic ultra-wide lens. If you were to shoot from a bicycle in this setting, for example, the images would be shaky. So it’s important to enable the stabilization and you’re done – but the angle will change and the shot will get a bit “cropped”.

Even for still photography, the 1-inch sensor is very noticeable. As I mentioned before, I’m actually more interested in the photos. And as you can see from the examples on this page and in the video, you can really get very good results from the camera: the sharpness is very good, and with a bit of experience you can work nicely with the depth of field. But let’s quickly add that this is really quite an overlooked feature. Forget about any complicated settings (forget about raws), Canon really just lets us push the shutter button. You can set image sizes and do exposure correction, and that is all. So it’s important to stress that there’s no point in buying this model as a camera – its primary role is for shooting video.

Canon V10
The detail is really remarkable, but sometimes it’s hard to get the photo focused – the display is just too small.

What I liked a lot: the remote control. As I mentioned, I personally liked a lot the option shown at the beginning of the video: being able to shoot very high quality footage while keeping an eye on my exact location and checking key parameters directly through the mobile preview. I admit, this may not be important for everyone, but it is for me – because I’m always filming something and it’s surprisingly difficult to “film myself”. Yes, I can control my iPhone with another iPhone, but that’s already a complication, just as I somehow always manage with a mirrorless camera, but even that tends to be a struggle (no, I don’t want to use the selfie mode). I mean: I think this can be quite tempting for content creators: getting an easy way to quickly get “talking head” shots without having to get the wife or kids involved, which is always a bit of a pain.

Canon PowerShot V10
You can easily mount the camera on a tripod and then control it remotely. An iPhone photo.

What to watch out for

Okay, so what are the topics to watch out for?

The main thing: it’s more or less a toy, not a tool for advanced use. As I’ve mentioned several times: the usage of the Canon V10 can be quite broad, it can be used for a variety of tasks, it will certainly suit many people, but the parameters (and indeed the price) suggest that it really is a tool for more or less uncomplicated use on cycling trips, parties, family gatherings.

The controls can sometimes be a bit tricky: the superbly small dimensions have a downside: when the camera is small, so are the display dimensions. And there, especially on a sunny day, it’s just really quite difficult to see anything properly. So in many cases, you simply have to look at the final photo after you’ve connected it to your mobile phone or uploaded it to your computer. It should be noted that most of the time it’s not a drama, but if you like to play with macro mode, it could really be hard to see if you have focused or not.

The mobile control drains the battery very quickly. Mobile control is a great thing, and – what I haven’t mentioned yet – it works great outside the home too: the mobile and the camera simply make a connection via bluetooth and wifi and communicate happily. But: of course, it’s quite power-hungry, so the battery can run down quickly. (The camera, by the way, can monitor itself when it starts to heat up while recording video – it has a “thermometer” right on the display).

Canon PowerShot V10
This is probably the most common use of the Canon V10 – you can drop it in your bike bag and go. An iPhone photo.

Canon Powershot V10 – summary in two sentences

The Canon V10 offers a wider angle of view (thanks to the lens) and higher recording quality (thanks to the 1-inch sensor) than conventional mid-range mobile phones, making it an interesting option for a wide range of uses. The content creators may also find it valuable fot its very robust “remote control” via a mobile app, which will make it much easier to take educational videos, for example.

This article was originally published in Czech on my website Fotoguru.cz.

Canon PowerShot V10

Rating: 7.5/10
Review Summary: The Canon V10 offers a wider angle of view (thanks to the lens) and higher recording quality (thanks to the 1-inch sensor) than conventional mid-range mobile phones, making it an interesting option for a wide range of uses. The content creators may also find it valuable fot its very robust “remote control” via a mobile app, which will make it much easier to take educational videos, for example. Published: March 30, 2023

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