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A Step In The Right Direction Canon G16 Review

Lets take a look at the Canon G7X Review,  the latest flavor on the menu for underwater photographers. I have to admit, i was sceptical about this camera after the disappointing G1X however lets relax our preconceptions, The G7X is a totally different experience!  Its being nearly 3 years since Sony produced the RX-100 series which took the scene by storm, particularly for underwater photography. One question we kept getting asked during the Canon G7X Review, was how is it standing up in reply to the RX-100 III as a potential alternative for underwater photographers. Lets take a look...

For starts, the Canon G7X has a 1-inch sensor, which the Sony RX-100 II & III as have, its also about the same size of those camera also. Comparing to the last Canon we reviewed, the G16, Its smaller 20% lighter. It feels good to use and hold and it features the easy to operate as with all the Canon menu systems which we are particular fond of already, kudos!
Canon G16 Review For underwater photography

Let's Talk Underwater New Specs For The Canon G16

12.1 MP, 1/1.7-inch CMOS IMG sensor - backside-illuminated (BSI)
New DIGIC 6 image processor
Wi-Fi wireless networking
Slightly larger and heavier than was its Predecessor
Rear-panel controls have been slightly  tweaked
50% improvement in auto focus speed (labs tests confirm)

Comparing The Canon G16 For Underwater Photography

Inside the Canon G16 you'll find a 12.1 megapixel, 1/1.7-inch CMOS image sensor much like that used PowerShot G15, but now its backside-illuminated (BSI), and the Canon G16 now couples this with a new DIGIC 6 image processor. This is Canon's HS System pair system ( HS stands for High Sensitivity)  which to underwater photography, should, in theory, provide a better high ISO noise performance in lower light conditions.

The DIGIC 6 is also significantly faster, thumbs up! 50% faster in autofocus speed (and lab results agree) are a welcome improvement since the G15 could barely offer us an average autofocus performance. Canon state that with focus and exposure locked, the G16 can also shoot at an impressive rate of 12.2 frames per second for up to 5-6 frames, after which it slows to a still-fast 9.3 frames per second for around 522 frames. Remember though, a fast UHS-I branded Secure Digital card is required to use this feature of performance.  provided you do, all those underwater clicks you missed with your G15, you now have a better chance of capturing.. provided the camera speed was the slow element and not the clicker?!
Canon G16 Review Digic 6

Canon G16 Nice To Knows

Aesthetically, the Canon G16 remains very familiar, you will find that the G16 camera rear-panel controls have been slightly tweaked, also, the G16 is slightly larger and heavier than the G15, meaning that a new underwater housing (WP-DC52) is required if you are looking to upgrade your underwater camera, I think most underwater photographers can expect this these days so i dont see this as any surprise, you might be interested to know though, that the new Canon G16 battery pack is unchanged, so if you're upgrading from a Canon G15, you'll be able to keep using your existing packs. The same is true of almost all the other Canon G15 accessories: your conversion lens and filter adapters, teleconverter lens, flash strobes and brackets, leather case, AC adapter kit, charger, and cables can all stay in your camera bag post-upgrade.
Canon G16 Review For Underwater Photography - Housing

How Did the Canon G16 Review Rate Auto Focus Speed?

I always test for both macro and low light settings which is where i feel autofocus speed is important. As per usualy for G-Series Canon cameras it performed remarkably well, at least as good as latest models form Sony etc, maybe even slightly better. Clickers upgrading from an older G-series will not really notice a difference except in very minor aspects of picture quality.

Low Light Performance Canon G16 Review

As I've found to be the case with a lot of Canons in the past, the low light performance was great, in this particular case I would say better than a regular compact and on par with many mirror less cameras. without a doubt a very important factor with underwater photography, check out the pictures at various depths and you’ll see its maintaining it performs well under various ISO and light conditions.

Canon G16 Underwater Housings

Canons WP-DC52 is very nice, its build quality and usability exactly as i would expect from any Canon housing, be that as it may, The Fantasea Line FG16 is an even more versatile housing for Canon’s popular G16 camera. In Fact, its manufactured for function, style and durability. Although very similar to the WP-DC52 in many ways The FG16 housing looks stylish and functional right out of the box. The buttons/knobs are clearly labeled and placed in the same layout as on the G16 body. The front dial and exposure compensation dial each have a control knob on the housing. The zoom lever, camera mode dial (auto, manual, video, TV, AV, video, etc), and flash-up/down are easy to use. The video record button stands out for quick access when switching between photo & video modes. This is good by all means however I just liked the FG16 housing more in my hand. Either way, you'll find both cold shoe mount for attaching a ball mount and focus light or GoPro however on the FG16 you will also find a built-in moisture detector and alarm providing more confidence in the system when underwater.
Canon G16 Review Fanasea housing fg16

Conclusions Canon G16 Review

Canon  G16 doesn't offer much difference from the G15, although it is a step in the right direction to compete with like wise models, ultimately It has the same resolution, the same lens, and an all but identical body with the same feel and control. Inside, obviously, it can now jump on your Wi-Fi network, has a updated sensor, a new DIGIC 6 processor that gives it a much needed speed boost, I feel that users of the Canon powershot G series range, all but expect this, not from a lack of innovation from Canon however, instead, its  canons  ability to keep an enthusiast favorite camera design we know and love, how we like it, whilst at the same time bringing us inline with changes that are market current and accessible should we wish to upgrade.

Have You Used A Canon G16? What Do you Think? Comment & Let Us Know

Andrew Jennings
Andrew Jennings
You host and creator of underwater clicks.