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First Test: Canon Powershot V10

Posted on Jul 4, 2023

This 4K vlogging camera is a compact and lightweight option designed with social media in mind. We take it for a spin

Tested by Roger Payne

I was sceptical. A pocket-sized camera designed specifically for vlogging seemed to be a niche within a niche to me, but after a week with Canon’s diminutive Powershot V10, I began to think differently. Let’s be clear, I’m not the target audience for this £429 model – it’s more Gen Z than Gen X – but I had a lot of fun carrying it around with me, recording snapshots when the mood took me. 

Weighing 211g and easily fitting in the palm of your hand, the V10 is eminently portable. It features the one-inch CMOS sensor from the G7 X and has a fixed 6.6mm wide-angle lens with an f/2.8 maximum aperture, offering the equivalent to a 19mm. Fire the camera up and it’s ready to record up to one hour of video in 4K UHD 30p or Full HD 60p. It also doubles as a webcam, plus it can be remotely controlled via Canon’s free Camera Connect app – in both cases the built-in stand comes in very handy. It shoots stills as well, but JPEG only. 

The real appeal is the fact it’s so simple to use; a single button below the lens on the front starts and stops recording, and the V10 certainly delivers impressive results straight out of the box. For those who want to roll their sleeves up and get more involved, there is additional control – over things like image stabilisation, neutral density filtration and how aggressive the wind filter is. 

A built-in stereo microphone takes care of the audio, with a third microphone on the body for noise reduction – plus a windshield is provided in the kit. If you’d prefer to use a separate microphone, this can be added via the 3.5mm jack, and there are HDMI and USB ports.

Further controls are provided by the 14 colour filter effects, plus a smooth skin mode, and the V10 can be used in both horizontal and vertical orientation to produce 16:9 or 9:16 videos.

Focusing is automatic, of course, with face tracking on tap along with AF point selection – should you wish to pick out a specific part of the frame. Focusing is down to just 5cm, and I found the AF works well, with smooth transitions as the subject moves closer to, or further from, the camera. Image stabilisation is handy to have and effective. I found little difference between the ‘on’ and ‘enhanced’ settings, but it’s evident when the system is switched off.

The camera’s size is both good and bad. Good for portability, bad because when the body shrinks, everything shrinks along with it. Buttons and controls on the rear of the V10 are small and the two-inch touchscreen LCD means menus are also in a smaller font size. 

Thankfully, the smaller proportions don’t affect the touchscreen controls, as the on-screen buttons are larger than those on the body itself. That said, in bright conditions, I found the LCD quite tricky to see, and although the resulting footage was fine, some form of mini hood would be useful. When it comes to accessories, there is a second kit option for £30 more, featuring a SmallRig cage that accepts extras such as a video light, microphone or tabletop tripod.

The output quality is impressive. MP4s are rich in colour, well-exposed even when shooting backlit subjects, and the lens is sharp – although susceptible to flare. I recorded some footage while playing a round of golf by the coast and the wind filter did a decent job, still enabling dialogue and ambient sounds to be picked up while controlling wind noise.

Originally published in Issue 108 of Photography News.

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