This being Canon’s first entry into the waterproof/rugged camera space, there are some hits and misses. From a tech spec point of view, the D10 is a 12 megapixel camera with an internal 3X optical zoom, augmented by 4X digital magnification. There is optical image stabilization and you can take VGA movies at a full 30 frames per second. The camera has all the features and goodies common to modern digital compacts, such as advanced face recognition, predefined shooting modes that the camera can select automatically, in-camera editing tricks, and so on. The 2.5-inch LCD is of the wide viewing angle variety, and the camera is equipped with Canon’s advanced proprietary DIGIC 4 image processor (DIGIC stands for Digital Imaging Core) that offers excellent speed, good noise reduction in low-light condition, face recognition and more.
As far as ruggedness specifications go, the PowerShot D10 is waterproof to 33 feet, has an operating temperature range of 14 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit and is shockproof to four feet. To use technical ruggedness terms, the camera is sealed to NEMA IP68 specifications, and it was also tested according to procedures described in the MIL-STD-810F document, a US military standard for testing. To give you an example of what that means, the drop test specifies the camera had to be dropped onto each corner or other exposed surface three times, which for the D10 meant a total of 30 test drops.
All of this is packaged into a uniquely styled 4.1 x 2.65 x 1.9 inch body that’s quite different from most other Canon cameras. The housing is matte silver with a blue insert in the front. Canon offers special straps, different color face plates (the Canon Japan website shows orange, gray and camouflage green) and even Karabiner hooks for that rugged, purposeful look.
With cameras coming down in price so much, everyone is hustling to differentiate themselves with new and improved features. In the last couple of years, there’s been a lot of emphasis on ever more sophisticated face recognition. Canon obviously spent a lot of time perfecting face recognition in the DIGIC 4 processor. As a result, the D10 has several face recognition modes. In Face Priority AF mode the camera automatically optimizes all faces (up to 35). In Face Priority AE it concentrates on making sure faces are lit properly under difficult lighting conditions. In Face Priority FE, you can take flash pictures without overexposing a person’s face. In Face Priority WB, the camera will make sure faces look natural even if the scene is lit with different light sources. There is also a self-timer face priority where the camera makes sure it finds the face of a person who joins the scene after the initial focus is done. DIGIC 4 also improves the camera’s ability to find faces that are not head-on.
The D10’s 2.5-inch LCD is relatively small in this day and age of 2.7, 3.0 and even 3.5-inch screens, but Canon made sure it offers a wide viewing angle in any direction and also applied special anti-reflective and scratch-resistant coating. There is also an “LCD booster” where you can increase the brightness with the touch of a button. Very handy.
While many consumer cameras have tiny little buttons, the PowerShot D10 has fairly large ones that are spaced far enough apart so the camera can even be operated with gloves. That comes in handy in the cold and when underwater.
The D10 offers a total of 21 shooting modes. They are auto, program and movie, and then the following 18 special scenes: