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In my own mind and with personal experience with the Canon G11 it's the Professional's Compact, unlike other digital cameras the Canon G11 allows the photographer to shoot professional looking photos to a high standard, you are given the option to shoot in RAW or JPEG modes or both at the same time, the zoom goes from 28mm (Wide) to approx 150mm (Tele-Photo) The camera also allows the user to shoot VGA Videos with very good resolution and sound.
Optional accessories are available including external flash products (The Hot Shoe facility on top of the Camera is a bonus), Lens adaptors are available from most high street retailers/online auction sites and gives the user even more options e.g. wider and zoom options) In the box you receive the following.
Charger - Fast dedicate charger for the Canon Powershot G11
The only other extra you will require that is not included in the box is a SD Card. I use a Kodak 8GB and I never have any problems or issues. The format time after taking photographs is slow, In low light it's best to use a Tripod or at very least a Monopod, The G11 is the same price as an entry level DSLR, and gives you the option of shooting from Full Manual to Automatic, the extra features seen on this model compared to it's predecessor the canon G10, are the ISO Dial ontop of the camera and Exposure compensation dial ontop, the camera's build quality is mostly metal which in my opinion is fantastic and it feels solid in the hand, the Swivel screen is also great especially for situations like shooting over crowds or at very low angle shots.
If you are like me and travel a bit, but don't want to risk damaging your DSLR, but you want quality/professional shots where you control the entire camera look no further than the canon G11.