Canon 1D Mark III vs G12
The Canon EOS-1D Mark III and the Canon PowerShot G12 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in February 2007 and September 2010. The 1D Mark III is a DSLR, while the G12 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-H (1D Mark III) and a 1/1.7-inch (G12) sensor. The 1D Mark III has a resolution of 10.1 megapixels, whereas the G12 provides 10 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Canon 1D Mark III||Canon G12|
|Digital single lens reflex||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Canon EF mount lenses||28-140mm f/2.8-4.5|
|10.1 MP, APS-H Sensor||10 MP, 1/1.7" Sensor|
|no Video||720/24p Video|
|ISO 100-3200 (50-6400)||ISO 80-3200 (80-12800)|
|Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|3.0" LCD, 230k dots||2.8" LCD, 461k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|10 shutter flaps per second||1.1 shutter flaps per second|
|Weathersealed body||Not weather sealed|
|2200 shots per battery charge||370 shots per battery charge|
|156 x 157 x 80 mm, 1155 g||112 x 76 x 48 mm, 401 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS-1D Mark III and the Canon PowerShot G12? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon 1D Mark III and the Canon G12 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon G12 is considerably smaller (65 percent) than the Canon 1D Mark III. It is worth mentioning in this context that the 1D Mark III is splash and dust resistant, while the G12 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the G12 has a lens built in, whereas the 1D Mark III is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the 1D Mark III and their specifications in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.
As can be seen in the images above, the 1D Mark III has a battery grip built in. This facilitates image-taking in portrait orientation and gives it additional battery power.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.
|Canon 1D Mark III»||156 mm||157 mm||80 mm||1155 g||2200||Y||Feb 2007||4,499||Canon 1D Mark III|
|Canon G12«||112 mm||76 mm||48 mm||401 g||370||n||Sep 2010||499||Canon G12|
|Canon 5DS R« »||152 mm||116 mm||76 mm||930 g||700||Y||Feb 2015||3,699||Canon 5DS R|
|Canon G16« »||109 mm||76 mm||40 mm||356 g||360||n||Aug 2013||549||Canon G16|
|Canon 5D Mark III« »||152 mm||116 mm||76 mm||950 g||950||Y||Mar 2012||3,499||Canon 5D Mark III|
|Canon G15« »||107 mm||76 mm||40 mm||352 g||350||n||Sep 2012||499||Canon G15|
|Canon 1D Mark IV« »||156 mm||157 mm||80 mm||1230 g||1500||Y||Oct 2009||4,999||Canon 1D Mark IV|
|Canon 5D Mark II« »||152 mm||114 mm||75 mm||850 g||850||Y||Sep 2008||3,499||Canon 5D Mark II|
|Canon 1Ds Mark III« »||150 mm||160 mm||80 mm||1385 g||1800||Y||Aug 2007||7,999||Canon 1Ds Mark III|
|Canon 1D Mark II« »||156 mm||158 mm||80 mm||1535 g||1200||Y||Jan 2004||4,499||Canon 1D Mark II|
|Canon 1Ds« »||156 mm||158 mm||80 mm||1265 g||600||Y||Sep 2002||8,999||Canon 1Ds|
|Fujifilm X10« »||117 mm||70 mm||57 mm||350 g||270||n||Sep 2011||599||Fujifilm X10|
|Nikon D3S« »||160 mm||157 mm||88 mm||1240 g||4200||Y||Oct 2009||5,199||Nikon D3S|
|Nikon D3« »||160 mm||157 mm||88 mm||1300 g||4300||Y||Aug 2007||4,999||Nikon D3|
|Nikon D2Xs« »||158 mm||150 mm||86 mm||1252 g||3800||Y||Jun 2006||4,699||Nikon D2Xs|
|Olympus E-450« »||130 mm||91 mm||53 mm||440 g||500||n||Mar 2009||499||Olympus E-450|
|Panasonic G2« »||124 mm||84 mm||74 mm||428 g||360||n||Mar 2010||599||Panasonic G2|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The G12 was launched at a lower price than the 1D Mark III, despite having a lens built in. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon 1D Mark III features an APS-H sensor and the Canon G12 a 1/1.7-inch sensor. The sensor area in the G12 is 92 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.3 and 4.6. The sensor in the 1D Mark III has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the G12 offers a 4:3 aspect.
Technology-wise, the G12 uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 4) than the 1D Mark III (DIGIC III), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.
With 10.1MP, the 1D Mark III offers a slightly higher resolution than the G12 (10MP), but the 1D Mark III nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 7.21μm versus 2.07μm for the G12) due to its larger sensor. However, the G12 is a much more recent model (by 3 years and 6 months) than the 1D Mark III, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.
The Canon EOS-1D Mark III has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 3200, which can be extended to ISO 50-6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon PowerShot G12 are ISO 80 to ISO 3200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 80-12800.
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. Of the two cameras under review, the 1D Mark III provides substantially higher image quality than the G12, with an overall score that is 24 points higher. This advantage is based on 2.3 bits higher color depth, 0.5 EV in additional dynamic range, and 2.7 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|Canon 1D Mark III||APS-H||10.1||3888||2592||none||22.7||11.7||1078||71||Canon 1D Mark III|
|Canon G12||1/1.7||10.0||3648||2736||720/24p||20.4||11.2||161||47||Canon G12|
|Canon 5DS R||Full Frame||50.3||8688||5792||1080/30p||24.6||12.4||2308||86||Canon 5DS R|
|Canon G16||1/1.7||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||21.0||11.7||230||54||Canon G16|
|Canon 5D Mark III||Full Frame||22.1||5760||3840||1080/30p||24.0||11.7||2293||81||Canon 5D Mark III|
|Canon G15||1/1.7||12.0||4000||3000||1080/24p||19.9||11.5||165||46||Canon G15|
|Canon 1D Mark IV||APS-H||16.0||4896||3264||1080/30p||22.8||12.0||1320||74||Canon 1D Mark IV|
|Canon 5D Mark II||Full Frame||21.0||5616||3744||1080/30p||23.7||11.9||1815||79||Canon 5D Mark II|
|Canon 1Ds Mark III||Full Frame||21.0||5616||3744||none||24.0||12.0||1663||80||Canon 1Ds Mark III|
|Canon 1D Mark II||APS-H||8.2||3504||2336||none||22.3||11.1||1003||66||Canon 1D Mark II|
|Canon 1Ds||Full Frame||11.0||4064||2704||none||21.8||11.0||954||63||Canon 1Ds|
|Fujifilm X10||2/3||12.0||4000||3000||1080/30p||20.5||11.3||245||50||Fujifilm X10|
|Nikon D3S||Full Frame||12.1||4256||2832||720/24p||23.5||12.0||3253||82||Nikon D3S|
|Nikon D3||Full Frame||12.1||4256||2832||none||23.5||12.2||2290||81||Nikon D3|
|Nikon D2Xs||APS-C||12.2||4288||2848||none||22.2||10.9||489||59||Nikon D2Xs|
|Olympus E-450||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.5||10.5||512||56||Olympus E-450|
|Panasonic G2||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||720/30p||21.2||10.3||493||53||Panasonic G2|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The G12 indeed provides for movie recording, while the 1D Mark III does not. The highest resolution format that the G12 can use is 720/24p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 1D Mark III and the G12 are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon 1D Mark III and Canon G12 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|Canon 1D Mark III||optical||Y||3.0||230||fixed||n||1/8000s||10.0||n||n||Canon 1D Mark III|
|Canon G12||optical||n||2.8||461||swivel||n||1/4000s||1.1||Y||Y||Canon G12|
|Canon 5DS R||optical||Y||3.2||1040||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0||n||n||Canon 5DS R|
|Canon G16||optical||n||3.0||922||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.2||Y||Y||Canon G16|
|Canon 5D Mark III||optical||Y||3.2||1040||fixed||n||1/8000s||6.0||n||n||Canon 5D Mark III|
|Canon G15||optical||n||3.0||922||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.1||Y||Y||Canon G15|
|Canon 1D Mark IV||optical||Y||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/8000s||10.0||n||n||Canon 1D Mark IV|
|Canon 5D Mark II||optical||Y||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/8000s||3.9||n||n||Canon 5D Mark II|
|Canon 1Ds Mark III||optical||Y||3.0||230||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0||n||n||Canon 1Ds Mark III|
|Canon 1D Mark II||optical||Y||2.0||230||fixed||n||1/8000s||8.3||n||n||Canon 1D Mark II|
|Canon 1Ds||optical||Y||2.0||120||fixed||n||1/8000s||3.0||n||n||Canon 1Ds|
|Fujifilm X10||optical||n||2.8||460||fixed||n||1/4000s||10.0||Y||Y||Fujifilm X10|
|Nikon D3S||optical||Y||3.0||921||fixed||n||1/8000s||11.0||n||n||Nikon D3S|
|Nikon D3||optical||Y||3.0||922||fixed||n||1/8000s||11.0||n||n||Nikon D3|
|Nikon D2Xs||optical||Y||2.5||230||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0||n||n||Nikon D2Xs|
|Olympus E-450||optical||n||2.7||215||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.5||Y||n||Olympus E-450|
|Panasonic G2||1440||n||3.0||460||swivel||Y||1/4000s||2.6||Y||n||Panasonic G2|
One feature that is present on the 1D Mark III, but is missing on the G12 is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.
The 1D Mark III writes its imaging data to Compact Flash or SDHC cards, while the G12 uses SDXC cards. The 1D Mark III features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the G12 only has one slot.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Canon EOS-1D Mark III and Canon PowerShot G12 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Canon 1D Mark III||Y||none||none||-||-||none||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 1D Mark III|
|Canon G12||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon G12|
|Canon 5DS R||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||3.0||-||-||-||Canon 5DS R|
|Canon G16||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Canon G16|
|Canon 5D Mark III||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 5D Mark III|
|Canon G15||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon G15|
|Canon 1D Mark IV||Y||stereo||none||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 1D Mark IV|
|Canon 5D Mark II||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 5D Mark II|
|Canon 1Ds Mark III||Y||none||none||-||-||none||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 1Ds Mark III|
|Canon 1D Mark II||Y||none||none||-||-||none||1.1||-||-||-||Canon 1D Mark II|
|Canon 1Ds||Y||none||none||-||-||none||FW||-||-||-||Canon 1Ds|
|Fujifilm X10||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Fujifilm X10|
|Nikon D3S||Y||stereo||none||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D3S|
|Nikon D3||Y||none||none||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D3|
|Nikon D2Xs||Y||none||none||-||-||none||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D2Xs|
|Olympus E-450||Y||none||none||-||-||none||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-450|
|Panasonic G2||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Panasonic G2|
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Canon 1D Mark III (unlike the G12) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
Both the 1D Mark III and the G12 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 1D Mark III was replaced by the Canon 1D Mark IV, while the G12 was followed by the Canon G15. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon website.
So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon 1D Mark III and the Canon G12? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Advantages of the Canon EOS-1D Mark III:
- Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (24 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
- Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (2.3 bits more color depth).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (2.7 stops ISO advantage).
- Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.8") for image review and settings control.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 1.1 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More flexible: Can take a variety of interchangeable lenses, including specialty optics.
- More portrait friendly: Features an integrated vertical grip for easier portrait shooting.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (2200 versus 370) on a single battery charge.
- Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
- Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
- Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in February 2007).
Reasons to prefer the Canon PowerShot G12:
- Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 4 vs DIGIC III).
- Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 720/24p video.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (461k vs 230k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
- Ready to shoot: Comes with an integrated lens, while the 1D Mark III requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (112x76mm vs 156x157mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the 1D Mark III).
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More modern: Reflects 3 years and 6 months of technical progress since the 1D Mark III launch.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the 1D Mark III emerges as the winner of the contest (14 : 11 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 1D Mark III and the Canon G12 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Travel-Zoom Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the 1D Mark III and the G12 in practical situations. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.
This is where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
- Canon 1D Mark III vs Canon S120
- Canon 1D Mark III vs Olympus E-PL6
- Canon 1D Mark III vs Panasonic GH1
- Canon 1D Mark III vs Sony NEX-F3
- Canon 1D Mark III vs Sony RX100
- Canon G12 vs Canon G7 X Mark II
- Canon G12 vs Fujifilm X-A1
- Canon G12 vs Olympus E-410
- Canon G12 vs Olympus PEN-F
- Canon G12 vs Olympus XZ-1
- Canon G12 vs Panasonic G1
- Canon G12 vs Sony A7R II
Specifications: Canon 1D Mark III vs Canon G12
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Canon 1D Mark III||Canon G12|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF mount lenses||28-140mm f/2.8-4.5|
|Launch Date||February 2007||September 2010|
|Launch Price||USD 4499||USD 499|
|Sensor Specs||Canon 1D Mark III||Canon G12|
|Sensor Format||APS-H Sensor||1/1.7" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||28.1 x 18.7 mm||7.6 x 5.7 mm|
|Sensor Area||525.47 mm2||43.32 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||33.8 mm||9.5 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||10.1 Megapixels||10 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3888 x 2592 pixels||3648 x 2736 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||7.21 μm||2.07 μm|
|Pixel Density||1.92 MP/cm2||23.04 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||720/24p Video|
|ISO Setting||100-3200 ISO||80-3200 ISO|
|ISO Boost||50-6400 ISO||80-12800 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC III||DIGIC 4|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||71||47|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||22.7||20.4|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.7||11.2|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||1078||161|
|Screen Specs||Canon 1D Mark III||Canon G12|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel||no Top Display|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0 inch||2.8 inch|
|LCD Resolution||230k dots||461k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Swivel screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon 1D Mark III||Canon G12|
|Autofocus System||Phase-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||10 shutter flaps/s||1.1 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||CF or SDHC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Dual card slots||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon 1D Mark III||Canon G12|
|Studio Flash||PC Sync socket||no PC Sync|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Canon 1D Mark III||Canon G12|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||Not weather sealed|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||2200 shots per charge||370 shots per charge|
156 x 157 x 80 mm
(6.1 x 6.2 x 3.1 in)
112 x 76 x 48 mm
(4.4 x 3.0 x 1.9 in)
|Camera Weight||1155 g (40.7 oz)||401 g (14.1 oz)|
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