Canon 1Ds vs G12
The Canon EOS-1Ds and the Canon PowerShot G12 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in September 2002 and September 2010. The 1Ds is a DSLR, while the G12 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on a full frame (1Ds) and a 1/1.7-inch (G12) sensor. The 1Ds has a resolution of 11 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.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS-1Ds 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 1Ds and the Canon G12 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth 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 1Ds. It is worth mentioning in this context that the 1Ds 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 1Ds 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 1Ds and their specifications in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.
Concerning battery life, the 1Ds gets 600 shots out of its NP-E3 battery, while the G12 can take 370 images on a single charge of its NB-7L power pack. As can be seen in the images above, the 1Ds has a battery grip built in. This facilitates image-taking in portrait orientation and gives it additional battery power.
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras there.
|1.||Canon 1Ds||156 mm||158 mm||80 mm||1265 g||600||Y||Sep 2002||8,999||ebay.com|
|2.||Canon G12||112 mm||76 mm||48 mm||401 g||370||n||Sep 2010||499||ebay.com|
|3.||Canon 1D X Mark III||158 mm||168 mm||83 mm||1440 g||2850||Y||Jan 2020||6,499||amazon.com|
|4.||Canon 1D X Mark II||158 mm||168 mm||83 mm||1530 g||1210||Y||Feb 2016||5,999||ebay.com|
|5.||Canon G16||109 mm||76 mm||40 mm||356 g||360||n||Aug 2013||549||ebay.com|
|6.||Canon 1D C||158 mm||164 mm||83 mm||1545 g||1120||Y||Apr 2012||14,999||ebay.com|
|7.||Canon G15||107 mm||76 mm||40 mm||352 g||350||n||Sep 2012||499||ebay.com|
|8.||Canon 1D Mark IV||156 mm||157 mm||80 mm||1230 g||1500||Y||Oct 2009||4,999||ebay.com|
|9.||Canon 1D Mark III||156 mm||157 mm||80 mm||1155 g||2200||Y||Feb 2007||4,499||ebay.com|
|10.||Canon 1Ds Mark III||150 mm||160 mm||80 mm||1385 g||1800||Y||Aug 2007||7,999||ebay.com|
|11.||Canon 1D Mark II N||156 mm||158 mm||80 mm||1565 g||1200||Y||Aug 2005||3,999||ebay.com|
|12.||Canon 5D||152 mm||113 mm||75 mm||895 g||400||Y||Aug 2005||3,299||ebay.com|
|13.||Canon 1D Mark II||156 mm||158 mm||80 mm||1535 g||1200||Y||Jan 2004||4,499||ebay.com|
|14.||Canon 1Ds Mark II||156 mm||158 mm||80 mm||1215 g||1200||Y||Sep 2004||7,999||ebay.com|
|15.||Fujifilm X10||117 mm||70 mm||57 mm||350 g||270||n||Sep 2011||599||ebay.com|
|16.||Olympus E-450||130 mm||91 mm||53 mm||440 g||500||n||Mar 2009||499||ebay.com|
|17.||Panasonic G2||124 mm||84 mm||74 mm||428 g||360||n||Mar 2010||599||ebay.com|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The G12 was launched at a lower price than the 1Ds, 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.
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 generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better 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 1Ds features a full frame sensor and the Canon G12 a 1/1.7-inch sensor. The sensor area in the G12 is 95 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.0 and 4.6. The sensor in the 1Ds 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 1Ds (DIGIC), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.
With 11MP, the 1Ds offers a higher resolution than the G12 (10MP), but the 1Ds nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 8.83μm versus 2.07μm for the G12) due to its larger sensor. However, the G12 is a much more recent model (by 7 years and 11 months) than the 1Ds, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.
The resolution advantage of the Canon 1Ds implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the 1Ds for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 20.3 x 13.5 inches or 51.6 x 34.3 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 16.3 x 10.8 inches or 41.3 x 27.5 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 13.5 x 9 inches or 34.4 x 22.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon G12 are 18.2 x 13.7 inches or 46.3 x 34.7 cm for good quality, 14.6 x 10.9 inches or 37.1 x 27.8 cm for very good quality, and 12.2 x 9.1 inches or 30.9 x 23.2 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Canon EOS-1Ds has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1250, which can be extended to ISO 50-1250. 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.
In terms of underlying technology, the 1Ds is build around a CMOS sensor, while the G12 uses a CCD imager. Both cameras use a Bayer filter for capturing RGB colors on a square grid of photosensors. This arrangement is found in most digital cameras.
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). Of the two cameras under review, the 1Ds provides substantially higher image quality than the G12, with an overall score that is 16 points higher. This advantage is based on 1.4 bits higher color depth, 0.2 EV of lower dynamic range, and 2.6 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|1.||Canon 1Ds||Full Frame||11.0||4064||2704||none||21.8||11.0||954||63|
|3.||Canon 1D X Mark III||Full Frame||20.0||5472||3648||4K/60p||24.2||14.5||3248||91|
|4.||Canon 1D X Mark II||Full Frame||20.0||5472||3648||4K/60p||24.1||13.5||3207||88|
|6.||Canon 1D C||Full Frame||17.9||5184||3456||4K/24p||24.3||13.0||2155||85|
|8.||Canon 1D Mark IV||APS-H||16.0||4896||3264||1080/30p||22.8||12.0||1320||74|
|9.||Canon 1D Mark III||APS-H||10.1||3888||2592||none||22.7||11.7||1078||71|
|10.||Canon 1Ds Mark III||Full Frame||21.0||5616||3744||none||24.0||12.0||1663||80|
|11.||Canon 1D Mark II N||APS-H||8.2||3504||2336||none||22.3||11.2||975||66|
|12.||Canon 5D||Full Frame||12.7||4368||2912||none||22.9||11.1||1368||71|
|13.||Canon 1D Mark II||APS-H||8.2||3504||2336||none||22.3||11.1||1003||66|
|14.||Canon 1Ds Mark II||Full Frame||16.6||4992||3328||none||23.3||11.3||1480||74|
|16.||Olympus E-450||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.5||10.5||512||56|
|17.||Panasonic G2||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||720/30p||21.2||10.3||493||53|
|Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.|
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 1Ds 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 1Ds 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 adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon 1Ds and Canon G12 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|1.||Canon 1Ds||optical||Y||2.0 / 120||fixed||n||1/8000s||3.0/s||n||n|
|2.||Canon G12||optical||n||2.8 / 461||swivel||n||1/4000s||1.1/s||Y||Y|
|3.||Canon 1D X Mark III||optical||Y||3.2 / 2100||fixed||Y||1/8000s||20.0/s||n||n|
|4.||Canon 1D X Mark II||optical||Y||3.2 / 1620||fixed||Y||1/8000s||16.0/s||n||n|
|5.||Canon G16||optical||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.2/s||Y||Y|
|6.||Canon 1D C||optical||Y||3.2 / 1040||fixed||n||1/8000s||14.0/s||n||n|
|7.||Canon G15||optical||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.1/s||Y||Y|
|8.||Canon 1D Mark IV||optical||Y||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/8000s||10.0/s||n||n|
|9.||Canon 1D Mark III||optical||Y||3.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/8000s||10.0/s||n||n|
|10.||Canon 1Ds Mark III||optical||Y||3.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0/s||n||n|
|11.||Canon 1D Mark II N||optical||Y||2.5 / 230||fixed||n||1/8000s||8.5/s||n||n|
|12.||Canon 5D||optical||Y||2.5 / 230||fixed||n||1/8000s||3.0/s||n||n|
|13.||Canon 1D Mark II||optical||Y||2.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/8000s||8.3/s||n||n|
|14.||Canon 1Ds Mark II||optical||Y||2.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/8000s||4.0/s||n||n|
|15.||Fujifilm X10||optical||n||2.8 / 460||fixed||n||1/4000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|16.||Olympus E-450||optical||n||2.7 / 215||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.5/s||Y||n|
|17.||Panasonic G2||1440||n||3.0 / 460||swivel||Y||1/4000s||2.6/s||Y||n|
|Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.|
One feature that is present on the 1Ds, 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 1Ds writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the G12 uses SDXC cards.
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-1Ds and Canon PowerShot G12 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Canon 1Ds||Y||- / -||-||-||-||FW||-||-||-|
|2.||Canon G12||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|3.||Canon 1D X Mark III||Y||mono / mono||Y||Y||mini||3.1||Y||-||Y|
|4.||Canon 1D X Mark II||Y||mono / mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-|
|5.||Canon G16||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|6.||Canon 1D C||Y||mono / mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|7.||Canon G15||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|8.||Canon 1D Mark IV||Y||stereo / -||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|9.||Canon 1D Mark III||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|10.||Canon 1Ds Mark III||Y||mono / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|11.||Canon 1D Mark II N||Y||- / -||-||-||-||1.1||-||-||-|
|12.||Canon 5D||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|13.||Canon 1D Mark II||Y||- / -||-||-||-||1.1||-||-||-|
|14.||Canon 1Ds Mark II||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|15.||Fujifilm X10||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|16.||Olympus E-450||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|17.||Panasonic G2||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Canon 1Ds (unlike the G12) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
Both the 1Ds and the G12 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on ebay. The 1Ds was replaced by the Canon 1Ds Mark II, 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 what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Canon 1Ds or the Canon G12 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Advantages of the Canon EOS-1Ds:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (11 vs 10MP) with a 7% higher linear resolution.
- Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (16 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
- Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (1.4 bits more color depth).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (2.6 stops ISO advantage).
- Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3 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 (600 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.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in September 2002).
Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot G12:
- Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 4 vs DIGIC).
- Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 720/24p video.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (2.8" vs 2.0") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (461k vs 120k 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 1Ds requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (112x76mm vs 156x158mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the 1Ds).
- 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 7 years and 11 months of technical progress since the 1Ds launch.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the 1Ds comes out slightly ahead of the G12 (13 : 12 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. A professional sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape 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 1Ds 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 remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the 1Ds or the G12 perform in practice. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.
This is where reviews by experts come in. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). 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.
|1.||Canon 1Ds||..||..||..||+ +||..||..||Sep 2002||8,999||ebay.com|
|2.||Canon G12||4/5||+||..||73/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2010||499||ebay.com|
|3.||Canon 1D X Mark III||..||+ +||5/5||..||4.5/5||4/5||Jan 2020||6,499||amazon.com|
|4.||Canon 1D X Mark II||..||..||4.5/5||89/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||5,999||ebay.com|
|5.||Canon G16||4/5||+||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||549||ebay.com|
|6.||Canon 1D C||..||..||..||..||..||..||Apr 2012||14,999||ebay.com|
|7.||Canon G15||4/5||+||..||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||499||ebay.com|
|8.||Canon 1D Mark IV||5/5||..||..||89/100||..||..||Oct 2009||4,999||ebay.com|
|9.||Canon 1D Mark III||..||..||..||..||..||..||Feb 2007||4,499||ebay.com|
|10.||Canon 1Ds Mark III||..||..||..||+ +||4.5/5||..||Aug 2007||7,999||ebay.com|
|11.||Canon 1D Mark II N||..||..||..||..||..||..||Aug 2005||3,999||ebay.com|
|12.||Canon 5D||..||88/100||..||+ +||o||..||Aug 2005||3,299||ebay.com|
|13.||Canon 1D Mark II||..||..||..||+ +||..||..||Jan 2004||4,499||ebay.com|
|14.||Canon 1Ds Mark II||..||..||..||+ +||..||..||Sep 2004||7,999||ebay.com|
|15.||Fujifilm X10||..||..||..||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2011||599||ebay.com|
|16.||Olympus E-450||..||..||..||..||4/5||4/5||Mar 2009||499||ebay.com|
|17.||Panasonic G2||..||..||..||72/100||4/5||4.5/5||Mar 2010||599||ebay.com|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. 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 are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
Specifications: Canon 1Ds 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 1Ds||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||September 2002||September 2010|
|Launch Price||USD 8,999||USD 499|
|Sensor Specs||Canon 1Ds||Canon G12|
|Sensor Format||Full Frame Sensor||1/1.7" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||36.0 x 23.8 mm||7.6 x 5.7 mm|
|Sensor Area||856.8 mm2||43.32 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||43.2 mm||9.5 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||11 Megapixels||10 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4064 x 2704 pixels||3648 x 2736 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||8.83 μm||2.07 μm|
|Pixel Density||1.28 MP/cm2||23.04 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||720/24p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 1,250 ISO||80 - 3,200 ISO|
|ISO Boost||50 - 1,250 ISO||80 - 12,800 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC||DIGIC 4|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||63||47|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||21.8||20.4|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.0||11.2|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||954||161|
|Screen Specs||Canon 1Ds||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|
|Rear LCD Size||2.0inch||2.8inch|
|LCD Resolution||120k dots||461k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Swivel screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon 1Ds||Canon G12|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||3 shutter flaps/s||1.1 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||CF cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon 1Ds||Canon G12|
|Studio Flash||PC Sync socket||no PC Sync|
|USB Connector||Firewire||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Canon 1Ds||Canon G12|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||not weather sealed|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||600 shots per charge||370 shots per charge|
156 x 158 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||1265 g (44.6 oz)||401 g (14.1 oz)|
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