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Canon G12 Comparison Review

The Canon PowerShot G12 is a fixed lens compact camera that was officially introduced in September 2010 and is equipped with a 1/1.7-inch sensor. It offers a resolution of 10 megapixel.

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The Canon G12 has a Camera Elo of 1403. This rating puts the G12 below average of all travel zoom compact cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (small sensor cameras), the G12 also ranks below average. – Well, the Canon G12 is more than 8 years old, and there have been many other good digital cameras released since 2010.

Headline Specifications
Canon G12
Fixed lens compact camera
28-140mm f/2.8-4.5
10 MP, 1/1.7" Sensor
720/24p Video
ISO 80-3200 (80-12800)
Optical viewfinder
2.8" LCD, 461k dots
Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive)
1.1 shutter flaps per second
370 shots per battery charge
112 x 76 x 48 mm, 401 g


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Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.

Body comparison with a credit card

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size of the Canon G12 vis-à-vis a credit card. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Canon G12 vs credit card front
G12 versus credit card top view
G12 and credit card rear side

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Canon G12 alongside a set of comparators. If you want to review a camera pair side-by-side, just select a right-side comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Canon G12 4.4 in 3.0 in 1.9 in 14.1 oz 370 n Sep 2010 499- i Canon G12
 
Canon G16« » 4.3 in 3.0 in 1.6 in 12.6 oz 360 n Aug 2013 549 i i Canon G16
 
Canon G15« » 4.2 in 3.0 in 1.6 in 12.4 oz 350 n Sep 2012 499- i Canon G15
 
Canon SX50« » 4.8 in 3.4 in 4.2 in 21.0 oz 315 n Sep 2012 429- i Canon SX50
 
Fujifilm X10« » 4.6 in 2.8 in 2.2 in 12.3 oz 270 n Sep 2011 599- i Fujifilm X10
 
Nikon P7800« » 4.7 in 3.1 in 2.0 in 14.1 oz 350 n Sep 2013 549- i Nikon P7800
 
Olympus E-450« » 5.1 in 3.6 in 2.1 in 15.5 oz 500 n Mar 2009 499- i Olympus E-450
 
Panasonic FZ150« » 4.9 in 3.2 in 3.6 in 18.6 oz 410 n Aug 2011 499- i Panasonic FZ150
 
Panasonic G10« » 4.9 in 3.3 in 2.9 in 13.7 oz 380 n Mar 2010 499- i Panasonic G10
 
Panasonic G2« » 4.9 in 3.3 in 2.9 in 15.1 oz 360 n Mar 2010 599- i Panasonic G2
 
Panasonic LX5« » 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.7 in 9.6 oz 400 n Jul 2010 499- i Panasonic LX5
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Canon G12 was launched in the US market at a price of $499. 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.

Canon G12:
Check Ebay offers

Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tent to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

The Canon G12 features a 1/1.7-inch sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 4.6. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Canon G12 among the smaller-sensor digicams that favor affordability and compact design.

Canon G12 sensor measures

For most cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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"). The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Canon G12 1/1.7 10.0 3648 2736720/24p20.411.216147Canon G12
 
Canon G16« » 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054Canon G16
 
Canon G15« » 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/24p19.911.516546Canon G15
 
Canon SX50« » 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.217947Canon SX50
 
Fujifilm X10« » 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/30p20.511.324550Fujifilm X10
 
Nikon P7800« » 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/30p21.211.720054Nikon P7800
 
Olympus E-450« » Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736-21.510.551256Olympus E-450
 
Panasonic FZ150« » 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.410.913240Panasonic FZ150
 
Panasonic G10« » Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.141152Panasonic G10
 
Panasonic G2« » Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.349353Panasonic G2
 
Panasonic LX5« » 1/1.7 10.0 3648 2736720/60p19.610.813241Panasonic LX5

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The G12 indeed provides movie recording capabilities. The highest resolution format that the G12 can use is 720/24p.

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The following tables report on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon G12 and comparable cameras.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
 
Canon G12optical n 2.8 461 swivel n 1/4000s 1.1 Y Y Canon G12
 
Canon G16« »optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.2 Y Y Canon G16
 
Canon G15« »optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.1 Y Y Canon G15
 
Canon SX50« »202 n 3.0 461 swivel n 1/2000s 2.2 Y Y Canon SX50
 
Fujifilm X10« »optical n 2.8 460 fixed n 1/4000s 10.0 Y Y Fujifilm X10
 
Nikon P7800« »921 n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 8.0 Y Y Nikon P7800
 
Olympus E-450« »optical n 2.7 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n Olympus E-450
 
Panasonic FZ150« »202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 12.0 Y Y Panasonic FZ150
 
Panasonic G10« »202 n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 2.6 Y n Panasonic G10
 
Panasonic G2« »1440 n 3.0 460 swivel Y 1/4000s 2.6 Y n Panasonic G2
 
Panasonic LX5« »- n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y Y Panasonic LX5

One convenient feature of the G12 is the presence of an on-board flash. While this built-in flash is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light to brighten deep shadow areas.

 

Connection comparison

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 PowerShot G12 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Canon G12Ystereomono--mini2.0---Canon G12
 
Canon G16« »Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--Canon G16
 
Canon G15« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Canon G15
 
Canon SX50« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Canon SX50
 
Fujifilm X10« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Fujifilm X10
 
Nikon P7800« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Nikon P7800
 
Olympus E-450« »Y-----2.0---Olympus E-450
 
Panasonic FZ150« »Ystereo---mini2.0---Panasonic FZ150
 
Panasonic G10« »Ymono---mini2.0---Panasonic G10
 
Panasonic G2« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Panasonic G2
 
Panasonic LX5« »Ymonomono--mini2.0---Panasonic LX5
 

The G12 has a zoom lens built in (6.1-30.5mm f/2.8-4.5), which, in full frame equivalent terms, provides a focal length range from 28 to 140mm. The camera is, hence, ready to shoot, while remaining more compact in size than an interchangeable lens camera with an optic that offers similar focal length and aperture specifications.

Expert reviews

While the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the G12. 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 why expert reviews are important. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog).

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Canon G12+73/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2010 499- i Canon G12
 
Canon G16« »+-4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i i Canon G16
 
Canon G15« »+76/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 499- i Canon G15
 
Canon SX50« »+ +72/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Sep 2012 429- i Canon SX50
 
Fujifilm X10« »-76/1004/53.5/54.5/5 Sep 2011 599- i Fujifilm X10
 
Nikon P7800« »--4/53.5/54.5/5 Sep 2013 549- i Nikon P7800
 
Olympus E-450« »--4/5-4/5 Mar 2009 499- i Olympus E-450
 
Panasonic FZ150« »+ +76/1004/55/54.5/5 Aug 2011 499- i Panasonic FZ150
 
Panasonic G10« »-70/1004/5-4/5 Mar 2010 499- i Panasonic G10
 
Panasonic G2« »-72/1004/54/54.5/5 Mar 2010 599- i Panasonic G2
 
Panasonic LX5« »+73/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jul 2010 499- i Panasonic LX5
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (-) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Canon G12 FAQ

Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the G12.

What is the technology behind the imaging sensor in the G12?

The camera is build around a CCD (Charged Coupled Device) sensor.

Which image processing chip is used to convert the raw signal into an image file and perform noise reduction and image sharpening?

Canon equipped the G12 with the DIGIC 4 image processor.

What is the ISO sensitivity range of the G12?

The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 3200.

Does the Canon G12 feature an autofocus assist light?

Yes, the camera has a lamp built-in that can illuminate the subject and improve autofocus in low-light settings.

Which battery does the G12 use?

The camera gets its power from the NB-7L, which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.

Camera to camera comparisons

If you would like to see a side-by-side review of this and another camera, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications Summary
    Camera Model Canon G12
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 28-140mm f/2.8-4.5
    Launch Date September 2010
    Launch Price USD 499
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology CCD
    Sensor Format 1/1.7" Sensor
    Sensor Size 7.6 x 5.7 mm
    Sensor Area 43.32 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 9.5 mm
    Crop Factor 4.6x
    Sensor Resolution 10 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3648 x 2736 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 2.07 μm
    Pixel Density 23.04 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 720/24p Video
    ISO Setting 80-3200 ISO
    ISO Boost 80-12800 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 4
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 47
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 20.4
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.2
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 161
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Magnification ..x
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 2.8 inch
    LCD Resolution 461k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen
    Shooting Specs
    Autofocus System Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidNo Peaking Feature
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 1.1 shutter flaps/s
    Silent Shootingno E-Shutter
    Time Lapse Photographyno Intervalometer
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot
    UHS card support no
    Connectivity Specs
    External Flash Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi
    Body Specs
    Battery Type NB-7L power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)370 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 112 x 76 x 48 mm
    (4.4 x 3.0 x 1.9 in)
    Camera Weight 401 g (14.1 oz)

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