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Canon G12 vs T1i

The Canon PowerShot G12 and the Canon EOS Rebel T1i (labelled Canon 500D in some countries) are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in September 2010 and March 2009. The G12 is a fixed lens compact, while the T1i is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a 1/1.7-inch (G12) and an APS-C (T1i) sensor. The G12 has a resolution of 10 megapixels, whereas the T1i provides 15.1 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Canon G12 versus Canon T1i
Canon G12 Canon T1i
Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
28-140mm f/2.8-4.5 Canon EF mount lenses
10 MP, 1/1.7" Sensor 15.1 MP, APS-C Sensor
720/24p Video 1080/20p Video
ISO 80-3,200 (80 - 12,800) ISO 100-6,400 (100 - 12,800)
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
2.8 LCD, 461k dots 3.0 LCD, 920k dots
Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
1.1 shutter flaps per second 3.4 shutter flaps per second
370 shots per battery charge400 shots per battery charge
112 x 76 x 48 mm, 401 g 129 x 98 x 62 mm, 520 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot G12 and the Canon EOS Rebel T1i? 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.

Body comparison

The physical size and weight of the Canon G12 and the Canon T1i are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon G12 vs Canon T1i
Compare G12 versus T1i top
Comparison G12 or T1i rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon T1i is considerably larger (49 percent) than the Canon G12. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G12 nor the T1i are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the G12 has a lens built in, whereas the T1i 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 T1i and their specifications in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the G12 gets 370 shots out of its NB-7L battery, while the T1i can take 400 images on a single charge of its LP-E5 power pack.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon G12 112 mm 76 mm 48 mm 401 g 370 n Sep 2010 499i
2.
 
Canon T1i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 n Mar 2009 799i
3.
 
Canon T5 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 480 g 500 n Feb 2014 449i
4.
 
Canon G16 109 mm 76 mm 40 mm 356 g 360 n Aug 2013 549 i
5.
 
Canon G15 107 mm 76 mm 40 mm 352 g 350 n Sep 2012 499i
6.
 
Canon SX50 123 mm 87 mm 106 mm 595 g 315 n Sep 2012 429i
7.
 
Canon T4i 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849i
8.
 
Canon T3i 133 mm 100 mm 80 mm 570 g 440 n Feb 2011 599i
9.
 
Canon T2i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 530 g 440 n Feb 2010 699i
10.
 
Canon XSi 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 n Jan 2008 799i
11.
 
Fujifilm X10 117 mm 70 mm 57 mm 350 g 270 n Sep 2011 599i
12.
 
Nikon P7800 119 mm 78 mm 50 mm 399 g 350 n Sep 2013 549i
13.
 
Olympus E-450 130 mm 91 mm 53 mm 440 g 500 n Mar 2009 499i
14.
 
Panasonic FZ150 124 mm 82 mm 92 mm 528 g 410 n Aug 2011 499i
15.
 
Panasonic G10 124 mm 84 mm 74 mm 388 g 380 n Mar 2010 499i
16.
 
Panasonic G2 124 mm 84 mm 74 mm 428 g 360 n Mar 2010 599i
17.
 
Panasonic LX5 110 mm 65 mm 43 mm 271 g 400 n Jul 2010 499i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. 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 T1i, 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.

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Sensor comparison

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. 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 tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon G12 features a 1/1.7-inch sensor and the Canon T1i an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the T1i is 672 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 4.6 and 1.6. The sensor in the G12 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the T1i offers a 3:2 aspect.

Canon G12 and Canon T1i sensor measures

With 15.1MP, the T1i offers a higher resolution than the G12 (10MP), but the T1i nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.69μm versus 2.07μm for the G12) due to its larger sensor. However, the G12 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 5 months) than the T1i, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.

The resolution advantage of the Canon T1i implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the T1i for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 23.8 x 15.8 inches or 60.4 x 40.2 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 19 x 12.7 inches or 48.3 x 32.2 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 15.8 x 10.6 inches or 40.2 x 26.8 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 PowerShot G12 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 3200, which can be extended to ISO 80-12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon EOS Rebel T1i are ISO 100 to ISO 6400, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-12800.

G12 versus T1i MP

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 consideration, the T1i offers substantially better image quality than the G12 (overall score 16 points higher). The advantage is based on 1.3 bits higher color depth, 0.3 EV in additional dynamic range, and 2 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.

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Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Canon G12 1/1.7 10.0 3648 2736720/24p20.411.216147
2.
 
Canon T1i APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363
3.
 
Canon T5 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463
4.
 
Canon G16 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054
5.
 
Canon G15 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/24p19.911.516546
6.
 
Canon SX50 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.217947
7.
 
Canon T4i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262
8.
 
Canon T3i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.579365
9.
 
Canon T2i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.578466
10.
 
Canon XSi APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.869261
11.
 
Fujifilm X10 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/30p20.511.324550
12.
 
Nikon P7800 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/30p21.211.720054
13.
 
Olympus E-450 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.510.551256
14.
 
Panasonic FZ150 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.410.913240
15.
 
Panasonic G10 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.141152
16.
 
Panasonic G2 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.349353
17.
 
Panasonic LX5 1/1.7 10.0 3648 2736720/60p19.610.813241

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the T1i provides a better video resolution than the G12. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/20p, while the G12 is limited to 720/24p.

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Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The G12 and the T1i 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 G12 and Canon T1i along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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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
1.
 
Canon G12optical n 2.8 461 swivel n 1/4000s 1.1 Y Y
2.
 
Canon T1ioptical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4 Y n
3.
 
Canon T5optical n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
4.
 
Canon G16optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.2 Y Y
5.
 
Canon G15optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.1 Y Y
6.
 
Canon SX50202 n 3.0 461 swivel n 1/2000s 2.2 Y Y
7.
 
Canon T4ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
8.
 
Canon T3ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n
9.
 
Canon T2ioptical n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n
10.
 
Canon XSioptical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
11.
 
Fujifilm X10optical n 2.8 460 fixed n 1/4000s 10.0 Y Y
12.
 
Nikon P7800921 n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 8.0 Y Y
13.
 
Olympus E-450optical n 2.7 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
14.
 
Panasonic FZ150202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 12.0 Y Y
15.
 
Panasonic G10202 n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 2.6 Y n
16.
 
Panasonic G21440 n 3.0 460 swivel Y 1/4000s 2.6 Y n
17.
 
Panasonic LX5optional n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y Y

The G12 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the T1i uses SDHC cards.

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Connectivity 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 Canon EOS Rebel T1i and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
    Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Canon G12Ystereomono--mini2.0---
2.
 
Canon T1iYmonomono--mini2.0---
3.
 
Canon T5Ymonomono--mini2.0---
4.
 
Canon G16Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--
5.
 
Canon G15Ystereomono--mini2.0---
6.
 
Canon SX50Ystereomono--mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon T4iYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon T3iYmonomonoY-mini2.0---
9.
 
Canon T2iYstereo-Y-mini2.0---
10.
 
Canon XSiY----mini2.0---
11.
 
Fujifilm X10Ystereomono--mini2.0---
12.
 
Nikon P7800YstereomonoY-mini2.0---
13.
 
Olympus E-450Y-----2.0---
14.
 
Panasonic FZ150Ystereo---mini2.0---
15.
 
Panasonic G10Ymono---mini2.0---
16.
 
Panasonic G2Ystereomono--mini2.0---
17.
 
Panasonic LX5Ymonomono--mini2.0---

Both the G12 and the T1i have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The T1i was replaced by the Canon T2i, 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.

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Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon G12 and the Canon T1i? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot G12:

  • More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with a built-in lens, while the T1i requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (112x76mm vs 129x98mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the T1i).
  • Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
  • More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 5 months after the T1i).


Advantages of the Canon EOS Rebel T1i:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (15.1 vs 10MP), which boosts linear resolution by 25%.
  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (16 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (1.3 bits more color depth).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (2 stops ISO advantage).
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (1080/20p vs 720/24p).
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.8") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (920k vs 461k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3.4 vs 1.1 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More flexible: Makes it possible to change lenses and thus to use specialty optics.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in March 2009).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the T1i emerges as the winner of the match-up (10 : 7 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 wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

G12 07:10 T1i

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon G12 and the Canon T1i place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Travel-Zoom Camera and Best DSLR Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the G12 and the T1i 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.

Expert reviews

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], 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.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon G124/5+73/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2010 499i
2.
 
Canon T1i..+ +74/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799i
3.
 
Canon T53/5+..4/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449i
4.
 
Canon G164/5+..4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i
5.
 
Canon G154/5+76/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 499i
6.
 
Canon SX503/5+ +72/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 429i
7.
 
Canon T4i4/5+ +77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849i
8.
 
Canon T3i3/5o77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2011 599i
9.
 
Canon T2i..+ +77/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699i
10.
 
Canon XSi..+ ++ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799i
11.
 
Fujifilm X10....76/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2011 599i
12.
 
Nikon P78003/5....4/54.5/5 Sep 2013 549i
13.
 
Olympus E-450......4/54/5 Mar 2009 499i
14.
 
Panasonic FZ1503/5+ +76/1004/54.5/5 Aug 2011 499i
15.
 
Panasonic G103/5..70/1004/54/5 Mar 2010 499i
16.
 
Panasonic G2....72/1004/54.5/5 Mar 2010 599i
17.
 
Panasonic LX54/5+73/1004.5/54.5/5 Jul 2010 499i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date 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:
Check Ebay offers
Canon T1i:
Check Ebay offers

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 use the search menu below. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

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    Specifications: Canon G12 vs Canon T1i

    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 Specifications
    Camera Model Canon G12 Canon T1i
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens 28-140mm f/2.8-4.5 Canon EF mount lenses
    Launch Date September 2010 March 2009
    Launch Price USD 499 USD 799
    Sensor Specs Canon G12 Canon T1i
    Sensor Technology CCD CMOS
    Sensor Format 1/1.7" Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 7.6 x 5.7 mm 22.3 x 14.9 mm
    Sensor Area 43.32 mm2 332.27 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 9.5 mm 26.8 mm
    Crop Factor 4.6x 1.6x
    Sensor Resolution 10 Megapixels 15.1 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3648 x 2736 pixels 4752 x 3168 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 2.07 μm 4.69 μm
    Pixel Density 23.04 MP/cm2 4.53 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 720/24p Video 1080/20p Video
    ISO Setting 80 - 3,200 ISO 100 - 6,400 ISO
    ISO Boost 80 - 12,800 ISO 100 - 12,800 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 4 DIGIC 4
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 47 63
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 20.4 21.7
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.2 11.5
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 161 663
    Screen Specs Canon G12 Canon T1i
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.54x
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 2.8inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 461k dots 920k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon G12 Canon T1i
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 1.1 shutter flaps/s 3.4 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDHC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Canon G12 Canon T1i
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon G12 Canon T1i
    Battery Type NB-7L LP-E5
    Battery Life (CIPA)370 shots per charge400 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 112 x 76 x 48 mm
    (4.4 x 3.0 x 1.9 in)
    129 x 98 x 62 mm
    (5.1 x 3.9 x 2.4 in)
    Camera Weight 401 g (14.1 oz) 520 g (18.3 oz)

    Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.

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