Canon G12 vs XS
The Canon PowerShot G12 and the Canon EOS Rebel XS (labelled Canon 1000D in some countries) are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2010 and June 2008. The G12 is a fixed lens compact, while the XS is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a 1/1.7-inch (G12) and an APS-C (XS) sensor. The G12 has a resolution of 10 megapixels, whereas the XS provides 10.1 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 PowerShot G12 and the Canon EOS Rebel XS? 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.
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon G12 and the Canon XS. 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 XS is considerably larger (45 percent) than the Canon G12. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G12 nor the XS 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 XS 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 XS and their specifications in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. 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.
|1.||Canon G12||112 mm||76 mm||48 mm||401 g||370||n||Sep 2010||499|
|2.||Canon XS||126 mm||98 mm||65 mm||502 g||500||n||Jun 2008||449|
|3.||Canon T5||130 mm||100 mm||78 mm||480 g||500||n||Feb 2014||449|
|4.||Canon G16||109 mm||76 mm||40 mm||356 g||360||n||Aug 2013||549|
|5.||Canon G15||107 mm||76 mm||40 mm||352 g||350||n||Sep 2012||499|
|6.||Canon SX50||123 mm||87 mm||106 mm||595 g||315||n||Sep 2012||429|
|7.||Canon T3||130 mm||100 mm||78 mm||495 g||700||n||Feb 2011||449|
|8.||Canon T1i||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||520 g||400||n||Mar 2009||799|
|9.||Canon XSi||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||524 g||500||n||Jan 2008||799|
|10.||Canon 40D||146 mm||108 mm||74 mm||822 g||750||n||Aug 2007||1,299|
|11.||Fujifilm X10||117 mm||70 mm||57 mm||350 g||270||n||Sep 2011||599|
|12.||Nikon P7800||119 mm||78 mm||50 mm||399 g||350||n||Sep 2013||549|
|13.||Olympus E-450||130 mm||91 mm||53 mm||440 g||500||n||Mar 2009||499|
|14.||Panasonic FZ150||124 mm||82 mm||92 mm||528 g||410||n||Aug 2011||499|
|15.||Panasonic G10||124 mm||84 mm||74 mm||388 g||380||n||Mar 2010||499|
|16.||Panasonic G2||124 mm||84 mm||74 mm||428 g||360||n||Mar 2010||599|
|17.||Panasonic LX5||110 mm||65 mm||43 mm||271 g||400||n||Jul 2010||499|
|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 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. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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 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. 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 G12 features a 1/1.7-inch sensor and the Canon XS an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the XS is 665 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 XS offers a 3:2 aspect.
In terms of chip-set technology, the G12 uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 4) than the XS (DIGIC 3), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.
With 10.1MP, the XS offers a higher resolution than the G12 (10MP), but the XS nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.71μm versus 2.07μm for the G12) due to its larger sensor. However, the G12 is a much more recent model (by 2 years and 3 months) than the XS, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.
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 XS are ISO 100 to ISO 800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-1600.
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"). The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
| DXO |
|13.||Olympus E-450||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.5||10.5||512||56|
|15.||Panasonic G10||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||720/30p||21.2||10.1||411||52|
|16.||Panasonic G2||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||720/30p||21.2||10.3||493||53|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The G12 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the XS does not. The highest resolution format that the G12 can use is 720/24p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The G12 and the XS 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 G12 and Canon XS in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
The G12 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the XS uses SDHC 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 PowerShot G12 and Canon EOS Rebel XS and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
Both the G12 and the XS have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The XS was replaced by the Canon T3, 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 the Canon G12 better than the Canon XS or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Advantages of the Canon PowerShot G12:
- Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 4 vs DIGIC 3).
- Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 720/24p movies.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (2.8" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
- 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 a built-in lens, while the XS requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (112x76mm vs 126x98mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the XS).
- Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
- More modern: Reflects 2 years and 3 months of technical progress since the XS launch.
Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS Rebel XS:
- Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
- Richer colors: The pixel size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger pixels capture a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger pixels means good image quality even under poor lighting.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3 vs 1.1 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More flexible: Makes it possible to change lenses and thus to use specialty optics.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (500 versus 370) out of a single battery charge.
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in June 2008).
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the G12 emerges as the winner of the contest (10 : 8 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 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 G12 and the Canon XS 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 comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the G12 or the XS. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.
This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera 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.
|1.||Canon G12||4/5||+||73/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2010||499|
|2.||Canon XS||..||82/100||+ +||3.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2008||449|
|3.||Canon T5||3/5||+||..||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||449|
|4.||Canon G16||4/5||+||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||549|
|5.||Canon G15||4/5||+||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||499|
|6.||Canon SX50||3/5||+ +||72/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||429|
|7.||Canon T3||..||80/100||69/100||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2011||449|
|8.||Canon T1i||..||+ +||74/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2009||799|
|9.||Canon XSi||..||+ +||+ +||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2008||799|
|10.||Canon 40D||..||+ +||+ +||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2007||1,299|
|11.||Fujifilm X10||..||..||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2011||599|
|12.||Nikon P7800||3/5||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2013||549|
|13.||Olympus E-450||..||..||..||4/5||4/5||Mar 2009||499|
|14.||Panasonic FZ150||3/5||+ +||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2011||499|
|15.||Panasonic G10||3/5||..||70/100||4/5||4/5||Mar 2010||499|
|16.||Panasonic G2||..||..||72/100||4/5||4.5/5||Mar 2010||599|
|17.||Panasonic LX5||4/5||+||73/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2010||499|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, 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. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
Specifications: Canon G12 vs Canon XS
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 G12||Canon XS|
|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||June 2008|
|Launch Price||USD 499||USD 449|
|Sensor Specs||Canon G12||Canon XS|
|Sensor Format||1/1.7" Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||7.6 x 5.7 mm||22.2 x 14.8 mm|
|Sensor Area||43.32 mm2||328.56 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||9.5 mm||26.7 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||10 Megapixels||10.1 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3648 x 2736 pixels||3888 x 2592 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||2.07 μm||5.71 μm|
|Pixel Density||23.04 MP/cm2||3.07 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||720/24p Video||no Video|
|ISO Setting||80 - 3,200 ISO||100 - 800 ISO|
|ISO Boost||80 - 12,800 ISO||100 - 1,600 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 4||DIGIC 3|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||47||..|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||20.4||..|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.2||..|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||161||..|
|Screen Specs||Canon G12||Canon XS|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||2.8inch||2.5inch|
|LCD Resolution||461k dots||230k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Swivel screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon G12||Canon XS|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||1.1 shutter flaps/s||3 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 XS|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||no HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Canon G12||Canon XS|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||370 shots per charge||500 shots per charge|
112 x 76 x 48 mm
(4.4 x 3.0 x 1.9 in)
126 x 98 x 65 mm
(5.0 x 3.9 x 2.6 in)
|Camera Weight||401 g (14.1 oz)||502 g (17.7 oz)|
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