Canon G12 vs XT
The Canon PowerShot G12 and the Canon EOS Rebel XT (labelled Canon 350D in some countries) are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in September 2010 and February 2005. The G12 is a fixed lens compact, while the XT is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a 1/1.7-inch (G12) and an APS-C (XT) sensor. The G12 has a resolution of 10 megapixels, whereas the XT provides 8 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 XT? 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 G12 and the Canon XT 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.
The XT can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the G12 is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon XT is notably larger (40 percent) than the Canon G12. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G12 nor the XT 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 XT 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 XT and their specifications in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.
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, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.
|1.||Canon G12||112 mm||76 mm||48 mm||401 g||370||n||Sep 2010||499|
|2.||Canon XT||127 mm||94 mm||64 mm||540 g||400||n||Feb 2005||899|
|3.||Canon 77D||131 mm||100 mm||76 mm||540 g||600||n||Feb 2017||899|
|4.||Canon T6i||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||555 g||440||n||Feb 2015||749|
|5.||Canon T6s||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||565 g||440||n||Feb 2015||649|
|6.||Canon G16||109 mm||76 mm||40 mm||356 g||360||n||Aug 2013||549|
|7.||Canon G15||107 mm||76 mm||40 mm||352 g||350||n||Sep 2012||499|
|8.||Canon SX50||123 mm||87 mm||106 mm||595 g||315||n||Sep 2012||429|
|9.||Canon XTi||127 mm||84 mm||65 mm||556 g||370||n||Aug 2006||799|
|10.||Canon Rebel||142 mm||99 mm||72 mm||649 g||400||n||Aug 2003||899|
|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.|
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 XT, 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 size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to 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 XT an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the XT 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 XT offers a 3:2 aspect.
In terms of chip-set technology, the G12 uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 4) than the XT (DIGIC II), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon G12 offers a higher resolution of 10 megapixels, compared with 8 MP of the Canon XT. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 2.07μm versus 6.41μm for the XT). However, it should be noted that the G12 is much more recent (by 5 years and 6 months) than the XT, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.
The resolution advantage of the Canon G12 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the G12 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 18.2 x 13.7 inches or 46.3 x 34.7 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 14.6 x 10.9 inches or 37.1 x 27.8 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 12.2 x 9.1 inches or 30.9 x 23.2 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon XT are 17.3 x 11.5 inches or 43.9 x 29.3 cm for good quality, 13.8 x 9.2 inches or 35.1 x 23.4 cm for very good quality, and 11.5 x 7.7 inches or 29.3 x 19.5 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 XT are ISO 100 to ISO 1600 (no boost).
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). Of the two cameras under consideration, the XT offers substantially better image quality than the G12 (overall score 13 points higher). The advantage is based on 1.4 bits higher color depth, 0.4 EV of lower 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.
| 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 can also record movies. The G12 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the XT 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 range of features. The G12 and the XT 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 XT along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
The G12 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the XT uses Compact Flash 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 XT and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
Both the G12 and the XT have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The XT was replaced by the Canon Xti, 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 conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon G12 and the Canon XT? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Advantages of the Canon PowerShot G12:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (10 vs 8MP) with a 10% higher linear resolution.
- Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 4 vs DIGIC II).
- Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 720/24p movies.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (2.8" vs 1.8") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (461k vs 115k 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 XT requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (112x76mm vs 127x94mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the XT).
- 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: Reflects 5 years and 6 months of technical progress since the XT launch.
Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS Rebel XT:
- Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (13 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (1.4 bits more color depth).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (2 stops ISO advantage).
- 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.
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in February 2005).
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the G12 is the clear winner of the match-up (12 : 6 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 G12 and the Canon XT 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 XT. 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 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.
|1.||Canon G12||4/5||+||73/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2010||499|
|2.||Canon XT||..||80/100||+ +||o||..||Feb 2005||899|
|3.||Canon 77D||4.5/5||..||82/100||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2017||899|
|4.||Canon T6i||5/5||..||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||749|
|5.||Canon T6s||5/5||+||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||649|
|6.||Canon G16||4/5||+||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||549|
|7.||Canon G15||4/5||+||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||499|
|8.||Canon SX50||3/5||+ +||72/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||429|
|9.||Canon XTi||..||+ +||+ +||o||4/5||Aug 2006||799|
|10.||Canon Rebel||..||..||+ +||..||..||Aug 2003||899|
|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 rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
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.
Specifications: Canon G12 vs Canon XT
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 XT|
|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||February 2005|
|Launch Price||USD 499||USD 899|
|Sensor Specs||Canon G12||Canon XT|
|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||8 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3648 x 2736 pixels||3456 x 2304 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||2.07 μm||6.41 μm|
|Pixel Density||23.04 MP/cm2||2.42 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||720/24p Video||no Video|
|ISO Setting||80 - 3,200 ISO||100 - 1,600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||80 - 12,800 ISO||no Enhancement|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 4||DIGIC II|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||47||60|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||20.4||21.8|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.2||10.8|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||161||637|
|Screen Specs||Canon G12||Canon XT|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||2.8inch||1.8inch|
|LCD Resolution||461k dots||115k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Swivel screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon G12||Canon XT|
|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||CF cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon G12||Canon XT|
|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 XT|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||370 shots per charge||400 shots per charge|
112 x 76 x 48 mm
(4.4 x 3.0 x 1.9 in)
127 x 94 x 64 mm
(5.0 x 3.7 x 2.5 in)
|Camera Weight||401 g (14.1 oz)||540 g (19.0 oz)|
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