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Canon G12 vs XTi

The Canon PowerShot G12 and the Canon EOS Rebel XTi (labelled Canon 400D in some countries) are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2010 and August 2006. The G12 is a fixed lens compact, while the XTi is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a 1/1.7-inch (G12) and an APS-C (XTi) sensor. The G12 has a resolution of 10 megapixels, whereas the XTi provides 10.1 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 XTi
Canon G12   Canon XTi
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 10.1 MP – APS-C sensor
720/24p Video no Video
ISO 80-3,200 (80 - 12,800) ISO 100-1,600
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
2.8" LCD – 461k dots 2.5" LCD – 230k dots
Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
1.1 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
370 shots per battery charge370 shots per battery charge
112 x 76 x 48 mm, 401 g 127 x 84 x 65 mm, 556 g
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Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot G12 and the Canon EOS Rebel XTi? 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 side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon G12 and the Canon XTi. 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 XTi
Compare G12 versus XTi top
Comparison G12 or XTi rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon XTi is notably larger (25 percent) than the Canon G12. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G12 nor the XTi 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 XTi 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 XTi and their specifications in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. 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.

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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 499ebay.com
2.
 
Canon XTi 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 n Aug 2006 799ebay.com
3.
 
Canon T6i 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 555 g 440 n Feb 2015 749ebay.com
4.
 
Canon G16 109 mm 76 mm 40 mm 356 g 360 n Aug 2013 549ebay.com
5.
 
Canon G15 107 mm 76 mm 40 mm 352 g 350 n Sep 2012 499ebay.com
6.
 
Canon SX50 123 mm 87 mm 106 mm 595 g 315 n Sep 2012 429ebay.com
7.
 
Canon XS 126 mm 98 mm 65 mm 502 g 500 n Jun 2008 449ebay.com
8.
 
Canon XSi 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 n Jan 2008 799ebay.com
9.
 
Canon XT 127 mm 94 mm 64 mm 540 g 400 n Feb 2005 899ebay.com
10.
 
Canon Rebel 142 mm 99 mm 72 mm 649 g 400 n Aug 2003 899ebay.com
11.
 
Fujifilm X10 117 mm 70 mm 57 mm 350 g 270 n Sep 2011 599ebay.com
12.
 
Nikon P7800 119 mm 78 mm 50 mm 399 g 350 n Sep 2013 549ebay.com
13.
 
Olympus E-450 130 mm 91 mm 53 mm 440 g 500 n Mar 2009 499ebay.com
14.
 
Panasonic FZ150 124 mm 82 mm 92 mm 528 g 410 n Aug 2011 499ebay.com
15.
 
Panasonic G10 124 mm 84 mm 74 mm 388 g 380 n Mar 2010 499ebay.com
16.
 
Panasonic G2 124 mm 84 mm 74 mm 428 g 360 n Mar 2010 599ebay.com
17.
 
Panasonic LX5 110 mm 65 mm 43 mm 271 g 400 n Jul 2010 499ebay.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 manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The G12 was launched at a lower price than the XTi, 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.

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 XTi an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the XTi 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 XTi offers a 3:2 aspect.

In terms of chip-set technology, the G12 uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 4) than the XTi (DIGIC II), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.

Canon G12 and Canon XTi sensor measures

With 10.1MP, the XTi offers a higher resolution than the G12 (10MP), but the XTi 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 4 years) than the XTi, 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 XTi are ISO 100 to ISO 1600 (no boost).

In terms of underlying technology, the G12 is build around a CCD sensor, while the XTi uses a CMOS 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.

G12 versus XTi MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. Of the two cameras under consideration, the XTi offers substantially better image quality than the G12 (overall score 15 points higher). The advantage is based on 1.7 bits higher color depth, 0.2 EV of lower dynamic range, and 2 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

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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 XTi APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.066462
3.
 
Canon T6i APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.712.091971
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 XS APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.010.971962
8.
 
Canon XSi APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.869261
9.
 
Canon XT APS-C 8.0 3456 2304none21.810.863760
10.
 
Canon Rebel APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.010.854455
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 can also record movies. The G12 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the XTi does not. The highest resolution format that the G12 can use is 720/24p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The G12 and the XTi 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 XTi 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
Specifications
(inch/000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Max
Shutter
Speed *
Max
Shutter
Flaps *
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Canon G12optical n2.8 / 461 swivel n 1/4000s 1.1/s Y Y
2.
 
Canon XTioptical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
3.
 
Canon T6ioptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
4.
 
Canon G16optical n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.2/s Y Y
5.
 
Canon G15optical n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.1/s Y Y
6.
 
Canon SX50202 n3.0 / 461 swivel n 1/2000s 2.2/s Y Y
7.
 
Canon XSoptical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
8.
 
Canon XSioptical n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5/s Y n
9.
 
Canon XToptical n1.8 / 115 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
10.
 
Canon Rebeloptical n1.8 / 118 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5/s Y n
11.
 
Fujifilm X10optical n2.8 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 10.0/s Y Y
12.
 
Nikon P7800921 n3.0 / 921 swivel n 1/4000s 8.0/s Y Y
13.
 
Olympus E-450optical n2.7 / 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5/s Y n
14.
 
Panasonic FZ150202 n3.0 / 460 swivel n 1/2000s 12.0/s Y Y
15.
 
Panasonic G10202 n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 2.6/s Y n
16.
 
Panasonic G21440 n3.0 / 460 swivel Y 1/4000s 2.6/s Y n
17.
 
Panasonic LX5optional n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5/s Y Y
Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.

The G12 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the XTi uses Compact Flash cards.

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 XTi 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
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Canon G12Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
2.
 
Canon XTiY- / ----2.0---
3.
 
Canon T6iYstereo / monoY-mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon G16Ystereo / mono--mini2.0Y--
5.
 
Canon G15Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
6.
 
Canon SX50Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon XSY- / ----2.0---
8.
 
Canon XSiY- / ---mini2.0---
9.
 
Canon XTY- / ----2.0---
10.
 
Canon RebelY- / ----1.1---
11.
 
Fujifilm X10Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
12.
 
Nikon P7800Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0---
13.
 
Olympus E-450Y- / ----2.0---
14.
 
Panasonic FZ150Ystereo / ---mini2.0---
15.
 
Panasonic G10Ymono / ---mini2.0---
16.
 
Panasonic G2Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
17.
 
Panasonic LX5Ymono / mono--mini2.0---

Both the G12 and the XTi have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on ebay. The XTi was replaced by the Canon Xsi, while the G12 was followed by the Canon G15. Further information on the features and operation of the G12 and XTi can be found, respectively, in the Canon G12 Manual (free pdf) or the online Canon XTi Manual.

Review summary

So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Canon G12 or the Canon XTi – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot G12:

  • 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 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 XTi requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (112x76mm vs 127x84mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the XTi).
  • 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 4 years of technical progress since the XTi launch.


Advantages of the Canon EOS Rebel XTi:

  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (15 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (1.7 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 August 2006).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the G12 is the clear winner of the match-up (11 : 6 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding 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 11:06 XTi

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon G12 and the Canon XTi 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 XTi. 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.

Expert reviews

This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera 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.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DCW 
 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 499ebay.com
2.
 
Canon XTi..+ +..+ +o4/5 Aug 2006 799ebay.com
3.
 
Canon T6i5/5....75/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749ebay.com
4.
 
Canon G164/5+....4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549ebay.com
5.
 
Canon G154/5+..76/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 499ebay.com
6.
 
Canon SX503/5+ +..72/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 429ebay.com
7.
 
Canon XS..82/100..+ +3.5/54.5/5 Jun 2008 449ebay.com
8.
 
Canon XSi..+ +..+ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799ebay.com
9.
 
Canon XT..80/100..+ +o.. Feb 2005 899ebay.com
10.
 
Canon Rebel......+ +.... Aug 2003 899ebay.com
11.
 
Fujifilm X10......76/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2011 599ebay.com
12.
 
Nikon P78003/5......4/54.5/5 Sep 2013 549ebay.com
13.
 
Olympus E-450........4/54/5 Mar 2009 499ebay.com
14.
 
Panasonic FZ1503/5+ +..76/1004/54.5/5 Aug 2011 499ebay.com
15.
 
Panasonic G103/5....70/1004/54/5 Mar 2010 499ebay.com
16.
 
Panasonic G2......72/1004/54.5/5 Mar 2010 599ebay.com
17.
 
Panasonic LX54/5+..73/1004.5/54.5/5 Jul 2010 499ebay.com
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. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

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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. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Canon G12 vs Canon XTi

    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 XTi
    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 August 2006
    Launch Price USD 499 USD 799
    Sensor Specs Canon G12 Canon XTi
    Sensor Technology CCD CMOS
    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
    Crop Factor 4.6x 1.6x
    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 - 1,600 ISO
    ISO Boost 80 - 12,800 ISO no Enhancement
    Image Processor DIGIC 4 DIGIC II
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 47 62
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 20.4 22.1
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.2 11.0
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 161 664
    Screen Specs Canon G12 Canon XTi
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.49x
    LCD Framing 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 XTi
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 1.1 shutter flaps/s 3 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards CF cards
    Single or Dual Card Slots Single card slot Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Canon G12 Canon XTi
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    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 XTi
    Battery Type NB-7L NB-2LH
    Battery Life (CIPA)370 shots per charge370 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 112 x 76 x 48 mm
    (4.4 x 3.0 x 1.9 in)
    127 x 84 x 65 mm
    (5.0 x 3.3 x 2.6 in)
    Camera Weight 401 g (14.1 oz) 556 g (19.6 oz)
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