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Canon G12 vs Leica V-LUX 1

The Canon PowerShot G12 and the Leica V-LUX 1 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in September 2010 and September 2006. Both the G12 and the V-LUX 1 are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on a 1/1.7-inch (G12) and a 1/1.8-inch (V-LUX 1) sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 10 megapixels.

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

Headline Specifications
Canon G12 versus Leica V-LUX 1
Canon G12 Leica V-LUX 1
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
28-140mm f/2.8-4.5 35-420mm f/2.8-3.7
10 MP, 1/1.7" Sensor 10 MP, 1/1.8" Sensor
720/24p Video 480/30p Video
ISO 80-3,200 (80 - 12,800) ISO 100-1,600 (100 - 3,200)
Optical viewfinder Electronic viewfinder (235k dots)
2.8 LCD, 461k dots 2.0 LCD, 207k dots
Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive) Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive)
1.1 shutter flaps per second 2 shutter flaps per second
370 shots per battery charge360 shots per battery charge
112 x 76 x 48 mm, 401 g 141 x 86 x 142 mm, 734 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot G12 and the Leica V-LUX 1? 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 Leica V-LUX 1. 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.

Size Canon G12 vs Leica V-LUX 1
Compare G12 versus V-LUX 1 top
Comparison G12 or V-LUX 1 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Leica V-LUX 1 is considerably larger (42 percent) than the Canon G12. Moreover, the V-LUX 1 is substantially heavier (83 percent) than the G12. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G12 nor the V-LUX 1 are weather-sealed.

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, just select a new right or left 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 camera comparisons there.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon G12 4.4 in 3.0 in 1.9 in 14.1 oz 370 n Sep 2010 499i
 
Leica V-LUX 1 5.6 in 3.4 in 5.6 in 25.9 oz 360 n Sep 2006 849i
 
Canon G16 4.3 in 3.0 in 1.6 in 12.6 oz 360 n Aug 2013 549 i
 
Canon G15 4.2 in 3.0 in 1.6 in 12.4 oz 350 n Sep 2012 499i
 
Canon SX50 4.8 in 3.4 in 4.2 in 21.0 oz 315 n Sep 2012 429i
 
Fujifilm X10 4.6 in 2.8 in 2.2 in 12.3 oz 270 n Sep 2011 599i
 
Leica D-LUX 6 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.8 in 10.5 oz 330 n Sep 2012 699i
 
Leica V-LUX 4 4.9 in 3.4 in 4.3 in 20.7 oz 540 n Sep 2012 949i
 
Leica D-LUX 5 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.7 in 9.6 oz 400 n Sep 2010 699i
 
Leica V-LUX 2 4.9 in 3.1 in 3.7 in 18.3 oz 410 n Sep 2010 849i
 
Nikon P7800 4.7 in 3.1 in 2.0 in 14.1 oz 350 n Sep 2013 549i
 
Nikon D80 5.2 in 4.1 in 3.0 in 23.6 oz 600 n Aug 2006 999i
 
Olympus E-450 5.1 in 3.6 in 2.1 in 15.5 oz 500 n Mar 2009 499i
 
Panasonic FZ150 4.9 in 3.2 in 3.6 in 18.6 oz 410 n Aug 2011 499i
 
Panasonic G10 4.9 in 3.3 in 2.9 in 13.7 oz 380 n Mar 2010 499i
 
Panasonic G2 4.9 in 3.3 in 2.9 in 15.1 oz 360 n Mar 2010 599i
 
Panasonic LX5 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.7 in 9.6 oz 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.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.

Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. 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. The G12 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 41 percent) than the V-LUX 1, which puts it into a different market segment. 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.

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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 Leica V-LUX 1 a 1/1.8-inch sensor. The sensor area in the V-LUX 1 is 12 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 4.6 and 4.8. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.

Canon G12 and Leica V-LUX 1 sensor measures

Even though the G12 has a larger sensor, both cameras offer the same resolution of 10 megapixels. This implies that the G12 has a lower pixel density and larger individual pixels (with a pixel pitch of 2.07μm versus 1.95μm for the V-LUX 1), which gives it a potential advantage in terms of light gathering capacity. In addition, the G12 is much more recent (by 4 years) than the V-LUX 1, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the V-LUX 1 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

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 Leica V-LUX 1 are ISO 100 to ISO 1600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-3200.

G12 versus V-LUX 1 MP

For many 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 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
 
Canon G12 1/1.7 10.0 3648 2736720/24p20.411.216147
 
Leica V-LUX 1 1/1.8 10.0 3648 2736480/30p........
 
Canon G16 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054
 
Canon G15 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/24p19.911.516546
 
Canon SX50 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.217947
 
Fujifilm X10 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/30p20.511.324550
 
Leica D-LUX 6 1/1.7 10.0 3648 27361080/60p........
 
Leica V-LUX 4 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p........
 
Leica D-LUX 5 1/1.7 10.0 3648 2736720/60p........
 
Leica V-LUX 2 1/2.3 14.0 4320 32401080/60i........
 
Nikon P7800 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/30p21.211.720054
 
Nikon D80 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.111.252461
 
Olympus E-450 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.510.551256
 
Panasonic FZ150 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.410.913240
 
Panasonic G10 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.141152
 
Panasonic G2 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.349353
 
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. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the G12 provides a higher video resolution than the V-LUX 1. It can shoot video footage at 720/24p, while the Leica is limited to 480/30p.

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the V-LUX 1 has an electronic viewfinder (235k dots), while the G12 has an optical one. Both systems have their advantages, with the electronic viewfinder making it possible to project supplementary shooting information into the framing view, whereas the optical viewfinder offers lag-free viewing and a very clear framing image. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon G12 and Leica V-LUX 1 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

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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
 
Canon G12optical n 2.8 461 swivel n 1/4000s 1.1 Y Y
 
Leica V-LUX 1235 n 2.0 207 swivel n 1/2000s 2.0 Y Y
 
Canon G16optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.2 Y Y
 
Canon G15optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.1 Y Y
 
Canon SX50202 n 3.0 461 swivel n 1/2000s 2.2 Y Y
 
Fujifilm X10optical n 2.8 460 fixed n 1/4000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Leica D-LUX 6optional n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 11.0 Y Y
 
Leica V-LUX 41312 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
 
Leica D-LUX 5optional n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y Y
 
Leica V-LUX 2202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 11.0 Y Y
 
Nikon P7800921 n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 8.0 Y Y
 
Nikon D80optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Olympus E-450optical n 2.7 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
 
Panasonic FZ150202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 12.0 Y Y
 
Panasonic G10202 n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 2.6 Y n
 
Panasonic G21440 n 3.0 460 swivel Y 1/4000s 2.6 Y n
 
Panasonic LX5optional n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y Y
The V-LUX 1 has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the G12 does not have a selfie-screen.

Both the G12 and the V-LUX 1 have zoom lenses built in. The G12 has a 28-140mm f/2.8-4.5 optic and the V-LUX 1 offers a 35-420mm f/2.8-3.7 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Canon provides a wider angle of view at the short end than the Leica, but less tele-photo reach at the long end. Both cameras offer the same maximum aperture.

The G12 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the V-LUX 1 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 Leica V-LUX 1 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
 
Canon G12Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Leica V-LUX 1Ymonomono---2.0---
 
Canon G16Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--
 
Canon G15Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon SX50Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Fujifilm X10Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Leica D-LUX 6Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Leica V-LUX 4YstereomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Leica D-LUX 5Ymonomono--mini2.0---
 
Leica V-LUX 2Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Nikon P7800YstereomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Nikon D80Y-----2.0---
 
Olympus E-450Y-----2.0---
 
Panasonic FZ150Ystereo---mini2.0---
 
Panasonic G10Ymono---mini2.0---
 
Panasonic G2Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Panasonic LX5Ymonomono--mini2.0---

Both the G12 and the V-LUX 1 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The V-LUX 1 was replaced by the Leica V-LUX 2, 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 and Leica websites.

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Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon G12 and the Leica V-LUX 1? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Reasons to prefer the Canon PowerShot G12:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Better image quality: Features a larger and more technologically advanced imaging sensor.
  • Richer colors: The sensor size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
  • More dynamic range: Larger sensor captures a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Larger sensor produces good images even in poorly lit environments.
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (720/24p vs 480/30p).
  • Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (2.8" vs 2.0") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (461k vs 207k dots).
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
  • Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
  • More compact: Is smaller (112x76mm vs 141x86mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 333g or 45 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (41 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 4 years of technical progress since the V-LUX 1 launch.

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Advantages of the Leica V-LUX 1:

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (2 vs 1.1 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
  • More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale value.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in September 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 (15 : 7 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 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 15:07 V-LUX 1

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon G12 and the Leica V-LUX 1 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Travel-Zoom Camera and Best Superzoom Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the G12 and the V-LUX 1 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 (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). 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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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon G12+73/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2010 499i
 
Leica V-LUX 1.......... Sep 2006 849i
 
Canon G16+..4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i
 
Canon G15+76/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 499i
 
Canon SX50+ +72/1004.5/5..4.5/5 Sep 2012 429i
 
Fujifilm X10..76/1004/53.5/54.5/5 Sep 2011 599i
 
Leica D-LUX 6....4/5..4/5 Sep 2012 699i
 
Leica V-LUX 4.......... Sep 2012 949i
 
Leica D-LUX 5....4.5/5..4/5 Sep 2010 699i
 
Leica V-LUX 2.......... Sep 2010 849i
 
Nikon P7800....4/53.5/54.5/5 Sep 2013 549i
 
Nikon D80++ +o4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2006 999i
 
Olympus E-450....4/5..4/5 Mar 2009 499i
 
Panasonic FZ150+ +76/1004/55/54.5/5 Aug 2011 499i
 
Panasonic G10..70/1004/5..4/5 Mar 2010 499i
 
Panasonic G2..72/1004/54/54.5/5 Mar 2010 599i
 
Panasonic LX5+73/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jul 2010 499i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, 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 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.

Canon G12:
Check Ebay offers
Leica V-LUX 1:
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. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Canon G12 vs Leica V-LUX 1

    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 Leica V-LUX 1
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 28-140mm f/2.8-4.5 35-420mm f/2.8-3.7
    Launch Date September 2010 September 2006
    Launch Price USD 499 USD 849
    Sensor Specs Canon G12 Leica V-LUX 1
    Sensor Technology CCD CMOS
    Sensor Format 1/1.7" Sensor 1/1.8" Sensor
    Sensor Size 7.6 x 5.7 mm 7.14 x 5.36 mm
    Sensor Area 43.32 mm2 38.2704 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 9.5 mm 8.9 mm
    Crop Factor 4.6x 4.8x
    Sensor Resolution 10 Megapixels 10 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3648 x 2736 pixels 3648 x 2736 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 2.07 μm 1.95 μm
    Pixel Density 23.04 MP/cm2 26.08 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 720/24p Video 480/30p Video
    ISO Setting 80 - 3,200 ISO 100 - 1,600 ISO
    ISO Boost 80 - 12,800 ISO 100 - 3,200 ISO
    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 Leica V-LUX 1
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification
    Viewfinder Resolution 235k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 2.8inch 2.0inch
    LCD Resolution 461k dots 207k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen Swivel screen
    Shooting Specs Canon G12 Leica V-LUX 1
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 1.1 shutter flaps/s 2 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 Leica V-LUX 1
    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 Leica V-LUX 1
    Battery Type NB-7L BP-DC5
    Battery Life (CIPA)370 shots per charge360 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 112 x 76 x 48 mm
    (4.4 x 3.0 x 1.9 in)
    141 x 86 x 142 mm
    (5.6 x 3.4 x 5.6 in)
    Camera Weight 401 g (14.1 oz) 734 g (25.9 oz)

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