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Canon G12 vs Nikon B600

The Canon PowerShot G12 and the Nikon Coolpix B600 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2010 and January 2019. Both the G12 and the B600 are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on a 1/1.7-inch (G12) and a 1/2.3-inch (B600) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 10 megapixels, whereas the Nikon provides 15.9 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 Nikon B600
Canon G12 Nikon B600
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
28-140mm f/2.8-4.5 24-1440mm f/3.3-6.5
10 MP, 1/1.7" Sensor 15.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor
720/24p Video 1080/30p Video
ISO 80-3,200 (80 - 12,800) ISO 125-6,400
Optical viewfinder No viewfinder, LCD framing
2.8 LCD, 461k dots 3.0 LCD, 921k dots
Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
1.1 shutter flaps per second 7.4 shutter flaps per second
370 shots per battery charge280 shots per battery charge
112 x 76 x 48 mm, 401 g 122 x 82 x 99 mm, 500 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot G12 and the Nikon Coolpix B600? 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

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon G12 and the Nikon B600 is provided 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.

The B600 can be obtained in two different colors (black, red), while the G12 is only available in black.

Size Canon G12 vs Nikon B600
Compare G12 versus B600 top
Comparison G12 or B600 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon B600 is notably larger (18 percent) than the Canon G12. Moreover, the B600 is markedly heavier (25 percent) than the G12. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G12 nor the B600 are weather-sealed.

Concerning battery life, the G12 gets 370 shots out of its NB-7L battery, while the B600 can take 280 images on a single charge of its EN-EL12 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, 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
 
Nikon B600 4.8 in 3.2 in 3.9 in 17.6 oz 280 n Jan 2019 349 i
 
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
 
Nikon A1000 4.5 in 2.8 in 1.6 in 11.6 oz 250 n Jan 2019 429 i
 
Nikon P1000 5.7 in 4.7 in 7.1 in 49.9 oz 250 n Jul 2018 999 i
 
Nikon B500 4.5 in 3.1 in 3.7 in 19.1 oz 600 n Jan 2016 299i
 
Nikon L840 4.4 in 3.1 in 3.8 in 19.0 oz 590 n Feb 2015 299i
 
Nikon P7800 4.7 in 3.1 in 2.0 in 14.1 oz 350 n Sep 2013 549i
 
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
 
Sony WX800 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.4 in 8.2 oz 370 n Oct 2018 399 i
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 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 B600 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 30 percent) than the G12, 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.

Sensor comparison

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better 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 Nikon B600 a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The sensor area in the B600 is 35 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 4.6 and 5.6. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.

Canon G12 and Nikon B600 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the B600 offers a higher resolution of 15.9 megapixels, compared with 10 MP of the G12. 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 1.33μm versus 2.07μm for the G12). However, it should be noted that the B600 is much more recent (by 8 years and 4 months) than the G12, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the B600 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The resolution advantage of the Nikon B600 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the B600 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 23 x 17.3 inches or 58.5 x 43.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 18.4 x 13.8 inches or 46.8 x 35.1 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 15.4 x 11.5 inches or 39 x 29.3 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 Nikon Coolpix B600 are ISO 125 to ISO 6400 (no boost).

G12 versus B600 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"). 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
 
Nikon B600 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p........
 
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
 
Nikon A1000 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34564K/30p........
 
Nikon P1000 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34564K/30p........
 
Nikon B500 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60i........
 
Nikon L840 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60i........
 
Nikon P7800 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/30p21.211.720054
 
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
 
Sony WX800 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36724K/30p........

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the B600 provides a better video resolution than the G12. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/30p, while the Canon is limited to 720/24p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the G12 has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the B600 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon G12 and Nikon B600 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
 
Nikon B600none n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 7.4 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
 
Nikon A10001166 n 3.0 1036 tilting Y 1/4000s 7.0 Y Y
 
Nikon P10002359 n 3.2 921 swivel n 1/4000s 7.0 Y Y
 
Nikon B500none n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 7.4 Y Y
 
Nikon L840none n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 7.4 Y Y
 
Nikon P7800921 n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 8.0 Y Y
 
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
 
Sony WX800none n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y

Both the G12 and the B600 have zoom lenses built in. The G12 has a 28-140mm f/2.8-4.5 optic and the B600 offers a 24-1440mm f/3.3-6.5 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Nikon provides a wider angle of view at the short end, as well as more tele-photo reach at the long end than the Canon. The G12 offers the faster maximum aperture.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the G12 and the B600 write their files to SDXC cards. The B600 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the G12 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD 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 Nikon Coolpix B600 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---
 
Nikon B600-stereomono--micro2.0Y-Y
 
Canon G16Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--
 
Canon G15Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon SX50Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Fujifilm X10Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Nikon A1000-stereomono--micro2.0Y-Y
 
Nikon P1000YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y-Y
 
Nikon B500-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
 
Nikon L840-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Nikon P7800YstereomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Olympus E-450Y-----2.0---
 
Panasonic FZ150Ystereo---mini2.0---
 
Panasonic G10Ymono---mini2.0---
 
Panasonic G2Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Panasonic LX5Ymonomono--mini2.0---
 
Sony WX800-stereomono--micro2.0YY-

It is notable that the G12 has a hotshoe, while the B600 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.

The B600 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Nikon. In contrast, the G12 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the G12 was succeeded 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 Nikon websites.

Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon G12 and the Nikon B600? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Advantages of the Canon PowerShot G12:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/2.8 vs f/3.3).
  • More compact: Is smaller (112x76mm vs 122x82mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 99g or 20 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (370 versus 280) on a single battery charge.
  • Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in September 2010).

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Reasons to prefer the Nikon Coolpix B600:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (15.9 vs 10MP), which boosts linear resolution by 26%.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (1080/30p 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 (921k vs 461k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (7.4 vs 1.1 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
  • More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (30 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 8 years and 4 months of technical progress since the G12 launch.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the B600 is the clear winner of the contest (13 : 9 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.

G12 09:13 B600

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon G12 and the Nikon B600 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 the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the G12 or the B600 perform in practice. 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.

Expert reviews

This is where reviews by experts come in. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera 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
 
Nikon B600+..3.5/5..3/5 Jan 2019 349 i
 
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
 
Nikon A1000+ +..3.5/5..3/5 Jan 2019 429 i
 
Nikon P1000+73/1003.5/54.5/53.5/5 Jul 2018 999 i
 
Nikon B500+..4/5..3.5/5 Jan 2016 299i
 
Nikon L840+ +..3.5/5..4/5 Feb 2015 299i
 
Nikon P7800....4/53.5/54.5/5 Sep 2013 549i
 
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
 
Sony WX800.......... Oct 2018 399 i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. 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, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Canon G12:
Check Ebay offers
Nikon B600:
Check Amazon price

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

~

    Specifications: Canon G12 vs Nikon B600

    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 Nikon B600
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 28-140mm f/2.8-4.5 24-1440mm f/3.3-6.5
    Launch Date September 2010 January 2019
    Launch Price USD 499 USD 349
    Sensor Specs Canon G12 Nikon B600
    Sensor Technology CCD CMOS
    Sensor Format 1/1.7" Sensor 1/2.3" Sensor
    Sensor Size 7.6 x 5.7 mm 6.17 x 4.55 mm
    Sensor Area 43.32 mm2 28.0735 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 9.5 mm 7.7 mm
    Crop Factor 4.6x 5.6x
    Sensor Resolution 10 Megapixels 15.9 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3648 x 2736 pixels 4608 x 3456 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 2.07 μm 1.33 μm
    Pixel Density 23.04 MP/cm2 56.73 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 720/24p Video 1080/30p Video
    ISO Setting 80 - 3,200 ISO 125 - 6,400 ISO
    ISO Boost 80 - 12,800 ISO no Enhancement
    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 Nikon B600
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder no viewfinder
    Viewfinder Magnification
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 2.8inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 461k dots 921k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon G12 Nikon B600
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 1.1 shutter flaps/s 7.4 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Canon G12 Nikon B600
    External Flash Hotshoe no Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI micro HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi Wifi built-in
    Bluetooth Support no Bluetooth Bluetooth built-in
    Body Specs Canon G12 Nikon B600
    Battery Type NB-7L EN-EL12
    Battery Life (CIPA)370 shots per charge280 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 112 x 76 x 48 mm
    (4.4 x 3.0 x 1.9 in)
    122 x 82 x 99 mm
    (4.8 x 3.2 x 3.9 in)
    Camera Weight 401 g (14.1 oz) 500 g (17.6 oz)

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