Canon G12 vs Nikon P7800
The Canon PowerShot G12 and the Nikon Coolpix P7800 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in September 2010 and September 2013. Both the G12 and the P7800 are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with a 1/1.7-inch sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 10 megapixels, whereas the Nikon provides 12 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 Nikon Coolpix P7800? 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 Nikon P7800 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 width, height and depth 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 Nikon P7800 is notably larger (9 percent) than the Canon G12. However, the P7800 is slightly lighter (0 percent) than the G12. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G12 nor the P7800 are weather-sealed.
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. 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.||Nikon P7800||119 mm||78 mm||50 mm||399 g||350||n||Sep 2013||549|
|3.||Canon G16||109 mm||76 mm||40 mm||356 g||360||n||Aug 2013||549|
|4.||Canon G15||107 mm||76 mm||40 mm||352 g||350||n||Sep 2012||499|
|5.||Canon SX50||123 mm||87 mm||106 mm||595 g||315||n||Sep 2012||429|
|6.||Fujifilm X10||117 mm||70 mm||57 mm||350 g||270||n||Sep 2011||599|
|7.||Olympus Stylus 1||116 mm||87 mm||57 mm||402 g||410||n||Oct 2013||699|
|8.||Olympus E-450||130 mm||91 mm||53 mm||440 g||500||n||Mar 2009||499|
|9.||Panasonic LF1||103 mm||62 mm||28 mm||192 g||250||n||Apr 2013||499|
|10.||Panasonic FZ150||124 mm||82 mm||92 mm||528 g||410||n||Aug 2011||499|
|11.||Panasonic G10||124 mm||84 mm||74 mm||388 g||380||n||Mar 2010||499|
|12.||Panasonic G2||124 mm||84 mm||74 mm||428 g||360||n||Mar 2010||599|
|13.||Panasonic LX5||110 mm||65 mm||43 mm||271 g||400||n||Jul 2010||499|
|14.||Pentax MX-1||122 mm||61 mm||51 mm||391 g||290||n||Jan 2013||499|
|Note: 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. The G12 was somewhat cheaper (by 9 percent) than the P7800 at launch, but both cameras fall into the same price category. 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 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 tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Both cameras under consideration feature a 1/1.7-inch sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 4.6. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the smaller-sensor digicams that favor affordability and compact design. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.
While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the P7800 offers a higher resolution of 12 megapixels, compared with 10 MP of the G12. This megapixels advantage translates into a 10 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the P7800 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 1.89μm versus 2.07μm for the G12). However, it should be noted that the P7800 is much more recent (by 2 years and 11 months) than the G12, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that compensate for the smaller pixel size.
The resolution advantage of the Nikon P7800 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the P7800 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 20 x 15 inches or 50.8 x 38.1 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 16 x 12 inches or 40.6 x 30.5 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 13.3 x 10 inches or 33.9 x 25.4 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 P7800 are ISO 80 to ISO 3200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 80-6400.
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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 P7800 has a markedly higher DXO score than the G12 (overall score 7 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 0.8 bits higher color depth, 0.5 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.3 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.
|7.||Olympus Stylus 1||1/1.7||11.8||3968||2976||1080/30p||20.7||11.6||179||51|
|8.||Olympus E-450||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.5||10.5||512||56|
|11.||Panasonic G10||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||720/30p||21.2||10.1||411||52|
|12.||Panasonic G2||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||720/30p||21.2||10.3||493||53|
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 P7800 provides a better video resolution than the G12. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/30p, while the Canon is limited to 720/24p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the P7800 has an electronic viewfinder (921k 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 following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon G12, the Nikon P7800, and comparable cameras.
|1.||Canon G12||optical||n||2.8 / 461||swivel||n||1/4000s||1.1/s||Y||Y|
|2.||Nikon P7800||921||n||3.0 / 921||swivel||n||1/4000s||8.0/s||Y||Y|
|3.||Canon G16||optical||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.2/s||Y||Y|
|4.||Canon G15||optical||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.1/s||Y||Y|
|5.||Canon SX50||202||n||3.0 / 461||swivel||n||1/2000s||2.2/s||Y||Y|
|6.||Fujifilm X10||optical||n||2.8 / 460||fixed||n||1/4000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|7.||Olympus Stylus 1||1440||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||7.0/s||Y||Y|
|8.||Olympus E-450||optical||n||2.7 / 215||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.5/s||Y||n|
|9.||Panasonic LF1||200||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/4000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|10.||Panasonic FZ150||202||n||3.0 / 460||swivel||n||1/2000s||12.0/s||Y||Y|
|11.||Panasonic G10||202||n||3.0 / 460||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.6/s||Y||n|
|12.||Panasonic G2||1440||n||3.0 / 460||swivel||Y||1/4000s||2.6/s||Y||n|
|13.||Panasonic LX5||optional||n||3.0 / 460||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.5/s||Y||Y|
|14.||Pentax MX-1||none||n||3.0 / 920||tilting||n||1/8000s||1.0/s||Y||Y|
|Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.|
The Nikon P7800 has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
Both the G12 and the P7800 have zoom lenses built in. The G12 has a 28-140mm f/2.8-4.5 optic and the P7800 offers a 28-200mm f/2.0-4.0 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Canon and Nikon provide the same view at the wide-angle end, but the Nikon has more tele-photo reach at the long end. The P7800 offers the faster maximum aperture.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the G12 and the P7800 write their files to SDXC 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 Nikon Coolpix P7800 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Canon G12||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|2.||Nikon P7800||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|3.||Canon G16||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|4.||Canon G15||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|5.||Canon SX50||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|6.||Fujifilm X10||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|7.||Olympus Stylus 1||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|8.||Olympus E-450||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|9.||Panasonic LF1||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|10.||Panasonic FZ150||Y||stereo / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|11.||Panasonic G10||Y||mono / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|12.||Panasonic G2||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|13.||Panasonic LX5||Y||mono / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|14.||Pentax MX-1||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
It is notable that the P7800 has a microphone port, which can help to improve the quality of audio recordings by attaching an external microphone. The G12 does not feature such a mic input.
Both the G12 and the P7800 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The G12 was replaced by the Canon G15, while the P7800 does not have a direct successor. 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.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Canon G12 or the Nikon P7800 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot G12:
- Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in September 2010).
Reasons to prefer the Nikon Coolpix P7800:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (12 vs 10MP), which boosts linear resolution by 10%.
- Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (7 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (1080/30p vs 720/24p).
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
- 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).
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (8 vs 1.1 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/2.0 vs f/2.8).
- More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
- More modern: Reflects 2 years and 11 months of technical progress since the G12 launch.
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the P7800 is the clear winner of the contest (13 : 2 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.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon G12 and the Nikon P7800 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Travel-Zoom Camera listing 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 P7800 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.
This is why expert reviews 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], 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.
|1.||Canon G12||4/5||+||..||73/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2010||499|
|2.||Nikon P7800||3/5||..||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2013||549|
|3.||Canon G16||4/5||+||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||549|
|4.||Canon G15||4/5||+||..||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||499|
|5.||Canon SX50||3/5||+ +||..||72/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||429|
|6.||Fujifilm X10||..||..||..||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2011||599|
|7.||Olympus Stylus 1||..||+ +||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||699|
|8.||Olympus E-450||..||..||..||..||4/5||4/5||Mar 2009||499|
|9.||Panasonic LF1||3/5||+||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Apr 2013||499|
|10.||Panasonic FZ150||3/5||+ +||..||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2011||499|
|11.||Panasonic G10||3/5||..||..||70/100||4/5||4/5||Mar 2010||499|
|12.||Panasonic G2||..||..||..||72/100||4/5||4.5/5||Mar 2010||599|
|13.||Panasonic LX5||4/5||+||..||73/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2010||499|
|14.||Pentax MX-1||3/5||..||..||74/100||4/5||4/5||Jan 2013||499|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, 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 rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
Specifications: Canon G12 vs Nikon P7800
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||Nikon P7800|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||28-140mm f/2.8-4.5||28-200mm f/2.0-4.0|
|Launch Date||September 2010||September 2013|
|Launch Price||USD 499||USD 549|
|Sensor Specs||Canon G12||Nikon P7800|
|Sensor Format||1/1.7" Sensor||1/1.7" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||7.6 x 5.7 mm||7.6 x 5.7 mm|
|Sensor Area||43.32 mm2||43.32 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||9.5 mm||9.5 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||10 Megapixels||12 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3648 x 2736 pixels||4000 x 3000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||2.07 μm||1.89 μm|
|Pixel Density||23.04 MP/cm2||27.70 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||720/24p Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||80 - 3,200 ISO||80 - 3,200 ISO|
|ISO Boost||80 - 12,800 ISO||80 - 6,400 ISO|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||47||54|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||20.4||21.2|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.2||11.7|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||161||200|
|Screen Specs||Canon G12||Nikon P7800|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||921k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||2.8inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||461k dots||921k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Swivel screen||Swivel screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon G12||Nikon P7800|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||1.1 shutter flaps/s||8 shutter flaps/s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer||Intervalometer built-in|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon G12||Nikon P7800|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||no MIC socket||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Canon G12||Nikon P7800|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||370 shots per charge||350 shots per charge|
112 x 76 x 48 mm
(4.4 x 3.0 x 1.9 in)
119 x 78 x 50 mm
(4.7 x 3.1 x 2.0 in)
|Camera Weight||401 g (14.1 oz)||399 g (14.1 oz)|
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