Canon G12 vs Panasonic FZ200
The Canon PowerShot G12 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2010 and July 2012. Both the G12 and the FZ200 are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on a 1/1.7-inch (G12) and a 1/2.3-inch (FZ200) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 10 megapixels, whereas the Panasonic 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 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200? 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 Panasonic FZ200 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 width, height and depth measures 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 Panasonic FZ200 is notably larger (28 percent) than the Canon G12. Moreover, the FZ200 is substantially heavier (47 percent) than the G12. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G12 nor the FZ200 are weather-sealed.
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.||Panasonic FZ200||125 mm||87 mm||110 mm||588 g||540||n||Jul 2012||599|
|3.||Canon SX60||128 mm||93 mm||114 mm||650 g||340||n||Sep 2014||549|
|4.||Canon G16||109 mm||76 mm||40 mm||356 g||360||n||Aug 2013||549|
|5.||Canon G15||107 mm||76 mm||40 mm||352 g||350||n||Sep 2012||499|
|6.||Canon SX50||123 mm||87 mm||106 mm||595 g||315||n||Sep 2012||429|
|7.||Fujifilm X10||117 mm||70 mm||57 mm||350 g||270||n||Sep 2011||599|
|8.||Nikon P7800||119 mm||78 mm||50 mm||399 g||350||n||Sep 2013||549|
|9.||Olympus E-450||130 mm||91 mm||53 mm||440 g||500||n||Mar 2009||499|
|10.||Panasonic FZ300||132 mm||92 mm||117 mm||691 g||380||Y||Jul 2015||599|
|11.||Panasonic FZ150||124 mm||82 mm||92 mm||528 g||410||n||Aug 2011||499|
|12.||Panasonic FZ100||124 mm||82 mm||92 mm||540 g||410||n||Jul 2010||499|
|13.||Panasonic G10||124 mm||84 mm||74 mm||388 g||380||n||Mar 2010||499|
|14.||Panasonic G2||124 mm||84 mm||74 mm||428 g||360||n||Mar 2010||599|
|15.||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 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 somewhat lower price (by 17 percent) than the FZ200, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. 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.
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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. 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 Panasonic FZ200 a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The sensor area in the FZ200 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.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the FZ200 offers a higher resolution of 12 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 1.53μm versus 2.07μm for the G12). However, it should be noted that the FZ200 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 10 months) than the G12, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that partly offset its pixel-size disadvantage. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the FZ200 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Panasonic FZ200 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the FZ200 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 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 are ISO 100 to ISO 3200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-6400.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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 review, the G12 has a notably higher overall DXO score than the FZ200 (overall score 10 points higher), which gives it an advantage in terms of imaging quality. This advantage is based on 1.3 bits higher color depth, 0.4 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.5 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.
| DXO |
|9.||Olympus E-450||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.5||10.5||512||56|
|13.||Panasonic G10||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||720/30p||21.2||10.1||411||52|
|14.||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 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 FZ200 provides a better video resolution than the G12. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, 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 FZ200 has an electronic viewfinder (1312k 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 Panasonic FZ200 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
Both the G12 and the FZ200 have zoom lenses built in. The G12 has a 28-140mm f/2.8-4.5 optic and the FZ200 offers a 25-600mm f/2.8-2.8 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Panasonic provides a wider angle of view at the short end, as well as more tele-photo reach at the long end than the Canon. Both cameras offer the same maximum aperture.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the G12 and the FZ200 write their files to SDXC cards. The FZ200 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.
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 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
It is notable that the FZ200 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 FZ200 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The G12 was replaced by the Canon G15, while the FZ200 was followed by the Panasonic FZ300. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Panasonic websites.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Canon G12 or the Panasonic FZ200 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Advantages of the Canon PowerShot G12:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (10 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
- Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (1.3 bits more color depth).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (0.5 stops ISO advantage).
- Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
- More compact: Is smaller (112x76mm vs 125x87mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 187g or 32 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (17 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in September 2010).
Reasons to prefer the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (12 vs 10MP), which boosts linear resolution by 10%.
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (1080/60p 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 selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (12 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.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (540 versus 370) out of a single battery charge.
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
- More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 10 months) more recently.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the FZ200 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 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 Panasonic FZ200 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 specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the G12 and the FZ200 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 where reviews by experts come in. 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.||Panasonic FZ200||3/5||+ +||80/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2012||599|
|3.||Canon SX60||3/5||+ +||75/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||549|
|4.||Canon G16||4/5||+||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||549|
|5.||Canon G15||4/5||+||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||499|
|6.||Canon SX50||3/5||+ +||72/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||429|
|7.||Fujifilm X10||..||..||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2011||599|
|8.||Nikon P7800||3/5||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2013||549|
|9.||Olympus E-450||..||..||..||4/5||4/5||Mar 2009||499|
|10.||Panasonic FZ300||..||+ +||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2015||599|
|11.||Panasonic FZ150||3/5||+ +||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2011||499|
|12.||Panasonic FZ100||..||+||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2010||499|
|13.||Panasonic G10||3/5||..||70/100||4/5||4/5||Mar 2010||499|
|14.||Panasonic G2||..||..||72/100||4/5||4.5/5||Mar 2010||599|
|15.||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. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. 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? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu below. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
Specifications: Canon G12 vs Panasonic FZ200
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||Panasonic FZ200|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||28-140mm f/2.8-4.5||25-600mm f/2.8|
|Launch Date||September 2010||July 2012|
|Launch Price||USD 499||USD 599|
|Sensor Specs||Canon G12||Panasonic FZ200|
|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|
|Sensor Resolution||10 Megapixels||12 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3648 x 2736 pixels||4000 x 3000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||2.07 μm||1.53 μm|
|Pixel Density||23.04 MP/cm2||42.74 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||720/24p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||80 - 3,200 ISO||100 - 3,200 ISO|
|ISO Boost||80 - 12,800 ISO||100 - 6,400 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 4||Venus VII FHD|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||47||37|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||20.4||19.1|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.2||10.8|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||161||114|
|Screen Specs||Canon G12||Panasonic FZ200|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||1312k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||2.8inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||461k dots||460k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Swivel screen||Swivel screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon G12||Panasonic FZ200|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||1.1 shutter flaps/s||12 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||Panasonic FZ200|
|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||Panasonic FZ200|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||370 shots per charge||540 shots per charge|
112 x 76 x 48 mm
(4.4 x 3.0 x 1.9 in)
125 x 87 x 110 mm
(4.9 x 3.4 x 4.3 in)
|Camera Weight||401 g (14.1 oz)||588 g (20.7 oz)|
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