Canon G12 vs Sony RX0
The Canon PowerShot G12 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX0 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in September 2010 and August 2017. Both the G12 and the RX0 are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on a 1/1.7-inch (G12) and an one-inch (RX0) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 10 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 15.4 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 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX0? 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.
The physical size and weight of the Canon G12 and the Sony RX0 are illustrated 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 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 Sony RX0 is considerably smaller (72 percent) than the Canon G12. Moreover, the RX0 is substantially lighter (73 percent) than the G12. It is noteworthy in this context that the RX0 is splash and dust-proof, while the G12 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing. More than that, the RX0 is water-proof up to 10m and can, thus, be used for underwater photography.
The power pack in the RX0 can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|Canon G12||4.4 in||3.0 in||1.9 in||14.1 oz||370||n||Sep 2010||499|
|Sony RX0||2.3 in||1.6 in||1.2 in||3.9 oz||240||Y||Aug 2017||699|
|Canon G16||4.3 in||3.0 in||1.6 in||12.6 oz||360||n||Aug 2013||549|
|Canon G15||4.2 in||3.0 in||1.6 in||12.4 oz||350||n||Sep 2012||499|
|Canon SX50||4.8 in||3.4 in||4.2 in||21.0 oz||315||n||Sep 2012||429|
|Fujifilm X10||4.6 in||2.8 in||2.2 in||12.3 oz||270||n||Sep 2011||599|
|Nikon P7800||4.7 in||3.1 in||2.0 in||14.1 oz||350||n||Sep 2013||549|
|Olympus E-450||5.1 in||3.6 in||2.1 in||15.5 oz||500||n||Mar 2009||499|
|Panasonic FZ150||4.9 in||3.2 in||3.6 in||18.6 oz||410||n||Aug 2011||499|
|Panasonic G10||4.9 in||3.3 in||2.9 in||13.7 oz||380||n||Mar 2010||499|
|Panasonic G2||4.9 in||3.3 in||2.9 in||15.1 oz||360||n||Mar 2010||599|
|Panasonic LX5||4.3 in||2.6 in||1.7 in||9.6 oz||400||n||Jul 2010||499|
|Sony RX0 II||2.3 in||1.6 in||1.4 in||4.7 oz||240||Y||Mar 2019||699|
|Sony RX10 IV||5.2 in||3.7 in||5.7 in||38.6 oz||400||Y||Sep 2017||1,699|
|Sony RX10 III||5.2 in||3.7 in||5.0 in||37.1 oz||420||Y||Mar 2016||1,499|
|Sony RX10 II||5.1 in||3.5 in||4.0 in||28.7 oz||400||Y||Jun 2015||1,299|
|Sony RX10||5.1 in||3.5 in||4.0 in||28.7 oz||420||Y||Oct 2013||1,299|
|Notes: 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 markedly lower price (by 29 percent) than the RX0, which puts it into a different market segment. 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. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and 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 Sony RX0 an one-inch sensor. The sensor area in the RX0 is 170 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 4.6 and 2.7. The sensor in the G12 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the RX0 offers a 3:2 aspect.
With 15.4MP, the RX0 offers a higher resolution than the G12 (10MP), but the RX0 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 2.74μm versus 2.07μm for the G12) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the RX0 is a much more recent model (by 6 years and 11 months) than the G12, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.
The resolution advantage of the Sony RX0 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the RX0 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 24 x 16 inches or 61 x 40.6 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 19.2 x 12.8 inches or 48.8 x 32.5 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 16 x 10.7 inches or 40.6 x 27.1 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 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX0 are ISO 125 to ISO 12800 (no boost).
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 RX0 offers substantially better image quality than the G12 (overall score 21 points higher). The advantage is based on 2 bits higher color depth, 1.2 EV in additional dynamic range, and 1.8 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.
| DXO |
|Olympus E-450||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.5||10.5||512||56|
|Panasonic G10||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||720/30p||21.2||10.1||411||52|
|Panasonic G2||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||720/30p||21.2||10.3||493||53|
|Sony RX0 II||1-inch||15.4||4800||3200||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|Sony RX10 IV||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|Sony RX10 III||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||23.1||12.6||472||70|
|Sony RX10 II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||23.0||12.6||531||70|
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 RX0 provides a better video resolution than the G12. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the Canon is limited to 720/24p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the G12 has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the RX0 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon G12 and Sony RX0 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|Sony RX0 II||none||n||1.5||230||tilting||n||..||5.5||n||n|
|Sony RX10 IV||2359||Y||3.0||1440||tilting||Y||1/2000s||24.0||Y||Y|
|Sony RX10 III||2359||Y||3.0||1229||tilting||n||1/2000s||14.0||Y||Y|
|Sony RX10 II||2359||Y||3.0||1229||tilting||n||1/3200s||14.0||Y||Y|
One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The G12 has one, while the RX0 does not. While the built-in flash of the G12 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.
The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, the RX0 only has electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).
The G12 is equipped with a zoom lens, while the RX0 comes with a built-in prime. The G12 has a 28-140mm f/2.8-4.5 optic and the RX0 offers a 24mm f/4.0 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Sony provides a wider angle of view at the short end than the Canon, but less tele-photo reach at the long end. The G12 offers the faster maximum aperture.
The G12 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the RX0 uses micro SDXC or Memory Stick Micro cards. The RX0 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 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX0 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|Sony RX0 II||-||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|Sony RX10 IV||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|Sony RX10 III||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|Sony RX10 II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
It is notable that the G12 has a hotshoe, while the RX0 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.
Both the G12 and the RX0 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The G12 was replaced by the Canon G15, while the RX0 was followed by the Sony RX0 II. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Sony websites.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon G12 and the Sony RX0? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Advantages of the Canon PowerShot G12:
- Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (2.8" vs 1.5") 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.
- Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/2.8 vs f/4.0).
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (370 versus 240) on a single battery charge.
- Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
- Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (29 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in September 2010).
Arguments in favor of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX0:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (15.4 vs 10MP), which boosts linear resolution by 27%.
- Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (21 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (2 bits more color depth).
- More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (1.2 EV of extra DR).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (1.8 stops ISO advantage).
- 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.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5.5 vs 1.1 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
- More compact: Is smaller (59x41mm vs 112x76mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 291g or 73 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
- Water-proof: Is rugged and sealed and can thus be used for underwater photography (up to 10m).
- 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 modern: Reflects 6 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 RX0 is the clear winner of the contest (19 : 11 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera. 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.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon G12 and the Sony RX0 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Travel-Zoom Camera and Best Prime Lens Compact 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 remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the G12 or the RX0. 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 (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.
|Canon G12||+||73/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2010||499|
|Sony RX0||..||..||3.5/5||..||4/5||Aug 2017||699|
|Canon G16||+||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||549|
|Canon G15||+||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||499|
|Canon SX50||+ +||72/100||4.5/5||..||4.5/5||Sep 2012||429|
|Fujifilm X10||..||76/100||4/5||3.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2011||599|
|Nikon P7800||..||..||4/5||3.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2013||549|
|Olympus E-450||..||..||4/5||..||4/5||Mar 2009||499|
|Panasonic FZ150||+ +||76/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2011||499|
|Panasonic G10||..||70/100||4/5||..||4/5||Mar 2010||499|
|Panasonic G2||..||72/100||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||Mar 2010||599|
|Panasonic LX5||+||73/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2010||499|
|Sony RX0 II||..||..||3.5/5||..||4/5||Mar 2019||699|
|Sony RX10 IV||+||84/100||4.5/5||..||5/5||Sep 2017||1,699|
|Sony RX10 III||+||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2016||1,499|
|Sony RX10 II||+ +||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4/5||Jun 2015||1,299|
|Sony RX10||+||80/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||1,299|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. 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, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
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 your choice using the following search menu. 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 Sony RX0
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||Sony RX0|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||28-140mm f/2.8-4.5||24mm f/4.0|
|Launch Date||September 2010||August 2017|
|Launch Price||USD 499||USD 699|
|Sensor Specs||Canon G12||Sony RX0|
|Sensor Format||1/1.7" Sensor||1" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||7.6 x 5.7 mm||13.2 x 8.8 mm|
|Sensor Area||43.32 mm2||116.16 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||9.5 mm||15.9 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||10 Megapixels||15.4 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3648 x 2736 pixels||4800 x 3200 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||2.07 μm||2.74 μm|
|Pixel Density||23.04 MP/cm2||13.22 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||720/24p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||80 - 3,200 ISO||125 - 12,800 ISO|
|ISO Boost||80 - 12,800 ISO||no Enhancement|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 4||BIONZ X|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||47||68|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||20.4||22.4|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.2||12.4|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||161||548|
|Screen Specs||Canon G12||Sony RX0|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||no viewfinder|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||2.8inch||1.5inch|
|LCD Resolution||461k dots||230k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Swivel screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon G12||Sony RX0|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||no Peaking Feature||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/4000s||..|
|Continuous Shooting||1.1 shutter flaps/s||5.5 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||no E-Shutter||up to 1/32000s|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||mMS or mSDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon G12||Sony RX0|
|External Flash||Hotshoe||no Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Microphone Port||no MIC socket||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||no Bluetooth||Bluetooth built-in|
|Body Specs||Canon G12||Sony RX0|
|Environmental Sealing||not weather sealed||Waterproof body (10m)|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||370 shots per charge||240 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||no USB charging||USB charging|
112 x 76 x 48 mm
(4.4 x 3.0 x 1.9 in)
59 x 41 x 30 mm
(2.3 x 1.6 x 1.2 in)
|Camera Weight||401 g (14.1 oz)||110 g (3.9 oz)|
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