Nikon D70 vs Canon G12
The Nikon D70 and the Canon PowerShot G12 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in January 2004 and September 2010. The D70 is a DSLR, while the G12 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (D70) and a 1/1.7-inch (G12) sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 6 megapixels, whereas the Canon provides 10 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their sensors, their features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
|Nikon D70||Canon G12|
|Digital single lens reflex||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Nikon F mount lenses||28-140mm f/2.8-4.5|
|6 MP, APS-C Sensor||10 MP, 1/1.7" Sensor|
|no Video||720/24p Video|
|ISO 200-1600||ISO 80-3200 (80-12800)|
|Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|1.8" LCD, 130k dots||2.8" LCD, 461k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|3 shutter flaps per second||1.1 shutter flaps per second|
|400 shots per battery charge||370 shots per battery charge|
|140 x 111 x 78 mm, 679 g||112 x 76 x 48 mm, 401 g|
Body comparison: Nikon D70 vs Canon G12
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Nikon D70 and the Canon G12 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 measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter. If you prefer, you can also use the toggle button to switch to a comparison in percentage terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the D70 – represents 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon G12 is considerably smaller (45 percent) than the Nikon D70. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the D70 nor the G12 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the G12 has a lens built in, whereas the D70 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the D70 and their specifications in the Nikon Lens Catalog.
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, 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.
|Nikon D70»||5.5 in||4.4 in||3.1 in||24.0 oz||400||n||Jan 2004||999||-||Nikon D70|
|Canon G12«||4.4 in||3.0 in||1.9 in||14.1 oz||370||n||Sep 2010||499||-||Canon G12|
|Canon G16« »||4.3 in||3.0 in||1.6 in||12.6 oz||360||n||Aug 2013||549||Canon G16|
|Canon G15« »||4.2 in||3.0 in||1.6 in||12.4 oz||350||n||Sep 2012||499||-||Canon G15|
|Canon Rebel« »||5.6 in||3.9 in||2.8 in||22.9 oz||400||n||Aug 2003||899||-||Canon Rebel|
|Fujifilm X10« »||4.6 in||2.8 in||2.2 in||12.3 oz||270||n||Sep 2011||599||-||Fujifilm X10|
|Nikon D5100« »||5.0 in||3.8 in||3.1 in||19.8 oz||660||n||Apr 2011||749||-||Nikon D5100|
|Nikon D5000« »||5.0 in||4.1 in||3.1 in||20.8 oz||510||n||Apr 2009||749||-||Nikon D5000|
|Nikon D90« »||5.2 in||4.1 in||3.0 in||24.8 oz||850||n||Aug 2008||1,299||-||Nikon D90|
|Nikon D40« »||4.9 in||3.7 in||2.5 in||18.4 oz||470||n||Nov 2006||499||-||Nikon D40|
|Nikon D80« »||5.2 in||4.1 in||3.0 in||23.6 oz||600||n||Aug 2006||999||-||Nikon D80|
|Nikon D50« »||5.2 in||4.0 in||3.0 in||21.9 oz||400||n||Apr 2005||749||-||Nikon D50|
|Nikon D70s« »||5.5 in||4.4 in||3.1 in||24.0 oz||500||n||Apr 2005||899||-||Nikon D70s|
|Nikon D2X« »||6.2 in||5.9 in||3.4 in||44.2 oz||3800||Y||Sep 2004||4,999||-||Nikon D2X|
|Nikon D100« »||5.7 in||4.6 in||3.2 in||27.5 oz||370||n||Feb 2002||1,999||-||Nikon D100|
|Olympus E-450« »||5.1 in||3.6 in||2.1 in||15.5 oz||500||n||Mar 2009||499||-||Olympus E-450|
|Panasonic G2« »||4.9 in||3.3 in||2.9 in||15.1 oz||360||n||Mar 2010||599||-||Panasonic G2|
Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. 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 lower price than the D70, despite having a lens built in. 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.
Sensor comparison: Nikon D70 vs Canon G12
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Nikon D70 features an APS-C sensor and the Canon G12 a 1/1.7-inch sensor. The sensor area in the G12 is 88 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 4.6. The sensor in the D70 has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the G12 offers a 4:3 aspect.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the G12 offers a higher resolution of 10 megapixels, compared with 6 MP of the D70. 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 2.07μm versus 7.85μm for the D70). However, it should be noted that the G12 is much more recent (by 6 years and 7 months) than the D70, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.
The Nikon D70 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 1600 The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon PowerShot G12 are ISO 80 to ISO 3200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 80-12800..
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. The Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|Nikon D70»||APS-C||6.0||3008||2000||-||20.4||10.3||529||50||Nikon D70|
|Canon G12«||1/1.7||10.0||3648||2736||720/24p||20.4||11.2||161||47||Canon G12|
|Canon G16« »||1/1.7||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||21.0||11.7||230||54||Canon G16|
|Canon G15« »||1/1.7||12.0||4000||3000||1080/24p||19.9||11.5||165||46||Canon G15|
|Canon Rebel« »||APS-C||6.3||3072||2048||-||21.0||10.8||544||55||Canon Rebel|
|Fujifilm X10« »||2/3||12.0||4000||3000||1080/30p||20.5||11.3||245||50||Fujifilm X10|
|Nikon D5100« »||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||23.5||13.6||1183||80||Nikon D5100|
|Nikon D5000« »||APS-C||12.2||4288||2848||720/24p||22.7||12.5||868||72||Nikon D5000|
|Nikon D90« »||APS-C||12.2||4288||2848||720/24p||22.7||12.5||977||73||Nikon D90|
|Nikon D40« »||APS-C||6.0||3008||2000||-||21.0||11.0||561||56||Nikon D40|
|Nikon D80« »||APS-C||10.0||3872||2592||-||22.1||11.2||524||61||Nikon D80|
|Nikon D50« »||APS-C||6.0||3008||2000||-||20.9||10.8||560||55||Nikon D50|
|Nikon D70s« »||APS-C||6.0||3008||2000||-||20.4||10.3||529||50||Nikon D70s|
|Nikon D2X« »||APS-C||12.2||4288||2848||-||22.1||10.9||476||59||Nikon D2X|
|Nikon D100« »||APS-C||6.0||3008||2000||-||-||-||-||-||Nikon D100|
|Olympus E-450« »||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||-||21.5||10.5||512||56||Olympus E-450|
|Panasonic G2« »||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||720/30p||21.2||10.3||493||53||Panasonic G2|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The G12 indeed provides for movie recording, while the D70 does not. The highest resolution format that the G12 can use is 720/24p.
Feature comparison: Nikon D70 vs Canon G12
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The D70 and the G12 are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Nikon D70 and Canon G12 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|Nikon D70»||optical||n||1.8||130||fixed||n||8000||3.0||Y||n||Nikon D70|
|Canon G12«||optical||n||2.8||461||swivel||n||4000||1.1||Y||Y||Canon G12|
|Canon G16« »||optical||n||3.0||922||fixed||n||4000||2.2||Y||Y||Canon G16|
|Canon G15« »||optical||n||3.0||922||fixed||n||4000||2.1||Y||Y||Canon G15|
|Canon Rebel« »||optical||n||1.8||118||fixed||n||4000||2.5||Y||n||Canon Rebel|
|Fujifilm X10« »||optical||n||2.8||460||fixed||n||4000||10.0||Y||Y||Fujifilm X10|
|Nikon D5100« »||optical||n||3.0||921||swivel||n||4000||4.0||Y||n||Nikon D5100|
|Nikon D5000« »||optical||n||2.7||230||full-flex||n||4000||4.0||Y||n||Nikon D5000|
|Nikon D90« »||optical||Y||3.0||920||fixed||n||4000||4.5||Y||n||Nikon D90|
|Nikon D40« »||optical||n||2.5||230||fixed||n||4000||2.5||Y||n||Nikon D40|
|Nikon D80« »||optical||n||2.5||230||fixed||n||4000||3.0||Y||n||Nikon D80|
|Nikon D50« »||optical||n||2.0||130||fixed||n||4000||2.5||Y||n||Nikon D50|
|Nikon D70s« »||optical||n||2.0||130||fixed||n||8000||3.0||Y||n||Nikon D70s|
|Nikon D2X« »||optical||Y||2.5||235||fixed||n||8000||5.0||n||n||Nikon D2X|
|Nikon D100« »||optical||Y||1.8||118||fixed||n||4000||3.0||Y||n||Nikon D100|
|Olympus E-450« »||optical||n||2.7||215||fixed||n||4000||3.5||Y||n||Olympus E-450|
|Panasonic G2« »||1440||n||3.0||460||swivel||Y||4000||2.6||Y||n||Panasonic G2|
The D70 writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the G12 uses SDXC cards.
Connectivity comparison: Nikon D70 vs Canon G12
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 Nikon D70 and Canon PowerShot G12 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Nikon D70»||Y||-||-||-||-||-||1.0||-||-||-||Nikon D70|
|Canon G12«||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon G12|
|Canon G16« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Canon G16|
|Canon G15« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon G15|
|Canon Rebel« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||1.1||-||-||-||Canon Rebel|
|Fujifilm X10« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Fujifilm X10|
|Nikon D5100« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D5100|
|Nikon D5000« »||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D5000|
|Nikon D90« »||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D90|
|Nikon D40« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D40|
|Nikon D80« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D80|
|Nikon D50« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D50|
|Nikon D70s« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D70s|
|Nikon D2X« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D2X|
|Nikon D100« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||1.1||-||-||-||Nikon D100|
|Olympus E-450« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-450|
|Panasonic G2« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Panasonic G2|
Both the D70 and the G12 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D70 was replaced by the Nikon D70s, while the G12 was followed by the Canon G15.
Review summary: Nikon D70 vs Canon G12
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Nikon D70 better than the Canon G12 or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Advantages of the Nikon D70:
- Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (1.7 stops ISO advantage).
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (8000/sec vs 4000/sec) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3 vs 1.1 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More flexible: Can take a variety of interchangeable lenses, including specialty optics.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in January 2004).
Reasons to prefer the Canon PowerShot G12:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (10 vs 6MP), which boosts linear resolution by 26%.
- More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (0.9 EV of extra DR).
- Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 720/24p video.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (2.8" vs 1.8") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (461k vs 130k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
- Ready to shoot: Comes with an integrated lens, while the D70 requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (112x76mm vs 140x111mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the D70).
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (2.0 vs 1.0).
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More modern: Reflects 6 years and 7 months of technical progress since the D70 launch.
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the G12 is the clear winner of the contest (13 : 5 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.
In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the D70 or the G12 handle or 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: Nikon D70 vs Canon G12
This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The full reviews are available by clicking on the site logo in the table header.
|Nikon D70»||-||HiRec||-||rev||-||Jan 2004||999||-||Nikon D70|
|Canon G12«||Rec||73/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2010||499||-||Canon G12|
|Canon G16« »||Rec||-||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||549||Canon G16|
|Canon G15« »||Rec||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||499||-||Canon G15|
|Canon Rebel« »||-||HiRec||-||rev||-||Aug 2003||899||-||Canon Rebel|
|Fujifilm X10« »||-||76/100||4/5||3.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2011||599||-||Fujifilm X10|
|Nikon D5100« »||HiRec||76/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2011||749||-||Nikon D5100|
|Nikon D5000« »||HiRec||75/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2009||749||-||Nikon D5000|
|Nikon D90« »||HiRec||HiRec||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2008||1,299||-||Nikon D90|
|Nikon D40« »||81/100||HiRec||rev||5/5||4.5/5||Nov 2006||499||-||Nikon D40|
|Nikon D80« »||Rec||HiRec||rev||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2006||999||-||Nikon D80|
|Nikon D50« »||78/100||HiRec||4/5||rev||4.5/5||Apr 2005||749||-||Nikon D50|
|Nikon D70s« »||-||-||-||rev||5/5||Apr 2005||899||-||Nikon D70s|
|Nikon D2X« »||-||HiRec||-||rev||-||Sep 2004||4,999||-||Nikon D2X|
|Nikon D100« »||-||HiRec||rev||rev||-||Feb 2002||1,999||-||Nikon D100|
|Olympus E-450« »||-||-||4/5||-||4/5||Mar 2009||499||-||Olympus E-450|
|Panasonic G2« »||-||72/100||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||Mar 2010||599||-||Panasonic G2|
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 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
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Specifications: Nikon D70 vs Canon G12
|Camera Model||Nikon D70||Canon G12|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||Nikon F mount lenses||28-140mm f/2.8-4.5|
|Launch Date||January 2004||September 2010|
|Launch Price||USD 999||USD 499|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||1/1.7" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.7 x 15.6 mm||7.6 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||369.72 mm2||43.32 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.4 mm||9.5 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||6 Megapixels||10 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3008 x 2000 pixels||3648 x 2736 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||7.85 μm||2.07 μm|
|Pixel Density||1.63 MP/cm2||23.04 MP/cm2|
|Movie Capability||no Video||720/24p Video|
|ISO Setting||200-1600 ISO||80-3200 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||80-12800 ISO|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Rear LCD Size||1.8 inch||2.8 inch|
|LCD Resolution||130k dots||461k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Swivel screen|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/8000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||3 shutter flaps/s||1.1 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||CF cards||SDXC cards|
|USB Connector||USB 1.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Battery Type||EN-EL3 power pack||NB-7L power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||400 shots per charge||370 shots per charge|
140 x 111 x 78 mm
(5.5 x 4.4 x 3.1 in)
112 x 76 x 48 mm
(4.4 x 3.0 x 1.9 in)
|Camera Weight||679 g (24.0 oz)||401 g (14.1 oz)|
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