Canon PowerShot G12


Canon PowerShot G12
Page Type Gear Review
Object Title Canon PowerShot G12
Manufacturer Canon
Page By silversummit
Page Type Jul 24, 2011 / Jul 24, 2011
Object ID 7738
Hits 3716


Many in the photography world have considered the Powershot G series to be the flagship line of Canon's compact cameras for several years. Offering many of the manual photo taking capabilities of bigger SLR cameras such as RAW format while allowing flexibility such as a pivoting LCD screen it has rapidly become a second camera or even a trip replacement camera for some DSLR users. It is also beginning to face some stiff competition from other camera lines such as Pentax and the new 4/3 mirrorless cameras but as long as Canon continues to produce quality feature-filled compact cameras there will be a market.


Quick List:
---10MP CCD Image Sensor
---IGIC 4 Image Processor
---1280 x 720p HD Video Capture
---2.8" Vari-Angled LCD
---JPEG and RAW File Image Capture
---28mm Lens with 5x Optical Zoom Hybrid IS
---Optical Image Stabilization
---Stereo Sound for Video
---Manual Exposure Control

Detailed List:

Resolution - Effective: 10 Megapixel
Resolution - Actual Pixels: 10.4 Megapixel

Sensor 1/1.7" CCD

File Formats
Still Images: JPEG, RAW
Movies: MPEG-4 AVC/H.264, MOV
Audio:Linear PCM

Other Resolutions:
3648 x 2048 @ 16:9
3648 x 2432 @ 3:2
3648 x 2736 @ 4:3
2736 x 2736 @ 1:1
2192 x 2736 @ 4:5

Aspect Ratio 1:1, 3:2, 4:3, 4:5, 16:9

Image Stabilization: Optical

Color Spaces sRGB

Lens EFL: 28-140mm
Aperture: f/2.8 (W) - 4.5 (T)

Zoom Digital: 4x; Optical: 5x

Focus Range
Macro: 0.4" (1.02cm) - 1.6" (4.06cm)
Auto: 1.6" (4.06cm) - Infinity

ISO Sensitivity Auto, 80-3200

Shutter 15 - 1/4000 Sec

Exposure Metering Center-weighted, Evaluative, Spot

Exposure Modes Modes: AE Lock, Auto ISO Shift

White Balance Modes
Auto, Cloudy, Daylight, Flash,
Fluorescent, Fluorescent H, Tungsten, Underwater

Built-in Flash Yes: Auto, FE Lock, Slow Sync./Red-eye Reduction
Effective Flash Range 16 - 23' (487.68 - 701.04cm)
External Flash Connection Hot Shoe

Memory Card Type
HC MMCplus

Video Recording Yes, NTSC/PAL

Video Clip Length Up to 4GB or 2 Hours

Audio Recording With Video, Stereo

Viewfinder Type Optical

Screen 2.8" LCD

1 = Audio out, stereo audio out
USB 2.0
Audio Out
AV Output
HDMI C (Mini)

Operating/Storage Temperature
32 to 104° F (0 to 40° C)

Battery Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery Pack

AC Power Adapter ACK-DC50 (Optional)

Dimensions (WxHxD) 4.41 x 3 x 1.9" / 112.01 x 76.20 x 48.26mm
Weight 12.4 oz / 352g

Pros and Cons

+extremely capable, versatile camera including low light, RAW format and movies
+The LCD screen is a flexible, articulating dream!

-Some find the dial controls a bit hard to use
-Resolution is only 10MP but this is sufficient for most use.
-Heavy in weight
-Expensive (started at $499; briefly lowered and back up after Japan's troubles this year)

Reviews etc.

Canon G12 on Canon website

Extensive review on dpreview

Another helpful review!



Viewing: 1-4 of 4

silversummit - Jul 24, 2011 12:56 pm - Voted 5/5

My current 2nd camera!
I have owned Canon PowerShot cameras since 2003 and many of my SP pictures were taken with my G5, G9 or now my G12. This camera may be heavy but it is a workhorse and sometimes I have to check the EXIF to see which camera I used to take a particular shot (my G12 or my DSLR, a Canon XSi).

I do wish it had more pixels; I know, I know about the argument here but I am someone who zooms in after I get home and looks at all the angles and details. The weight doesn't bother me though since I get so much out of the camera. My shots at dusk are amazing and of course, daylight pictures are no effort at all.

If you are curious about pictures from this camera, just look at my album here. These are pictures I took right after I got this camera.

EricChu - Jul 25, 2011 4:50 am - Voted 5/5

Good article, Kathy!
I must fully agree with you on the whole! As I stated yesterday, sometimes I miss things like the sunset mode which was on the G10 and now not on the G12 anymore, but one can also do without...As to the issue of there being less pixels, yes, I've been having similar thoughts, also concerning the zoom. The zooming on G10 was restricted to 5.0 maximum, whereas the G10 had 14 megapixels. With the G12; you can zoom up to 20.0, but the G12 has less pixels. I don't know if it was such a good idea to offer more zoom capacity on the one hand, but at the same time reduce pixels on the other hand...Zooming right up to 20.0 is something I do not recommend, at least with the G12; the photo quality will hardly ever be really top.
These little things having been said, I must say, I am really in favor of the G12 now, ever since I have been with it to the Valais and it has proven to me what it can produce, without any light polarizer or leaf mode or strong colors mode or any other "chi-chi"...I confess that the actual reason why I got the G12 at first, last January, was not because of lack of love for the G10; but because I had updated my Mac to Snow Leopard and realized with a shock that all of a sudden the program "Canon Window" for G10 wasn't compatible any more...but since last week, G12 has really gone way up in my personal esteem.
The weight doesn't bother me in the least, I don't even find it heavy. And the size is just right, I find. My only question would be: Why did the knobs and wheels have to be made so small? I don't see the point there...On the G10 the sizes of these were better, I find. But then, oh well, I happen to have broad pianist fingers - haha!
Cheers, Kathy,

PAROFES - Aug 5, 2011 12:21 pm - Voted 5/5

My current 2nd camera [2]
Well I am not entirely sure about what I think of Canon G12 yet. Gorgeous model, very compact with tons of cool functions, in fact I read somewhere it is as close as you can get to a reflex camera without actually use one, which can be way bigger and heavier of course.

But (there is always a but!), I miss (just like you Kathy!) a little bit more pixels to work on, I miss a better optical zoom (5x isn’t good enough for me, I am a zoom dude).

Not happy about the macro either. Actually I quit the idea of sell my old Sony DSC-H20 because of this, I like its macro much more than G12’s.

About the video. Great advance for Canon because G12 comes with a HD film version. But hey, my old Sony H20 also films in HD and I like the quality much more too!

Great camera the G12 though, good image quality and that must be said. For those who are seeking to learn more about photography it is one of the best (if not THE best) option to go a little bit further before the actual reflex professional camera. People can learn a lot with this fine camera.

Still use my H20 for most shots (including night shots) and G12 for panoramas mostly.

The cool stuff was to use the fisheye lens with G12, that came out fun!

reboyles - Oct 11, 2011 8:47 pm - Voted 5/5

I love my G12
I have been around photography for most of my life. First, I helped my dad with his b&w developing in our home darkroom and later, I worked in a photo lab at HP where we used precision lasers to produce super fine imagery on silver halide film for printed circuit designs. My first camera was a range finder and when I could afford it I bought my first SLR, a Pentax Spotmatic F with the threaded (Pentax-mount) 50mm lense. I later bought a 28mm and 135mm lenses to round out my capability. If I carried all of my photography gear on a mountain trip I think it topped out at around 8-10 lbs, equal to a weeks worth of food or a good tent for 4.

Now I carry a single G12 and I can't help but think of how much gear I used to carry to get the same results. The 28-140mm focal length is perfect for me and I am fine with the 5x zoom. Regardless of how good the anti-shake mech is on a camera, my experience with telephoto lenses and higher zoom ratios is that you need a tripod to get the best results.

As for the 10 megapixel sensor, I couldn't be more pleased. When I view my stock photos in Photoshop or Paintshop I'm seeing detail that I have not seen in any of the cheaper digital camera's optics to date. (I supported digital cameras at HP.) I have not worked with the output from the more expensive SLRs on the market so I can't compare the results but I wouldn't carry anything that expensive on a climb anyway. And once again I see that most of the digital SLR sellers like to offer a second lense and case as a bundle. Nothing like that will ever go in my alpine pack again.

I bought this camera primaily to use on adventures where I go to places that I may not get back to in my life and I wanted to ensure that I get the best shots I can and I have not been disappointed one bit. I knock the buttons around a bit and have to check the settings and be careful I don't snap off the swing-out LCD when I'm climbing but in that environment nothing is safe anyway.

I've now used my G12 in sub-zero temperatures, 115 degree dry desert heat and really have no complaints. The low-light capabilty is good and every once in a while the viewfinder comes in handy if I'm shooting with one hand. Most of the shots I've taken have been with the full-auto setting and I have been pleased with the results. I haven't used the video setting at all, I carry a different camera for that kind of work and frankly those HD movies take up a lot of space and aren't really that useful for what I do. I have a spare battery but haven't had to use it because a fully charged battery lasts as long as most of my trips.

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