Canon PowerShot G12 Full Review - Cameras For Photographers
Specifications 2:


Weight (inc. Battery) [?]:

Wide Angle [?]:

Max. Focal Length [?]:

Zoom Range [?]:

Sensor Size:

Low Light Support [?]:

Image Stabilization [?]:

Raw Format Support [?]:

Manual Exposure [?]:

Video Resolution [?]:

Optical Zoom In Video [?]:

Stereo Sound [?]:

Battery Life [?]:
370 shots

Flip Lcd [?]:
flip & selfie

Touch Screen [?]:

Viewfinder [?]:

Freeze / Water / Shock - Proof [?]:

Dimensions (w-h-d) [?]:
112.1 x 76.2 x 48.3 mm

Macro Distance [?]:
1 cm

Built-in Wireless [?]:

Built-in GPS [?]:

Direct Video Button [?]:

Panorama [?]:

Rank: [?]

Initial Price:
$499 (change: $50, 10%)

Last Price Change:
$50 (13%) (Dec 29th)

Last Lowest Price:

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Canon PowerShot G12 - Full Review

Last Lowest Price: $449
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Fully armored, packed with five control dials and hard to beat (by other compacts) image quality and ergonomics, this is probably as good as it gets.
Canon PowerShot G12 (photos: Canon)
Important Note: the G12 was replaced by the Canon PowerShot G15 (compare ).

The G12's Price Watch:

It's the new king of the castle. It has all the features the future-to-be-famous G11 had, and a few more.
Like its predecessor, it's heavy and bulky compared to a compact, but that's a small price to pay (other than its actual cost) for the feeling you're holding a mini DSLR in your hands.

On top of everything the rich G11 had, the G12 adds HD video (was there any other way?), a new front control dial and my favorite - multiple aspect ratios, producing 16:9, 4:5, 4:3, 3:2 and 1:1 photos.
With the new HS system, the G12 improves the already great low light capabilities of it predecessor, and shares the same flip lcd screen, RAW format support and x5 zoom lens.


The bottom line is that the G12 is the best compact camera there is. It is true that there are a few cameras with better performance under low light conditions, but as a whole, it provides a premium package unrivaled by any other compact camera.
Starting with its larger imaging sensor (compared to other compacts), its decent maximum aperture setting and Canon's Hybrid IS system, it is capable of retaining good image quality when lights are dim.

It has both a high resolution flip lcd screen and an optical viewfinder - now a true rarity in the world of point and shoots. It also has five dedicated control rings and dials, so that all common functions are highly accessible.
Another important addition is an external flash hot-shoe, enabling further lighting flexibility when available light is insufficient.

The G12 as a long list of features, including all that Canon has to offer, like (breathe in) HD video with stereo sound, tracking auto focus, fish-eye and miniature effects, time lapse mode, electronic level, multiple aspect ratios, built in ND filter, 1cm macro and a few more (breathe out).


The trade-off for the larger imaging sensor is a rather short x5 zoom. Even though it could be practical enough for most uses, it feels lacking in the world of x30 and x35 super zooms.
Another annoyance is the inability to use the optical zoom during video shooting. Such an overlook in a premium camera is nothing less than catastrophic.

The Competition

After stating that the G12 is unrivaled, lets meet its companions in the high end territory of compact cameras.
The camera which resembles the G12 the most is Nikon's P7000 (compare ). It looks pretty much the same, but does have some key differences.
In its favor, the P7000 has a larger zoom than the G12, and shares many of its characteristics. However, the P7000 falls short when it comes to handling and ergonomics. It is nothing like the smooth operator that the G12 is.

In house competition is introduced in the shape of the truly excellent PowerShot S95 (compare ). It's much smaller than the G12, crucially fitting in your pocket, and has a wider maximum aperture which makes it an even better low light performer.
The photographing experience it provides is very different than that of the G12. It's more of a friendly camera than the G12 is, giving you the feeling that it's ok to use it on full auto mode if you feel like it.

Another opponent is the Panasonic Lumix DMC LX5 (compare ), providing the same short zoom of the S95, but with a wider 24mm lens. It also shares (or even beats) the S95's low light capabilities, and though it pocketability is in question, it is much smaller and lighter than the G12.

Who is it not for?

If what you want is a small, unobtrusive camera that slips from your pocket to your hand and back, the G12 is not the one for you.
If you prefer a simple, automatic or inexpensive camera, used just to point and shoot, then you should probably keep looking.

Who is it for?

If you are looking for the best compact camera available, and you don't mind its bulky size, this could really by the camera for you.
If you seek excellent image quality and superb handling and ergonomics, the G12 is unbeaten by any other compact camera.

Last Lowest Price: $449
B&H | Amazon | Adorama

High ISO Performance:

See how the G12 performs in various ISO sensitivities:

Scroll your mouse over the thumbnails to view the images, then click on the images for full size versions.

High ISO Performance - 100% crops:

Here are full size crops of the images above:

Scroll your mouse over the thumbnails to view the images, then click on the images for full size versions.

In Your Hand:

Sample Images (hand held, out of camera, with no post processing):

1/8 sec, f/2.8, 28mm, ISO 1600

1/20 sec, f/2.8, 28mm, ISO 400

1/800 sec, f/4, 28mm, ISO 80

1/320 sec, f/4.5, 140mm, ISO 80

1/640 sec, f/4.5, 140mm, ISO 80

1/800 sec, f/4.5, 115mm, ISO 80

1/60 sec, f/4, 28mm, ISO 80

1/1250 sec, f/6.3, 28mm, ISO 80


Automatically compared to similar cameras, based on specifications:

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Canon PowerShot G12 Eyal Gurevitch June 26, 2012 $449 48 100

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