The Canon G11 has served me well as a compact carry around camera. I know this camera well and was excited to think about the Canon G12. As expected, Canon has updated this camera and released the new version as the G12. This is my first impression.
The G12 is very similar to the G11 with the addition of a front control dial, a new IS, SDXC compatibility and 720 HD video. The G12 also has built in HDR, Eye-Fi support and it works with all Canon Speedlites.
The G12 is so very similar to the G11 that my initial thoughts are it is simply the same camera with some bells and whistles thrown in for good measure. Should you upgrade your G11 to a G12? It all depends on how important in-camera HDR or 720P video might be for you. If those sorts of features don’t flip your switch, then wait for the G13. If you’re buying a new compact camera and starting from scratch, the G12 is certainly worthy of your consideration. It has an articulating LCD, something it’s competition does not. It has very good low-light performance, but like all compacts, is somewhat limited in its ability to shoot low light due to the small sensor size.
The 5x 28mm zoom is the same as on the G11 and this is a place where Canon could have stretched to reach the competition. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5, is wider and the Nikon Coolpix P7000 is longer. The Canon is stuck in the middle.
Image quality remains superb. But again, it’s as if Canon took the easy way out. The Canon PowerShot G12 features the same Digic 4 processing as last year. What about a new processor or double processors?
Canon did add 720P to the video side this year. You have very little control over the video. The only manual controls in video are White Balance, Manual Focus, and Exposure Compensation. You can’t zoom or autofocus while shooting video. The Nikon P7000 has better video creative control. But this camera’s not billed as a video camera, so any shortcomings can be forgiven.
The G12 is about the same size and weight of the Nikon P7000 but larger and heavier than the Panasonic LX5. For shooters concerned about such things take note. You’ll either like heft and weight of the G12 or you won’t. It’s all personal preference.
I’ve loved shooting with my G11 but frankly, would not upgrade to the G12. It’s just not different enough for me personally to care. I’m a fan of every camera mentioned in this review, including the G12. Only a few points separate the best from the worst. The differences are almost indistinguishable. Choose the G12 if an articulating LCD is your most important feature. Otherwise, the Nikon and the Panasonic are worth a look as well.
If you want to compare, I’ve written about the Nikon P7000 here https://photofocus.com/2010/10/11/nikon-p7000-mini-review-conclusions/ and here https://photofocus.com/2010/10/02/nikon-coolpix-p7000-first-impressions/
I’ve written about the LX5 here. https://photofocus.com/2010/10/09/panasonic-lumix-lx5-mini-review/
Canon did a good job with the G12 but could have upped their game and made the upgrade more worthwhile. Recommended.
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