Canon G12 (12.4 oz./351g stripped). enlarge.This free website's biggest source of support is when you use these links, especially these directly to it at Adorama or at Amazon, when you get anything. Thank you! Ken.
October 2010 More Canon Reviews
June 2012: Canon G12 for only $369.99, with free shipping! (was $500, deal may sell out fast).
New March 2012: The Canon G1 X is far better than this old G12.
Excellent for: Landscape, nature and travel photos.
The Canon G12 is 2010's update to Canon's G series. The very big news is a tiny little front control dial.
Canon's G series has a cult following, but I'm not a member. I prefer the smaller and lighter Canon S95, which is the same thing as the G12, in a more compact package with a better lens and a bigger LCD for $100 less. The S95 has exactly the same sensor, photo, audio and video features and performance — with a better lens and LCD — for less money and with less than half the weight. People who love the G series love it, and they still buy them. God bless the free market system!
The G12 is, as is the S95, a fantastic camera for photographing anything that doesn't move. For landscape and nature photography, it replaces bulky DSLRs and extra lenses.
The G12 also offers the new trick HDR mode copied from the S95. Select it among the SCN modes, and it just shoots, processes, and spits out your completed image.
Canon G12. enlarge.
Top, Canon G12. enlarge.
Fantasy scene with Canon G12. enlarge.
6.1 ~ 30.5mm f/2.8-4.5.
On the G12's tiny 1/1.7" sensor, this lens sees angles of view roughly similar to what a 28-135mm lens would see on a 35mm film or full-frame digital camera.
Canon's spec says "28-140mm," but I've never seen a 140mm lens; in photography we call that a 135mm lens.
Canon claims a newer IS system, as has the S95. No big deal, all the Canon IS systems work wonders.
Zoom peephole with dioptometric adjustment.
1/4,000 - 15 seconds.
Program and Av modes only go to 1 second, you have to go to Manual mode to hit 15 seconds.
There is no Bulb or Time mode for longer exposures; 15 seconds is it.
3,648 x 2,736 pixels native.
3,648 x 2,048 (cropped)
2,816 x 2112 (M1)
2,272 x 1,704 (M2)
1,600 x 1,200 (M3)
640 x 480 (S)
1,824 x 1,368 in stupid-high ISO mode (Amnesty International candle icon).
as well as various other crops as copied from the S95 for 16:9, 3:2, 4:5 and 1:1 in three sizes, each, again as copied from the S95.
AUTO, 80 ~ 3,200.
If you select the stupid-high ISO mode (Amnesty International candle icon), the G12 reduces its image size to 1,824 x 1,368.
JPG, CR2 (raw) and MOV movies.
1,280 x 720 @ 23.976 FPS.
640 x 480 or 320 x 240 @ 29.97 FPS.
Color YRGB Histograms
YES, on playback only.
Just press the top of the rear dial when you're seeing the monochrome histogram, and bingo!, a color histogram replaces the data display!
The hint is an [ ^ ] icon next to a histogram icon on the top left of the data screen.
SD, SDHC or SDXC cards.
MultiMediaCard, MMCplus and HC MMCplus cards also fit.
Fat NB-7L battery, 7.4V, 1,050 mAh lithium-ion, same as G11 and G10.
Measures 1.782 x 1.272 x 0.6915" (45.28 x 32.30 x 17.57mm).
CB-2LZ folding plug charger included, same as G11 and G10.
Optional AC Adapter Kit ACK-DC50.
Canon specifies 4.41 x 3.00 x 1.90 inches (112.1 x 76.2 x 48.3 mm).
Canon specified 4.41 x 3.00 x 1.90 inches (112.1 x 76.2 x 48.3 mm) for the G11.
Canon specified 4.30 x 3.10 x 1.80 inches (109.0 x 78.0 x 46.0 mm) for the G10.
12.4 oz. (351g) stripped naked, specified.
(The G11 was specified at 12.5 oz. (355g), stripped naked.)
0 ~ 40° C (32 ~ 104º C).
10 ~ 90% RH.
Comes with all you see here, and a box, too! enlarge.
Lithium Battery Pack NB-7L.
Battery Charger CB-2LZ.
Neck Strap NS-DC9.
AV Cable AVC-DC400ST.
USB Interface Cable IFC-400PCU.
Digital Camera Solution CD-ROM.
What's missing? THE INSTRUCTIONS! Canon decided not to print a manual for each camera, since so few people read them, and instead include a PDF on the CD.
14 September 2010 .
Promised for Fall Color Season: early October 2010.
$500, September 2010, USA.
We'll see as soon as I can borrow one.
My Canon G11 Performance page ought to cover it all until I get a shipping, genuine production sample to confirm.
Usage back to top
Except for the new front dial, which is a big deal, the G12 should work just like the G11. See my Canon G11 User's Guide for now.
Top, Canon G12. enlarge.
Top, Canon G9. Note lack of exposure compensation knob.
The Canon G9, G10, G11 and G12 are very similar.
The G10 was a G9 with a dedicated compensation dial, a different, wider lens and very slightly different LCD.
The G11 is the G10 with a lower-resolution sensor that gives superior results, a smaller swiveling LCD, and white-balance trims.
The S90 is the G11 in a much smaller package with a faster lens for better results in low light, a bigger LCD, and a lens control ring for setting just about anything, especially compensation and making white balance fine-tuning adjustments.
I've shot the S90 and G11 alongside each other. They each handle as fast as each other, and the image quality is indistinguishable — except in low-light, where the faster lens of the S90 lets it shoot in the same light at the same shutter speed at half the ISO for cleaner images. What the G11 needs ISO 1,600 to shoot at f/2.8, the S90 can do at only ISO 800 at f/2.
The dedicated exposure compensation knob of the G12 and G11 always responds immediately, while one often has to wait a second for the lens control ring to wake back up in the S90 and S95. Then again, the G11 has no easy way to tweak white balance trims without resorting to menus, while you can do this with the control ring of the S90 and S95 as you shoot. I prefer the S95.
Both the G11, G12, S90 and S95 have programmable [ S ] function buttons, except that it's on the wrong side of the G11 and G12, requiring a second hand to operate.
The S90 has a flat shutter button easy to confuse with its mode dial, while the bigger top controls of the G11, G12 and S95 make this obvious in the dark.
The tops of the G11 and G12 light up several meaningless LEDs like a Christmas tree for no reason, while the S90 and S95 tops stay dark to preserve your cover and power.
All these cameras shoot Canon's CR2 raw format.
The S90 and S95 are unique in using a specially-designed f/2 ultra-speed lens, and then correcting this lens' extra distortion in-camera when the S90 and S95 make JPGs. Opening the S90's or S95's CR2 files in most software, like Adobe's, will have a load of barrel distortion at the wider settings which will require additional correction if your raw software doesn't do this automatically. The G11 and G12 lenses have little enough distortion that you won't need to worry about this.
Recommendations back to top
Everyone who owns a G-series Canon loves it. If I was G shooter, I'd have a G12 on order right now because the new little front dial is a very big deal.
I prefer the Canon S95, which I already bought and own and does the same thing, or better, for half the size and weight, and a lower price, but that's just me. The G12 is a fantastic camera, and you people know who you are.
I wouldn't use a G12 for people, sports or action, I'd use any real SLR for that, like the Nikon D3100 or Canon Digital Rebel XS. If you're going to carry it around your neck, the Nikon D3100 feels like it weighs about the same, but it performs much better.
Don't let Canon's PR fool you. Even though Canon G12, G11, S90 and S95 images look great, and are al I usually carry with me when shooting digitally, the images from any real SLR, due to their much larger sensors, will always be much sharper and cleaner, even at low ISOs, when compared carefully to images made from the tiny sensors of these compact cameras.
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