Hands On Revew: Canon G12

About two months ago, I got to have personal hands-on fondling time with the Canon G12. Last year, the G11 seemed to be a big winner for them and so Canon has only minimally changed their winning philosophy but has added features that people were asking for before. That said, it is still mostly the same camera. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to put a card into the camera as it was mostly still a very rough prototype. While you’re at it, you may want to see my comparison of the LX-5 vs the S95.

The camera is available at Amazonand B&H.

Tech Specs

– 10 MP CCD sensor

– DIGIC 4 processor

– RAW image recording

– 720p HD video 24p

– A front dial now right by the shutter button

– 28 -140mm zoom range (f/2.8 – f/4.5)

– 2.8″ articulating LCD screen with 461,000 dots

– Front Dial – controls camera settings

– AF Frame – Tracking AF

– ISO speed added 125/160/250/320/500/640/1000/1250/2000/2500/3200

– Continuous shooting in Approx 2.0 shots vs Approx. 1.1 shots

– Compatibility with SDXC


The camera, like its predecessor, is ergonomically speaking, very functional. The camera may be a bit bulky but once you actually use it for a prolonged period of time, you’ll learn to love it.

New to the camera that really stood out for me is the front dial by the shutter button. This made it feel a lot more like my 5D Mark IIand 7Dand therefore it was all very familiar. This was one of the features that I didn’t particularly expect to get but that is welcome nonetheless. This makes manipulation of shutter speed and aperture much easier as users now will not need to press a button to change one or the other.

The G12 still has essentially the same ergonomics with the dials on top and the rear. The camera will once again be best held with the strap wrapped around your wrist. I actually wish that the screen were higher resolution. Additionally, I wish that the viewfinder were useful for something else besides just framing. If anything, a nice EVF would be an awesome implementation at this point in the lineup.

Image Quality

Unfortunately, we couldn’t put a card in. However, we can perhaps assume that it is on par with the G11 or a bit better. Take a look at our full review (linked above) for results.


The autofocus seems to have improved tremendously. That’s a big statement as the G11’s focusing was already quite impressive. However, the new camera has focusing abilities essentially on par with the Panasonic GF-1. When holding it, I remember thinking to myself how much Canon has improved their AF system and that since the technology here has essentially peaked, I can only think to myself that a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera of some sort must be coming from Canon next year.

And if said camera does come out, I’d hope that they don’t screw up the AF.

Vs the P7000

I’ve actually held and played with the P7000 a bit. The P7000looks a lot like the G12 actually, and I thought this when in my meeting with Nikon. The mean reason why I’d purchase the P7000 over the G12 is wireless flash control. However, this would require me to purchase Nikon’s speedlights.

Vs the LX-5

The LX-5has a hot shoe can use an electronic viewfinder, which is really the only main advantage I see over the G12 besides the faster lens and slightly larger sensor. Additionally, it is smaller than the G11.

All that, and a Leica lens on the LX-5. The lens is actually the fastest in the class of cameras.

Vs the S95

I’ve had hands-on time with this camera already. As it was last year, the S95is a sexier, sleeker and smaller version of the G12 that gets rid of more professional features like the hot shoe. Because of this, the S95 could very well be a much better street photography camera.

To see more comparisons, check out BHInsights.com.

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Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.