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Canon Powershot G12 Review

Updated on May 20, 2011

PowerShot G12 Digital Camera

Canon G12 10MP Digital Camera with 5x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 2.8 inch Vari-Angle LCD

The new Canon Powershot G12 is the latest in Canon’s excellent G-series of cameras and replaces last years critically acclaimed Powershot G11 as the company’s flagship model in their popular PowerShot line of compact cameras.

This “Prosumer" or "Bridge" digital camera is loaded with some of the same effective technologies and features that have made the G11 so popular.  Canon built the G12 around the successes of the G11 and added some welcome refinements.

Physically, the Canon G12 is nearly identical to the G11 with a few ergonomics improvements. The Canon G12's grip is the same as the G11's. A small thumb grip has been added to the back panel. The speaker grill has been redesigned, and a new front-control dial.  

The Best Features of the Canon G11 in the Canon G12

Instead of chasing ever higher mega-pixels, Canon retains the same excellent 10.0 mega-pixel CCD sensor used in the G11. The sensor is paired with Canon’s DIGIC 4 Image Processor that is now branded as Canon’s HS System. The combination results in a camera that produces brilliant, sharp images even at the higher ISO settings without the use of on board flash.

The Canon PowerShot G12 also retains the same quality Canon lens offering a 5x Optical Zoom lens with a 35mm-equivalent focal lengths of 28mm wide-angle to a 140mm telephoto, with Optical Image Stabilizer Technology (IS). The IS function allows for handheld shots to be taken at much slower shutter speeds or shooting with longer focal lengths and in lower light conditions without having to use a tripod or monopod to reduce the chance of blurry pictures due to camera shake.

And like the PowerShot G11, the G12 has an articulated 2.8-inch Vari-angle PureColor II LCD display screen, with 461,000 dot resolution, and provides 100% coverage. The displaycan swing through 177 degrees and rotate along its long axis through 270 degrees. The monitor has 5 brightness adjustments. The ability to swivel the LCD display can be helpful in bright outdoor light, where the monitor can sometimes be difficult to see for image composition, and also allows for greater control over the creativity of your shots.

The G12 also has the optical view finder that was on the G11 that offers about 77% coverage at wide-angle, and about 79% coverage at telephoto and is useful when the LCD is too difficult to see for image composition or to conserve battery life.

Other G-12 features that are carryovers from the G-11 include automatic and full manual controls along with the traditional G-series cameras’ ability to shoot and save still image in RAW or JPEG formats. A high-definition HDMI video output connector that is Consumer Electronics Control (HDMI-CEC) compatibility.

Enhanced Features to the Canon G12

There are numerous improvements and features to be noticed on the Canon G12 digital camera. The two most important enhancements to the Canon G12 over the G11 are the video function and higher ISO settings. The G12 now has 720p HD video recording with stereo sound, compared to the G11’s 640 x 480 VGA video and mono audio. ISO has been increase up to 12,800 with 1/3EV intervals.

There are also several additional scene modes, including a HDR (high dynamic range) function, which works by combining three different shots of the same scene to bring out more detail and better lighting.

Other new features to the G12 include an electronic level, smile detection, more aspect ratios, a front control dial and SDXC memory card compatibility, and a revamped image stabilization system called the New Hybrid IS system that corrects for both lateral and angular shifts for better image quality at higher ISOs. ISO has been increase up to around 3200 with stops in one-third increments.

Canon PowerShot G12

What Canon G12 Owners Say About Their Camera

Most G12 owners where happy with their camera and liked the camera’s image quality, built quality, HD video and articulated LCD. Many owners up grades to the G12 from older G-series cameras and appreciate the manual controls and the ergonomics of other controls provided by the G12.

A few owners, while agreeing that the G12 produces excellent image quality, were not happy with the camera’s inability to zoom during video recording, the slow lens, “gimmicky” features, size and weight, and a lack of a printed user manual. Some owners were disappointed that the feature upgrades were not more drastic over the G11 model.


  • Image quality
  • Articulated LCD
  • Quality build
  • Good grip
  • Optical viewfinder
  • Good ergonomics
  • Manual controls
  • 720p HD movies with stereo sound
  • RAW format
  • Optical viewfinder


  • Slow Lens
  • Bulky and heavy
  • Limited optical viewfinder coverage
  • No optical zoom during video recording
  • Expensive


The G12 is a remarkable point and shoot camera.  It combines some of the best point and shoot camera image quality with plenty of preset shooting modes for the enthusiast and offers full manual control to satisfy the more demanding experienced used.

The Canon Powershot G12 may not be the smallest camera on the market. There are even cameras that offer greater zoom ranges in smaller, less expensive packages. However, there is no other camera to match the G12's balance between size, user control and image quality.

Canon PowerShot G12 Review Video

The Canon G12 is Available at Amazon

Canon G12 10 MP Digital Camera with 5x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 2.8 Inch Vari-Angle LCD
Canon G12 10 MP Digital Camera with 5x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 2.8 Inch Vari-Angle LCD

From the Manufacturer

Feast your eyes on an updated G Series digital camera: The G12. It's ready to impress the advanced amateurs who have always celebrated the G Series. The G12 is still loaded with powerful technologies that has made the G Series cameras so renowned, like the Canon HS SYSTEM, 2.8-inch Vari-angle PureColor System LCD, and RAW + JPEG image modes. Now, this flagship camera paves the way with these new upgrades like 720p HD Video with stereo sound...more


Canon G12 Optional Accessories

The PowerShot G12 can be used with a wide range of Canon accessories, such as the Speedlite 270EX, 430EX II and 580EX II; Macro Twin Lite MT-24EX and Macro Ring Lite MR-14EX flashes for enhanced shooting options; the Speedlite Bracket BKT-DC1; Speedlite Transmitter ST-E2 and Remote Switch RS-60E3. A Tele-Converter lens designed for the G12, Filter Adapter FA-DC58B and WP-DC34 Waterproof underwater housing is also available.

Canon Speedlite 270EX Flash for Canon Digital SLR Cameras
Canon Speedlite 270EX Flash for Canon Digital SLR Cameras

From the Manufacturer

Perfect for expanding your creative options on compact cameras and entry level EOS DSLRs, Canon’s new Speedlite 270EX adds power and flexibility for enhanced flash photography anywhere. Light, compact and small enough to fit in your pocket, the Speedlite 270EX features 2-step coverage for 28mm and 50mm focal lengths, plus a highly useful bounce-flash function for amazingly easy, polished results. Powered by 2 AA batteries, Speedlite 270EX...more



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