Canon has added HD video to its latest G series addition, the Canon G12, but is this new feature enough to merit an upgrade from the previous generation, and is it enough to keep the G series at the top of the advanced compact tree? The Canon PowerShot G12 review finds out...
Canon’s PowerShot G series has been a favourite for the photographer looking for the advance control of a DSLR in a smaller and more portable body. The range has gone through several generations and stages of evolution, with the Canon PowerShot G12 being the latest in that cycle. The model adds on the previous model, the G11, but introducing a range more shooting modes and an all-new HD movie mode. Are these additions enough to merit the upgrade? Let’s take a look…
Canon PowerShot G12 review – Features
While the development of the previous model, the G11, saw a bevy of innovation in comparison to its predecessor, the G10, with the latest model it’s very much a case of tweaking rather than wholesale changes. On the face of it this is no real issue as the G11 was a fine camera, though it does beg the question of whether the model is worthy of the upgrade.
With regards to the nuts and bolts of the Canon G12, much remains the same. The 1/1.7in CCD sensor outputs a resolution of 10MP, and is exactly the same as on its predecessor. The sensor is paired with Canon’s DIGIC 4 processor, complete with iSAPS technology, which was again seen on the previous entry in the G series. The first adjustment on its predecessor comes, as has been the case with several other advanced compacts in the market, in the area of low light performance. Firstly the Canon G12’s ISO range, whilst covering the same 80-3200 range, now does so in 17 increments instead of 7 and as such offers more fine-tuning of ISO selection. The combination of the high-sensitivity sensor, modified ISO range and DIGIC 4 processor now all falls under the moniker of an ‘HS System’ that Canon promises will provide better results in low-light conditions.
Optically, the Canon PowerShot G12 is also identical to its predecessor. The compact features a 5x optical zoom, covering a range of 28-140mm in conventional 35mm terms with maximum apertures of f/2.8 – 4.5 as well as Hybrid IS.
Again, as with competing models in the advanced compact market, the Canon PowerShot G12 now features HD movie capture. The compact offers HD movie capture at full 1280 x 720 resolution and at a frame rate of 24fps, while also capturing stereo sound (though there’s no capacity for attaching an external microphone). Another benefit for those capturing HD movies is the HDMI out on the Canon PowerShot G12, allowing easy output to your HD TV.
Although previously Canon has chosen to adapt the LCD screen from model to model in the G series (see the change from static to vari-angle between the G10 and G11 models), it’s a case of more of the same with the G12. The compact features a 2.8in vari-angle PureColour II TFT screen with a resolution of 461k-dot. Also this resolution is more than adequate, it’s still less than some of its competitors.