Canon G12 vs Sony S980

Canon PowerShot G12 front
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-S980 front

Canon G12 vs Sony S980 Key Specs

Canon G12
(Full Review)
  • 10MP - 1/1.7" Sensor
  • 2.8" Fully Articulated Screen
  • ISO 80 - 3200
  • Optical Image Stabilization
  • 1280 x 720 video
  • 28-140mm (F2.8-4.5) lens
  • 401g - 112 x 76 x 48mm
  • Revealed January 2011
  • Old Model is Canon G11
  • Later Model is Canon G15
Sony S980
(Full Review)
  • 12MP - 1/2.3" Sensor
  • 2.7" Fixed Screen
  • ISO 80 - 3200
  • 1280 x 720 video
  • 33-132mm (F3.3-5.2) lens
  • 167g - 93 x 56 x 24mm
  • Released February 2009
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Canon G12 vs Sony S980 Overview

Following is a extensive review of the Canon G12 versus Sony S980, both Small Sensor Compact cameras by competitors Canon and Sony. The sensor resolution of the G12 (10MP) and the S980 (12MP) is relatively close but the G12 (1/1.7") and S980 (1/2.3") use different sensor dimensions.

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The G12 was released 24 months after the S980 which makes the cameras a generation away from each other. Both of the cameras come with the identical body type (Compact).

Before going straight into a thorough comparison, below is a brief introduction of how the G12 scores vs the S980 when it comes to portability, imaging, features and an overall score.

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Reasons to pick Canon G12 over the Sony S980

 G12 S980 
ReleasedJanuary 2011February 2009More modern by 24 months
Screen typeFully ArticulatedFixed Fully Articulating screen
Screen dimension2.8"2.7"Bigger screen (+0.1")
Screen resolution461k230kCrisper screen (+231k dot)
Selfie screen Easy selfies

Reasons to pick Sony S980 over the Canon G12

 S980 G12 

Common features in the Canon G12 and Sony S980

 G12 S980 
Focus manually Very precise focusing
Touch screen Neither features Touch screen

Canon G12 vs Sony S980 Physical Comparison

For anybody who is looking to carry around your camera frequently, you will need to take into account its weight and proportions. The Canon G12 enjoys physical measurements of 112mm x 76mm x 48mm (4.4" x 3.0" x 1.9") with a weight of 401 grams (0.88 lbs) whilst the Sony S980 has measurements of 93mm x 56mm x 24mm (3.7" x 2.2" x 0.9") accompanied by a weight of 167 grams (0.37 lbs).

Check the Canon G12 versus Sony S980 in our completely new Camera plus Lens Size Comparison Tool. Camera Size Comparison with Lenses

Don't forget, the weight of an ILC will vary depending on the lens you are using at that moment. Underneath is the front view sizing comparison of the G12 versus the S980.

Canon G12 vs Sony S980 size comparison

Using size and weight, the portability grade of the G12 and S980 is 83 and 94 respectively.

Canon G12 vs Sony S980 top view buttons comparison

Canon G12 vs Sony S980 Sensor Comparison

Usually, it is tough to picture the contrast in sensor sizes merely by looking through technical specs. The pic below will provide you a much better sense of the sensor measurements in the G12 and S980.

As you have seen, both of these cameras have got different resolutions and different sensor sizes. The G12 featuring a bigger sensor is going to make achieving shallower DOF easier and the Sony S980 will render more detail as a result of its extra 2 Megapixels. Higher resolution will help you crop photographs much more aggressively. The more modern G12 should have an edge with regard to sensor tech.

Canon G12 vs Sony S980 sensor size comparison

Canon G12 vs Sony S980 Screen and ViewFinder

Canon G12 vs Sony S980 Screen and Viewfinder comparison
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Photography Type Scores

Portrait Comparison

Canon G12 Portrait photography information
Sony S980 Portrait photography information
you can focus manually
above average flash sync (1/2,000s)
comes with face detect autofocus
exports RAW files
low MP (10 megapixels)
sensor is small (1/1.7")
you can focus manually
manual exposure not available
cannot use external flash
low MP (12MP)
sensor is tiny (1/2.3")
lacks RAW format
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Street Comparison

Canon G12 as a Street photography camera
Sony S980 as a Street photography camera
screen can move to multiple angles
image stabilization (Optical)
exports RAW files
sensor is small (1/1.7")
more heavy than competitors (401 grams)
no articulating screen
does not have image stabilization
sensor is tiny (1/2.3")
lacks RAW format
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Sports Comparison

Canon G12 Sports photography features
Sony S980 Sports photography features
image stabilization (Optical)
great battery power (370 per charge)
continuous shooting slow (1.0 frames per second)
low MP (10MP)
sensor is small (1/1.7")
doesn't have phase detect autofocus
max frames per second low (1.0 fps)
no shutter priority mode
does not have image stabilization
low MP (12 megapixels)
sensor is tiny (1/2.3")
lacks phase detect autofocus
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Travel Comparison

Travel photography with Canon G12
Travel photography with Sony S980
great battery power (370 shots)
has built in flash
selfie friendly display
reasonably wide (28mm)
no Timelapse mode
more heavy than competitors (401g)
low MP (10 megapixels)
sluggish maximum aperture (f2.8)
has built in flash
no Time Lapse function
low MP (12 megapixels)
doesn't have a selfie friendly screen
wide angle not good (33mm)
slow max aperture (f3.3)
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Landscape Comparison

Canon G12 Landscape photography highlights
Sony S980 Landscape photography highlights
you can focus manually
reasonably wide (28mm)
pretty good screen size (2.8 inch)
image stabilization (Optical)
exports RAW files
great battery power (370 shots)
lens is fixed (fixed lens mount)
sluggish maximum aperture (f2.8)
low MP (10MP)
sensor is small (1/1.7")
no Timelapse mode
you can focus manually
fixed lens (fixed lens mount)
wide angle not good (33mm)
slow max aperture (f3.3)
tiny screen (2.7 inch)
manual exposure not available
does not have image stabilization
low MP (12 megapixels)
sensor is tiny (1/2.3")
lacks RAW format
no Time Lapse function
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Vlogging Comparison

Canon G12 Vlogging highlights
Sony S980 Vlogging highlights
reasonably wide (28mm)
selfie friendly display
image stabilization (Optical)
comes with face detect autofocus
sluggish maximum aperture (f2.8)
low res video (1280 x 720 pxls)
no microphone support
more heavy than competitors (401g)
wide angle not good (33mm)
slow max aperture (f3.3)
doesn't have a selfie friendly screen
does not have image stabilization
low res video (1280 x 720 pixels)
no external mic support
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Canon G12 vs Sony S980 Specifications

Detailed spec comparison table for Canon G12 and Sony S980
 Canon PowerShot G12Sony Cyber-shot DSC-S980
General Information
Company Canon Sony
Model Canon PowerShot G12 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-S980
Category Small Sensor Compact Small Sensor Compact
Revealed 2011-01-19 2009-02-17
Physical type Compact Compact
Sensor Information
Powered by Digic 4 -
Sensor type CCD CCD
Sensor size 1/1.7" 1/2.3"
Sensor dimensions 7.44 x 5.58mm 6.17 x 4.55mm
Sensor surface area 41.5mm² 28.1mm²
Sensor resolution 10 megapixel 12 megapixel
Anti aliasing filter
Aspect ratio 1:1, 5:4, 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9
Full resolution 3648 x 2736 4000 x 3000
Max native ISO 3200 3200
Minimum native ISO 80 80
RAW photos
Focus manually
Autofocus touch
Continuous autofocus
Single autofocus
Autofocus tracking
Selective autofocus
Autofocus center weighted
Autofocus multi area
Autofocus live view
Face detection focus
Contract detection focus
Phase detection focus
Number of focus points 9 9
Lens mounting type fixed lens fixed lens
Lens focal range 28-140mm (5.0x) 33-132mm (4.0x)
Largest aperture f/2.8-4.5 f/3.3-5.2
Macro focus distance 1cm 10cm
Crop factor 4.8 5.8
Type of screen Fully Articulated Fixed Type
Screen size 2.8" 2.7"
Resolution of screen 461k dots 230k dots
Selfie friendly
Touch screen
Viewfinder Information
Viewfinder type Optical (tunnel) None
Lowest shutter speed 15 secs 2 secs
Highest shutter speed 1/4000 secs 1/1600 secs
Continuous shooting rate 1.0 frames per sec 1.0 frames per sec
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Manual mode
Exposure compensation Yes -
Set white balance
Image stabilization
Inbuilt flash
Flash range 7.00 m 3.50 m
Flash settings Auto, On, Off, Red-Eye, Slow Sync, Second Curtain Auto, On, Off, Red-Eye reduction, Slow Sync
Hot shoe
AE bracketing
WB bracketing
Highest flash synchronize 1/2000 secs -
Multisegment exposure
Average exposure
Spot exposure
Partial exposure
AF area exposure
Center weighted exposure
Video features
Video resolutions 1280 x 720 (24 fps) 640 x 480 (30 fps), 320 x 240 (30 fps) 1280 x 720 (30 fps) 640 x 480 (30 fps)
Max video resolution 1280x720 1280x720
Video file format H.264 Motion JPEG
Mic support
Headphone support
Wireless Eye-Fi Connected None
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec) USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
GPS None None
Environment sealing
Water proof
Dust proof
Shock proof
Crush proof
Freeze proof
Weight 401 grams (0.88 pounds) 167 grams (0.37 pounds)
Dimensions 112 x 76 x 48mm (4.4" x 3.0" x 1.9") 93 x 56 x 24mm (3.7" x 2.2" x 0.9")
DXO scores
DXO All around score 47 not tested
DXO Color Depth score 20.4 not tested
DXO Dynamic range score 11.2 not tested
DXO Low light score 161 not tested
Battery life 370 photos -
Battery style Battery Pack -
Battery model NB-7L -
Self timer Yes (2 or 10 sec, Custom) Yes (2 or 10 sec)
Time lapse shooting
Type of storage SD/SDHC/SDXC/MMC/MMCplus/HC MMCplus Memory Stick Duo / Pro Duo, Internal
Card slots 1 1
Cost at launch $600 $300