Canon G12

Canon PowerShot G12 front
  • 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
  • Released January 2011
  • Succeeded the Canon G11
  • Renewed by Canon G15
  • Read full specs
  • Alternatives
  • Size Comparison
  • FAQ

Canon G12 summary

Canon G12 is Canon's Small Sensor Compact digital camera initially announced on January of 2011. It uses a 10 MegaPixel, CCD 1/1.7" sized sensor and has a max resolution of 3648 x 2736.

Canon launched this model in an effort to update the previous Canon G11 (Read Full Comparison) & then introduced the fresher Canon G15 (Read Full Comparison) in order to replace this camera.

The G12 ranks at #30 out of 261 in Small Sensor Compact cameras & over all #674 out of 1465 for digital cameras in our database. You should try our Smart camera finder to find camera listings based on your custom criteria.

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Below is a chart of specific factors used in the rating system.

Canon G12 history

The Canon G12 has a history of related digital cameras. Underneath, you can check out all older and latest models as well as important specifications.

ModelVisualizeLensResolutionSensor SizeReleased
Canon-PowerShot-G16 front thumbnailCanon G16
G12 vs G16
Canon-PowerShot-G15 front thumbnailCanon G15
G12 vs G15
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Canon-PowerShot-G12 front thumbnailCanon G1228-140mm
Canon-PowerShot-G11 front thumbnailCanon G11
G12 vs G11

Canon G12 Pros and Cons

Below is a list of advantages and drawbacks of the Canon G12 based on aspects that are normally considered crucial in a digital camera.

display is selfie friendly
does have HDMI out
features face detection autofocus
flash built-in
flash sync speed is above average (1/2,000s)
fully articulated screen
great battery pack (370 shots)
great minimum ISO (80)
has image stabilization (Optical)
in built zoom lens (28-140mm 5.0 x zoom)
nice screen size (2.8 inches)
pretty wide (28mm)
supports RAW formats
you can focus manually
can't swap lenses (fixed lens mount)
low quality video (1280 x 720 pixels)
max zoom aperture not good (f4.5)
missing external microphone support
missing headphone support
missing Timelapse mode
more heavy than competition in class (401 grams)
no phase detect autofocus
screen has low resolution (461 k dots)
sensor is small (1/1.7")
sensor resolution low (10 megapixels)
somewhat slow maximum aperture (f2.8)
very slow continuous shooting (1.0 frames/s)
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Canon G12 Sensor specifications

The Canon G12 is powered by the Digic 4 processor chip. The measurement of the sensor in the Canon G12 is 7.44mm x 5.58mm (1/1.7"). The 42 mm² sensor has the ability to capture 3648 x 2736 pixels at aspect ratios of 1:1, 5:4, 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9. The camera features Image Stabilization (Optical). Optical stabilization is better than digital stabilization as the latter might produce cropping.

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The CCD sensor has 10 megapixels and supports a standard ISO range of 80 - 3200. RAW format is supported which means that you have wider margin for error.

The picture below displays the G12's sensor dimensions when compared to other popular sizes. The G12 sensor has a crop factor of 4.8 and is pointed out in green.

Canon PowerShot G12 sensor size Body cameras now worn by bakery staff to deter stealing

To get a sense of specific aspect ratios, you can refer to the graphic below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Canon G12 dimensions

Canon G12 has a weight of 0.88 lb (401 grams or 14.14 ounces) & has external size of 112mm x 76mm x 48mm (4.4" x 3.0" x 1.9"). The weight of typical Small Sensor Compact camera is 174 grams so the Canon G12 is heavier compared with its rivals.

Photography Glossary

Below is a visual of the Canon G12 alongside a soft drink to help you get a feel for its scale.

Canon PowerShot G12 dimensions scale

The top view here will show the button arrangement on the G12.

Canon PowerShot G12 topview buttons dials

Canon G12 Lens specifications

The G12 houses a fixed lens and a focal range of 28-140mm giving it a 5.0 x zoom which isn't really great but it is likely to be valuable in a few circumstances.

At the widest 28mm, the lens features an aperture of f2.8 making it rather slow and not the best for low light conditions and you might find it difficult to get good bokeh. You will also need to up the ISO which results in noisy shots. Towards the tele end, 140mm comes with f4.5 making it pretty sluggish and you would need to set slower shutter speeds.

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Canon G12 Connectivity

The G12 has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes
  • Wireless Yes
  • HDMI Yes

Digital cameras that come with NFC and Bluetooth connectivity are able to be used wirelessly via smartphones. You will be able to send images and oftentimes alter camera settings without the hassle of connecting straight to the camera.

Several applications even allow a Liveview and hit the shutter in case you are not close to the camera. If the camera boasts a HDMI port, it can easily be attached to an external display. Nearly all cameras will allow you to charge the battery pack with the USB port.

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Canon G12 Video specifications

The max video resolution in the Canon G12 is 1280 x 720 and you can capture in H.264 file format. 720p is terrible for today's standards. You should aim for a minimum FUll HD resolution for video. The camera does not have a microphone and headphone port which means you get no control over the sound. It is probably best to buy a different camera in case you require better sound for your videos.

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Canon G12 Weather Sealing

There is no environment proofing in the Canon G12 so you need to be careful in rainy or dusty situations.

Canon G12 Screen and Viewfinder

The Canon G12 houses a 2.8" fully articulated screen boasting a resolution of 461k dots.

It includes a selfie friendly screen for self portraits as well as group shots when required. Unfortunately the screen isn't a touch screen.

Canon PowerShot G12 screen and viewfinder Japan-exclusive Leica Leitz Phone 3 features big sensor and new modes

The View Finder specifications for Canon G12 are the following:

  • ViewFinder Optical (tunnel)

For bright outdoor situations which make the camera displays washed out and hard to see, viewfinders are quite valuable.

Canon G12 Shutter specifications

Canon G12 has the ability to shoot continuously at 1.0 frames/s. The max shutter speed is 1/4000s.

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Canon G12 Flash and Hot shoe specifications

Canon G12 features both integrated flash along with external flash support. The highest flash sync speed is 1/2000s.

Canon G12 Autofocusing specifications

Canon G12 features just Contrast Based AF & lacks Phase Detect AF. Phase Detection autofocusing is a lot snappier and precise compared with Contrast Based autofocusing. The camera boasts Face detection which can be valuable for taking portraits of people.

It boasts 9 focus points to select from. Canon G12 includes manual focusing when needed in low light scenarios or you require more precise control on focusing.

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Canon G12 Battery life

The battery pack (NB-7L) in the Canon G12 is fashioned to last for 370 shutters according to the CIPA standards making it above the usual in comparison to its category. The usual Small Sensor Compact camera battery life is 241. Fujifilm X30 offers the maximum (470) battery life in this group of cameras.

Here is a number of Small Sensor Compact cameras with the best battery life:

Canon G12 for varying types of photography

The following bar chart provides a outline of the Canon G12 for varying types of photography. To read more, visit the specific paragraph below.

Canon G12 as a Portrait photography camera

The Canon G12 receives a points tally of 47 which is modest, meaning that it is somewhat suitable to use for portrait images. Photographing portrait images favors heavily to sensor size, RAW support together with the ability to utilize external lighting.

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manual focus
above average flash sync speed (1/2,000 seconds)
has face detection focusing
exports RAW formats
MP count low (10 megapixels)
sensor size is small (1/1.7")

Canon G12 Street photography details

Coming in at a nice points total of 64, the Canon G12 is a respectable option for street photography. A very good street photography camera provides a fine balance of image quality and portability.

Body cameras now worn by bakery staff to deter stealing
screen articulates
built in image stabilization (Optical)
delivers RAW files
sensor size is tiny (1/1.7")
more heavy than competitors in class (401 grams)

Canon G12 Sports photography information

A terrible sports photography points total of 34 suggests the Canon G12 is simply not acceptable for shooting sports. A camera needs very good tracking and fast continuous shooting for sports photography.

Photography Glossary
built in image stabilization (Optical)
great battery (370 CIPA)
max frames per second low (1.0 frames/s)
low resolution (10MP)
sensor is very small (1/1.7")
no phase detect autofocus

Canon G12 Travel photography factors

Size is super critical when picking a camera for travel. Overall, the Canon G12 gets a decent 60 as a travelling camera which is relatively acceptable for your vacations.

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good battery life (370 CIPA)
has built in flash
selfie friendly screen
quite wide (28mm)
no Timelapse mode
more heavy than competition in class (401 grams)
low megapixels (10 megapixels)
slow maximum aperture (f2.8)

Canon G12 Landscape photography highlights

When you're planning to pick a camera for landscape photography, the most vital aspect will no doubt be image quality. The Canon G12 and it's average rating of 49 for a landscape camera is relatively suited among its competition.

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focusing manually
fairly wide (28mm)
screen size is good (2.8 inches)
image stabilization (Optical)
exports RAW formats
great battery power (370 per charge)
fixed lens (fixed lens mount)
slow max aperture (f2.8)
low megapixels (10MP)
small sensor size (1/1.7")
lack of Time Lapse recording

Vlogging with Canon G12

A camera for vlogging should offer a moving display screen, microphone input and preferably image stabilization. Considering everything, the Canon G12 is relatively acceptable as a vlog camera as it gets a reasonable rating of 60.

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really wide (28mm)
selfie friendly screen
has image stabilization (Optical)
has face detection autofocus
somewhat slow maximum aperture (f2.8)
video res low (1280 x 720 resolution)
no external mic socket
heavier than average in class (401 grams)

Canon G12 Alternatives

If you are interested in replacements to the G12, below is a list of the highest ranked cameras that fall in to the family of Small Sensor Compact.

The diagram listed below provides you a summary of the G12 versus it's top ranking rivals shown earlier.

These are some more cameras you may look into as alternate options. To review a comprehensive comparison, visit the "compare" link.

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General Information
Model type
Canon PowerShot G12
Small Sensor Compact
Physical type
Sensor Information
Sensor type
Powered by
Digic 4
Sensor size
Sensor measurements
7.44 x 5.58mm
Sensor surface area
Sensor resolution
10 megapixel
Anti alias filter
Aspect ratio
1:1, 5:4, 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9
Peak resolution
3648 x 2736
RAW images
Highest native ISO
Min native ISO
Manual focusing
Touch to focus
Continuous autofocus
Single autofocus
Tracking autofocus
Selective autofocus
Autofocus center weighted
Autofocus multi area
Autofocus live view
Face detection autofocus
Contract detection autofocus
Phase detection autofocus
Total focus points
Lens support
fixed lens
Lens zoom range
28-140mm (5.0x)
Maximum aperture
Macro focusing range
Crop factor
Screen type
Fully Articulated
Screen size
2.8 inches
Screen resolution
461k dots
Selfie friendly
Touch display
Viewfinder Information
Viewfinder type
Optical (tunnel)
DXO scores
DXO Overall rating
DXO Color Depth rating
DXO Dynamic range rating
DXO Low light rating
Min shutter speed
15 secs
Max shutter speed
1/4000 secs
Continuous shutter rate
1.0 frames/s
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Manually set exposure
Exposure compensation
Set white balance
Image stabilization
Built-in flash
Flash distance
7.00 m
Flash settings
Auto, On, Off, Red-Eye, Slow Sync, Second Curtain
External flash
Auto exposure bracketing
White balance bracketing
Max flash synchronize
1/2000 secs
Multisegment exposure
Average exposure
Spot exposure
Partial exposure
AF area exposure
Center weighted exposure
Video features
Supported video resolutions
1280 x 720 (24 fps) 640 x 480 (30 fps), 320 x 240 (30 fps)
Highest video resolution
Video file format
Microphone support
Headphone support
Eye-Fi Connected
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Environment sealing
Water proofing
Dust proofing
Shock proofing
Crush proofing
Freeze proofing
401 gr (0.88 lb)
112 x 76 x 48mm (4.4" x 3.0" x 1.9")
Battery life
370 photos
Battery style
Battery Pack
Battery ID
Self timer
Yes (2 or 10 sec, Custom)
Time lapse recording
Storage type
Card slots
Pricing at release