Canon G12

Canon G12 – Likes and Dislikes

Written by Gail Bjork

There is a lot to like about the Canon G12. It’s not perfect but is certainly one to consider if you want a highly advanced compact digital camera.

There are many things that I like about the Canon G12. Just as with other digital cameras, it’s not perfect. But if you’re looking for a compact camera that produces excellent images and has lots of bells and whistles, seriously consider the G12.


  • Similar controls found on DSLRs, making it rarely necessary to delve through menus to change settings
  • Optical viewfinder there when you need it
  • Relatively fast and very sharp lens; good for a variety of scenes and portrait shots
  • Very good high ISO performance for a compact up to ISO 800; not bad at ISO 1600
  • Excellent build and ergonomics
  • Meters, focuses and responds well
  • Tracking Autofocus is more effect than any similar mode I’ve used on a myriad of compact digital cameras
  • Smart Auto mode available for those who don’t want to fuss with camera settings
  • Auto iContrast works well for increased dynamic range
  • Video exposure transition is smooth as you move around a scene
  • Adjustable Auto Focus Frame mode allows you change the size and location of the focus frame
  • Takes many accessories such as converter lenses, external flashes and underwater housing


  • No printed manual  – unless you’re a long-time Canon camera user, this is a complicated camera to learn. If you’re spending +/- $500 for a camera, you deserve a paper manual to hold in your hand. Instead, you’ll have to use the PDF version that comes on the Canon Solution Disk; it can be a pain to read but it is easy to find topics using keywords.
  • Zoom range limited – wish it were a tad longer at the telephoto end of the zoom range
  • Lens at wide angle is fast, but I wish the widest aperture was 2.0 like the Canon s90 and s95
  • Optical viewfinder not great
  • High Dynamic Range scene mode – which takes photos a three different exposures in a succession and then merges them into a single image – requires the use of a tripod
  • Auto only video mode – no dedicated video button; no optical zoom during video
  • Can’t shot RAW in auto mode
  • Panorama mode is showing it’s age. Sony’s Sweep Panorama mode is much better.
  • No responsive enough for many types of action shots

About the author

Gail Bjork

Gail Bjork, who is passionate about digital photography, is the owner and editor of Digicamhelp.Gail is the author of three illustrated ebooks about digital photography. A number of her photos and digital photography related articles appear at other websites.In 2006, a series of her photos, People in the Louvre, were exhibited at the Underground Photo Gallery
in Iisalmi Finland. Eight of her photos taken in the Florida scrub are on permanent exhibition at Parrish Medical Center in Titusville, Florida.Gail served twelve years as an elected member of The School Board of Palm Beach County, Florida, one of the largest school districts in the U.S. She has also been the editor of a small town newspaper and a free-lance writer. Gail and her husband owned and ran several small businesses.