Canon G12

Canon G12 – Likes and Dislikes

Written by Digicamhelp Editor

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