By John M. Santora
With a good design, accessible button layout, and preset modes the Canon PowerShot G12 is a quality compact digital camera. If you’re a recreational photographer who is reluctant to invest in a DSLR or somebody looking to learn a little bit more, this could be the perfect camera for you. The G12 is also great as a second option in a photographer’s camera bag.
Canon PowerShot G12 Camera specs:
Sensor: 10.0 Megapixel, 1/1.7-inch type Charge Coupled Device (CCD)
Focal Length: 6.1 (W) – 30.5 (T) mm ( 35mm film equivalent: 28 (W) – 140 (T) mm )
Digital Zoom: 5x
Max aperture: f/2.8 (W) – f/4.5 (T)
Video: 720p HD
LCD: 2.8 inch vari-angle, 100% coverage
Viewfinder Coverage: 75%-80%
The Canon PowerShot G12’s solid design immediately stands out as one of its strengths. While larger than your common Point and Shoot camera, it has features one can find in a DSLR, but at a fraction of the price and size.
Pictured – Canon A495, Canon G12, Canon EOS T2i
2. Dials and Controls
The G12’s convenient button layout and customizable dials put expansive control at the edge of your fingertips. Dials are customizable and can be assigned in the camera’s settings menu.
When in Manual Mode, the front dial is used to control shutter speed. This dial can also be used to adjust some in camera effects and options.
The G12’s multi layered top dial is used to access preset modes, such as Manual, Tv (Shutter Speed Priority), Av (Aperture Priority), Program, Auto, Low Light, Quick Shot, Scene, and Video. There are also two banks where users can save custom presets. In certain modes, such as Manual, the bottom dial is used to adjust ISO (100-3200, Auto).
Exposure Compensation Dial
In Tv and Av, the exposure compensation dial allows you to add or reduce brightness to your image (+2,-2, in 1/3 increments).
The G12’s control dial is used for menu navigation. In Manual Mode, it controls aperture range (f/2.8 (W) – f/4.5 (T)). The interior button on the dial lets you set manual focus, set self timer settings, and turn the camera’s internal flash on and off.
Diopter Adjustment Dial
Located to the left of the camera’s viewfinder is a small dial that adjusts the viewfinder focus.
We also found the shortcut button to be very useful, as it can be assigned to perform many functions.
3. LCD Screen
Assuming you’re using it to frame your shot, the G12’s vari-angle LCD screen makes taking changeling pictures easier. Its on-screen balance meter helps ensure your shots are straight and even.
When in Quick Shot, the LCD provides users with in depth information. From this menu, settings can be adjusted with the jog dial.
The G12 can shoot in five different aspect ratios (16:9, 3:2, 4:3, 1:1. 4:5) which are be displayed accurately on its LCD screen.
In Manual Mode, as you make adjustments to shutter speed, aperture, and ISO, the LCD display changes. You can see what effects adjustments have on your, soon to be, capture, which promotes an excellent learning experience. It will help ensure that adjustments and effects add the character to your image that you intend. Scene modes and in-camera effects are also previewed directly on the G12’s LCD.
4. Macro Mode
We were happy with the pictures the G12 produced in Macro Mode. Canon’s Hybrid IS technology delivers excellent image stabilization and minimizes the effects of hand movements and camera shake. You can focus on a subject up to 1cm from the camera’s lens and still capture a quality image. With the G12, macro shooting without a tripod is very possible.
Scissor shot, taken in Macro
Once you’ve become more familiar, or perhaps mastered, the many options the G12 offers, you’ll want to expand and take your photography to the next level.
The G12’s hot shoe mount is compatible with Speedlites intended for Canon EOS cameras.
You can also attach lens accessories to the G12, which will really help you get the most out of the camera’s fixed lens.
The FA-DC58B Filter Adapter adds the ability to attach 58mm filter thread filters. It moves along with the lens while zooming, preventing vignetting at the wide angle end of the zoom. It also provides filter coverage throughout the full optical zoom range of the lens. The TC-DC58D Tele-Converter Lens increases the G12’s focal distance to 196mm.
Click here to see all of the great accessories we carry for the Canon PowerShot G12.
Here are some of my favorite shots I took with the Canon PowerShot G12:
Cactus -Taken in M, ISO 400, f/4.5, Shutter speed 1/250
Cactus Row – Taken in M, ISO 80, f/8.0, Shutter speed 1/160
Ziggy – Taken in M, ISO 1600, f/4.5, Shutter speed 1/8
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