The Canon PowerShot G12 is one of critics' favorite digital cameras. It's really in a class by itself, reviewers say: It's a fixed-lens camera that offers almost all of the manual control of a bulkier, pricier digital SLR (single-lens reflex) camera, with great photos and 720p HD video. Other brands try to fill this niche, but not as successfully as Canon -- for example, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 lacks the Canon's optical viewfinder, and testers say it's not as easy for point-and-shooters to get great results with the Panasonic. The Canon's special, experts say, because it's simple enough for novices yet satisfying for a pro.
The G12 keeps everything good from the critically acclaimed Canon PowerShot G11 -- the capable 10-megapixel sensor, versatile 5x zoom lens (28 mm to 140 mm range) and rotatable 2.8-inch LCD display are high points -- and it adds the ability to shoot 720p HD video. The G12 allows manual control with new front and back control dials that testers find easy to manipulate. An optical viewfinder and hot shoe both come standard. We found universal praise for the G12's image quality.
Drawbacks tend to be minor, but if you intend to use this camera to shoot video, keep in mind that you can't use the optical zoom in video mode, and there's no jack for an external microphone. If you prefer interchangeable lenses, the Sony Alpha NEX-5N earns the best reviews for its excellent image quality and responsive touch screen. If you want something smaller but still advanced, experts recommend the fixed-lens Canon PowerShot S100 (*Est. $400).
Experts love the Canon G series, and the Canon PowerShot G12 is no exception. If you're looking for manual control without the hassle of interchangeable lenses, the G12 is a good choice. Testers highly recommend the G12 after putting it through its paces at PhotographyBlog.com, DCResource.com and Steves-Digicams.com. Owner feedback at Amazon.com offers a fair picture of how it performs in everyday life.
Now with HD video and intuitive new control dials, the Canon PowerShot G12 earns 4.5 stars (out of 5) and a Highly Recommended rating here. Its high price tag -- which edges toward more advanced, interchangeable-lens cameras -- is the only real drawback.
Review: Canon PowerShot G12 Review, Mark Goldstein, Oct. 27, 2010
As the closest thing to a DSLR in a compact size, the Canon PowerShot G12 earns a spot on Jeff Keller's list of top picks. He says point-and-shooters will get reliably good photos, and expert photographers will find very little lacking on this full-featured camera.
Review: Canon PowerShot G12 Review, Jeff Keller, Updated Jan. 19, 2011
"The legend continues," Steves-Digicams.com says of the Canon PowerShot G12. This latest in a long line of excellent G-series cameras presents very few cons in the thorough test here.
Review: Canon PowerShot G12 Review, Editors of Steves-Digicams.com, Nov. 8, 2010
More than 270 users have posted reviews for the Canon PowerShot G12 at Amazon. Nearly 90 percent give it 4 or 5 stars (out of 5), but a few downgrade it for not fixing things they didn't like about the PowerShot G11.
Review: Canon G12, Contributors to Amazon.com