Pros + Very solid and reassuring
+ Screen is good
+ 5x zoom works very well and the pictures are still very sharp
+ Autofocus works really well
+ Lowlight functioning is great
+ Camera has RAW functionality
Cons - No optical zoom on video
- Cannot control parametres in HDR and minature effect mode
Summary I've had this camera for two months and it still amazes me.
I've previously had an Canon Ixus 60 and a Fuji F50. However, I felt ready to move on from the F50. Yet I wasn't happy with buying a dSLR if it meant it was too bulky to move around - it'd be used only for special occasions and there was a lot of investment in the system. So I looked at bridge cameras only to realise they were still too bulky and that what I really wanted was a high-end compact. After much faffing around, I settled for the G12. At the time of purchase, I could have bought a Canon 500D/550D for a little more!
From the moment I picked it up, I loved it. I loved the chunky feel - it feels snug in my hand. Unlike others who seem to have problems, I've not accidentally pressed any buttons. The build, although plastic, is very solid and reassuring. It feels expensive in your hand. It comes with a neck strap which I think is a bit OTT - a wrist strap would suffice and is my next purchase.
The screen is good - it's not spectacular but it's fine for looking at the photos you've taken. The variangle feature (one of the points that drew me to the G12) is excellent. I've used it to take shots above other peoples' heads as well as from low down. Taking pics of yourself with friends is a lot easier too.
The viewfinder is pretty pants IMO and could have done with being electronic but I guess it's asking too much.
5x zoom works very well and the pictures are still very sharp. However, when you have compacts with larger zooms, it does make you wish you could zoom more. The camera does go into digital zoom if you try to zoom beyond the optical range. The autofocus works really well but when moving, I find it struggles a bit more.
Lowlight functioning is great and the pics are as good as indoor pics but I did find the autofocus struggled and again this was whilst moving eg taking a photo whilst walking.
The camera has RAW functionality, which was another reason for me choosing the G12. The downsides are that you can't take RAW pics in fully auto mode and that older software won't recognise the G12's RAW format - you have to update your software. The latest copy of CS5 will happily open G12 but if you have an older copy like CS3, it won't be supported. Windows have also started to have native RAW file support so you can see the pics like with other supported formats and again the G12 has been omitted.
I love the histogram function - you have a live histogram, and it can be displayed on when reviewing the photos as well as the RGBK channels. The camera also has a built in ND filter which you can hear click into place when activated. Need to have a fiddle with this as I've only just discovered it!
Finally, battery life. Mine lasted six hours of near-continuous use before it conked out. Only on second charge so no idea if it'll improve with further recharge-discharge cycles or whether it'll stop there. As it stands, I've bought another battery - a complete necessity IMO - you'll love taking pics with this little camera.
All-in-all, an excellent purchase and I've no regrets, despite the niggles.
and If you will buy the Canon G12 I suggest you have to compare prices before you decide at: www.amazonshotcode.com/canon-g12
Pros Love the picture quality especially in low light. Like the fact that there's still a viewfinder because when it disappears I'll be forced to lug an SLR around and that be a chore I'd prefer to avoid.
Cons It's slightly larger than my old Canon S70 so it's not as easy to stuff in a pocket. Won't fit in pants pocket but will fit in jacket pockets.
Summary Have used the camera for numerous indoor construction pics with out the flash and the results are excellent. Haven't used the camera outdoors much due to lousy weather in the NYC area this year. Battery life is more than adequate for me but I rarely take more than 200 pics per day. Use 4 gig 30MB/S Extreme chips and the download speed is fabulous. Picture to picture speed is more than fast enough fo my use as I rarely take pics in rapid succession. Power up speed is fine too. There's a slight delay when zooming but hasn't spoiled any opportunities yet. Love the function dials as it reduces the need to scroll thru menu's. The menus are very similar to the old S70 so my learning curve has been short. Used a friends Nikon and the different menu organization made using it very difficult. I'd need to spend lots of time in the manual to learn their organization.
Also looked at the S95 but lack of a viewfinder was a turn off for me.
Pros solid build decent image quality and movable LCD and RAW as well as a sort of viewfinder, crude but sufficient in bright light conditionis
Cons noisy above ISO 200 ..small sensor issues of course. The control wheel at back with its buttons is too easy to set manual focus and so forth
Summary The small sensor does as well as one can do with that but the camera is not a small camera so there are larger sensor cameras out there that puts this old design in the shade. The Sony being the one that I most favour and if it had a better direct menu system I would have gotten that. Instead I will buy neither and wait for a new Sony or for Canon to modernize the compact designs that need a serious updating. I will not be surprised that they will suddently do just that.
Pros Takes good photos before lens scratched.
Cons Lens scratches when opening and closing. Appears to be a somewhat common problem.
Pros Build quality, feel in the hand.
A lot in a compact camera.
Optical viewfinder.(See Cons.)
Very good in low light.
Good flash performance.
Cons Viewfinder does not zoom with same parallax as lens.
Viewfinder does not refocus when zooming in video.
No information in viewfinder.
Summary I wanted to love this camera, and I did love it when I got it. But only until I started using it. What I think are flaws may not be everyone's idea of flaws. But the cons listed above are serious for me. The viewfinder might as well be a hole in the camera for all it does. If you rely only on the optical viewfinder when zooming, it's likely you'll get badly off-centered pictures. And why it doesn't refocus when you zoom is a mystery. My cheap Kodak can do that!
When my iPhone can do HDR exposures with one click, why does this camera need three separate exposures and a tripod? Makes HDR useless unless you're being very very serious about a particular shot and have lots of time.
The little wheels in the back are fine for small fingers. I constantly push them accidentally. They aren't designed for quick changes, and have no tactile indicators to distinguish them by feel.
The settings are very confusing to me, and the menus don't seem intuitively organized. I sometimes get settings I don't want then don't know how to get out of them. For example, somehow the 10x setting for video was turned on and I ruined several important videos without knowing it.
Some of my pictures are labeled "unidentifiable image!" What...? Others come out as half frame with the other half grey.
There must be a technological reason why there has to be shutter lag but I think that a camera of this quality shouldn't have any. It's very annoying and makes action shots a guessing game or results in blurred pics.
There are more things I don't like but those are the highlights. For the high spots you can read others' reviews. I wish I could love it like they do. I bought this camera because I wanted something small to travel with but not give up picture quality. Now I'm thinking it's worth lugging the Nikon DSLR around.
Also, I see that of this date, CNet says this is selling, low price, for $699. Ha! You can have mine, little used, unblemished, for $500 with the case! (It's a very nice case.) If I could do it over, I wouldn't buy this. I do so much research on the things I buy I'm rarely disappointed, so this is very unusual for me. Read these reviews and make your decision according to what's important in a camera to you.