"Amazing Little Box of Tricks"4.5 starson by Johnston54
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