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My previous camera was a lovely little Nikon Coolpix but I think I got sand in the lens as it had a lens malfunction and as yet we have not taken it to be fixed. My husband has a work camera that he has sole use of and has at home so before Christmas he gave it to me to use until we get around to fixing the other one and this is the Canon G12. His work spent a lot of money on it so its definitely a better quality than my little Nikon and in terms of picture quality it is brilliant. I am not very technical so I will write this review from the point of view of a consumer who basically takes hundreds of pictures of her kids every week!
The Canon Powershot G12 is a handheld digital camera but it is quite chunky and fairly heavy to hold. I like handbag cameras as I call them, a camera I can put in my handbag and always have available when I want to take candid shots of my kids. This one does go in my handbag but is quite heavy and not as small as I would like.
The feature I like about this camera is the screen. The screen is on a hinge and you can pull it out from the body of the camera and move it to the side so you can then have one hand on the camera and the other on the screen so you get a bit more of a steady hand when you want to take a picture. You can also swivel the screen around and then put it back in the camera so its like a regular build in screen. This is handy if you like taking pictures like this and what I like about it is that when you close it the screen is protected and does not scratch like other screens where they are on show all the time.
I do find I have a problem when the screen is in the camera though with holding the camera. There are lots of buttons all over the right hand side of the camera and I find there is no where to rest my thumb whilst I am holding the camera and trying to take a picture. This is the way I take pictures and so I usually end up pushing a button that I don't want to which is quite annoying and impacts my photo taking somewhat. The Func.Set button on the middle wheel is raised also and this always gets in the way too, its not a huge problem but it is a disadvantage in my opinion.
That said the buttons are easy to understand and helpful on this camera. Your photo taking button is at the top right and is easy to press with your right index finger. When you press the button which shows you the photos you have taken there is then a wheel which lets you scroll through these at quite a fast paste which is nice is you are looking for one photo in particular.
The camera takes quite a large battery. The slot is easy to open and then you slide in the battery. In over 2 years of owning this camera we have never had to replace it which is great although it would be a work expense when my husband needs to. The memory card clicks in and out of its slot and is again easy to take in and out. We have a Sandisk Ultra 16GB card.
The lens on this camera is a Canon Zoom Lens 5 x15 6.1-30.5mm. Not entirely sure what this means so I am going to post here a bit of information on the camera that I got from the Canon website.
"The PowerShot G12 gives exceptional images with HS System and a premium Canon wide-angle lens. Full Manual mode, RAW, Front Dial and optional Lens Filter Adapter allow professional levels of control."
High-sensitivity 10 MP CCD
28mm wide, 5x zoom lens, Hybrid IS
7.0 cm (2.8") vari-angle LCD, Electronic Level, OVF
Front Dial, Full Manual & RAW
HD movies, HDMI
High Dynamic Range mode
Extensive accessory system
The camera comes with a lead that you can attach to your computer which makes downloading your photos really easy. I get such clear crisp pictures with this camera and have some beautiful shots of my kids on it, I would recommend this camera for a nice picture and easy of picture taking.
I wanted to look for a camera that take relatively good pictures but not too bulky to carry around for travelling, after doing some research I have finally decided to settle for this one, I was not disappointed! This camera is very easy to use, it has automatic settings for the more armature photographers or when you just want to take pictures for occasions when you necessarily have time to play with all the settings such as for weddings or sports events. It has a range of manual settings as well if you wish to explore your photography skills further, allowing you to try out different effects on the photos too. The quality of the images is excellent, the colour comes out really well. There is also the option to add external lens to the camera, although I have not brought any lens for this since the camera on its own is sufficient for my intended purposes. The 20minute video function is also makes this camera ideal for use to capture moments without having to carry around an extra camcorder. The battery life is also very good, normally lasts for a few hundred pictures, even longer if the digital screen is turned off! The only disadvantage id that this camera is quite expensive compared to other compact camera, but it's worth the price for the quality.
I purchased this camera as a photography hobbyist (Not a professional Photographer). The intention was to have a camera of quality similar to that of an SLR but without the bulk. I enjoy having a camera on hand to just snap with when im out and about, and its just too much hassle to lug round an SLR wherever i go.
The most important thing for me was image quality and colour definition. I take predominantly photos of water, and green scenary.
When i got the camera home, it was straight out of the box. It was simple to set up and the menu system is very intuitive. This is partly due to having owned older powershots in the past and canon are very good at keeping their menu systems similar to their previous cameras which is a definite plus.
Desperate to test it out i made the 2 hour drive to cambridge which is full of beautiful scenery. Rather than using the camera in manual mode, i thought i would test it out using its built in 'Scene' Mode which i have to say is brilliant. The vivid Colour settings, and the ability to enhance blues and greens is fantastic and really brings pictures to life. Its so hard to actually capture natural beauty on a point and click camera as everything ends up looking a bit grey. Not with this camera. The pictures i took in auto scene modes using various scene settings are as good as anything i've ever taken in manual mode on an SLR. This may say more about my ability than the cameras, but either way, i was very pleased with the results and couldn't wait to show off my pictures to family and friends who were all very impressed.
The best thing about the camera is that it can be as simple or as complex as you want. With virtually all the manual features of an SLR, it is a great way to learn more advanced manual photography, yet if you don't have the time, or just want some snaps, the camera takes stunning pictures in auto or scene mode.
I certainly would not consider myself a photography expert, just someone who enjoys taking pictures, which probably puts me in the same category of virtually everyone likely to buy this camera, so i wont go into all the advanced features of the camera. If you want full manual control, it is there and works brilliantly, but if you want to take stunning pictures without fiddling around, then you can trust the camera to do just that.
I am very happy with my purchase and i would recommend this camera to anyone looking for either a good compact camera or a smaller backup for an SLR.
I have been on the look out now for a decent compact camera that would offer me RAW image quality, pull out LCD screen, optical viewfinder and access to many external controls. I am more than happy that I chose to go with the Canon G12. Image quality is among the best when compared to other compacts in this category and ISO noise is pretty well controlled. The pull out screen has come in handy on several occasions when i could not get behind the camera. The optical viewfinder though small has still proved useful in very bright light when the LCD was a bit hard to see clearly. The on board flash is fairly powerful for a compact but you may want to do as I have done and purchase the Canon 270EX flash unit which sits well on the camera. You can go ahead and leave the camera on auto mode and get some great pics or take control as the G12 offers full manual control. The camera will not always guess what you want from a picture so taking control is the way to go, especially if you want to get creative. The lens itself is very sharp right across the zoom range and is a fairly useful zoom range. Battery life is very good for a small compact and I can get almost 400 shots before I need to charge the battery again, I find the size of the camera a good fit in my hands but those wanting a small camera should look elsewhere though you may likely lose out on image quality or features.