One of Canon’s PowerShot G series of compact cameras has won the AP Enthusiast Compact of the Year Award for the past three years. Could the new PowerShot G12 make it four years in a row? Richard Sibley investigates
Build and Handling
Made of magnesium alloy, the Canon PowerShot G12 is very well built and sturdy. It is reassuringly chunky, yet still small enough to fit in a jacket pocket. By making the G12 larger than many other compact cameras, Canon has been able to place buttons and controls for all the most commonly changed settings directly on the body of the camera. It is this feature that has helped cement the G series’ reputation and ensured its popularity among enthusiast photographers.
Of all the controls, the most useful are the exposure compensation and ISO sensitivity dials. These sit on the top-plate and are easy to read. Also helping to adjust the exposure settings is one of the G12’s new features: the front control dial. Just as on a DSLR, this dial sits on the front of the camera’s grip and can be turned while shooting using your forefinger. It allows one of the exposure settings to be changed and, when in aperture-priority mode, it changes the aperture.
The control dial is one of the few additions I felt would really improve the G11 when I reviewed it in AP 14 November 2009, and I am pleased that Canon has listened to the feedback from photographers and introduced it. The G12 is already one of the best compact cameras in terms of handling, and the new control dial makes it even better. In fact, in the way it handles, it’s as close as a compact camera can get to a DSLR.
Otherwise, the handling remains unchanged. The dial on the rear of the camera helps to adjust settings quickly and scroll through captured images, while the centre directional control navigates the menu and moves the AF point. This control also features shortcut buttons to switch the camera to manual focus mode and to adjust the flash settings.
The shooting and main menu screens remain unchanged from previous PowerShot G-series models, and will be familiar to Canon compact and DSLR users alike.