It's time to make my annual prediction about the next camera in the Canon PowerShot G series. Last year, I was a bit off but perhaps this is the year I get it right.
Every year since 2000 with the exception of 2005, Canon has introduced a new G series camera. The launching of the next G model is usually in August, September or October (although the G5 was launched in June). When there was no new G series introduced in 2005, the G6 was widely believed to be the last of the breed but the G7 came along to give the G series new life. The last two models, G10 and G11, were launched in October. For 2010, Photokina will be in September so that seems a safe bet for the announcement of the next PowerShot G.
Because there was no G4 or G8, some believe that there will be no G12; however, I believe that the next in the G series will indeed be named G12.
So, what about the new G12? Although the wish lists will soon begin to flow into the discussion forums, I believe that the G12 will simply be a G11 with full HD video. HD video means a new sensor but then every new G series camera has had a new sensor. Even though Canon credited improved high ISO performance to the reduced pixel count (10MP) of the G11, I expect that the G12 will have, uh, 12MP – convenient, eh? To get full HD video, Canon may choose to use a CMOS sensor of its own manufacture instead of buying a CCD from Sony.
As for my own wish list, I'd sure like further improvements in shutter delay. I don't understand why there is any delay at all when a camera is in full manual mode. I'd also like for the G12 to have flash modes and controls like Canon's DSLRs and especially to have the G12 internal flash trigger an external flash (like my 7D).
Although I don't expect a new lens, no doubt the G12 will have a few additional tweaks. Canon always seems to add a few software implemented features and also to drop a few. That Digic chip must be just about fully loaded.
I also expect an updated S90 based on the G12 sensor and including full HD video.
My PowerShot camera system stopped with the G9 but I'd be greatly tempted to update to such a “G12”.
… and Canon's answer to Micro Four Thirds? My bet is that Canon will compete with an APS-C sized CMOS based camera. This camera will not be part of the PowerShot series but let's hope that Canon uses what they've learned from their PowerShot experience. Look for this completely new camera about this time next year or perhaps at PMA in September 2011.