Even though I was disappointed by the less-than-revolutionary design and features of the Canon G12 and hesitated to pre-order it, when the G12 became available at my local Best Buy, I changed my mind and bought one. The G12 features that really appeal to me are the 28mme wide angle, articulating screen, HD video and some hope of reduced noise at high ISO. I'll be exercising this one and see how it works out.
First a few visual comparisons to my old G3 and current carry-around G9. It is easy to forget how bulky the G3 is until it is side by side with the G9. In comparison to the G9, the G12 is somewhat larger but this is not likely to be a problem for me. In the image above, all three cameras are zoomed out to the maximum focal length. The G3 had a bulge for gripping; my G9 has the Franiec grip and thumb rest; the G12 has a small grip and thumb rest. I also use the Franiec hot shoe cover for the G9 and plan to get one for the G12.
Of course, the G9 did not have the articulated display screen but the much older G3 did; the G3 screen was much smaller than the G12 screen (as were all the display screens of that time).
The G12 comes in a much smaller box than the G9 did and does not include a printed manual but does include a printed 35 page “Getting Started” booklet. As a challenge, I've decided not to read the booklet or the PDF manuals on Canon's “Digital Camera Solution Disk” (Version 74.0!) for a while. After all, the G12 is very similar to my G9 and a little fumbling around will remind me of the differences.
I can't quite decide how I feel about the slightly rough, grainy outer surface of the G12. This must have been done to avoid a slick plasticy feeling when holding the G12; I'll have to get used to it. Otherwise, the G12 almost, but not quite, has the same feeling as the G9. The buttons and controls seem a little smaller and closer together than those on the G9 – another detail to become accustomed to.
The G12 certainly comes up quickly when the ON/OFF button is pushed. Also, it seems a bit more responsive than the G9 with respect to acquiring focus and shutter lag (but that may be some rationalizing on my part!).
Now to take the G12 on an outing – more later.