In what has become an annual tradition for the Anderson family, the men reconvened for our annual canoe trip to “re-connect with nature”. I use quotations because the older we get, the less removed from society we are. Now granted, there is no internet, no wifi, and no cellular service for many miles around, but when coolers of beverages, grilling foods, eggs, and yes – ice cream, make the trip, we’re are hardly roughing it anymore.
So, how does this relate to photography? As luck would have it, the Canon G12 was still with me for the duration of this trip. I did have an SLR with me as well, in case I started butting up against the limitations of the poster boy of the Powershot series camera. Suffice to say, I did hit the limits, but only once, and that was during some flash testing.
What I liked
1. Shutter Speed: The bane of P&S cameras historically is response or lag time on shutter release. The G12 was no slouch, offering a very quick response time. Granted, it was not always milliseconds away from a great capture, leaving me with several shots that had to be thrown out due to blur, but otherwise, I was successful about 95% of the time.
2. Image Quality: I tried to reproduce several similar composition of years past (see those galleries here and here), and think the G12 stood its ground quite well. While I could have shot in raw, the advantage of P&S cameras is to click and go, so I kept my settings to jpg for the duration of the trip.
3. Video: Let’s not kid ourselves, video is where things are headed, and the G12 was able to really stand shoulder-to-shoulder with any portable camcorder in the market today.
4. Hot Shoe: A big reason why I had chosen the G12 to review is because of its ability to accommodate the Canon Speedlight series. I took a 580EX II with me, and much to my delight, I was able to fire off several shots with both the flash mounted to the hot shoe, and using my wireless trigger set (more on that in a future post)
5. Inter-valometer: An inter-valometer lets you take shots at intervals, say every 5 seconds, 10 seconds, one minute, etc. I liked that the G12 had a setting where you could set it up to take photos at several intervals over a specified period of time. While I didn’t get a chance to use it on this short trip, it was something I learned about afterwards that made me think, “Cool!”
What I didn’t like
1. Menus: I know, I need to get over it, but the menu structure is different from the trusty rusty days of the 20D, 30D, and even 40D setups. It took me about 5 more minutes to get the menus down because things were in different locations! A small nit, I know, but I certainly know my 40D and 5D better than the G12!
2. Lenses: The other bane of P&S cameras is that you only have one lens to choose from. This is why the SLR (and now the newest 3rd generation of cameras – mirrorless lenses) give more creative options. I was limited to the focal range offered on the G12, which is equivalent to about a 28mm – 140mm range on an SLR (verified on several sources, but here’s a site I should be plugging more, Camera Source)
3. Price Point: Sorry Canon, but a price point of $500+ for a P&S camera? I can get an SLR for only $100 more which opens up many more options, not only for lenses, but filters and many other acouterments like flash accessories as well. $450 was the average price point and this just seems inordinately high for this breed of camera. Now maybe the folks at Canon are trying to position themselves for moving into the mirrorless market with the announcement of their first in that line with the EOS-M series at $799, but that’s a nut I can’t crack! (More to come on the EOS-M line as well…)
I could wax on endlessly, but you undoubtedly want to see the shots I came away with more than read my own prattling about the camera and all its features, so let’s just get to the goods: