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Shoot with a champ like this

The Canon Powershot G12 steps in to bridge the gap between a compact and a bulky SLR. It’s well-sized and shoots nicely

india Updated: Dec 10, 2010 19:11 IST
Nikhil Hemrajani

Prosumer cameras, such as this one, exist solely to bridge the gap between compact cameras and bulky digital SLRs. Sometimes you just want good photos without the hassle of lenses and the strain on your back. That’s where the Powershot G12 steps in.

In its eleventh iteration now, the 10-megapixel G12 is rather intimidating to look at. Sporting a well-constructed metal and plastic body, it’s loaded with buttons and dials, possibly even more than the average entry-level and similarly priced SLR.

Ease of use
For starters, the flip-out style, 3-inch LCD screen is a boon for those shooting videos or into self-portraiture. In the attempt to make this camera as professional as possible, all modes and settings can be accessed via buttons, rather than from the menus. There’s a exposure dial on the top left, while the right has two dials stacked over each other for adjusting the ISO sensitivity and selecting the shooting mode. In additional to the usual modes, there are two custom setting modes, scenes, fully automatic and a low-light mode.

Apart from the regular buttons, there’s a manual focus ring that also lets you scan through your photos when in playback mode, a shortcut button that can have any function assigned to it, and an exposure lock button. Overall, the numerous nubs and dials make customising settings a breeze. However, the buttons are a bit too small and cluttered.

On the connectivity front, the camera accepts the SD format. There’s a mini HDMI port for viewing your videos on a hi-def display, composite-out for older televisions, and mini USB. Tough luck that Canon hasn’t provided a mini HDMI cable in the box. Expect to cough up an additional Rs 500-1000 to fetch it. Finally, dual mics at the top will let you shoot video with stereophonic audio. Perfect if you’re attending The Prodigy concert later this January!

Shooting
One of the best bits about the G12 is that it lets you take photos in the RAW format. Although the f2.8-4.5, 5x zoom lens sports optical image stabilisation, we wish the G12 had higher zoom. Cameras such as the Panasonic Lumix TZ10 have over twice as much zoom in a much smaller body.

Photo quality is low light is quite impressive. You can go all the way up to 800 ISO in darkly lit scenarios and still get clear and well-focused results. The G12 also sports 720p video recording that’s equally impressive in low light. However, you can’t zoom during a recording. That’s definitely a big bother if you’re going on a Himalayan trek or African safari. Focusing is pretty quick and manual focus works as a charm. The macro mode is very impressive too. You can go extremely close to the subject and yet get perfectly focused results.