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New G12 or used G10?

Mark Sanderson , Apr 14, 2011; 09:28 a.m.

Looking for a walk around camera that shoots RAW and has good ISO functionality.
I shoot Canon 40Ds, this is for a friend but I will also use it. The new G12 is about $499, can get a used G10 for $325. If money is not really an issue, should I go for the newer model with better ISO performance and front control dial etc?
Would prefer to hear from real world users who have tried both - I have read the reviews, both are great cameras I am aware.
Thanks!

Responses

Dave Lee , Apr 14, 2011; 10:51 a.m.

I would go for the G12, it has some very significant image quality improvements over the G10 from what I've seen. I have the Nikon P7000, which I love, and chose it over the G12 for many reasons.

Bill Tuthill , Apr 14, 2011; 12:41 p.m.

If by "good ISO functionality" you mean acceptable results at high ISO, I don't know why you are considering the G10. It is poor even at ISO 400.

Due to biCMOS sensor, the Fuji F550EXR produces usable results up to ISO 1600 and sometimes 3200, but is less refined than the G12, lacks viewfinder, and its RAW format is not supported by Lightroom.

You might consider the Sony NEX, which is in a different league than the above cameras at ISO 800 and above. To get an idea, goto DPreview's E-PL2 test page 14, select NEX/G12/G10, then move the zoom rectangle onto the globe and change ISO. The NEX-3 costs only $100 more than the G12.

Howard Vrankin , Apr 14, 2011; 01:40 p.m.

The G10/12 is now an old camera design from the standpoint of image quality and price. Competitors have passed it by with the newer four-thirds offerings. I owned three different G10 cameras from 2008-2010, used them heavily and loved them all at base ISO, but they never came even close to the lowest priced DSLR in low light/higher ISO (above 200) image quality. The G10 dynamic range was also limited. Clipping of highlights happened constantly in full daylight unless I compensated exposure downward and pulled up the shadows in post processing.The G12 is somewhat improved in these regards, but still has a very small sensor. There are four thirds cameras that add little in price, size and weight but quite a bit in image quality. I have G10 samples in my portfolio here, if you click on my name and go to the Single Photos folder.

John Narsuitus , Apr 14, 2011; 02:49 p.m.

Are you also considering the G11?

Meir Samel , Apr 16, 2011; 01:49 p.m.

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Paul Coen , Apr 16, 2011; 07:23 p.m.

If you're looking for something that has an integrated lens that can get put in a coat pocket and a pretty good zoom range, the G12 would be a good choice. I looked at the G10/G11 after the G11 came out (I ended up buying one), the picture quality just seemed a lot better, especially at anything over ISO 400.
One feature I really do like is the integrated ND filter. At the time, the price point on the compact system cameras was substantially higher (about twice), and it didn't seem worth it. Lower-priced models have been introduced since. And while the optical viewfinder in the G11/G12 isn't great, it's good to have in a pinch.
If you do go with the G12, I'd recommend picking up a flash. The Canon Speedlite 270EX (or the new 270EX II) is a good match, and having an external flash (even a small one) substantially increases the flexibility of the camera.
If you want to have a camera that gives you a lot of control over DOF, one of the compact system cameras like the NEX or the Micro 4/3s might be a better choice. I've had to substantially change my shooting style when using my G11 vs. my DSLR or SLR cameras (I have a Minolta Maxxum 7D and 7 that I'm still using). It's a lot easier to throw the background out of focus with a larger sensor. If you get a little creative, the macro mode on the G11/G12 can let you do some of this, but not nearly to the same extent you can with a larger sensor.
I can't complain about that too much - there are worse things in the world than having to figure out a different way of shooting.

sf photo , Apr 17, 2011; 08:47 p.m.

Sold my G11 which replaced G9, which replaced G6.
Purchased a Lumix LX5.
Why?
Sharp 24mm f2 & true 16:9
IMO more realistic color w/ Lumix. Canon JPEG's seem over processed.
Also seems like wider tonal range w/ Lumix. Canon needed under exposure to keep highlight detail but then shadows lack detail.

Andy Collins , Apr 23, 2011; 11:56 p.m.

I love my G12. Check out the reviews of the G12 and some of the four-thirds cameras at dpreview; it's very interesting reading with interesting results. I think you'll be very happy with the G12.

Les Lammers , Apr 26, 2011; 08:10 a.m.

I had a G10 and got a Panny LX5 because of the optional EVF. IMHO, the EVF is required in many situations. The 24mm is icing. :-) I will live with this until more APS compacts are released. As always, YMMV.

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