I have a Canon G12 and wondering what, if any, good use it still has. Conscious of "the best camera is the one you have with you", I don't think I'd use the G12 even if I had it in my hand, if I also had my phone with me. It is a Samsung Galaxy S20, and even THAT is a few years old and the camera nowhere near as good as a high-end 2022 Samsung or Apple camera (I don't own those but have played with them).

I hate to think the G12 is basically a paperweight. But is it? Are there things it can do that a recent high-end phone cannot?

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    \$\begingroup\$ FWIW I just had my G15 repaired for most of the reasons mentioned below. But I also balance that camera with my iPhone, Nikon D7500, and a stable of different Holgas, as each camera has a different set of benefits and tradeoffs. So while the camera you have with you is the best one, if you can take some time planning ahead, you can optimize the "best" camera to take with you. \$\endgroup\$
    – Peter M
    Sep 18, 2022 at 14:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ I still use my G10 today. I really like the 'feel' of the photos I get with it. Using CHDK gives it more features, too. \$\endgroup\$
    – Aaron F
    Sep 19, 2022 at 15:44
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    \$\begingroup\$ Flash hotshoe, tripod screw, rotating screen, physical dials, and more as already suggested. This reminds me that my first digital camera was the Canon G2, back in 2002! \$\endgroup\$
    – MrUpsidown
    Sep 20, 2022 at 9:23

3 Answers 3


Aside from @xenoid's points, there're a lot of great features with the PowerShot G series that you're in no way gonna get from a phone, if you're into the technical side of photography:

  • Hot shoe for real flash photography
  • Built in ND filter for wide open in bright sunlight
  • Optical viewfinder (to find view in bright sunlight:))
  • Great dials/controls

Let me add few point (for G12) to previous excellent answers:

  • you can take pictures in RAW. And G12 support 12 bits per pixel (can't find definitive information). On most of phones is real challenge to take RAW images, even some of them limit the end user and you need additional software (if possible at all to take RAW). Having RAW open more space for edit (edit is not to apply Instagram filters!)
  • Have zoom lens. My personal opinion is this give you very good flexibility to take the frame you want. Yes, you can crop, but I personally prefer to make this in the moment of shoot.
  • G12 have articulated screen which may be very convenient in some cases (high, low point of view).
  • G12 have dials which give you the option to change some parameters w/o take you eye from viewfinder.
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    \$\begingroup\$ +2 for zoom lens - spec says equiv 28-140mm f/2.8-4.5 which is pretty decent for a point & shoot. You won't get anywhere near that with a phone. The tipping point for me to buy a DSLR was the hatred I have for the nasty, smeary wide lenses most run-of-the-mill phones have. Even the extra zoom lens on last year's £1,150 iPhone 13 Pro Max wasn't enough to persuade me to keep it. I sent it back within a day. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tetsujin
    Sep 18, 2022 at 13:10

Are there things it can do that a recent high-end phone cannot?

Yes, take natively good pictures. Even if phone cameras have made progress over the last 10 years, the pictures they take may look good on the smartphone screen but are rarely convincing at close range or in larger formats, due to the over-processing.

But if you can't make the difference, don't bother carrying the G2.


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