I have been using a Canon PowerShot G12 for about a year, and find it incredibly slow. In full auto-mode, with good lighting conditions, I feel the G12 regularly takes close to 0.5 s between the time I took a picture and the time I can take the next picture. Compared to the G12, the iPhone 4S and even my ancient Canon EOS 300D feel very snappy.

I suspect the G12 takes all this time to do the focus. In contrast, the iPhone 4S behaves as if it was constantly adjusting the focus to whatever area you clicked on screen, so when the press the "shutter", the picture is also taken instantly, and you can take several pictures in a row without so much lag between them.

Is there a way to achieve a similar result on the G12? Or at least to reduce the delay between the lag between pictures being shot?

  • 1
    This page mentions the "G12 locks focus in 0.3 to 0.5 seconds". dcresource.com/reviews/canon/powershot_g12-review/using
    – avernet
    Jul 21 '12 at 18:02
  • 1
    My original question incorrectly mentioned that the G12 doesn't support the half-way pressed shutter. In fact it does, but I find it hard to get to that half-way point without going all the way. Also, I updated the question to clarify I'm talking about the lag between pictures being taken.
    – avernet
    Jul 22 '12 at 18:23

The "ancient" Canon EOS 300D uses phase detection autofocus - typically a much faster way to achieve focus over contrast detect autofocus such as what your G12 is using.

See: What is the practical difference between phase-detect and contrast-based autofocus?

There isn't much you can do here, your best bet is to center over a high contrast area in the shot. You can also switch to manual focus so it doesn't need to determine the focus for each shot.

Other things to consider are your memory card speed, the resolution settings(RAW or JPEG) that you are shooting in, and if things like AF-assist beams and red eye reduction settings are on or off.

Also see further reading on your iPhone and it's AF: How does focus work on mobile phone cameras?

If quick autofocus is really essential - switch back to the 300D, buy a newer DSLR, or find a micro four thirds camera that is quick to AF(starting to exist) and fulfills your needs.


You might want to try installing chdk on your G12 and seeing if you can tweak any of the performance via it.

If you haven't heard of chdk before its basically a group of enthusiasts who produce custom firmware for cameras to enhance their functionality.

See the linked page for your camera

Hope that helps!

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