The Canon PowerShot G1 launched in 2000, and since then there have been 10 Canon PowerShot G cameras in the series. Based on feedback from our members, Which? has campaigned for more compact cameras to feature optical viewfinders. But the G-series is unusual in having retained one from the beginning.
Of course, it’s more expensive than most compact cameras, but in honour of this achievement we thought we’d take a look at how this range of cameras has changed over the years, and how those changes affected its performance in our camera lab tests.
You can see every version in action in the video below – scroll down for a more detailed history and comparison graphic.
Canon PowerShot G-series video
Canon PowerShot G-series history
The Canon PowerShot G-series of cameras offer hands-on manual controls in a compact body. The cameras have been well-received, and consistently perform well in our tests. The one exception being the Canon Powershot G7, which was a turning point in the history of the series and wasn’t a Which? Best Buy.
The notable changes from the original G1 to the current G12 include the jump in resolution from 3.3Mp to 10Mp. The resolution peaked in 2008 at 14.7Mp, but subsequently it was dropped.
The original Canon PowerShot G1 had an articulated 1.8-inch screen. The size was increased to 2-inches on the G6 and then 2.5-inches on the G7, however the screen on the G7 was fixed in place. The fixed screen then grew to 3-inches, before the articulated version returned on the G11 and was trimmed down to 2.8-inches.
Compact Flash memory cards were in use up until the PowerShot G7, when SD memory cards took over. It was only as recently as the latest Canon PowerShot G12 in 2010 that we saw HD 720p video recording.
Canon PowerShot G-Series timeline
Canon PowerShot G12 member reviews
The Canon PowerShot G12 is a popular camera among Which? members. ‘Trashman’ writes:
Like many others this is a backup for my Canon DSLR kit but I have to admit I am tending to use the G12 more and more. The features are great, it’s tough and very reliable and the benefits of RAW make more than a substitute for my other cameras … get one you will not regret it.
Log in and leave your own user reviews on the Canon PowerShot G12 here.
Canon Powershot G13 or Canon PowerShot G14?
A new Canon PowerShot G camera didn’t materialise in 2011, so we fully expect the next model to launch this year. Canon has skipped the G4 and G8 naming of cameras, so may decide to skip G13 and launch a Canon G14.
Other than 2011, 2005 was the only year since the launch of original G1 that didn’t see a new PowerShot G announced, and the Canon G7 that then arrived in 2006 brought with it a substantial redesign, so perhaps the next G camera will be quite a removal from the current line up.
Among the new features likley to appear on the next Canon G camera is Full HD video at 1080p resolution, but what else would you like to see? Let us know in the comments below.