BB, it is too early to report, since I have shot only some shots in darkest night. Lightroom does not support this camera yet, thus I cannot develop my pictures as I like it, which means that you will only see JPEGs out of the camera. I have changed the size of the following picture for web and it will look much better after developing it in Lightroom, but here we go:
Canon PowerShot G12, 10.8 @ f/3.2, 1/13, ISO 400
I have just shot some pictures in the dark and it is too soon to tell you my final words, but I can tell you that I love the handling of this camera very much! I really love the swivel screen which I used today successfully, the controls are great and the camera can do things, which I have missed so much when shooting with my S90.
The quality is indeed amazing and I suppose that the original JPEGs are as great as it is possible for a compact camera at the moment. But to be honest, I don't like JPEGs out of the camera very much because of the noise reduction. I have a deep aversion against the noise reduction of all cameras I have shot until now. This is one of my main reason for shooting raw and for not buying any camera without raw.
Although the JPEGs of the G12 I shot today are really good (at least the ones taken at ISO 400), the G12 is no exception from the rule. I am a perfectionist. They are good enough for all my applications and I can print them at DIN A4 easily. I can see many details in spite of noise reduction and it will most probably be a pleasure to see the results I will get with Lightroom.
The difference between the JPEGs out of my S90 and the JPEGs I get with Lightroom is simply amazing. Since I am sure that this will be the case with the G12, too, I am still looking forward to the day when Lightroom supports this great camera. However, these JPEGs I shot today are very promising. I expect that the G12 will be better than my S90 regarding the richness of details.
Herman, I have not used the OVF until now. It does zoom, but it is tiny and does not show the whole picture (about 75% as far as I can remember, but I'd have to check the specifications to tell the truth). It might be useful in situations where the sun is behind you and you cannot see what is on the screen. I had some of such situations when I was shooting with my S90 and I think that the OVF would have been helpful.
pictor - I also now shoot in RAW 90% of the time - I am waiting for LR3 to "recognise" the S95 - I suppose that I could go thru the EXIF amendment process and change the info to S90 before importing to LR
I also tend to shoot at low ISOs - when I don't have a VF as I know that for most shots I will crop the image
I'll give it a go, (changing the EXIF), this weekend
I have tried Digital Photo Professional now and loaded the raw of above picture. Changing the picture controls from Standard to Neutral helps a lot! What I disliked so much is not the noise reduction! The JPEG out of the camera is oversharpened and the oversharpened noise does not look very good. I prefer Neutral when shooting JPEGs anyway. The problem with the S90 and (as it seems) also of the G12 is, that one cannot set the picture controls for JPEG when shooting raw and JPEG, but only when shooting only JPEGs. This is no problem for me, only a minor annoyance, since I am used to shoot raw.
To be able to nail the white balance is very important to me. I have not done much more than the white balance and a little reduction of chromatic noise. I have removed some reflections in Photoshop Elements 9 in both versions.
One year ago, on the 24th of October 2009, I have been in the same forest as today. Last year I took pictures with my Nikon D90 and the 18-105mm. Since it is rather dark in the forest at this time of the year and the 18-105mm is no fast lens at all, I had to use very high ISO. I could have overcome this problem by using a tripod, but since a DSLR is rather heavy, the tripod needs to be heavy, too. This would have been too much weight I'd like to carry.
Today I have been there with my new Canon G12. After mounting the G12 on the Gorillapod I used ISO 80 all the time. I did not care about shutter times and set the aperture which was necessary to get everything sharp which I wanted to be sharp. Composing the picture was so much easier than it was last year. The technical quality of the G12 at ISO 80 is much better than the technical quality of the D90 at ISO 1600 and more. It just makes more fun taking photographs like that.
I am so delighted with my G12. Shooting with this camera just makes so much fun. I sold my Nikon D90 and since that I have missed its easy control over the exposure, ISO, white balance and some other things like bracketing. My pens and the S90 are fine cameras, but unfortunately each of them has its own frustrating limitations. Although the Canon G12 is only a compact, I have not felt any limitations today. Every important parameter can be controlled easily after assigning white balance to the shortcut button. And I love the swivel screen so much that I cannot imaging shooting without it after only one day of using it!
I have changed the camera info of copy of a raw file to G11 with the ExifTool and it works. I don't plan to do that at the moment with all files, because the results I get in Digital Photo Professional are good enough for the moment and it happens that I somehow like this program. It is by far not as good as Lightroom, but it is the best program packaged with a camera I have seen so far.
Great post! I recently bought a G12 to replace the G11 that my gf acquired from me after selling her 40D. She loves it and says it's her "favorite camera ever!" I love the G12, finding that lately I've been using it much more than my 7D. That's saying a lot because the 7D is my favorite camera ever, but the G11/12 is the first PowerShot I've owned that I really liked the prints from. I've had a lot of PowerShots, including the G5 back in '04, but all have left me disappointed in the final print I made from the shots I took. The G12 produces excellent prints and being able to use the HDR feature is pretty cool as well. I love what I can do with my 7D or my 1vHS when shooting film, but these are big rigs to carry around while the G12 is so compact but has a lot packed into its compact body, and it's fun to use. While I know this site is about "serious compacts" the G12 has brought back some of the fun that I've been missing in photography while still enabling me to be as serious as I want to.
Since yesterday I have been able to develop the raw files of my G12 and I am so enthusiastic about the quality of the files. If I had not known, that I took these pictures with a compact camera, I would have been convinced, that I'd taken them with a DSLR, when I saw them in Lightroom.
As usual, I saved the standard development settings for each ISO and so I put my camera on my desk and took one photo for each ISO. I use automatic lens correction and "Camera neutral". For ISO 500 and higher I set noise reduction: I start with luminance noise at 10 and increase this by 5 for each step, such that at ISO 3200 I have set the value 50. The settings for chromatic noise remained unchanged, since I did not see any need to do so, which was not the case with my Olympus E-P1/PL1 and my Canon S90. I was simply astonished, how good the camera can be at even the highest ISO settings (after applying noise reduction).
Two days ago I have downloaded all film presets for Lightroom I have found here. For the following shot I have used the preset Kodak T-Max P3200, which I like very much for shots taken at high ISO (as far as I have tried the presets until now):
Canon PowerShot G12, 21.5mm @ f/4.0, 1/30, ISO 3200
Canon PowerShot G12, 21.5mm @ f/4.0, 1/8, ISO 3200
It was extremely dark, foggy and cold. There was nearly no other light than a large neon sign of a restaurant about twenty meters behind. This was just a test for what I can expect from my G12 using these presets and I am very pleased.