Updated (March, 2012): Compare the Canon PowerShot G1X vs Nikon D3200

Canon PowerShot G12 vs Nikon D3100

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Canon PowerShot G12

55

Nikon D3100

55

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Reasons to buy the Canon PowerShot G12

Really small
Size
Mid size (112×76×48 mm)
Image stabilization
Image stabilization
  1. Lens
Flip-out screen
Screen flips out
Great for movies
In-camera HDR
HDR
Combines multiple exposures
 

Reasons to buy the Nikon D3100

Movie continuous focus
Movie continuous focus
Makes it easy to get in-focus movies
Badge
Autofocuses shooting video
Contrast detection
Live view
Has live view
Preview your photos

galleries

Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Canon PowerShot G12.
Explore our gallery of 49 sample photos taken by the Nikon D3100.

differences

Advantages of the Canon G12

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Image stabilization
Image stabilization
  1. Lens
vs None
Help
Helps eliminate blur caused by small camera movements
Size
Smaller
112×76×48 mm vs 124×97×74 mm
Help
2.2x smaller
Screen flips out
Has a flip-out screen
Yes vs No
Help
Flip-out screens can be helpful when composing tricky shots or taking movies
HDR
Has in-camera HDR
Yes vs No
Help
Combines multiple exposures to capture high dynamic range
Screen resolution
Higher resolution screen
461k dots vs 230k dots
Help
More than 2x higher resolution screen
Thickness
Thinner
1.9" vs 2.9"
Help
More than 30% thinner
Weight
Lighter
401 g vs 505 g
Help
More than 20% lighter
Canon PowerShot G12 Learn more about
the Canon G12

Advantages of the Nikon D3100

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Overall image quality
Significantly better image quality
67.0 vs 47.0
Help
More than 40% better image quality
Startup delay
Much less startup delay
400 ms vs 2700 ms
Help
6.8x less delay when turning on
Autofocus
Faster autofocus
Phase detection vs Contrast detection
Help
Catch candid moments easily
Color depth
Better color depth
22.5 bits vs 20.4 bits
Help
Distinguishes 2.1 more bits of color
Movie format
Higher resolution movies
1080p @ 24fps vs 720p @ 24fps
Help
Shoots higher resolution Full HD (1080p) video
Screen size
Larger screen
3" vs 2.8"
Help
Around 10% larger screen
Shutter lag
Less shutter lag
279 ms vs 380 ms
Help
Around 30% less delay when taking photos
Interchangeable lenses
Has interchangeable lenses
Yes vs No
Help
Can take advantage of a variety of lenses
Low light performance
Lower noise at high ISO
919 ISO vs 161 ISO
Help
The D3100 has excellent image quality: 2.5 f-stops higher ISO than the G12
Battery life
Longer battery life
550 shots vs 350 shots
Help
Around 60% more shots per battery charge
Sensor type
Has a CMOS-family sensor
CMOS vs CCD
Help
CMOS-family sensors often produce better quality images
True resolution
Higher true resolution
14.2 MP vs 10 MP
Help
Capture more than 40% more detail in your photos
Dynamic range
More dynamic range
11.3 EV vs 11.2 EV
Help
0.2 f-stops more dynamic range
Viewfinder
Has a through-the-lens viewfinder
Pentamirror vs Tunnel
Help
Through-the-lens viewfinders let you see exactly what your photo will look like
Lowest price
Cheaper
$240.00 vs $992.07
Help
The best price we've seen is $752 cheaper (4.1x less)
Continuous shooting
Shoots slightly faster
3 fps vs 2 fps
Help
50% faster continuous shooting
Light sensitivity (boost)
Has boost ISO
12,800 ISO vs None
Help
Allows taking photos in darker situations, often at the cost of additional noise in the image
Longest exposure
Longer exposures
30s vs 15s
Help
2x longer exposures
Nikon D3100 Learn more about
the Nikon D3100
vs

recommendations

Which camera do we recommend? Relative to the best recent digital cameras, and ignoring price

Canon PowerShot G12 Canon PowerShot G12 55
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      Color
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        vs
        55 Nikon D3100 Nikon D3100
        Retailer
          Style
            Color
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              similarities

              Compared to recent digital cameras

              Common Strengths
              Supports 24p 24p support Help
              For that film look
              Supports RAW Supports RAW Help
              Better editing
              External flash Each supports an external flash Help
              Better lighting
              Viewfinder Viewfinders Help
              G12Tunnel
              D3100Pentamirror
              Common Weaknesses
              Dynamic range Poor dynamic range Help
              G1211.2 EV
              D310011.3 EV
              Panorama Neither camera stitches together panoramas Help
              You could stitch photos in post
              External mic jack Neither has an external mic jack Help
              Limited to the in-camera mic
              Continuous shooting Slow continuous shooting Help
              G122 fps
              D31003 fps
              Touch screen No touchscreens Help
              More buttons
              Screen resolution Low resolution screens Help
              G12461k dots
              D3100230k dots

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Canon Rebel T3

              Canon Rebel T3

              Entry-level DSLR

              $325 body only

              $399 with 18-55mm lens

              Battery life Has a slightly longer battery life
              Sensor cleaning Lacks a self cleaning sensor
              Thickness Is thicker
              Canon Rebel T3i

              Canon Rebel T3i

              Entry-level DSLR

              $479 body only

              $548 - $566 with 18-55mm lens

              Screen resolution Has a significantly higher resolution screen
              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Thickness Is thicker
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Canon EOS Rebel T2i

              Canon Rebel T2i

              Entry-level DSLR

              $700 with 18-55mm lens

              Screen resolution Has a significantly higher resolution screen
              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Weight Is slightly heavier

              Canon PowerShot G12 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Canon PowerShot G16

              Canon PowerShot G16

              Pro digicam

              $399

              Aperture Significantly wider aperture
              Screen resolution Significantly higher resolution screen
              Supports 24p No 24p support
              Screen flips out Screen does not flip out
              Canon PowerShot G15

              Canon PowerShot G15

              Pro digicam

              $785

              Aperture Significantly wider aperture
              Screen resolution Significantly higher resolution screen
              Screen flips out Screen does not flip out
              Color depth Worse color depth
              Canon PowerShot G11

              Canon PowerShot G11

              Pro digicam

              $600

              Battery life Much longer battery life
              Startup delay Slightly less startup delay
              Supports 24p No 24p support
              HDR Lacks in-camera HDR
              Canon PowerShot G1X

              Canon PowerShot G1X

              Boutique

              $427 - $483

              Overall image quality Better image quality
              Screen resolution Significantly higher resolution screen
              Macro focus Much worse macro capability
              Shutter lag Much more shutter lag
              Canon PowerShot G10

              Canon PowerShot G10

              Pro digicam

              $849

              Battery life Much longer battery life
              Screen size Larger screen
              Supports 24p No 24p support
              Shutter lag Much more shutter lag

              Nikon D3100 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D3200

              Nikon D3200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $300 - $547 body only

              $379 - $447 with 18-55mm lens

              Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen
              Overall image quality Better image quality
              Canon EOS Rebel T5

              Canon EOS Rebel T5

              Entry-level DSLR

              $499 body only

              $399 - $400 with 18-55mm lens

              Screen resolution Higher resolution screen
              True resolution Higher true resolution
              Overall image quality Slightly worse image quality
              Sensor cleaning Lacks a self cleaning sensor
              Nikon D5100

              Nikon D5100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $368 body only

              $479 - $640 with 18-55mm lens

              Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen
              Overall image quality Better image quality
              Size Slightly larger
              Startup delay Slightly more startup delay
              Nikon D3300

              Nikon D3300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $677 body only

              $430 - $497 with 18-55mm lens

              Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen
              Overall image quality Better image quality
              Lowest price Slightly more expensive
              Nikon D90

              Nikon D90

              Entry-level DSLR

              $710 body only

              $1,021 with 55-300mm lens

              Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen
              Built-in focus motor Has a built-in focus motor
              Autofocus Lacks video autofocus
              Movie format Lower resolution movies

              appearance

              Canon PowerShot G12 Nikon D3100
              Canon PowerShot G12 Nikon D3100
              Canon PowerShot G12 Nikon D3100

              discussion

              Canon PowerShot G12
              PowerShot G12
              Canon

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              Nikon D3100
              D3100
              Nikon

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