Powershot S100 vs PowerShot G12 / G1X vs Powershot SX260

The Powershot S100, Powershot G1X and Powershot SX260 are all recent releases from Canon while the Powershot G12 is last year’s model remaining in production. As I have stated I am planning to buy a Powershot SX260 shortly so the comparison is worthwhile.
  • Resolutions vary between 12 and 14 megapixels. The SX260 is by far the cheapest of these four cameras and has a 12 megapixel sensor. 
  • All four cameras have full manual controls and a display size of about 3 inches. The two G series cameras also have optical viewfinders.
  • All four have full manual controls as well as automatic exposure / focus settings.
  • The sensors are various sizes but the SX260 has the smallest. This however allows it to have a massive 20x zoom range which is much longer than the others as the small chip means a smaller lens, however like all small lenses the low light performance is adversely impacted.
  • The two G series cameras have hotshoes for external flashes; the G12 also has a built in flash which along with the S100 has a range of 7 metres, the SX260 can only do 3.5 metres. Canon however do produce a slave flash that can be used with the SX260 (and other lower end models) for a range of up to 9 metres.
  • All four cameras can shoot video at 1920×1080 pixels at 24 fps.
  • The S100 and SX260 both have an inbuilt GPS unit to geotag pictures with the location where they were taken.
The G series cameras are aimed at being as good as a low end SLR except with a fixed lens. The G12 is roughly the same price equivalent as the S5 when I was given mine and would have been worth looking at, I’m not sure why we didn’t have a look at the time but possibly the G series were not actually in production at the time. The lens is typically about 5x but with a much larger sensor than a typical compact for better overall performance, these cameras also have an articulating screen and the G12 has inbuilt wireless connectivity. The G1X is the latest model from Canon and pushes the top of the G series out with a higher spec and price. It does not have any flash unit inbuilt.
The S100 is a high end compact with a larger sensor (same as the G12) and therefore can only have about a 5x zoom. It doesn’t have a flash hotshoe but can be fitted with the slave flash mentioned earlier, and also has a wireless capability. In many ways it is a higher spec version of the SX260 and is just a little smaller. Having ruled out the G12 / G1X on the grounds of size and cost it was a little more tougher to choose between the S100 and the SX260, however as I am planning to buy a DSLR I can afford to cut back on the spec of the compact and therefore go for the cheaper SX260 instead. The 20x zoom of the latter is also a big factor in its favour. The SX260 is Canon’s latest entry in what is called a “travel zoom” range most epitomised by the Panasonic TZ series. I remember years ago Canon could not compete in this range which was a source of frustration to me but now I am pleased to see the SX260 after a few hiccups with some of its predecessors is well worth considering.
I have enquired from my local retailer and they advise me that the Powershot SX260HS is available at $505 retail which is about 10% cheaper than their last displayed price for the SX230. I will have that in a few weeks so happy snapping Smile
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