If you’ve seen a Canon G-series before, the PowerShot G12 will look very familiar – it looks almost identical to the G11, with the exception of a new front-mounted jog dial.

Aside from the non-pop-up flash, it could also easily be mistaken for its main rival, the Nikon P7000.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Gs, this is Canon's series of compact aimed at enthusiasts who don't want an SLR cramping their snap-happy style.

Not so noisy

In terms of picture quality, the G12 is good at realistic, with accurate colours and superb detail. There’s very little noise at high sensitivity settings, with ISO 1600 even being very useable.

The autofocus is also a little nippier than the Nikon P7000’s, so it’s easier to get the right shot.

Chubby but lovely

Being slightly chubbier than the P7000 proves to be an advantage, with a chunky grip that’s easier to hold. You still won't get your paws round it as comfortably as you will with an SLR, though.

The optical viewfinder (almost identical to the P7000’s) and dedicated ISO dial are invaluable, while the tiltable LCD is a useful addition.

The G12 is just about pocketable if you wear baggy trousers or a big jacket, which means it's a camera you might actually have with you when opportunities arise – the best kind.

Stuff says... 

Canon PowerShot G12 review

A supremely capable digital compact that edges its rivals in most of the areas that count