Canon G15 review

Canon G15 review

In our Canon G15 review our testing team asks whether the G15’s new f/1.8-2.8 5x zoom lens is the best ever in a Canon G camera. Watch the video review below to find out how this new Canon camera fared.

Canon G15 review

Lost amid the full-frame frenzy at Photokina 2012 was Canon’s addition of a new premium compact to its PowerShot range.

The Canon G15 signature feature is a new f/1.8-2.8 5x zoom lens, which is the brightest lens of any Canon G camera to date.

Canon says the lens was developed using new highly refractive glass with a unique multiple material coating engineered to handle specific wavelengths of light at the nanometre scale.

The Canon PowerShot G15′s 5x optical zoom offers an f/1.8 aperture at its 28mm wide-angle, and an f/2.8 aperture at its maximum 140mm focal length.

Also on-board the 12.1-megapixel Canon G15 is an HDR photography mode and full HD video recording, while the body features a front dial, dedicated Movie Record and shortcut buttons and offers full manual control along with raw format shooting.

Canon says the PowerShot G15 is 17% smaller than its predecessor, the Canon G12, and it boasts a 920,000-dot, 3in PureColor II G LCD screen, as well as an optical viewfinder.

Other features include 4-stop optical Image Stabilizers, and Intelligent IS that automatically detects the shooting situation and applies the most suitable of seven Image Stabilizer modes.

On board the Canon G15 is the DIGIC 5 image processing system, Multi-Area White Balance and an ISO range up to ISO 12,800.
Canon also claims an AF speed on the PowerShot G15 of 0.17secs at the wide-angle end of the focal range.

But how do all these features stand up under testing? Our testing team puts the Canon G15 through its rigorous tests in our Canon G15 review. Click to watch the video below.

Canon G15 Review Video Transcript

The Canon G15 is the upgrade to the popular two-year-old G12.

At first glance, the 12.1 million pixel G15 seems very similar to the G12, but there are quite a few notable physical differences.

For starters, the dials on the top of the camera are now stacked and overlapping, and both on the right side of the camera. The dedicated ISO dial found on the G12 is also now missing.

The lens has had a bit of a refresh, being the first Canon G-series compact camera to feature an f/1.8 optic. This maximum aperture reduces down to a still respectable f/2.8 at the telephoto end.

It’s a 5x optical zoom, making it the equivalent of 28-140mm. You zoom in and out via this small switch around the shutter release. It’s pretty smooth and quiet to use, and you can activate digital zoom when not shooting in raw format.

Probably the biggest difference between this and the G12 is the screen, which is no longer articulating. Instead, there’s a fixed 3-inch 920,000 dot device. It’s a pretty decent performer in bright light, avoiding glare and reflections most of the time, however it’s a shame that Canon hasn’t chosen to include the same touchscreen which can be found on the smaller Powershot S110.

Not having an articulating screen, and a sleeker body than its predecessor, makes this a much more pocketable camera. You’ll also notice that the finger grip is a little less pronounced than before, but it’s still pretty easy to hold – while the textured covering gives you confidence when holding the camera in one hand.

Canon’s G series cameras have always been aimed pretty squarely at the enthusiast photographer, and as such the G15 has a number of direct access dials and button designed to appeal to this kind of user.

At the top of the camera is a dial for quickly changing between the various modes the camera offers. You’ve got fully automatic, fully manual, semi-automatic and scene, digital filter and movie modes here. There’s also space for two sets of custom settings – which is useful if you often find yourself shooting in any given situation, such as low light.

Slightly underneath this dial is an exposure compensation dial, which can be quite easily reached with the thumb. Although there’s no direct ISO dial anymore, a simple tap of this button on the back of the camera gives you access to sensitivity settings.

A small dial at the top of the finger grip is used to alter aperture and shutter speed – depending on the mode being used – and is very easy to access, again when shooting one-handed.

Changing the autofocus points is done by pressing this button here and scrolling around with this dial, or by pressing one of the four way directional keys. It’s fairly easy to do, but a touchcreen would have made it much quicker. If you need to capture a lot of fast action, it’s probably easier to set the focus point to the middle and focus and recompose.

Other direct access buttons include this one for changing the metering mode, this one for changing the focusing mode and this one for changing the flash mode. Most of the commonly used settings can be accessed via this Function menu, which means you don’t have to delve into the full menu every time you need to change something. Here you’ll find settings such as white balance, continuous shooting, aspect ratio and raw format shooting.

It would have been nice if Canon had found room for an extra customisable button somewhere on the body so you could have immediate access to an extra, commonly used setting.

Images taken straight from the camera are bright, vibrant and punchy. There’s also lots of detail, with the f/1.8 aperture lens allowing for some beautiful shallow depth of field effects to be achieved.


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