*Update Nov 6th, 2012: Canon G15 Video Review and additional sample images added.* – The Canon G15 is the replacement to the popular Canon Powershot G12 premium compact digital camera (2010). The 12 megapixel Canon G15 continues in the same tradition as earlier G series models by offering a small compact form factor, an enthusiast oriented feature set, and SLR style like operation.
Check out our Canon G15 Video Review
Geared towards photography enthusiasts and travel photographers, what sets the Canon G15 digital camera apart from the competition is it’s 5x optical image stabilized zoom lens (28-140mm in 35mm terms), featuring a bright aperture range from F/1.8-2.8 wide open.
Faster apertures (lower f-number) offer many advantages. By absorbing light quicker, camera’s with bright lenses are especially useful for low light photography situations and for capturing fast action by allowing for a faster shutter speed. Fast aperture lenses typically offer enhanced sharpness, and allow for the ability to create a compressed or “shallow” depth of field (area in front and behind your subject that is in focus). Shallow depth of field is suitable for portraits and close-up work and in other situations when you may want to blur out the background to emphasize the main subject.
The Canon G15 incorporates a 1/1.7″ size 12MP CMOS sensor that is smaller than the typical sensor size found in mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras, and the even larger sensors found in APS-C format digital SLR cameras. Camera’s with smaller sensors often suffer in terms of low light image quality by not being able to do well at higher ISO settings.
A production Canon G15 camera arrived in the office yesterday, and I have now been able to to take a few sample shots. My main goal was to test the camera’s Hi-ISO capabilities, as well as looking at the quality and sharpness of the 5x optical IS lens.
Have a look at the Canon G15 sample images in our photo gallery below and judge for yourself. Click on images to see full size.
Canon G15 Sample Images: The Enthusiasts Powershot
From spending a couple of days with the Canon G15 my first impressions are favourable. The camera is simple to handle and use, and the SLR like top camera controls and dials allow for quick adjustments. The camera’s menu system is well presented and the ‘Quick Menu’ feature allows for fast access to change key settings..
Updated Nov 6th, 2012: Added Canon G15 review on YouTube with sample HD video;
The Canon G15’s built-in optical lens based image stabilizer provides up to 4 stop compensation, a feature that allowed me to hand hold the camera when taking the nighttime playground shot at 8000 ISO (Shown in gallery). In general the image quality from the Canon G15 is quite good. The lens is certainly capable of producing nice sharp results.
It is at the higher ISO settings that image quality on the Canon G15 Powershot compact camera starts to suffer, a direct result of the camera’s smaller sensor size. As with most compact cameras, the Canon G15 employs heavy noise reduction image processing at hi-ISO settings. Shooting above 3200 ISO is maybe okay for producing smaller image sizes (web + social networking), although the 12,800 ISO setting is essentially unusable.
Cameras with larger sensors offer enhanced light gathering ability and offer better image quality in low light situations. The Canon Rebel T3 and T4i digital SLR interchangeable lens cameras feature a larger APS-C size sensor, an advantage that provides these camera models with considerably better low light image quality at Hi-ISO settings versus the Canon G15 with its smaller camera sensor.
The JPEG image quality from the Canon G15 at 3200 ISO is quite acceptable for what it is, although the strong noise reduction approach employed by the camera leads to considerable loss of detail in the final image.
Please feel free to share your thoughts on the Canon G15 Powershot compact camera and the above image samples in the comments section below.