Canon Powershot G15 – compact with a wide aperture [Video]
What is the Canon Powershot G15?
The G15 is a high end compact camera, sitting on the edge of being a bridge camera and featuring some features normally found in more sophisticated cameras.
It is the follow up to the Canon Powershot G12 and the latest model includes a new lens offering a large aperture of f/1.8. This extra wide aperture means the camera should perform well in low light conditions, improve depth of field and enable it to use faster shutter speeds for better action shots.
The lens has a 5X zoom and a focal length of 28mm-140mm, with the aperture measuring f/2.8 at the full extension of the zoom – meaning it can still produce good depth of field even when fully zoomed in.
The G15 features a 12.1Mp CMOS sensor and Digic 5 image processor for producing good quality images and, according to Canon, the autofocus is 53% faster than the G12 – making it the fastest in a Canon compact.
The G15 can also record video in full HD resolution and it features a wide range of manual controls, including a front dial for adjusting settings.
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Below are just our first impressions based on a short time with the product, not a full review. Read our bridge camera reviews for full reviews of the latest bridge and compact system cameras and to see which produce the sharpest shots and sport the quickest speeds. Read about how we test bridge cameras for an in-depth breakdown of our tests.
Tim’s impressions of the Canon Powershot G15
The new lens is the story here and it is certainly impressive to get a compact with such a large aperture. The shots we were able to take came out well and seemed to be of good quality, although only having a 5X zoom is a little disappointing, especially when you consider the price – £549.
The styling of the camera is nice enough and it feels sturdy, but there’s nothing special about the deisgn and it is pretty much business as usual for the G series.
The opitical viewfinder is very welcome and will help people compose shots – especially in bright sunlight – but as this is a mirrorless camera you won’t see the exact image you are shooting.
The manual controls will appeal to photography enthusiasts and dials on the front and back of the camera make these easy to access – although I do wonder why anyone who is that interested in the settings will be looking for a compact camera. There’s also an extra dial on the top which can be used as a shortcut for adjusting the brightness of your pictures without having to drill down deep into the settings.
It’s not the most compact compact and while it is a lot smaller than a DSLR, it’s not going to fit easily into everyone’s pockets – although it is thinner than Canon’s Powershot G1 X.
Canon say the G15 is designed for serious photographers and it does look like it is capable of producing top quality images – as long as you are close enough to your subject to capture them. It seems to be aimed at semi-professional photographers for when they don’t want to lug their DSLRs around – although over £500 seems a bit steep for this.
When can I buy it?
The Canon Powershot G15 goes on sale in late October and will cost £549.
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