Canon PowerShot G15 Compact Camera

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76% Gold Award
With its combination of very decent image quality, responsive operation, quick AF, excellent build quality and its versatile and fast lens, the Canon Powershot G15 is a safe bet for most photographers looking for a 'serious' compact.”

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Key Features

  • 12MP 1/1.7"-type CMOS sensor
  • 28-140mm equivalent F1.8-2.8 lens, 4-stop 'Intelligent IS'.
  • ISO 80-12800
  • 1080, 24fps HD video
  • 10 fps continous shooting (maximum of 10 frames)
  • Fixed 3.0 inch PureColor II G LCD with 920,000 dots
  • Optical viewfinder
  • 12-bit multi aspect RAW+JPEG as found in Canon EOS DSLRs
  • Dual-axis electronic level
  • Built-in flash plus hot shoe for Canon Speedlites
  • Utitlizes 58mm threaded filters with adapter FA-DC58D (sold separately)

Product Description

The Canon PowerShot G15 caters to an advanced shooter with a 12MP 1/1.7"-type sensor, larger than that of a typical point-and-shoot, matched with a fast 28-140mm (equivalent) F1.8-2.8 lens. Full 1080p HD video recording is available at 24 fps with dual built-in microphones, and in High Speed burst HQ mode the G15 will shoot up to 10 frames per second. Unlike previous G-series PowerShots with articulated LCDs, the G15 offers a fixed 3.0-inch LCD, a trade-off that trimmed its size down by about 15%, making this a more pocketable model. Like its predecessors, it offers a generous number of external controls and excellent build quality.


Body type
Body type Compact
Max resolution 4000 x 3000
Other resolutions 4000 x 3000, 4000 x 2248, 4000 x 2664, 2992 x 2992, 2816 x 2112, 2816 x 1880, 2816 x 1584, 2112 x 2112, 1920 x 1080, 1600 x 1200, 1600 x 1064, 1200 x 1200, 640 x 480, 640 x 424, 640 x 360, 480 x 480
Image ratio w:h 1:1, 5:4, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels 12 megapixels
Sensor size 1/1.7" (7.44 x 5.58 mm)
Sensor type CMOS
Processor Digic 5
ISO Auto, 80, 100, 125, 160, 200, 250, 320, 400, 500, 640, 800, 1000, 1250, 1600, 2000, 2500, 3200, 4000, 5000, 6400, 8000, 10000, 12800
White balance presets 7
Custom white balance Yes (2)
Image stabilization Optical
Uncompressed format RAW
JPEG quality levels Fine, Normal
Optics & Focus
Focal length (equiv.) 28–140 mm
Optical zoom 5×
Maximum aperture F1.8 - F2.8
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Multi-area
  • Selective single-point
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Digital zoom Yes (4x)
Manual focus Yes
Macro focus range 1 cm (0.39)
Number of focus points 9
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCD Fixed
Screen size 3
Screen dots 922,000
Touch screen No
Screen type TFT PureColor II G LCD
Live view Yes
Viewfinder type Optical (tunnel)
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed 15 sec
Maximum shutter speed 1/4000 sec
Aperture priority Yes
Shutter priority Yes
Manual exposure mode Yes
Subject / scene modes Yes
Built-in flash Yes
Flash range 7.00 m
External flash Yes (Hot-shoe)
Flash modes Auto, On, Off, Red-Eye, Slow Sync, Second Curtain
Continuous drive 2 fps
Self-timer Yes (2 or 10 sec, Custom)
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
Exposure compensation ±3 (at 1/3 EV steps)
AE Bracketing (at 1/3 EV steps)
Videography features
Resolutions 1920 x 1080 (24 fps), 1280 x 720 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps)
Format H.264
Videography notes Miniature Effect (HD, L) 6fps, 3fps, 1.5 fps
Microphone Stereo
Speaker Mono
Storage types SD/SDHC/SDXC
Storage included Unknown
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMI Yes (Mini)
Wireless Eye-Fi Connected
Remote control Yes (Optional)
Environmentally sealed No
Battery Battery Pack
Battery description Lithium-Ion NB-10L rechargeable battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA) 350
Weight (inc. batteries) 352 g (0.78 lb / 12.42 oz)
Dimensions 107 x 76 x 40 mm (4.21 x 2.99 x 1.57)
Other features
Orientation sensor Yes
Timelapse recording No
GPS None


DPReview Conclusion

Scoring is relative only to the other cameras in the same category at the time of review.

Score Breakdown
Poor Excellent
Build quality
Ergonomics & handling
Exposure and focus accuracy
Image quality (raw)
Image quality (jpeg)
Flash performance
Low light / high ISO performance
Performance (speed)
Movie / video mode
Gold Award
Gold Award
76 %
Overall Score

The Canon Powershot G15 is a well-refined product and a joy to use. It is very quick and responsive in operation, built like a tank and offers the most external controls in its class. In combination with the fast 28-140mm F1.8-2.8 lens that makes it a very versatile and pocketable photographic tool that offers almost the same degree of control as much larger DSLRs.

Good For

Photographers who want DSLR-like controls and build-quality in a pocketable package

Not So Good For

Video shooters or users who cannot live without an articulated screen

User Reviews

4.27513 out of 5 stars
  • Ken53, Feb 12, 2013 GMT:
    Best G so far.

    There are some technical pros to this new G15 over the past G cameras. Most of the pluses have been explained very well by other posts. All I can hope to do here, is to explain what the G15 brings to me personally. First off, I have owned the G9, G10, and G12.The G10 was my favorite. What now makes the G15 my favorite G, is … (1) The great new bright lens, (2) The new smaller (but not to small) slim shape and ergonomics, (3) Performance of the new Digic 5, (4) The new CMOS sensor and the ...

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  • Mark D. Meyers D.D.S., Feb 4, 2013 GMT:
    Great Travel Gear

    Just got it and left my 7D and lenses at home. Travel was a breeze with it. No regrets on picture quality either. It will definately be my go to gear for out of town.

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  • akula57, Feb 1, 2013 GMT:
    This suits me just fine...

    I had wanted the RX100 (and still do!) but the G15 is much cheaper, easier to hold, has a viewfinder (ok, not the best, but it has one), a faster lens, better IS, and seems more DSLR-like (to me, anyway). I compared shots with the G12. Flash not needed when sometimes it is with the G12. The smaller size is very nice and the Digic 5 pays dividends. IQ really good and macro is excellent. The camera just works under nearly all conditions. The dials and wheels are great. To me, ...

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  • Bra1n, Jan 27, 2013 GMT:
    I would buy this but...if only camera makers would listen.

    This looks like a big improvement on the G12. My son has the G12 and I have the Canon S90. I am in the market for another compact and the hopefuls were G15, the S110 or the Sony RX100. Unfortunately there is just not enough that grabs me. What I like about the G15 is the lens performance. F1.8 - 2.8. This is what attracts me to this camera over the Sony F1.8-F4.9. The high f-number on the telephoto end of the sony turns me off. If the G15 was 24-140, not 28-140 (or 24-120 like the S110) with ...

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Canon Powershot G15 by DPReview

DPReview's Richard Butler presents a quick look at Canon's Powershot G15 enthusiast compact camera.

Questions & Answers


Very poor image quality from G1x MK 2 (in my opinion!)

I would value people's opinion here on the image quality of the G1X. I'm posting examples of images taken on my relatively new G1X MK 2. I bought the camera a couple of months ago and didn't have time to use it an awful lot until my annual holiday which I returned from a couple of weeks ago. In recent years I've left my DSLR gear at home preferring the lightness and flexibility of a smaller compact camera. The G1X replaced a G15, in the last few years I've also had a G9, G10 an S95 and I have the use of an S120 which my daughter has. The photographs My perception of image quality is that it is not good. This is only my assessment based upon my own images from my G1X and by no means is it a general statement for all G1X images. On SOOC JPEGS they look way over sharpened and the sharpness in the images looks so obviously manufactured rather being actual clarity. When magnified any fine detail is completely smudged and obliterated. I am posting a couple of samples in this thread of ...

1 day ago


I have the earlier version of your camera, the G1X Mk1. I too thought my images were not up to my expectations. They were a little soft straight out of the camera. However, I have had this conception before with other cameras. I sharpen with PS CS5 and find the results fine. As for your posted images, they look great to me. Fine hair detail, etc. Maybe color saturation is a little weak which should be able to adjust in custom colors. You might look at your cameras custom colors settings to see how it is presently set. I must disagree with your evaluation. Seems you are expecting too much. One of the best things about the G1X MK1 is that it does not have that lens self scratching protective shutter on the end of the lens. That is why I have it rather than another of the G series. G1X MK 2 may not have the removable lens cover, I don't know about that. Enjoy that camera. Continue Reading

Dan Hudson answered
1 day ago

Well here is what I am getting, and this is straight from the camera, no post processing applied whatsoever. Here is 100% Crop, does that look like poor image quality to you? Continue Reading

lanefAU answered
1 day ago

I have not shot any RAW photos because usually I shoot raw only on my D800. But, I don't know why you are experiencing loss of details, all the photos I have taken with this camera can yield good details. Here is another 100% crop, it is quite good for a compact to me. Continue Reading

lanefAU answered
1 day ago


a case for the G15

anyone find a good case for the g15 ?

f dinaro asked
1 year ago


I don't understand why someone would give thumbs down about me asking about a case for the G15. Maybe he does not need one but I do. And anyone who has a G15 does. This forum is here to help.......some people need to get a life Continue Reading

f dinaro answered
1 year ago

Try this out: Regards, EmmeBi Continue Reading

EmmeBi answered
1 year ago

thanks looks good Continue Reading

f dinaro answered
1 year ago


My expectations are not met

I was a happy user of the G12 but it broke and the only replacement camera with a swivel LCD was the G1x. I knew that the main limitation of the G1x was a lack of true macro (closest distance about 20cm) so I bought a second hand G1x in the hope that the next camera (the G2x) would have a better Macro (and some betters specs) and so I would buy a new G2x. To my disapointment, the Swivel LCD is no more an option on the G2x, and my question is if there is any improvement to the macro mode. If not, I really have to take care of the G1x since it is likely the last canon semi-pro camera with a swivel LCD. I also think the price is getting too expensive. The G1x already had great image quality so I don't understand Canon - the more users complain that they miss the swivel LCD in the G15-G16 upgrade, the less this option is constructed in canon cameras. ???

5 months ago


Canon has stated that the reason they changed from a swivel LCD to a tilting LCD for the G1X-II is because the swing out LCD got in the way of the left hand being able to use the control rings around the lens.  So the put in a tiltable LCD, which can also give a multitude of viewing angles, both up and down and forward, but you can still use the control rings around the lens.  The tiltable LCD is also more stable and makes using the touch screen easier.  Those seem like sound reasons to me. :) Continue Reading

Dale Buhanan answered
5 months ago

5cm from the front of the lens at the wide end. Search function is helpful and keeps one from complaining about unanswered questions. Continue Reading

mcslsk answered
5 months ago

So you found one item you didn't like and you're not buying the camera? They actually kept the price the same, but added more features and updated the processor and significantly reduced the macro distance.. yea.. the price didn't go up. It actually cost even less if you take into account inflation. Continue Reading

Tonkotsu Ramen answered
5 months ago

Warranty Information

"Canon U.S.A., Inc. and Canon Canada Inc. (collectively "Canon") warrant to the original end‐user purchaser, when delivered in new condition in its original container, that the Product will be free from defects in materials and workmanship under normal use and service for a period of one (1) year from the date of original purchase. Product returned to a Canon repair facility and proven to be defective upon inspection will, at Canon’s sole discretion and without charge, be (a) repaired utilizing new, remanufactured, repaired and/or recycled parts; (b) exchanged for a new Product or; (c) exchanged for a refurbished Product, as determined by the Canon repair facility. Warranty exchange or replacement does not extend the original warranty period of the Product. "

Go to Canon USA's warranty page for more information. DPReview GearShop is an authorized Canon dealer in the United States.

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