Canon G15 review

What does this upgrade of the popular G12 offer?

Canon PowerShot G15
The 12.1 megapixel Canon PowerShot G15 replaces the G12

TechRadar Verdict


  • +

    Direct dials and buttons

  • +

    Sleeker body than G12

  • +

    Great f/1.8 lens


  • -

    No touchscreen

  • -

    No articulating screen

  • -

    Poor viewfinder

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After quite a significant waiting period, the Canon G12 has finally been upgraded in the shape of the 12.1 million pixel Canon PowerShot G15, unveiled at Photokina 2012.

At first glance, the Canon G15 looks pretty similar to the Powershot G12, but there are a few significant differences. The most notable of these is the stacked or overlapping dials on the top that enable both the mode dial and the exposure compensation dial to be squeezed on to the right side of the camera's top plate.

Although these could potentially be a turn-off for novices, they enable more experienced photographers to set the exposure mode and adjust the exposure quickly.

Canon PowerShot G15 review

The lens has also seen a bit of a refresh, being the first Canon compact camera to feature an f/1.8 optic. This maximum aperture reduces to f/2.8 at the telephoto end of the 5x (28-140mm equivalent) zoom lens.

This should make it possible to restrict depth of field more effectively, to separate the subject from the background.

The style of the Canon G series won't appeal to everyone. They've never been the prettiest, with a distinct utilitarian look. The Canon G15 doesn't do much to change this, with the same basic shape. Unfortunately, it doesn't have the same retro charm that Fuji has managed to give its cameras such as the Fuji FinePix X10 and the Fuji FinePix X100.

Canon PowerShot G15 review

Nevertheless, it's a sort of no-nonsense design that has found favour with many enthusiast and professional photographers, so it's easy to see why Canon has stuck with it.

Canon has taken the perhaps unusual decision to remove the articulating screen that was found on the Canon G12 and replace it with a fixed, 3-inch, 920,000 dot version. This does make it a little more pocket friendly than its predecessor, and it could be that Canon is hoping that more serious photographers will plump for its larger Canon G1 X camera.

The Canon G15 was launched at the same time as the Canon S110, which is a much smaller compact camera that also features GPS and Wi-Fi built into the body, along with a touchscreen and an f/2.0 lens. We can't help but wonder if Canon has spent more time on the PowerShot S110 and provided the PowerShot G series with only minor upgrades.

There have been a lot of premium compact cameras announced this year. The Canon G15 is priced at £549.99/AU$598/US$499 at launch, and it goes head to head with the Panasonic LX7, Sony RX100, Olympus XZ-2 and the Samsung EX2F.

Amy Davies

Amy has been writing about cameras, photography and associated tech since 2009. Amy was once part of the photography testing team for Future Publishing working across TechRadar, Digital Camera, PhotoPlus, N Photo and Photography Week. For her photography, she has won awards and has been exhibited. She often partakes in unusual projects - including one intense year where she used a different camera every single day. Amy is currently the Features Editor at Amateur Photographer magazine, and in her increasingly little spare time works across a number of high-profile publications including Wired, Stuff, Digital Camera World, Expert Reviews, and just a little off-tangent, PetsRadar.