Canon PowerShot G15 – New Sensor, Improved AF & 10 FPS Burst

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Canon PowerShot G15 - New Sensor, Improved AF & 10 FPS BurstLast week, Canon added a new model to their long-running G-Series line of high-end compact cameras, the 12-megapixel PowerShot G15. The G15 is a bit smaller and lighter than its predecessor, the G12, but the most exciting feature is the upgraded 5x 28-140mm (equivalent) zoom lens, which now has a super-fast f/1.8-2.8 aperture. That will give the G15 significantly better low light shooting ability and much better depth-of-field control. The G15’s ISO 12,800 maximum sensitivity (two stops better than the G12) will make a real difference in poor lighting conditions, too. The G15 also has improved auto focus, 1920 x 1080 full HD video and it can shoot 10 frames per second at full resolution in High-Speed Burst HQ mode.

Canon PowerShot G15 High-End Compact Camera - Front & Back

Canon PowerShot G15 Key Features And Specs

  • New 12.1-megapixel 1/1.7-inch CMOS sensor
  • 5x 28-105mm f/1.8-2.8 zoom lens
  • Canon HS System for low light image quality
  • DIGIC 5 image processing
  • Sensitivity range: ISO 80 to 12,800
  • RAW shooting
  • 10 frames per second in High-Speed Burst HQ mode (2.1 FPS in Program)
  • Dual-axis electronic level
  • 1920 x 1080 full HD video
  • 3-inch 922k-dot LCD display
  • Optical viewfinder
  • Pop-up flash
  • Flash hot shoe

It’s good to see the fast lens on Canon’s new G15. But I think chunky high-end compact like this are anachronisms – especially now that Canon has their own interchangeable lens mirrorless camera (Canon EOS M camera intro). It seems like there may be a bit of a G-Series identity crisis at Canon, too. The Canon USA site currently shows three G-Series cameras, the G15, G12 and the G1 X. The G1 X, introduced early this year, has a much bigger sensor than other compact cameras and I expected that to be the standard for the G-Series cameras (Canon PowerShot G1 X review) after it was announced. It’s also interesting to note that although the G15 has the same serious controls and similar design as previous G-Series cameras, it doesn’t have a tilt-swivel LCD display – a feature that’s been standard since the G-Series was introduced.

The G15 was officially introduced last week at the Photokina tradeshow in Germany. Here’s a short hands-on G15 intro video from Canon’s Photokina booth:

Personally, I would rather invest in a mirrorless system camera. But the G-Series has always been popular with photography enthusiasts on a budget; as well as with serious photographers who want a compact camera with good manual controls to complement their DSLR system. I’m sure the G15 will be popular, too – especially with the faster f/1.8 lens, full HD video and faster burst rate. The Canon PowerShot G15 will be available next month (October, 2012) at a suggested retail price of US $499.99.

Canon PowerShot G15 Press Release >>

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About the author: Photo-John

Photo-John, a.k.a. John Shafer, is the managing editor of and has been since the site launched back in 1999. He's an avid outdoor enthusiast and spends as much time as possible on his mountain bike, hiking or skiing in the mountains. He's been taking pictures for ever and ever, and never goes anywhere without a camera.

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