The Fast New Canon PowerShot G15


Canon just announced the new 12.1MP PowerShot G15, a compact digital camera with a fixed wide angle 35mm equivalent 28-140mm lens that has a maximum aperture of f/1.8—more than a stop faster than the previous generation. Its high sensitivity 12.1MP 1/1.7” CMOS sensor is combined with the onboard DIGIC 5 image processor by Canon’s HS System, which results in faster performance and improved image quality. The G15 can shoot 12-bit multi-aspect RAW+JPEG files, has a 3” LCD and an optical viewfinder, the ability to zoom 5x optically and 4x digitally, and you can utilize a separately available Tele-Converter lens as well as Speedlite flashes. Focus is achieved either manually or with its high-speed autofocus system. A dual axis electronic level enables you to compose even shots and its High Speed Burst HQ capability enables you to shoot up to 10 frames per second. The G15 is also capable of capturing Full HD 1080p moving images with stereo sound.

Similar to a DSLR, the G15 features a dial for quickly accessing Aperture, ISO, Exposure Compensation, Step Zoom, White Balance, Aspect Ratio, i-Contrast and focus parameters. The maximum ISO is 12800 and the shutter speed is 1-1/4000 of a second. Its 3” LCD screen has a resolution of 922,000 dots with 100% coverage. There are three light-metering methods: Evaluative, Center-Weighted and Spot. An Intelligent IS feature automatically chooses the best possible modes for image stabilization. A dedicated movie button allows you to start shooting .MOV videos, and the camera’s zoom can still be used when rolling. You can adjust the exposure compensation before you start recording a video by +/- 3 stops in 1/3-stop increments. A built-in mini HDMI output makes it possible to connect the G15 directly to your TV.

If you want to use the optional TC-DC58E Tele-Converter and Speedlite flashes, you’re going to need the separately available LA-DC58L adapter. The Tele-Converter increases the reach of the zoom by 1.4x, and if you have access to a Canon MR-14EX Macro Ring Lite Flash, the LA-DC58L adapter enables you to use it with the PowerShot G15. All the way wide, the normal focusing range on the G15 is 2” (5cm) to infinity. In Auto mode it’s 0.4” (1cm) to infinity, and in Macro AF mode it’s also 0.4” (1cm) to infinity. A hot shoe is available atop the G15, and data is stored on SD, SDHC and SDXC cards.

What’s the difference between the new G15 and the previous model?

The last generation of this camera is the PowerShot G12, which features a lower resolution 10MP 1.5” CMOS sensor and has a maximum aperture of f/2.8—making it dramatically slower than the G15. The new G15 has a 12.1MP 1/1.7” CMOS sensor. The G12 has the DIGIC 4 image processor; the new G15 has the DIGIC 5. At 2.8”, the LCD on the G12 is smaller; however, it’s an articulating screen. The 3” screen on the new G15 is fixed. The G15 shoots Full HD video in 1080p, while the last generation was limited to just HD 720p. What do you think? Could this be your next camera?

Camera Type Compact digital still camera with built-in flash, 5x Optical, 4x Digital and 20x Combined Zoom with Optical Image Stabilizer
Sensor 12.1 Megapixel, 1/1.7-inch CMOS
Total Pixels Approx. 13.3 Megapixels
Effective Pixels Approx. 12.1 Megapixels
Focal Length 6.1 (W) – 30.5 (T) mm (35mm film equivalent: 28–140mm)
Digital Zoom 4.0x
Focusing Range Normal:  2.0 in. (5cm) – infinity (W), 1.3 ft. (40cm) – infinity (T)
Normal with Tele-converter: 2.0 in. (5cm) – infinity (W), 2.5 ft. (75cm) – infinity (T)
Auto: 0.4 in. (1cm) – infinity (W), 1.3 ft. (40cm) – infinity (T)
Auto with Tele-converter: 2.5 ft. (75cm) – infinity (T)
Macro AF: 0.4 in. – 1.6 ft. (1–50cm) (W)
Autofocus System TTL Autofocus, Manual Focus
Viewfinder Real-image zoom viewfinder
LCD Monitor 3.0-inch TFT Color LCD with wide viewing angle
LCD Pixels Approx. 922,000 dots
LCD Coverage  Approx. 100%
Maximum Aperture  f/1.8 (W), f/2.8 (T)
Shutter Speed 1–1/4000 sec.
15–1/4000 sec. (in Tv and M modes) 
ISO Sensitivity Auto, ISO 80, 100, 125, 160, 200, 250, 320, 400, 500, 640, 800, 1250, 1600, 2000, 2500, 3200, 4000, 5000, 6400, 8000, 10000, 12800
Light Metering Method Evaluative, Center-weighted average, Spot

Exposure Control Method Manual Exposure, Program Shift, Safety Shift, AE Lock
Exposure Compensation Still Images: ±3 stops in 1/3-stop increments
Videos: ±3 stops in 1/3-stop increments (not available during shooting)
White Balance Control Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Fluorescent H, Flash, Underwater, Custom 1, Custom 2
Built-in Flash Auto, Flash On, Slow Synchro, Flash Off
Flash Range 1.6 ft. – 23 ft. (W), 1.6 – 15 ft. (T) (50cm – 7.0m (W), (50cm – 4.5m (T))
Recycling Time  10 sec. or less (battery voltage: 7.4 V)
Flash Exposure Compensation ±2 stops in 1/3-stop increments
Hot Shoe Availability Available
Shooting Modes C1, C2, M, Av, Tv, P, Auto, Movie Digest, SCN, Creative Filters, Movie
Portrait, Smooth Skin, Smart Shutter, High-Speed Burst HQ, Handheld NightScene, Underwater, Snow, Fireworks, Stitch Assist
High Dynamic Range, Nostalgic, Fish-eye Effect, Miniature Effect, Toy Camera Effect, Soft Focus, Monochrome, Super Vivid, Poster Effect, Color Accent, Color Swap
Standard, iFrame Movie, Super Slow Motion Movie
Smile, Wink Self-timer, Face Self-timer
Photo Effects My Colors Off, Vivid, Neutral, Sepia, Black & White, Positive Film, Lighter Skin Tone, Darker Skin Tone, Vivid Blue, Vivid Green, Vivid Red, Custom Color
Self-Timer Approx. 10-sec. delay/approx. 2-sec. delay/custom
Wireless Control Not Available
Electronic Level Dual axis
Continuous Shooting Normal: Approx. 2.1 shots/sec. (in P mode)
Approx. 10 shots/sec. (in High-Speed Burst HQ)
AF: Approx. 0.9 shots/sec. (in P mode)
Approx. 5.2 shots/sec. (in High-Speed Burst HQ)
LV: Approx. 0.9 shots/sec. (in P mode)
Storage Media SD Memory Card, SDHC Memory Card, SDXC Memory Card
File Format Design rule for Camera File system, DPOF (Version 1.1) compliant
Image Compression Superfine / Fine
JPEG Compression Mode Still Image: Exif. 2.3 (JPEG)
Video: MOV (Image: H.264; Audio: Linear PCM (Stereo)
Number of Recording Pixels  Still Images:
1) 16:9 – Large: 4000 x 2248; Medium 1: 2816 x 1584; Medium 2: 1920 x 1080; Small: 640 x 360; RAW: 4000 x 2248
2) 3:2 – Large: 4000 x 2664; Medium 1: 2816 x 1880; Medium 2: 1600 x 1064; Small: 640 x 424; RAW: 4000 x 2664
3) 4:3 – Large: 4000 x 3000; Medium 1: 2816 x 2112; Medium 2: 1600 x 1200; Small: 640 x 480; Raw: 4000 x 3000
4) 1:1 – Large: 2992 x 2992; Medium 1: 2112 x 2112; Medium 2: 1200 x 1200; Small: 480 x 480; RAW: 2992 x 2992
5) 4:5 – Large: 2400 x 3000; Medium 1: 1696 x 2112; Medium 2: 960 x 1200; Small: 384 x 480; RAW: 2400 x 3000

Full HD 1920 x 1080: 24 fps (23.976)
HD 1280 x 720: 30 fps (29.97)
iFrame Movie HD 1280 x 720: 30 fps (29.97)
Movie Digest HD 1280 x 720: 30 fps (29.97)
Miniature Effect HD 1280 x 720: 6 fps / 3 fps / 1.5 fps
Miniature Effect 640 x 480: 6 fps / 3 fps / 1.5 fps
Super Slow Motion Movie 640 x 480: 120 fps
Super Slow Motion Movie 320 x 240: 240 fps
640 x 480: 30 fps (29.97)
Video Out NTSC/PAL (dedicated connector (female) with unified type of digital, audio and video)
Mini-HDMI connector
Audio Out Stereo (dedicated connector (female) with unified type of digital, audio and video)
Other SD memory card slot; direct connection to Canon SELPHY, PIXMA Photo Printers & PictBridge compatible printers
Power Source Battery Pack NB-10L, Compact Power Adapter CA-PS700 (included with AC Adapter Kit ACK-DC80)
Shooting Capacity Approx. 350 shots using LCD monitor
Approx. 770 shots when LCD monitor is off
Playback Time Approx. 7 hours
Operating Temperature 32–104°F/0–40°C
Operating Humidity 10–90%
Dimensions (W x H x D) 4.20 x 2.99 x 1.58" (106.6 x 75.9 x 40.1 mm)
Weight 12.4 oz. (352g)

Items discussed in article

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Taking away the articulate LCD screen is a big mistake. While other camera makers(lumix, samsung) putting it in Canon is taking it out. It's a useful feature for self-portrait and interesting angle capturing.

I agree that there are times when the articulating screen is useful (I have the G11 and use it for tough shots now and then).

On a day-to-day basis, however, I would probably rather have a smaller camera that fits into my jersey pocket, so this is not a deal-breaker for me. I'll curse the absence of an articulating screen on those occasions when I need it, but I think that I will enjoy the greater portability far more often.

With the G15 fixed screen one can still do self-portraits with the self-timer mechanism and placing the camera on a level with the subjects. The number of times one needs to shoot from ground level is so seldom that making the camera 20% fatter and heavier to accommodate this feature in a compact camera is silly. They did the right thing. Look what a fat pig the Oly ZN-2 became this year by going the exact opposite direction! I was going to buy the Olympia and add a $150 EVF until I saw what they did to the ZN-2 and now Canon has saved the day with the G15! Really, this new Canon approaches PERFECTION in a compact camera at last. With autofocus on, the optical viewfinder will work perfectly once the camera is gotten used to.

The loss of the articulated viewer is a really big deal for grandparents. GrandKids tend to be waist high for a long time. As they grow, it will become less of an issue for me.

it is good to add these features in the G15 but i really sad they did not add wifi and GPS features in this camera still will not buy it

The G15 specs say it is compatible with the new Eye-Fi system, which takes the place of Wi-Fi to the extent the images can be transferred to the nearby computer without removing the SD card, and downloaded images are deleted so the card remains at the fullest memory. Camera GPS doesn’t work well according to reviews and takes a lot of power to run. I can easily do without it and keep the battery in use to produce photos. On vacation, this will be an issue.

Eyefi works great, even in a crowded place/spectrum.
We have had one for a year now...

I just finished doing better online research on the Eye-Fi technology, including calling my ISP tech support. The ISP says there is a distinct danger of signal interference since I live in a 64-unit apartment building, most units of which are transmitting on the same frequency and the Eye-Fi network is by definition unsecured. If there is interference while downloading the image data the result can be permanently lost or corrupted images. There is no way to detect this or correct for it.

Also, online complaints are that the Eye-Fi card draws down the camera’s battery life fairly significantly. Also, the Eye-Fi card needs a dedicated card reader; the reader on the computer won’t work, in case one wants to use the expensive Eye-Fi card just like a regular SD card. These are the main problems. There may be others.

My tech support guy just finished a course in Wi-Fi networking and he was fully up-to-date. When pressed, he came down against the Eye-Fi idea due to its real-world problems, even though theoretically it is an interesting idea. I know I won’t take the risk at $99 for the high-grade Eye-Fi system, which I was intending to try on the Canon G15 I am planning to purchase.

@Protogonus - With all due respect to your ISP's tech support guy, he is quite clearly confused about WiFi and how it's implemented in the Eye-Fi card.

First, he has a valid concern regarding something called "channel congestion". Along with many other technologies with wireless capabilities, 802.11 WiFi utilizes the non-licensed industrial-scientific-medical (ISM) radio-frequency spectrum at 2.4 & 5.8 GHz. In general, there are lots of local (anything that's emitting within range of your device) competitors for this spectrum. Simply put, with more people come more devices -- all competing for a limited resource.

What does this mean to you? Slow performance, while in your apartment. On the extreme end, you definitely can have issues with establishing or maintaining connectivity.

In practical use, however, it's not a big deal at all. I use my Eye-Fi primarily while in the field. I use WiFi-Direct to transfer selected images to my hosted account via my smartphone. In the rare instance where I've had connectivity issues, I've never experienced one that couldn't be resolved by moving around a few feet.

As far as the Eye-Fi goes, it is only as "unsecured" as the WiFi network that you connect it to. You can operate in a variety of modes: WiFi-Direct (device-to-device; no WiFi access point required); local WiFi - connects to your access point and sends photos/video directly to your computer running the Eye-Fi software; or hosted - connects to your access point and sends photos/video to your Eye-Fi account. Computers/tablets/phones then sync to the account.

Battery life - yep, the Eye-Fi will hit your battery, but it's intelligent about battery use. It does not stay constantly connected to the wireless network. I don't use automatic transfer; my image "lock" button is tied to the Eye-Fi transfer function. Once I "lock" an image, the Eye-Fi fires up, establishes a connection, transfers the image/video, then disconnects.

On the G15 the maximum aperture is stated as f/1.8 - f/2.8.
What is it's minimum aperture?
On the G11 it is f/8.

Canon has not pusblished the minimum aperture for this camera, it is likely F8 as other past models have been as is the case with other cameras in this category. Canon has not posted the manual online for this camera. Once they do we will be able to confirm.

The minimum aperture is f/8 (I own one)

Does anyone know what is the purpose of these cameras having f/8 minimum aperture, instead of f/22 like the analogic used to have?

What repercusions does it have in the image quality?

Thank you,

Usable aperture range is dependent on the size of the sensor or film that is used in the camera. As APS-C and 35mm film/full-frame sensors have much larger surface area, smaller apertures can be used before diffraction begins to deteriorate an image (on the above sensors, usually f/22 or f/32 are the smallest aperture settings). Large format cameras with 4x5-inch or 8x10-inch negatives were able to go down to f/64 due to the larger surface area.

By comparison, most point-and-shoot cameras use sensors much smaller than APS-C sensors. As such, most point-and-shoot cameras have minimum apertures around f/8, and some do not have apertures at all, rather, they have neutral density filters that control the amount of light that enters the camera (popular on cameras in many cellphones).

how long is video shooting length?

At full resolution 1080p HD with a 32gb memory card, the camera can record 1 hour and 59 mins of video. Below is a link to a specifications page on Canon USA's website, when you scroll down just past half-way, you will see a time table for all the video settings.

Do you know if it is possible to "program/choose" the start focal when I turn ON the camera? So that when I open the camera opens directly on 35mm or 85mm or others?


The manual for the G15 is not yet available so we cannot be certain of all of its features. The G1X does have a custom function setting that allows you to turn on the camera to a desired focal length. We are thinking that the G15 will have this feature but we honestly don't know if it will. Once the manual is published we will be able to know for certain.

I understand that you now have the manual, any news on this point?
Thank you for your help.


Manual Page 170

Custom function settings (C1 + C2) can be saved including "Zoom Positions" of 28, 35, 50, 85, 100 or 140mm's. 

I may have missed it in the specs, but should I assume the G15 has a built-in neutral density filter the same as the last few models? I'm almost paranoid they may have dropped it since they also dropped the swivel screen!


I am afraid to say the G15's manual (page 95) does not list a built-in neutral density filter.

The manual does in fact specify an ND filter for the G15 - page 133 "Using the ND filter".

Right now Lightroom does not support RAW conversion so you'll have to wait 3-4 months for their next update (last one just happened before the release).
Strangely the camera does not seem to operate my speedlights correctly. Occasionally it will communicate with it and once I got a very low power flash but often it will just grey out all flash controls. I'm returning as I assume this is just a single defect and not a widespread problem, but I'm curious if anybody else is having this issue.

Do we know yet if it has manual controls for video mode? Like setting the ISO? Frustratingly "automatic" on the G12.


According to the manual on Page 290, you do not have many non Auto options for shooting video including selecting the ISO. For video, the manual only shows "Auto ISO" for video.

Can you take still pictures while taking video?

No you cannot.


Would like to know if it is possible to set an aperture on the video mode.Also if I could change the aperture manualy while I am shooting
thank you.



When shooting video, the camera is in full auto and you do not have manual options.

Ridiculous that Canon won't allow users any manual control in video mode. This is one of the most demanded features ever. Every time they release a new p&s camera, hundreds of people around the net ask this question, and the answer is always the same. Such was the case with the s95/ s100/ s110/ G12/ and G1x. Why won't Canon just belly-up and grant their users this simple request like Panasonic did with the LX-5/7? I (like many others) are supporting other brands because of this one repeated kick to the groin by Canon. PLEASE Canon, just add manual control in video like your competitors are doing for us. Support Panasonic. At least they seem to be trying.

How would one go about shooting panorama shots with this? i did not see that listed in the specs. Also, with the G12 i believe I saw complaints that the focus would not adjust if the shooting subject is moving towards the camera - is this still the case with the G15?


The Canon G15 has a Panorama function covered on page 118 of the user manual.

Stitch Assist

In general, P/S cameras use a less effective auto focusing system as compared to SLR cameras. Contrast Detection can be slow when trying to shoot moving subjects. An SLR's Phase Detection process is better suited for shooting action.

What is the length of the G15 1080p video limit with single click? 20mins? 30mins? 60 mins? or until the card is full?

Hello  Anthony-

The maximum file size per clip is 4GB or 29 min 59 sec.

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:

I just got this camera at Christmas and in the first batch of about 50 pictures, around 10 of them say incompatible JPEG, and about 10 more have a line going through them where one section is offset from the rest of the picture. A handful of them have a discolored band going through it. I will be happy to email these pictures for someone to look at. I'm trying to figure out if it's a camera issue and I need to exchange the camera, or it's a memory card issue. I am using at 32GB SDHC card.

The best and fastest way to see if the card is defective is to try another one as you will know right away. It does not sound to me like software, so if its not the card, it may be the sensor needing servicing.

Is it true that this camera only takes certain kind of memory cards? I have a few memory cards already. I don't want more unless I really have to.

The camera can accept SD, SDHC and SDXC cards.

I am trying to use the miniature movie mode to perform time lapse video of clouds. It used to be possible to do this on the old Canon G9 and I had hoped to use the miniature movie mode to do the same thing on the G15.

BUT the G15 blurs the edges to enhance the miniature effect. It ispossible it seems to reduce the size of the blurring but how can I eliminate it completely to get good clear time lapse video?

Thanks for any help on this.

According to the G15's manual (pg104) you can choose the areas you want to keep in focus but there does not seem to be a way to turn off the blurring.

Has anyone had a problem with the video audio? Seems to me like the audio gain is too sensitive, or sounds tinny.

I'm having the same problem! Recorded a few concerts and having some issues with static. I'm trying to edit the audio and resync. Any ideas on how to solve this?

The built-in mic on the Canon Powershot G15 is designed for basic use. Taking it to a concert and expecting high quality audio is a bit more than it was designed for. The camera does not have any option for an external mic so the next recommened step to capture audio is to use an external recorder device and sync it later in post.

Tascam makes an affordable handheld audio recorder that we recommend, model # DR05 and it could be coupled with the mic of your choice. We would recommend the Rode VideoMic Pro Compact Shotgun Microphone.

I just got one of these and have been playing with it. One of the functions I've noticed that does NOT appear to work is the "Continuous Shooting LV" which is supposed to feature "Continuous Shooting With No LCD blackout" (in Program Mode while operating in manual focus). Every time I try this, the LCD goes black after each shot, and even though I can take pictures by simply holding the button down, it takes approximately 1 second to process each shot before it takes the next one. So much for continuous shooting, let alone without LCD blackout! (and yes, I have tried turning off Blink Detection)

Is it just my particular camera, or do they all do this? I will say that regular Continuous Shooting setting still works in Program Mode while operating in Manual Focus. However, while you are holding down the shutter button the LCD displays the image recently shot rather than the current subject you are still focusing on. In other words, you aren't seeing the live subject on the LCD, you are seeing what you just shot after each capture.


According to the user manual pg 306, 10fps is only possible when the camera is set to the "HQ" shooting mode. LV will only yeild aprox 0.9 fps.

i am new to the G15 Canon Power Shot. i want to take photographs in a museum without using flash. what auto setting can i use? i like easy as possible please.......

I would recommend using the Handheld Nighttime mode and turn your flash off for your stated needs. Setting is indicated in the camera's instruction manual on page 95.