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Body & Design

The G15 sports an angular, minimalist design that takes many of its cues from the G1 X, although it's not quite so sharp-edged. Aside from the fixed screen the body layout is almost identical to its larger-sensored cousin, which means the loss of the ISO dial compared to the G12, with this function now accessed via the 4-way controller. The flash is now of the pop-up type, released by a sliding switch on the top plate.

The G15 sports a huge array of external controls for such a small body, including twin control dials front and rear to go with the top-plate mode and exposure compensation dials. The G15 is also one of those increasingly rare cameras that still has an optical viewfinder, and the side views above show how the fixed LCD has allowed Canon to create a distinctly more-slender body than the G12, as well as fitting in a slightly larger screen.

The G15's top-plate is near-identical to the G1 X's, the main difference being that the exposure compensation and mode dials are diagonally offset from each other rather than stacked. The repositioning of the former means it's easier to operate using your thumb without changing your grip from the shooting position.

Body elements

Three key controls are placed for operation by your index finger. The zoom lever surrounds the shutter button, while the front dial below it on the handgrip is used to change the main exposure parameter for your selected mode.
The G15 retains the G-series' signature optical viewfinder - a small 'optical tunnel' type finder that offers no exposure information and conservative coverage (so you'll get more in the final picture than you saw in the finder). It appears no better (or worse) than the one in the G12.

That said it's certainly useful in some situations such as very bright light, and using it offers extended battery life.
Beside the viewfinder on the front of a camera is the autofocus illuminator, that can be activated in low light to aid focusing.
The G15's small flash unit pops up out of the top plate, and is released mechanically by a sliding switch behind it on the top plate.

Canon quotes a maximum flash range of 7m at wideangle or 4.5m at telephoto.
There's a hot shoe in the center of the top plate, that accepts Canon's EX series flash units from the tiny Speedlite 90EX to the top-of-the-range Speedlite 600EX-RT.

On either side of the hotshoe are two small grilles that conceal the built-in stereo microphone.
The knurled ring around the lens detached via a bayonet mount, which is released by the button towards the bottom of the camera. This allows the attachment of an adapter tube for the use of filters or the TC-DC58E 1.4x teleconverter.

The G15's lens has a built-in cover for protection when the camera is turned off - there's no need for a separate lens cap.
The G15's connectors lie under a spring door on the side of the handgrip. At the top is a connector for Canon's RS-60E3 electronic remote release, with a USB mini-B connector below that also offers AV out.

Below that is a mini HDMI connector for playing back your images or movies on your TV.
The G15 uses the 7.4V, 6.4 Wh NB10L battery, which shares a compartment in the base of the camera with the SD card.

Canon quotes a battery life of 350 shots.
As on many small cameras, the G15's tripod socket is placed off-center from the lens, and very close to the battery/SD card door.
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Total comments: 6

I purchased a G15 a few years ago before a trip to New York. Frankly, it was just too inconvenient to carry around one of my DSLRs on and off subways, to the Giants Stadium, and other places with a couple small kids along for the ride. But, I certainly didn’t want to go all the way to NYC without the ability to capture great shots.

I came home with a few hundred wonderful photos taken throughout the city; day and night; indoors and out.

What a great investment. If this camera had the ability to pin-point focal points, I’d leave the D200 and D3100 home 90% of the time.

In addition to the camera’s performance, I really like the solid feel of the camera. Very well built.

Gene Aker

I am an old time black and white film photographer, but have also been shooting digital for about 10 years. I do shoot quite a lot of black and white images with the G15. (I also used the G12). I travel quite a bit in Europe--mostly Paris and Rome. This is the best travel camera I have ever used. Like all cameras, it's a compromise. I've tried others such as the Nikon 7800? and a Nikon super zoom. But I sent them back.
RE: the G15, for the money, for the viewfinder, speed, build quality, convenience, it's the best for me. I also like the quality I get when shooting black and white.
It seems closest to the spirit of an old Nikon such as the FM or FM3A.


I had an Oly XZ1 for about a year and then sold it. The IQ was good and the lens sharp but I found the sensor noise not good at high ISOs, the video awful, the handling a bit awkward (esp the lens cap and lack of grip), no viewfinder etc. I have just purchased the G15 at a considerably reduced sale price here in Oz and couldn’t be more delighted. It handles well, has great low light performance, bright sharp lens, good video and handling is good. As a complete package, it’s basically everything I wish the XZ1 could have been.

1 upvote

I got myself one of these 3 months ago at a store sale. They were making room for G16 so the price was lowered to less than EUR300 (a bargain, compared to G16's EUR430). I had thrashed my old Canon P&S just two days prior so I was in the market for an inexpensive replacement (read EUR100 to EUR200 tops).
All I can say is: I payed a little bit more but got more than I ever expected.
It is an incredible little camera, I fell in love with it.
It is compact but beats my Canon 500D in some areas.
With quality lighting in place I can barely tell the IQ difference between those two physically totally different cameras.
I can't imagine anyone ending up disappointed with this little gem.

Matte Steven

Have to say, G15 is a classic DC in last years.

Gary R.

It's an interesting list of "cons" here. I've had cameras with articulating screens, and found I really didn't use them all that often, so really don't consider it much of an issue either way. "No automated panorama mode", again, is a plus to me. The stitch-assist features are very useful for producing high resolution panoramas with user control if things don't stitch perfectly the first time (where the 'auto' ones fail so often, I feel they belong on camera phones and low end point and shoots, not on enthusiast models...I really hate having only that automated option, forcing me to use manual settings, on my LX7).

I will often set my max. auto ISO to 1600 anyway, so that "con" really isn't much of one, and the HDR issue is of no concern for me.

So all in all, this is a very impressive list of 'cons'. If these are the worst faults of the camera, it sounds like Canon has done a very good job.

1 upvote
Total comments: 6