The Canon versus Nikon debate has been around for almost as long as Coke versus Pepsi or dogs versus cats (well, maybe not quite). Both manufacturers make excellent cameras, but that hasn't stopped people from choosing sides. Naturally, we here at DPReview love a good debate, so we've decided to put the two flagship compact cameras from Canon and Nikon against one another in a head-to-head battle.

This review is going to be a bit different to those you'd normally read here on Digital Photography Review, in that rather than looking at one camera and placing it in context alongside its competitors, we'll be directly comparing how two cameras compare in terms of design, features, performance, and photo quality. Which one will come out the winner? You'll have to read on to find out.

It came from the year 2000... the Canon PowerShot G1 (left) effectively created the high-end compact camera class. As you can see, in terms of design philosophy, Canon hasn't changed the fundamental recipe much in 13 years.

Both the PowerShot G15 and Coolpix P7700 have a rich history. The PowerShot G1 debuted way back in October 2000, and featured a 3.3 megapixel CCD, 3X zoom lens, optical viewfinder, swiveling LCD, and hot shoe. The Coolpix P7700's family tree is a bit more convoluted, though it's probably fair to say that its original ancestor is the Coolpix 5000 from 2001. That camera offered a similar feature set to the aforementioned G1, but sported a 5 megapixel sensor.

Before we begin, here's a quick look comparison of features and spec on the two cameras - if one of them bests the other in any particular way, we've indicated it in green.

Feature & Spec Comparison


Canon PowerShot G15

Nikon Coolpix P7700
Sensor size/type 1/1.7" CMOS 1/1.7" BSI CMOS
Resolution (total/effective) 13.3 / 12.1 megapixel 12.8 / 12.2 megapixel
Lens focal range 28 - 140 mm (5X) 28 - 200 mm (7.1X)
Lens max aperture F1.8 - F2.8 F2.0 - F4.0
Min. focus distance 1 cm 2 cm
LCD size/style 3-inch / Fixed 3-inch / Fully articulated
LCD resolution 922,000 dots 922,000 dots
Optical viewfinder Yes No
ISO range 80 - 12800 80 - 6400
Burst mode (claimed) 10.0 fps 8.0 fps
Max movie resolution 1920 x 1080 / 24 fps 1920 x 1080 / 30 fps
Ext. mic input No Yes
GPS support No Optional
Remote control Wired Wired, wireless
On-board memory None 86 MB
Battery life (CIPA) 350 shots 330 shots
Street price * $449 / £399 / €465 $389 / £299 / €401
* At time of publication

Hopefully, you can immediately see what separates these two cameras: the G15 offers the faster lens and optical viewfinder, but has less zoom power and a fixed LCD. The P7700, on the other hand, has more zoom power and a swivel LCD, but no viewfinder. It's also cheaper at time of publication in the USA, UK and Europe, as you can see in the table above.