Canon PowerShot G15: Performance

April 30, 2013 by Laura Hicks Reads (57,410)
Editor's Rating

Ratings Breakdown (1-10)

    • Image/Video Quality
    • 9
    • Features
    • 9
    • Design / Ease of Use
    • 9
    • Performance
    • 9
    • Expandability
    • 7
    • Total Score:
    • 8.60
    • Rating 1 to 10, top score 10


The Canon G15 is a speedy camera with great overall performance. I was happy to use it and, on many occasions, I chose the G15 over the multitude of other options I had available.   

Shooting Performance
Powering up the camera is relatively quick. Less than 2 seconds of depressing the button the camera is ready to take its first shot. Single shot times ran about 2 seconds. In continuous shooting mode the frames per second vary depending on the setup. In normal mode the camera shoots about 2 fps, in auto focus mode the camera shoots at about 1 frame per second, and in live view mode the camera also shoot at 1 fps. These numbers are acceptable, but not great.

The Canon G15 offers image capture in both RAW and JPEG formats just like the EOS line of cameras – a feature generally reserved for the professional or someone who likes to manipulate even the smallest of details in their images during post production. The images can be recorded as 16:9, 3:2, 4:3 1:1, or even 4:5. I am very fond of the option to crop the images in camera. This makes shooting for 8x10s or square images a breeze.

Shutter lag is intangible and autofocus is very fast. Only in low lighting conditions with the zoom fully engaged did I notice some autofocus hunting. The camera generally found a focus point within 1 to 1.5 seconds when faced with this condition. The camera’s shutter speeds range from 15 seconds-1/4000 second. Those numbers are very respectable for a camera in this genre.

The G15 has a built-in flash that works very well for a small compact camera. I did not have too many instances where I needed to use it because the camera is so good in low lighting, but when I did utilize the flash it rendered positive results that were not harsh or dim. For an itty bitty flash I was happy. In the image above I used the flash to add fill light on a sunny day at the beach.

The camera comes furnished with a, NB-10L battery pack. Battery life for the G15 is listed at 350 shots when the LCD is used. I was able to note similar battery life and shot for quite a while before the battery was totally exhausted.  

Lens Performance
The Canon G15 features a 5x optical zoom lens with an equivalent focal length of 28-140mm in 35mm standards. The lens has an aperture of f1.8 on the wide angle end and an f2.8 on the telephoto end. Both of these apertures are impressive and performed very well. I just can’t say enough good things about the speedy lens and overall image quality from the G15. Besides a few times in very low lit situations, the lens responded quickly to acquire autofocus. In those few situations it did take the lens about 1-1.5 seconds to capture focus. 

The G15 also has a 4x digital zoom feature. This can be disabled in the menu settings if desired. Personally, I would disable this feature. The images I captured when the lens was set to digital zoom were not high enough quality for me. I would much rather stick to the traditional zoom and get high quality images instead of being able to access the digital zoom and produce less than average images. Like most digital zooms the camera had a hard time keeping the subject sharp and steady.  

Video Quality
Video produced by the G15 was very good. It was easy to use with a dedicated movie button located next to the thumb rest. There are a multitude of video recording options available with the G15 ranging from full HD at 24 fps to super slow motion at 120 fps (640×480). Recording times vary depending on the type of movie recorded. 

Sound is recorded in stereo on the G15. In the sample video below there was a very strong wind. That wind noise is quite loud in this sample.


Image Quality
Image quality from the G15 was by far some of the best that come from a compact camera with a sensor of this size. Colors rendered similar to that of other Canon cameras on the market. The images provided a slight warm tone while providing a small pop of color. Canon has worked very hard to perfect their unique color pallet and the G15 is no exception. Overall, the images were pleasing and do not require post production unless you desire more than what the camera can offer. Good skin tones are demonstrated in the image below.

ISO range for the Canon G15 is 80-12800. As technology advances we see a increase in the camera’s ability to shoot high quality images at ISOs we never thought possible just a few short years ago. The Canon G15 does a great job at being able to keep image noise at bay while entering the high ISO territory. Show below is an image taken at ISO 1000. Although the grain is minimal, with enough pixel peeping you can see that pixels begin to smudge. 

I prefer my images a bit sharper than the default setting in the G15. To change this setting you must be in one of the manual shooting modes. Tap the “func. set” button in the middle of the four way toggle on the back of the camera. Move to the custom color setting. Move the highlighted setting down one and you can access the sharpness level. For the purpose of the review I did not adjust the sharpness, but for my own personal use I would set the camera to a higher sharpness. Or, if you prefer, you can always adjust your sharpness with post production software.

Additional Sample Images

Canon G15 Sample Image

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