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on 7 January 2015
Brilliant little camera. I ditched my digital SLR a couple of years ago as it was too bulky. This is a great compromise between size and ability to tweak controls. It fits in your pocket nicely, feels solid.

Pros - dedicated adjustment wheel in front of shutter where you can control aperture/shutter speed etc
- Super quality images - 90% as good as SLR; prints beautifully

Cons - the only downside from my point of view is that you can't adjust the brightness and contrast of the custom settings. Quite specific (!) but I liked my high-contrast black and white setting on my old SLR. Just adds another step in post-production.
- Can't attach external microphone for video

See example of nice low-light shot.
review image
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on 16 August 2017
Fantastic - birthday present for my wife.
Wish I'd kept it
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on 29 March 2015
Wonderful camera, great macro, great everything. Just miss the wide angle.
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on 22 November 2012
The G15 is summed up by dpreview, in the conclusion to their multipage review, as follows: " The Canon Powershot G15 is a well-refined product and a joy to use. It is very quick and responsive in operation, built like a tank and offers the most external controls in its class. In combination with the fast 28-140mm F1.8-2.8 lens that makes it a very versatile and pocketable photographic tool that offers almost the same degree of control as much larger DSLRs "

The G15 is highly commended by this reviewer ( I have owned one for a few weeks ) for outdoor work, where a high quality compact camera is required for convenience and portability, and it is useable at higher iso settings than any previous G series Canon. Within the 'G' series, the G10 will produce very slightly higher quality images, but only at its lowest iso setting, above which it gives up ( unless you're prepared to post process raw files). High iso settings are essential for taking photos in low light, or of night scenes like floodlit cityscapes without a tripod, and only recently in the history of digital camera development has it been possible to achieve good high iso results with compact cameras. The G15 is as good as it gets in this regard, at time of writing, for a compact camera with a fixed zoom lens. It is wonderfully fast to focus, as well.

The G15 must be used with care for good results with flash. By default an evening scene will be transformed into bright daylight with all the atmosphere of the evening or nighttime lost. Best portraits indoors or in low light are usually taken with fill in flash and Canon is notoriously worse than Nikon or Fuji at getting this right in auto mode. To compare: If I set my Fujifilm X100 to auto, I get a perfect shot every time, retaining shadow detail and lowlight atmosphere with the flash set to 'on'. The G15 needs more work, but that's not to say it cannot be done. This is how, for an indoor portrait where you are within 12 feet of your subject:

TIP: Set the mode dial to 'P'. Click the flash up, and set it to 'ON'. Set the iso to 200 iso. Set white balance to 'auto'. As a starting point I would suggest exposing at an exposure compensation of -2, and setting the flash compensation dial to -2 as well. Too dark? Of course it is, but now you know how to find the two settings you need to adjust! Raise one or other slowly, a little at a time, and only one at a time between each trial shot. This is trial and error, to get the result you want, but with no variables because you are only adjusting one setting at a time. When you have reached the level of brightness that you like, remember your settings, write them down, and use them for indoor portraits. Finally adjust your white balance away from 'auto' if you wish to remove a colour tint ( for example if your lighting is correct but your result looks too yellow, or blue, or orange...)

TIP2:Another method: Don't use flash at all. Set the camera to auto iso. Make sure your subject is lit more brightly ( you can still be subtle about it ) than their surroundings so that they do not disappear into the shadows. Shoot. Adjust white balance as necessary. Shoot again.

Combine both of the above. or even try using an external flash, which can 'bounce' or ' diffuse' the light it produces. Photography is, after all, best described as " Painting With Light ".

The G15 is a fabulous compact camera, the best 'G' series ever, and I know of several photographers who would unhesitatingly use one to take exhibition quality landscape shots to print at sizes up to A3+. At a level of expertise where the results might be mounted and sold, most semi-pro photographers would then post process, but it is not necessary to do that to create very fine photos indeed, even in auto mode if you are a beginner.

I chose the G15 over all other compact cameras because it takes fabulous pictures and because of the size and shape of it, which better than all of the others, for me, allows me to hold it steady for best results, even on top of a dartmoor tor in a howling gale. And because of how fast it can focus, even in low light. And I still love my G10 ( see my review of that also if you're interested ), just as my wife continues to enjoy her G12.

Thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoy your photography!
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Background: I've a number of Canon SLRs (currently 7D and 60D bodies) but for portability and convenience (the best camera ois the one you have with you!) carry a decent compact. For several years I've used and loved the Canon PowerShot G10 (f2.8-4.5): a brilliant camera that I've trekked, skiied and motorbike-toured through four continents. Great IQ, just about pocketsized, but too many megapixels squeezed onto the small sensor for high ISO work (anything over 400.)

So, when my trusty G10 died, the obvious replacement was the G15. After three weeks use, I'm sold.

First, it's similar to the G10/11/12 range in terms of controls. Of course, it offers the usual Auto, intelligent Program, Aperture and speed prority settings as well as full manual. The same comprehensive menu setting and the ability to shoot in RAW (for me, a must.)There's still an optical viewfinder - again something important to me. The same 5x optical zoom range. The build quality too feels solid and reassuring - although I suspect there will still be the "sticking lens" issue which is a "feature" of cameras with pop-out lenses.

Differences: pop-up flash, and the exposure compensation dial has been moved from the left to the right. No problems with this. A new (not found on the G10)setting scroll wheel is conveniently placed right front of the G15 - a welcome innovation. And the image stabilisation is better than the G10: Canon boast 4 stops, and that seems believable to me.

And, it's smaller - at least in terms of depth - significant enough to allow it to fit in my suit pocket. To allow this, the swivel screen found on the G12 has been lost. A bit of a shame - the swivel screen is great for tripod use (it's the reason I bought the 60D body) - but for me not a deal-breaker - the G10/11 did not have this feature, and I'd rather have the slimmer profile.

IQ? Terrific, for a CMOS sensor: the 12.1MP gives very sharp images that compare well to my 60D even under moderate cropping and enlargement. A3 prints are wonderful. IQ suffers under high ISO, but is better than the G10 by some distance. Acceptable up to 1600, for my eyes.

But for me the big feature is the aperture of the lens. 1.8-2.8: ultrafast, great for low light (wedding shoots in a darkened hall no flash - no problem!)and allowing great depth-of-field control. This is the major reason I bought the G15 and not the Canon G1x with the bigger 1.5" sensor. (That and the smaller size of the G15.)

So - so far, no regrets. This is a great camera, and will see more use than my SLRs, simply because it'll go more places. And I won't be compromising (too much) on image quality either.
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on 27 July 2013
I had agonised for some time about which way to spend my hard earned cash. I was looking (like many people) for an alternative on the days when I didn't want to lug around the DSLR + lenses (5D MkII). Being of a "certain age" my eyesight is also not what it was so whatever camera I chose also needed to have a viewfinder as I find the "arms length composing on a screen" a technique I do not enjoy. When you add all the requirements together (good quality, viewfinder, full auto + full manual control, good zoom range, pocketable) the decision almost makes itself. In truth, I ended up with a shortlist of 3, the G15, G1X and the Fuji x10. I liked the Fuji and I'm sure I could have been very happy with it but I've been too long in the Canon camp and I'm comfortable with Canon menus etc etc. The G1X seems a great camera and I'm sure the larger sensor can produce exceptional images.......but the camera is a "brick".....really quite big and didn't really tick the "pocketable" box. In addition....I think it's currently overpriced. So, simple.....I bought a G15 & I have to say (with a couple of weeks shooting under my belt) it is a super little camera. The specifications are amazing and it delivers all the control any photographer could ever want. Alternatively you can set it to full auto and it performs like a true point and shoot. The build quality is very high and the camera looks and feels very tough. Start up time is really quick and the quality of the LCD is quite superb. You'll see a lot of comments on the "professional" reviews about the "poor" viewfinder. I don't agree. Yes, the viewfinder is optical only i.e. no exposure info displayed and it is small but it zooms with the camera and is perfectly useable. I find no problems at all in using it...perfectly adequate and just what I wanted. Overall a super little camera and one from which I am sure I will get a lot of use.
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on 29 November 2012
Having previously owned both G11 and G12 I was not sure it was worth upgrading to the G15. After trying it out in a shop and using it for a few weeks, I'm definitely sure it's worth it!
The camera is lighter with better ergonomics than its predecessors and it just feels a lot more nimble and responsive. Autofocus is much snappier, processing times seem quicker...and I'm willing to sacrifice the tilting screen for a more pocketable camera. The screen may not move but its resolution and colour are superb. Some reviews lament the fact that it hasn't been upgraded to a touch screen - but this strikes me as a gimmick that photography enthusiasts don't really want.
All the usual G series external controls are there except for ISO, which has lost its control wheel and now needs a couple of button presses. Canon have kept the same interface for these cameras for quite a while now and, for people who like external controls, it's just great. For those that want them, there are a few colour filters and toy camera etc modes but I feel Canon's heart is not really in these. It just designed to be a high quality tool for getting the best possible picture.
The new faster lens is very welcome. With Canon's excellent image stabilisation it lets you keep the ISO as low as possible in quite dim lighting conditions and in addition noise doesn't really seem to be much of a problem till you get up to ISO1600.
Straight-out-of-camera JPEGS are rendered with a rich, punchy colour that I really like. If these are not to your taste, there are other colour settings and tweaks.
So...is it perfect??
Well, I think Canon are getting there...but there are a couple of issues, at least as far as I'm concerned.
It does show the limitation of a smallish sensor by tending to clip highlights. You can correct this in RAW or by dialing in exposure compensation using the designated dial on the top plate. I'm almost exclusively a JPEG shooter so I keep and eye on the screen and histogram and use the dial.
I like to experiment with out-of-camera black and white. It has very limited options for this and so I need to do any b@w conversions on computer. These compares very unfavourably with some Ricoh cameras ( which I also have ) which are superb for b@w..
All in all, though, a great camera. If you want high quality images from a compact camera with a very useful zoom range, I don't think at the moment you can beat it!

6 months later.......
I stick with everything I said above. Still finding clipped highlights a bit of a problem, but usually managing to control this with exposure compensation. I take a lot of informal portraits with this camera and it always seem to get the exposure and skin colours just right. In the past I've tended to find Canon's default colours a little too warm for my liking - perhaps I'm getting old but here they seem to be spot on.
A neat trick I've pinched off the internet ( Thnx Carl Gerard ) is to set the front dial in P mode to zoom control and then you can have various pre-set focal lengths at your fingertip.
Af is fast and snappy - as is the whole performance of the camera. It's no speed demon but certainly fast enough for all general use.
I thought I would much use of the viewfinder as I did with previous G series cameras, but the LCD is so crisp and bright that I find myself using it most of the time, even in bright outddor light.
Finally, it's lasting well although used constantly at work. Build and finish rock hard and it looks like it will last. Probably all the camera a lot of users will ever need and may be more useful than your average budget DSLR.
It's certainly a keeper...although I wonder how Canon can improve on it for G16..?!

And now...nearly the end of 2013. One year with this camera.
It's been my main travel camera and has travelled up mountains and to the bech. It's never let me down. Got some great images with it. Did buy the Sony RX100 last Spring and it's a close call between these two cameras. The Sony has a slight edge in image quality but I missed the longer optical zoom of the G15, the better image stabilisation...and above all the better controls and handling of the G15. Quite frankly the RX100 is a dog to handle whereas the G15 is a Rolls Royce! I need my reading glasses to operate the Sony - but not the Canon.
Now saving my pennies ( and selling some camera equipment ) as have my eye on the G16....!! But I'll keep the G15 as a backup....we've bonded!
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on 5 June 2013
At last a camera that doesn't leave me impatient to move on to the next one. The G15 is the best all-rounder I have ever experienced - great image quality, lovely build, nice in the hand, optical viewfinder (used frequently), extremely versatile, no longer weighed down by a pointless folding screen - just generally brilliant. Worth taking the time to find your way round its capabilities. It will be with me for a long long time.
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on 30 October 2013
Researched online for quite some time, and even though there are newer models with wi-fi, 20 megapixels, etc. out there this was the one I found recommended by met reputable reviewing sites. I do a lot of Streetphotography, where start-up & focusing speed is important. Feels comfortably heavy yet small enough to take everywhere. Definitely the one for me...
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on 13 May 2013
I am very impressed being a keen amateur photographer this camera is a great choice to carrying around a DSLR. High quality pics and very fast start up and virtually no shutter lag.
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