One of the most well-regarded series of digital cameras has just received an upgrade. Richard Sibley finds out whether the performance of the Canon PowerShot G15 befits its lineage. Read the Canon PowerShot G15 review...
Build and handling
Despite carrying all those DSLR controls, Canon PowerShot G cameras always managed to be pocketable. However, the arrival of compact system cameras, as well as smaller competing cameras from rival manufacturers, has meant that G-series models now look decidedly bulky. Canon has realised this, and has shaved a few millimetres off the G15. Most notably, it is 8.2mm slimmer, although this seems to have come at the expense of an articulated LCD screen.
The magnesium-alloy metal body of the PowerShot G15 is sturdy, with no creaks, loose parts or points of weakness. Even the small pop-up flash is solid. One thing I really like about the G15 is its texture, which is so rough it feels almost like sandpaper or an emery board, and gives the camera a secure hold.
There is a slight grip on the front of the G15, with the body just a few millimetres thicker and a slight rubber leather-effect panel. Although not substantial, it is just enough on which to rest a middle finger to help hold the camera. On the rear there is a rubber thumb rest on the top right, with a new direct video record button set into it.
The button arrangement and layout of the G15 are largely the same as those on its predecessors. The dials on the top of the camera have been given a tweak and are now in an overlapping formation, presumably to make them clearer and to save space. As before, one dial is for the exposure mode, while the other is a very useful exposure compensation dial, making quick adjustments to the exposure values possible. There is also a dial on the front of the camera for adjusting the aperture value in aperture priority or manual mode, while the rear dial, around the directional control buttons, changes the shutter speed.
A customisable function button on the rear of the camera allows the user to select one function to be quickly and directly accessed, and the ISO, focusing, flash and metering settings can also all be changed via direct buttons. Other features and more advanced settings must be accessed via the camera’s on-screen menu, which has remained largely unchanged for years, and is the same as that found on nearly all Canon compact cameras. It is intuitive and works well.
Although there have been changes to the body of the G15, and slight tweaks to the handling, Canon hasn’t given this aspect of the G15 a major overhaul as it simply wasn’t needed.