Both the G12 and the G15 are a part of Canon’s fabled G series of compact cameras. They are well known for their design quality and superior performance. In this article we shall be looking at some of the features of the Canon G12 which is powered by a 10 megapixel 1/1.7” CCD sensor and the G15 which is powered by a 12.1 megapixel 1/1.7” CMOS sensor.
Megapixels & sensor
The G12 comes with a 1/1.7” CCD sensor that churns out an effective 10 megapixel. Compared to that, the G15 has a 1/1.7” CMOS sensor. This produces an effective 12.1 megapixel. This results in a slightly larger image size for the G15 compared to the G12. CCD sensors are known for their slight edge over CMOS sensors when it comes to light sensitivity. This means in lowlight conditions the G12 is expected to be a slightly better performing camera in terms of lower noise, as both the cameras have the same sensor size. Additionally the G15 has the better and latest DIGIC 5 image processing engine compared to the older DIGIC 4 in the G12.
The G12 has a reasonably good ISO range. Its effective sensitivity is from ISO 80 to 3200. Comparatively the G15 has a ISO range of 80 to 12800. That means even at very low light conditions it can still take reasonably acceptable pictures.
Lens & Focal length
The lens of the G15 has a 35mm format equivalent of 28mm to 140mm focal length. This 5x optical zoom lens offers contrast detect AF along with subject tracking, continuous and face detection AF. The G12 also matches the G15 with the same 35mm format equivalent focal length range. But where the G15 has a maximum aperture of f/1.8 – f/2.8, the G12 has a maximum aperture of f/2.8 to f/4.5. With all conditions remaining the same, the larger f-stop of the G15 is going to give it more flexibility for shooting in low light, effectively negating the fact that sensor is a CMOS one.
Maximum image size
The G12’s 10 megapixel CCD sensor produces a maximum image size of 3648 x 2736 pixels at 4:3 ratio. At 16:9 the largest image size produced is 3648 x 2048 pixels. Compared to that the G15’s 12.1 megapixel CMOS sensor produces a maximum image size of 4000 x 3000 pixels at 4:3 image ratio. Again at 16:9 ratio the largest image size produced is 4000 x 2248 pixels.
LCD & viewfinder
Both the G12 and the G15 has Real-image zoom optical viewfinder. But where the G15 has a 3” TFT LCD screen with 922,000 dots resolution and 100% coverage the G12 has a 2.8” TFT LCD screen with only 416,000 dots resolution.
One of the major point of difference between the G12 and the G15 is the video mode. While the G15 can shoot full HD movies at 1080p and at 24 fps, the G12 can only shoot 720p HD and at 24 fps. At 720p HD the G15 can shoot at a slightly higher frame rate of 30 fps.
Price & final verdict
With both the G12 and the G15 having an asking price of $500, the G15 is a slightly better camera to invest in.
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