At the time of writing the Canon Powershot G15 can be bought for around £499 online, whereas the Canon PowerShot G1 X costs about £20 more. The reason why the prices are so similar, despite the G1 X being the more premium model, is that the G15 is still new and we’re yet to see the price drop after its launch. To give you some idea of how the G1 X’s price has reduced, it can now be picked up for around £180 cheaper than when it was released in January 2012. If the G15 follows at the same rate of depreciation as the G1 X, expect it to cost around £340 by May or June next year.
Canon PowerShot G1 X review video.
Which camera you choose depends at lot on what you’re looking for from a compact. The G1 X is designed for enthusiasts who want the spec and similar image quality of an APS-C DSLR with the benefit of it being smaller, lighter and more convenient. Compared to the G15’s 12.1MP sensor, which has physical dimensions of 7.4×5.6mm, the G1 X’s imaging sensor is larger (18.7×14.0mm), helping it to produce better detail and perform better at higher ISOs.
Canon PowerShot G15 review video.
If you’re after a compact that’ll fit in your pocket easily and deliver reasonable image quality, we’d recommend the G15. Although it’s no match for the G1 X in terms of detail it produces, it is the more practical solution if you’re after a camera that’s small and easy to fit in your pocket. Not only that, the G15’s auto focus system and zoom are slightly faster than the larger G1 X.
As our image quality tests have revealed, the Canon PowerShot G1 X is the better camera to choose if it’s excellent image quality you’re after. The detail the larger sensor produces is more impressive than the Canon PowerShot G15, especially when you push to higher ISO’s.
What we have here are two cameras, both of which have strengths and weaknesses. In an ideal world we’d love to see the sensor from the G1 X squeezed within the G15’s smaller body. With not much between the two in respect of their price, the camera that offers the best value for money here is the G1 X. If we had £520 to spend right now it would be a difficult decision on which to choose, but we’d probably we swayed to the G1 X for its superior image quality.
To assess the image quality, we headed out with both compacts and took a selection of identical images in the same lighting conditions. Returning to the office to compare the results, we then took a series of shots at all of the ISO sensitivity settings, using our diorama as our subject.
Below you’ll be able to find links that take your through to our image sample gallery where you can load, or save, the images we took before comparing them side-by-side for yourself.
If you’re unsure of how to save the images to your computer, simply click on an image to view it at full size, then right click, and select Save As. Choose the location of where you’d like to save the file (whether it be on your hard drive or desktop) and click on Save.
To view the full image gallery and the entire set of images taken with the Canon PowerShot G1 X and Canon PowerShot G15, click here.
Another benefit of the G1 X is that it has a flip-out 3in screen whereas the G15 has a fixed screen. The G1 X also allows you to shoot longer exposures in low light (for up to 60 seconds) but it’s important to add, however, both cameras allow you to shoot Raw.
The Canon PowerShot G1 X features a tilting 3in, 920k-dot screen whereas the Canon PowerShot G15 features a fixed 3in, 920k-dot display.
You could be swayed to the G1 X for its sensor and image quality, but the G15 has some advantages of its own. For one, it’s much smaller and is roughly 40% thinner and 10% lighter. The lens has a wider f/1.8 aperture compared to the G1 X’s f/2.8 offering, enabling you to shoot with faster shutter speeds in low light situations.
The Canon PowerShot G15 features a lens that’ll focus more closely than the G1 X.
Another advantage of the G15’s lens is its ability to focus more closely. It’ll let you shoot within 1cm of a subject in its macro mode, whereas the G1 X can’t focus closer than 20cm. After calling in the cameras to conduct our own image quality comparisons, we noted the zoom on the G15 is fractionally faster at operating from its widest focal length to full telephoto, and the focusing system is also more responsive. At times the G1 X can hesitate while attempting to focus on a subject, which becomes more noticeable in low-light situations.
Handling & Ergonomics
As for handling, the G1 X has a larger grip to wrap your hand around, but both feel as well built as each other. The ergonomics are virtually identical too, with full control over exposure modes and exposure compensation taken from the top plate.
Both compacts also offer a hot shoe for the attachment of an optional flash and support Canon’s range of EX-series speedlites, such as the Canon speedlite 270EX II and Canon speedlite 430EX II.
The Canon PowerShot G1 X’s top plate controls.
The Canon PowerShot G15’s top plate controls.
Here we can see how the G1 X is similarly laid out to the G15.
There’s are very few differences at the rear of the two cameras other than the G1 X has a tilting screen and the G15 doesn’t.