Review: Canon PowerShot G15

Canon Powershot G15
October 2017: Looking for new stories in food? Any Given Food is now Ken on Food. Check the new food blog here, and follow me on Twitter @kenonfood. On Instagram? Find me here.

Canon Powershot G15

EARLIER THIS month I picked up the Canon PowerShot G15 in the post for review. It’s been on the market just over a year, packs a bright F/1.8-2.8 lens, a 12.1MP CMOS sensor with DIGIC 5 and a gorgeous 3″ screen on the back. Oh, and it’s got full manual controls as well, in a compact camera. And it shoots in RAW. If you’ve been thinking about going down the dSLR route for your food photography but size and/or budget is an issue, then the G15 could be the ideal candidate to pop into your bag or join you at the table.

Getting On With The Camera

Straight out of the box (specs below for what’s actually in the box), the G15 is a solid camera – in the robust body kind of way. It’s quick to start up, has a fast autofocus and plenty of modes to keep the preset lovers happy but where the camera excels is in the near total manual control.

When it comes to shooting photos of food, one of the most important ingredients in your photo will be light. Your food and styling can be the absolute business, but if the photo is dark, shadow filled or not properly exposed, then you’re just not going to do your work justice.

Shooting out at F1.8 with the G15 allows plenty of light into the image while giving you a shallow depth of field to create some real mouthwatering images. The same goes for portraits, streetscapes, and – in my case – bottles of wine for a Christmas catalogue. Rather than bring a full lighting kit to a follow up shoot, I popped the G15 in the bag, brought the tripod and some white card and worked away from there. The allowance of light for the F1.8-2.8 lens is normally preserved for your higher end dSLR lenses, so it certainly makes a welcome addition to the kit.

On the video front, I managed to reel off some footage in the studio with ease, all one-button record shooting in HD.

There’s no WiFi or GPS if you’re that way inclined so in terms of remotely sharing photos you’re looking at adding an Eye-Fi card for wireless transfer or using a USB cable or memory card reader to transfer footage and photos.

Will It Fit In Your Pocket?

When asked if it would fit in my pocket, my first reply was “with a squeeze”, followed by “maybe I need bigger pockets”. Sure enough, you could pop it in your pocket without a soft case but I’m sure it would find more of a home in a small bag – whatever you’re hitting town, a job or holidays with.

Is it a smartphone beater?

Yes if you’re looking for quality. Yes if you’re looking for control. Not so if you’re looking for size or convenience but in my book, as good as smartphone cameras are (looking at the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy range as a common ground), they still have some way to go to beat an actual camera.

Would I Buy It?

With an option to take it up, I would. Pricing on it after a year on the market it pretty reasonable. The G16 has recently landed as well, adding some of those ‘missing’ features from the G15 but as cameras go, it will give you almost all you need from an SLR without breaking the bank.

What’s In The Box

  • A Canon PowerShot G15 (buy it on Amazon here)
  • A handy Canon neck strap, none of your flimsy wrist straps here
  • Battery and mains battery charger
  • Manuals and software CDs

The Technical Points

  • You’ve got an F/1.8 lens
  • There is a HDR photo mode, if that’s your thing
  • You can shoot in RAW – great for post production if you’re using Lightroom or Aperture
  • With an ISO of up to 12800, shooting in low light gets pretty easy, but you’ve already got the F/1.8 lens and shutter speed control so you should have no lighting difficulties for food photos
  • There is a movie mode, shooting at 1080p HD
  • There is no flip out screen on this one, though if that’s your thing, you could go for the G12 model.
  • There is a built in flash, stashed into the body and triggered by a release switch on the top of the camera, with hotshoe support for an external flash or meter.

Find the full spec here on Canon.ie.

Written by Ken McGuire

Writes and talks a lot about food, spending way too much time in the kitchen or behind the lens taking photos. Digital Media Specialist by day, broadcaster by night, living in Kilkenny with Mrs. Any Given Food and two crazy rescue hounds.