Canon 1D Mark III vs G15
The Canon EOS-1D Mark III and the Canon PowerShot G15 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in February 2007 and September 2012. The 1D Mark III is a DSLR, while the G15 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-H (1D Mark III) and a 1/1.7-inch (G15) sensor. The 1D Mark III has a resolution of 10.1 megapixels, whereas the G15 provides 12 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS-1D Mark III and the Canon PowerShot G15? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon 1D Mark III and the Canon G15. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon G15 is considerably smaller (67 percent) than the Canon 1D Mark III. It is worth mentioning in this context that the 1D Mark III is splash and dust resistant, while the G15 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the G15 has a lens built in, whereas the 1D Mark III is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the 1D Mark III and their specifications in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.
Concerning battery life, the 1D Mark III gets 2200 shots out of its LP-E4 battery, while the G15 can take 350 images on a single charge of its NB-10L power pack. As can be seen in the images above, the 1D Mark III has a battery grip built in. This facilitates image-taking in portrait orientation and gives it additional battery power.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|1.||Canon 1D Mark III||156 mm||157 mm||80 mm||1155 g||2200||Y||Feb 2007||4,499|
|2.||Canon G15||107 mm||76 mm||40 mm||352 g||350||n||Sep 2012||499|
|3.||Canon 5DS R||152 mm||116 mm||76 mm||930 g||700||Y||Feb 2015||3,699|
|4.||Canon G16||109 mm||76 mm||40 mm||356 g||360||n||Aug 2013||549|
|5.||Canon 5D Mark III||152 mm||116 mm||76 mm||950 g||950||Y||Mar 2012||3,499|
|6.||Canon SX50||123 mm||87 mm||106 mm||595 g||315||n||Sep 2012||429|
|7.||Canon G12||112 mm||76 mm||48 mm||401 g||370||n||Sep 2010||499|
|8.||Canon 1D Mark IV||156 mm||157 mm||80 mm||1230 g||1500||Y||Oct 2009||4,999|
|9.||Canon 5D Mark II||152 mm||114 mm||75 mm||850 g||850||Y||Sep 2008||3,499|
|10.||Canon 1Ds Mark III||150 mm||160 mm||80 mm||1385 g||1800||Y||Aug 2007||7,999|
|11.||Canon 1D Mark II||156 mm||158 mm||80 mm||1535 g||1200||Y||Jan 2004||4,499|
|12.||Canon 1Ds||156 mm||158 mm||80 mm||1265 g||600||Y||Sep 2002||8,999|
|13.||Fujifilm X10||117 mm||70 mm||57 mm||350 g||270||n||Sep 2011||599|
|14.||Nikon D3S||160 mm||157 mm||88 mm||1240 g||4200||Y||Oct 2009||5,199|
|15.||Nikon D3||160 mm||157 mm||88 mm||1300 g||4300||Y||Aug 2007||4,999|
|16.||Nikon D2Xs||158 mm||150 mm||86 mm||1252 g||3800||Y||Jun 2006||4,699|
|17.||Panasonic LX7||111 mm||68 mm||46 mm||298 g||330||n||Jul 2012||499|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The G15 was launched at a lower price than the 1D Mark III, despite having a lens built in. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon 1D Mark III features an APS-H sensor and the Canon G15 a 1/1.7-inch sensor. The sensor area in the G15 is 92 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.3 and 4.6. The sensor in the 1D Mark III has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the G15 offers a 4:3 aspect.
Technology-wise, the G15 uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 5) than the 1D Mark III (DIGIC III), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the G15 offers a higher resolution of 12 megapixels, compared with 10.1 MP of the 1D Mark III. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 1.89μm versus 7.21μm for the 1D Mark III). However, it should be noted that the G15 is much more recent (by 5 years and 6 months) than the 1D Mark III, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.
The resolution advantage of the Canon G15 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the G15 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 20 x 15 inches or 50.8 x 38.1 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 16 x 12 inches or 40.6 x 30.5 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 13.3 x 10 inches or 33.9 x 25.4 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon 1D Mark III are 19.4 x 13 inches or 49.4 x 32.9 cm for good quality, 15.6 x 10.4 inches or 39.5 x 26.3 cm for very good quality, and 13 x 8.6 inches or 32.9 x 21.9 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Canon EOS-1D Mark III has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 3200, which can be extended to ISO 50-6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon PowerShot G15 are ISO 80 to ISO 12800 (no boost).
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). Of the two cameras under review, the 1D Mark III provides substantially higher image quality than the G15, with an overall score that is 25 points higher. This advantage is based on 2.8 bits higher color depth, 0.2 EV in additional dynamic range, and 2.7 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
| DXO |
|1.||Canon 1D Mark III||APS-H||10.1||3888||2592||none||22.7||11.7||1078||71|
|3.||Canon 5DS R||Full Frame||50.3||8688||5792||1080/30p||24.6||12.4||2308||86|
|5.||Canon 5D Mark III||Full Frame||22.1||5760||3840||1080/30p||24.0||11.7||2293||81|
|8.||Canon 1D Mark IV||APS-H||16.0||4896||3264||1080/30p||22.8||12.0||1320||74|
|9.||Canon 5D Mark II||Full Frame||21.0||5616||3744||1080/30p||23.7||11.9||1815||79|
|10.||Canon 1Ds Mark III||Full Frame||21.0||5616||3744||none||24.0||12.0||1663||80|
|11.||Canon 1D Mark II||APS-H||8.2||3504||2336||none||22.3||11.1||1003||66|
|12.||Canon 1Ds||Full Frame||11.0||4064||2704||none||21.8||11.0||954||63|
|14.||Nikon D3S||Full Frame||12.1||4256||2832||720/24p||23.5||12.0||3253||82|
|15.||Nikon D3||Full Frame||12.1||4256||2832||none||23.5||12.2||2290||81|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The G15 indeed provides for movie recording, while the 1D Mark III does not. The highest resolution format that the G15 can use is 1080/24p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 1D Mark III and the G15 are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon 1D Mark III and Canon G15 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|1.||Canon 1D Mark III||optical||Y||3.0||230||fixed||n||1/8000s||10.0||n||n|
|3.||Canon 5DS R||optical||Y||3.2||1040||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0||n||n|
|5.||Canon 5D Mark III||optical||Y||3.2||1040||fixed||n||1/8000s||6.0||n||n|
|8.||Canon 1D Mark IV||optical||Y||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/8000s||10.0||n||n|
|9.||Canon 5D Mark II||optical||Y||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/8000s||3.9||n||n|
|10.||Canon 1Ds Mark III||optical||Y||3.0||230||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0||n||n|
|11.||Canon 1D Mark II||optical||Y||2.0||230||fixed||n||1/8000s||8.3||n||n|
One feature that is present on the 1D Mark III, but is missing on the G15 is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.
The 1D Mark III writes its imaging data to Compact Flash or SDHC cards, while the G15 uses SDXC cards. The 1D Mark III features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the G15 only has one slot.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Canon EOS-1D Mark III and Canon PowerShot G15 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|1.||Canon 1D Mark III||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|3.||Canon 5DS R||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||3.0||-||-||-|
|5.||Canon 5D Mark III||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|8.||Canon 1D Mark IV||Y||stereo||-||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|9.||Canon 5D Mark II||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|10.||Canon 1Ds Mark III||Y||mono||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|11.||Canon 1D Mark II||Y||-||-||-||-||-||1.1||-||-||-|
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Canon 1D Mark III (unlike the G15) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
Both the 1D Mark III and the G15 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 1D Mark III was replaced by the Canon 1D Mark IV, while the G15 was followed by the Canon G16. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon website.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Canon 1D Mark III better than the Canon G15 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS-1D Mark III:
- Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (25 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
- Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (2.8 bits more color depth).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (2.7 stops ISO advantage).
- Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 2.1 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More flexible: Can take a variety of interchangeable lenses, including specialty optics.
- More portrait friendly: Features an integrated vertical grip for easier portrait shooting.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (2200 versus 350) on a single battery charge.
- Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
- Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
- Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in February 2007).
Advantages of the Canon PowerShot G15:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (12 vs 10.1MP), which boosts linear resolution by 7%.
- Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 5 vs DIGIC III).
- Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/24p video.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (922k vs 230k dots).
- Ready to shoot: Comes with an integrated lens, while the 1D Mark III requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (107x76mm vs 156x157mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the 1D Mark III).
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More modern: Reflects 5 years and 6 months of technical progress since the 1D Mark III launch.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the 1D Mark III emerges as the winner of the contest (13 : 11 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 1D Mark III and the Canon G15 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Travel-Zoom Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the 1D Mark III or the G15. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.
This is why expert reviews are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|1.||Canon 1D Mark III||..||..||..||..||..||Feb 2007||4,499|
|2.||Canon G15||4/5||+||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||499|
|3.||Canon 5DS R||5/5||+||83/100||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||3,699|
|4.||Canon G16||4/5||+||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||549|
|5.||Canon 5D Mark III||..||+ +||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2012||3,499|
|6.||Canon SX50||3/5||+ +||72/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||429|
|7.||Canon G12||4/5||+||73/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2010||499|
|8.||Canon 1D Mark IV||5/5||..||89/100||..||..||Oct 2009||4,999|
|9.||Canon 5D Mark II||4/5||91/100||79/100||4/5||..||Sep 2008||3,499|
|10.||Canon 1Ds Mark III||..||..||+ +||4.5/5||..||Aug 2007||7,999|
|11.||Canon 1D Mark II||..||..||+ +||..||..||Jan 2004||4,499|
|12.||Canon 1Ds||..||..||+ +||..||..||Sep 2002||8,999|
|13.||Fujifilm X10||..||..||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2011||599|
|14.||Nikon D3S||5/5||..||89/100||4.5/5||5/5||Oct 2009||5,199|
|15.||Nikon D3||..||..||+ +||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2007||4,999|
|16.||Nikon D2Xs||..||..||..||..||..||Jun 2006||4,699|
|17.||Panasonic LX7||3/5||+ +||75/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jul 2012||499|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
Specifications: Canon 1D Mark III vs Canon G15
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Canon 1D Mark III||Canon G15|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF mount lenses||28-140mm f/1.8-2.8|
|Launch Date||February 2007||September 2012|
|Launch Price||USD 4,499||USD 499|
|Sensor Specs||Canon 1D Mark III||Canon G15|
|Sensor Format||APS-H Sensor||1/1.7" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||28.1 x 18.7 mm||7.6 x 5.7 mm|
|Sensor Area||525.47 mm2||43.32 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||33.8 mm||9.5 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||10.1 Megapixels||12 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3888 x 2592 pixels||4000 x 3000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||7.21 μm||1.89 μm|
|Pixel Density||1.92 MP/cm2||27.70 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||1080/24p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 3,200 ISO||80 - 12,800 ISO|
|ISO Boost||50 - 6,400 ISO||no Enhancement|
|Image Processor||DIGIC III||DIGIC 5|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||71||46|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||22.7||19.9|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.7||11.5|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||1078||165|
|Screen Specs||Canon 1D Mark III||Canon G15|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||80%|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel||no Top Display|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||230k dots||922k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon 1D Mark III||Canon G15|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||10 shutter flaps/s||2.1 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||CF or SDHC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Dual card slots||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon 1D Mark III||Canon G15|
|Studio Flash||PC Sync socket||no PC Sync|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Canon 1D Mark III||Canon G15|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||not weather sealed|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||2200 shots per charge||350 shots per charge|
156 x 157 x 80 mm
(6.1 x 6.2 x 3.1 in)
107 x 76 x 40 mm
(4.2 x 3.0 x 1.6 in)
|Camera Weight||1155 g (40.7 oz)||352 g (12.4 oz)|
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