Canon 30D vs G15
The Canon EOS 30D and the Canon PowerShot G15 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in February 2006 and September 2012. The 30D is a DSLR, while the G15 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (30D) and a 1/1.7-inch (G15) sensor. The 30D has a resolution of 8.2 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 30D 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 30D and the Canon G15. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth measures 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 (47 percent) than the Canon 30D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 30D nor the G15 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the G15 has a lens built in, whereas the 30D 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 30D and their specifications in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras there.
|1.||Canon 30D||144 mm||106 mm||74 mm||785 g||750||n||Feb 2006||1,399|
|2.||Canon G15||107 mm||76 mm||40 mm||352 g||350||n||Sep 2012||499|
|3.||Canon 70D||139 mm||104 mm||79 mm||755 g||920||Y||Jul 2013||1,199|
|4.||Canon G16||109 mm||76 mm||40 mm||356 g||360||n||Aug 2013||549|
|5.||Canon SX50||123 mm||87 mm||106 mm||595 g||315||n||Sep 2012||429|
|6.||Canon 60D||145 mm||106 mm||79 mm||755 g||1100||Y||Aug 2010||1,399|
|7.||Canon G12||112 mm||76 mm||48 mm||401 g||370||n||Sep 2010||499|
|8.||Canon 7D||148 mm||111 mm||74 mm||860 g||800||Y||Sep 2009||1,699|
|9.||Canon 50D||146 mm||108 mm||74 mm||822 g||800||Y||Aug 2008||1,299|
|10.||Canon 40D||146 mm||108 mm||74 mm||822 g||750||n||Aug 2007||1,299|
|11.||Canon 400D||127 mm||84 mm||65 mm||556 g||370||n||Aug 2006||799|
|12.||Canon 350D||127 mm||94 mm||64 mm||540 g||400||n||Feb 2005||899|
|13.||Canon 20D||144 mm||106 mm||72 mm||770 g||700||n||Aug 2004||1,499|
|14.||Fujifilm X10||117 mm||70 mm||57 mm||350 g||270||n||Sep 2011||599|
|15.||Nikon D80||132 mm||103 mm||77 mm||668 g||600||n||Aug 2006||999|
|16.||Nikon D200||147 mm||113 mm||74 mm||920 g||400||Y||Nov 2005||1,699|
|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.|
Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The G15 was launched at a lower price than the 30D, 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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 30D features an APS-C sensor and the Canon G15 a 1/1.7-inch sensor. The sensor area in the G15 is 87 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.6 and 4.6. The sensor in the 30D 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 30D (DIGIC 2), 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 8.2 MP of the 30D. 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 6.42μm for the 30D). However, it should be noted that the G15 is much more recent (by 6 years and 6 months) than the 30D, 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 30D are 17.5 x 11.7 inches or 44.5 x 29.7 cm for good quality, 14 x 9.3 inches or 35.6 x 23.7 cm for very good quality, and 11.7 x 7.8 inches or 29.7 x 19.8 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Canon EOS 30D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600, which can be extended to ISO 100-3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon PowerShot G15 are ISO 80 to ISO 12800 (no boost).
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). Of the two cameras under review, the 30D provides substantially higher image quality than the G15, with an overall score that is 13 points higher. This advantage is based on 1.6 bits higher color depth, 0.7 EV of lower dynamic range, and 2.2 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 |
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The G15 indeed provides for movie recording, while the 30D does not. The highest resolution format that the G15 can use is 1080/24p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 30D 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 following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon 30D, the Canon G15, and comparable cameras.
One feature that is present on the 30D, 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 30D writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the G15 uses SDXC cards.
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 30D and Canon PowerShot G15 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Canon 30D (unlike the G15) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
Both the 30D and the G15 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 30D was replaced by the Canon 40D, 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 there a clear favorite between the Canon 30D and the Canon G15? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS 30D:
- Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (13 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
- Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (1.6 bits more color depth).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (2.2 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 (5 vs 2.1 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More flexible: Can take a variety of interchangeable lenses, including specialty optics.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (750 versus 350) on a single battery charge.
- Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in February 2006).
Reasons to prefer the Canon PowerShot G15:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (12 vs 8.2MP), which boosts linear resolution by 19%.
- More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (0.7 EV of extra DR).
- Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 5 vs DIGIC 2).
- Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/24p video.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (922k vs 230k dots).
- Ready to shoot: Comes with an integrated lens, while the 30D requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (107x76mm vs 144x106mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the 30D).
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More modern: Reflects 6 years and 6 months of technical progress since the 30D launch.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the G15 emerges as the winner of the match-up (12 : 10 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 wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro 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 30D 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 says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the 30D and the G15 in practical situations. 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 hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular 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 30D||..||+ +||+ +||o||..||Feb 2006||1,399|
|2.||Canon G15||4/5||+||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||499|
|3.||Canon 70D||5/5||+ +||83/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jul 2013||1,199|
|4.||Canon G16||4/5||+||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||549|
|5.||Canon SX50||3/5||+ +||72/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||429|
|6.||Canon 60D||5/5||+||79/100||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2010||1,399|
|7.||Canon G12||4/5||+||73/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2010||499|
|8.||Canon 7D||5/5||+ +||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2009||1,699|
|9.||Canon 50D||..||+ +||+ +||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2008||1,299|
|10.||Canon 40D||..||+ +||+ +||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2007||1,299|
|11.||Canon 400D||..||+ +||+ +||o||4/5||Aug 2006||799|
|12.||Canon 350D||..||80/100||+ +||o||..||Feb 2005||899|
|13.||Canon 20D||..||..||+ +||..||..||Aug 2004||1,499|
|14.||Fujifilm X10||..||..||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2011||599|
|15.||Nikon D80||..||+||+ +||o||4.5/5||Aug 2006||999|
|16.||Nikon D200||..||+ +||+ +||o||..||Nov 2005||1,699|
|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. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu below. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
Specifications: Canon 30D 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 30D||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 2006||September 2012|
|Launch Price||USD 1,399||USD 499|
|Sensor Specs||Canon 30D||Canon G15|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||1/1.7" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||22.5 x 15.0 mm||7.6 x 5.7 mm|
|Sensor Area||337.5 mm2||43.32 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||27 mm||9.5 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||8.2 Megapixels||12 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3504 x 2336 pixels||4000 x 3000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||6.42 μm||1.89 μm|
|Pixel Density||2.43 MP/cm2||27.70 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||1080/24p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 1,600 ISO||80 - 12,800 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 3,200 ISO||no Enhancement|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 2||DIGIC 5|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||59||46|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||21.5||19.9|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||10.8||11.5|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||736||165|
|Screen Specs||Canon 30D||Canon G15|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%||80%|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel||no Top Display|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||2.5inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||230k dots||922k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon 30D||Canon G15|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||5 shutter flaps/s||2.1 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||CF cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon 30D||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 30D||Canon G15|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||750 shots per charge||350 shots per charge|
144 x 106 x 74 mm
(5.7 x 4.2 x 2.9 in)
107 x 76 x 40 mm
(4.2 x 3.0 x 1.6 in)
|Camera Weight||785 g (27.7 oz)||352 g (12.4 oz)|
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