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Canon 400D vs G15

The Canon EOS 400D (called Canon XTi in some regions) and the Canon PowerShot G15 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in August 2006 and September 2012. The 400D is a DSLR, while the G15 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (400D) and a 1/1.7-inch (G15) sensor. The 400D 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.

Headline Specifications
Canon 400D versus Canon G15
Canon 400D Canon G15
Digital single lens reflex Fixed lens compact camera
Canon EF mount lenses 28-140mm f/1.8-2.8
10.1 MP, APS-C Sensor 12 MP, 1/1.7" Sensor
no Video 1080/24p Video
ISO 100-1,600 ISO 80-12,800
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
2.5 LCD, 230k dots 3.0 LCD, 922k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3 shutter flaps per second 2.1 shutter flaps per second
370 shots per battery charge350 shots per battery charge
127 x 84 x 65 mm, 556 g 107 x 76 x 40 mm, 352 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 400D 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.

Body comparison

The physical size and weight of the Canon 400D and the Canon G15 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon 400D vs Canon G15
Compare 400D versus G15 top
Comparison 400D or G15 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon G15 is notably smaller (24 percent) than the Canon 400D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 400D 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 400D 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 400D and their specifications in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the 400D gets 370 shots out of its NB-2LH battery, while the G15 can take 350 images on a single charge of its NB-10L power pack.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon 400D 5.0 in 3.3 in 2.6 in 19.6 oz 370 n Aug 2006 799i
 
Canon G15 4.2 in 3.0 in 1.6 in 12.4 oz 350 n Sep 2012 499i
 
Canon 750D 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.6 oz 440 n Feb 2015 749i
 
Canon 760D 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.9 oz 440 n Feb 2015 649i
 
Canon G16 4.3 in 3.0 in 1.6 in 12.6 oz 360 n Aug 2013 549 i
 
Canon 650D 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.3 oz 440 n Jun 2012 849i
 
Canon SX50 4.8 in 3.4 in 4.2 in 21.0 oz 315 n Sep 2012 429i
 
Canon 1100D 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 17.5 oz 700 n Feb 2011 449i
 
Canon 550D 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.7 oz 440 n Feb 2010 699i
 
Canon G12 4.4 in 3.0 in 1.9 in 14.1 oz 370 n Sep 2010 499i
 
Canon 500D 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.3 oz 400 n Mar 2009 799i
 
Canon 450D 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.5 oz 500 n Jan 2008 799i
 
Canon 40D 5.7 in 4.3 in 2.9 in 29.0 oz 750 n Aug 2007 1,299i
 
Canon 350D 5.0 in 3.7 in 2.5 in 19.0 oz 400 n Feb 2005 899i
 
Fujifilm X10 4.6 in 2.8 in 2.2 in 12.3 oz 270 n Sep 2011 599i
 
Nikon D40X 4.9 in 3.7 in 2.5 in 18.4 oz 520 n Mar 2007 729i
 
Panasonic LX7 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.8 in 10.5 oz 330 n Jul 2012 499i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. 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 400D, despite having a lens built in. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. 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.

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Sensor comparison

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon 400D 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 400D 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 400D (DIGIC II), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.

Canon 400D and Canon G15 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the G15 offers a higher resolution of 12 megapixels, compared with 10.1 MP of the 400D. 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 5.71μm for the 400D). However, it should be noted that the G15 is much more recent (by 6 years) than the 400D, 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 400D 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 400D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon PowerShot G15 are ISO 80 to ISO 12800 (no boost).

400D versus G15 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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 400D provides substantially higher image quality than the G15, with an overall score that is 16 points higher. This advantage is based on 2.2 bits higher color depth, 0.5 EV of lower dynamic range, and 2 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

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Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
 
Canon 400D APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.066462
 
Canon G15 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/24p19.911.516546
 
Canon 750D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.712.091971
 
Canon 760D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570
 
Canon G16 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054
 
Canon 650D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262
 
Canon SX50 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.217947
 
Canon 1100D APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562
 
Canon 550D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.578466
 
Canon G12 1/1.7 10.0 3648 2736720/24p20.411.216147
 
Canon 500D APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363
 
Canon 450D APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.869261
 
Canon 40D APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.370364
 
Canon 350D APS-C 8.0 3456 2304none21.810.863760
 
Fujifilm X10 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/30p20.511.324550
 
Nikon D40X APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.411.451663
 
Panasonic LX7 1/1.7 10.0 3648 27361080/60p20.711.714750

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The G15 indeed provides for movie recording, while the 400D does not. The highest resolution format that the G15 can use is 1080/24p.

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Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 400D 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 400D and Canon G15 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
(000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
 
Canon 400Doptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Canon G15optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.1 Y Y
 
Canon 750Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon 760Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon G16optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.2 Y Y
 
Canon 650Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon SX50202 n 3.0 461 swivel n 1/2000s 2.2 Y Y
 
Canon 1100Doptical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Canon 550Doptical n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n
 
Canon G12optical n 2.8 461 swivel n 1/4000s 1.1 Y Y
 
Canon 500Doptical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4 Y n
 
Canon 450Doptical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
 
Canon 40Doptical Y 3.0 230 fixed n 1/8000s 6.5 Y n
 
Canon 350Doptical n 1.8 115 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Fujifilm X10optical n 2.8 460 fixed n 1/4000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Nikon D40Xoptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Panasonic LX7optional n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 11.0 Y Y

The 400D writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the G15 uses SDXC cards.

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Connectivity comparison

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 400D and Canon PowerShot G15 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
 
Canon 400DY-----2.0---
 
Canon G15Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon 750DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
 
Canon 760DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
 
Canon G16Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--
 
Canon 650DYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Canon SX50Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon 1100DYstereomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon 550DYstereo-Y-mini2.0---
 
Canon G12Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon 500DYmonomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon 450DY----mini2.0---
 
Canon 40DY-----2.0---
 
Canon 350DY-----2.0---
 
Fujifilm X10Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Nikon D40XY-----2.0---
 
Panasonic LX7Ystereomono--mini2.0---

Both the 400D and the G15 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 400D was replaced by the Canon 450D, 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.

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Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Canon 400D better than the Canon G15 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.


Advantages of the Canon EOS 400D:

  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (16 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (2.2 bits more color depth).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (2 stops ISO advantage).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3 vs 2.1 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More flexible: Can take a variety of interchangeable lenses, including specialty optics.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in August 2006).


Arguments in favor 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 II).
  • 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 400D requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (107x76mm vs 127x84mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the 400D).
  • 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 of technical progress since the 400D launch.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the G15 is the clear winner of the contest (11 : 6 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.

400D 06:11 G15

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 400D 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 comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the 400D or the G15 perform in practice. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.

Expert reviews

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 (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). 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.

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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon 400D+ ++ +o4.5/54/5 Aug 2006 799i
 
Canon G15+76/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 499i
 
Canon 750D..75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749i
 
Canon 760D+77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649i
 
Canon G16+..4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i
 
Canon 650D+ +77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849i
 
Canon SX50+ +72/1004.5/5..4.5/5 Sep 2012 429i
 
Canon 1100D80/10069/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449i
 
Canon 550D+ +77/1004/55/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699i
 
Canon G12+73/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2010 499i
 
Canon 500D+ +74/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799i
 
Canon 450D+ ++ +4/55/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799i
 
Canon 40D+ ++ +4.5/5o4.5/5 Aug 2007 1,299i
 
Canon 350D80/100+ +oo.. Feb 2005 899i
 
Fujifilm X10..76/1004/53.5/54.5/5 Sep 2011 599i
 
Nikon D40X79/100+ +4/5o4/5 Mar 2007 729i
 
Panasonic LX7+ +75/1004/55/54.5/5 Jul 2012 499i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Canon 400D:
Check Ebay offers
Canon G15:
Check Ebay offers

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 make your choice using the following search menu. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Canon 400D 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 Specifications
    Camera Model Canon 400D 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 August 2006 September 2012
    Launch Price USD 799 USD 499
    Sensor Specs Canon 400D Canon G15
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor 1/1.7" Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.2 x 14.8 mm 7.6 x 5.7 mm
    Sensor Area 328.56 mm2 43.32 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.7 mm 9.5 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 4.6x
    Sensor Resolution 10.1 Megapixels 12 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3888 x 2592 pixels 4000 x 3000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 5.71 μm 1.89 μm
    Pixel Density 3.07 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
    Image Processor DIGIC II DIGIC 5
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 62 46
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.1 19.9
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.0 11.5
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 664 165
    Screen Specs Canon 400D Canon G15
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 80%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.49x
    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 400D Canon G15
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3 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 400D Canon G15
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon 400D Canon G15
    Battery Type NB-2LH NB-10L
    Battery Life (CIPA)370 shots per charge350 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 127 x 84 x 65 mm
    (5.0 x 3.3 x 2.6 in)
    107 x 76 x 40 mm
    (4.2 x 3.0 x 1.6 in)
    Camera Weight 556 g (19.6 oz) 352 g (12.4 oz)

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