Canon G15 vs SL1
The Canon PowerShot G15 and the Canon EOS Rebel SL1 (labelled Canon 100D in some countries) are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in September 2012 and March 2013. The G15 is a fixed lens compact, while the SL1 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a 1/1.7-inch (G15) and an APS-C (SL1) sensor. The G15 has a resolution of 12 megapixels, whereas the SL1 provides 17.9 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 PowerShot G15 and the Canon EOS Rebel SL1? 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 G15 and the Canon SL1. 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.
The SL1 can be obtained in two different colors (black, white), while the G15 is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon SL1 is notably larger (31 percent) than the Canon G15. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G15 nor the SL1 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 SL1 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 SL1 and their specifications in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. 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.
|1.||Canon G15||107 mm||76 mm||40 mm||352 g||350||n||Sep 2012||499|
|2.||Canon SL1||117 mm||91 mm||69 mm||407 g||380||n||Mar 2013||549|
|3.||Canon SL2||122 mm||93 mm||70 mm||453 g||650||n||Jun 2017||549|
|4.||Canon SX60||128 mm||93 mm||114 mm||650 g||340||n||Sep 2014||549|
|5.||Canon G16||109 mm||76 mm||40 mm||356 g||360||n||Aug 2013||549|
|6.||Canon T5i||133 mm||100 mm||79 mm||580 g||440||n||Mar 2013||649|
|7.||Canon S120||100 mm||59 mm||29 mm||217 g||230||n||Aug 2013||449|
|8.||Canon M||109 mm||66 mm||32 mm||298 g||230||n||Jul 2012||599|
|9.||Canon SX50||123 mm||87 mm||106 mm||595 g||315||n||Sep 2012||429|
|10.||Canon T4i||133 mm||100 mm||79 mm||575 g||440||n||Jun 2012||849|
|11.||Canon T3i||133 mm||100 mm||80 mm||570 g||440||n||Feb 2011||599|
|12.||Canon G12||112 mm||76 mm||48 mm||401 g||370||n||Sep 2010||499|
|13.||Fujifilm X20||117 mm||70 mm||57 mm||353 g||270||n||Jan 2013||599|
|14.||Fujifilm X10||117 mm||70 mm||57 mm||350 g||270||n||Sep 2011||599|
|15.||Nikon P7800||119 mm||78 mm||50 mm||399 g||350||n||Sep 2013||549|
|16.||Panasonic LX7||111 mm||68 mm||46 mm||298 g||330||n||Jul 2012||499|
|17.||Panasonic FZ150||124 mm||82 mm||92 mm||528 g||410||n||Aug 2011||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 naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The G15 was launched at a lower price than the SL1, 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have 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 G15 features a 1/1.7-inch sensor and the Canon SL1 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the SL1 is 672 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 4.6 and 1.6. The sensor in the G15 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the SL1 offers a 3:2 aspect.
With 17.9MP, the SL1 offers a higher resolution than the G15 (12MP), but the SL1 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.31μm versus 1.89μm for the G15) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the SL1 is a somewhat more recent model (by 6 months) than the G15, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.
The resolution advantage of the Canon SL1 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the SL1 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 25.9 x 17.3 inches or 65.8 x 43.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 20.7 x 13.8 inches or 52.7 x 35.1 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 17.3 x 11.5 inches or 43.9 x 29.3 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon G15 are 20 x 15 inches or 50.8 x 38.1 cm for good quality, 16 x 12 inches or 40.6 x 30.5 cm for very good quality, and 13.3 x 10 inches or 33.9 x 25.4 cm for excellent quality prints.
The SL1 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.
The Canon PowerShot G15 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon EOS Rebel SL1 are ISO 100 to ISO 12800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-25600.
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. Of the two cameras under consideration, the SL1 offers substantially better image quality than the G15 (overall score 17 points higher). The advantage is based on 1.9 bits higher color depth, 0.2 EV of lower dynamic range, and 2.4 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the SL1 provides a faster frame rate than the G15. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/30p, while the G15 is limited to 1080/24p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The G15 and the SL1 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 G15, the Canon SL1, and comparable cameras.
|1.||Canon G15||optical||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.1||Y||Y|
|2.||Canon SL1||optical||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/4000s||4.9||Y||n|
|3.||Canon SL2||optical||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n|
|4.||Canon SX60||922||n||3.0 / 922||swivel||n||1/2000s||6.4||Y||Y|
|5.||Canon G16||optical||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.2||Y||Y|
|6.||Canon T5i||optical||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n|
|7.||Canon S120||none||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||Y||1/2000s||12.1||Y||Y|
|8.||Canon M||none||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/4000s||4.3||n||n|
|9.||Canon SX50||202||n||3.0 / 461||swivel||n||1/2000s||2.2||Y||Y|
|10.||Canon T4i||optical||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n|
|11.||Canon T3i||optical||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||n||1/4000s||3.7||Y||n|
|12.||Canon G12||optical||n||2.8 / 461||swivel||n||1/4000s||1.1||Y||Y|
|13.||Fujifilm X20||optical||n||2.8 / 460||fixed||n||1/4000s||12.0||Y||Y|
|14.||Fujifilm X10||optical||n||2.8 / 460||fixed||n||1/4000s||10.0||Y||Y|
|15.||Nikon P7800||921||n||3.0 / 921||swivel||n||1/4000s||8.0||Y||Y|
|16.||Panasonic LX7||optional||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/4000s||11.0||Y||Y|
|17.||Panasonic FZ150||202||n||3.0 / 460||swivel||n||1/2000s||12.0||Y||Y|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The SL1 has a touchscreen, while the G15 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the G15 and the SL1 write their files to SDXC cards. The SL1 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the G15 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD 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 PowerShot G15 and Canon EOS Rebel SL1 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Canon G15||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|2.||Canon SL1||Y||mono / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|3.||Canon SL2||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|4.||Canon SX60||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|5.||Canon G16||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|6.||Canon T5i||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|7.||Canon S120||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|8.||Canon M||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|9.||Canon SX50||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|10.||Canon T4i||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|11.||Canon T3i||Y||mono / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|12.||Canon G12||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|13.||Fujifilm X20||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-|
|14.||Fujifilm X10||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|15.||Nikon P7800||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|16.||Panasonic LX7||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|17.||Panasonic FZ150||Y||stereo / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
It is notable that the SL1 has a microphone port, which can help to improve the quality of audio recordings by attaching an external microphone. The G15 does not feature such a mic input.
Both the G15 and the SL1 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The G15 was replaced by the Canon G16, while the SL1 was followed by the Canon SL2. 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 is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon G15 and the Canon SL1? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot G15:
- Ready to shoot: Comes with a built-in lens, while the SL1 requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (107x76mm vs 117x91mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the SL1).
- Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in September 2012).
Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS Rebel SL1:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (17.9 vs 12MP), which boosts linear resolution by 25%.
- Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (17 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (1.9 bits more color depth).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (2.4 stops ISO advantage).
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/30p versus 1080/24p).
- Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 922k dots).
- Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (4.9 vs 2.1 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More flexible: Makes it possible to change lenses and thus to use specialty optics.
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
- More modern: Was introduced somewhat (6 months) more recently.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the SL1 is the clear winner of the contest (13 : 6 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports 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 G15 and the Canon SL1 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Travel-Zoom Camera and Best DSLR Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the G15 or the SL1. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.
This is where reviews by experts come in. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], 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 G15||4/5||+||..||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||499|
|2.||Canon SL1||4/5||+||..||78/100||4/5||4/5||Mar 2013||549|
|3.||Canon SL2||4/5||+ +||4/5||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2017||549|
|4.||Canon SX60||3/5||+ +||..||75/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||549|
|5.||Canon G16||4/5||+||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||549|
|6.||Canon T5i||..||..||..||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2013||649|
|7.||Canon S120||..||+ +||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||449|
|8.||Canon M||3/5||+||..||..||4/5||4/5||Jul 2012||599|
|9.||Canon SX50||3/5||+ +||..||72/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||429|
|10.||Canon T4i||4/5||+ +||..||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2012||849|
|11.||Canon T3i||3/5||o||..||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2011||599|
|12.||Canon G12||4/5||+||..||73/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2010||499|
|13.||Fujifilm X20||4/5||+ +||..||77/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jan 2013||599|
|14.||Fujifilm X10||..||..||..||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2011||599|
|15.||Nikon P7800||3/5||..||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2013||549|
|16.||Panasonic LX7||3/5||+ +||..||75/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jul 2012||499|
|17.||Panasonic FZ150||3/5||+ +||..||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2011||499|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
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 G15 vs Canon SL1
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 G15||Canon SL1|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||28-140mm f/1.8-2.8||Canon EF mount lenses|
|Launch Date||September 2012||March 2013|
|Launch Price||USD 499||USD 549|
|Sensor Specs||Canon G15||Canon SL1|
|Sensor Format||1/1.7" Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||7.6 x 5.7 mm||22.3 x 14.9 mm|
|Sensor Area||43.32 mm2||332.27 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||9.5 mm||26.8 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||12 Megapixels||17.9 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4000 x 3000 pixels||5184 x 3456 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.89 μm||4.31 μm|
|Pixel Density||27.70 MP/cm2||5.39 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/24p Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||80 - 12,800 ISO||100 - 12,800 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||100 - 25,600 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 5||DIGIC 5|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||46||63|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||19.9||21.8|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.5||11.3|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||165||843|
|Screen Specs||Canon G15||Canon SL1|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||80%||95%|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||922k dots||1040k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon G15||Canon SL1|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||2.1 shutter flaps/s||4.9 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon G15||Canon SL1|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||no MIC socket||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Canon G15||Canon SL1|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||350 shots per charge||380 shots per charge|
107 x 76 x 40 mm
(4.2 x 3.0 x 1.6 in)
117 x 91 x 69 mm
(4.6 x 3.6 x 2.7 in)
|Camera Weight||352 g (12.4 oz)||407 g (14.4 oz)|
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