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Canon G15 vs T3i

The Canon PowerShot G15 and the Canon EOS Rebel T3i (labelled Canon 600D in some countries) are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in September 2012 and February 2011. The G15 is a fixed lens compact, while the T3i is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a 1/1.7-inch (G15) and an APS-C (T3i) sensor. The G15 has a resolution of 12 megapixels, whereas the T3i provides 17.9 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Canon G15
versus
Canon T3i
Canon G15   Canon T3i
Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
28-140mm f/1.8-2.8 Canon EF mount lenses
12 MP – 1/1.7" sensor 17.9 MP – APS-C sensor
1080/24p Video 1080/30p Video
ISO 80-12,800 ISO 100-6,400 (100 - 12,800)
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.0" LCD – 922k dots 3.0" LCD – 1040k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive)
2.1 shutter flaps per second 3.7 shutter flaps per second
350 shots per battery charge440 shots per battery charge
107 x 76 x 40 mm, 352 g 133 x 100 x 80 mm, 570 g
Canon G15:
Check Ebay offers
Canon T3i:
Check Ebay offers

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot G15 and the Canon EOS Rebel T3i? 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 G15 and the Canon T3i 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 size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon G15 vs Canon T3i
Compare G15 versus T3i top
Comparison G15 or T3i rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon T3i is considerably larger (64 percent) than the Canon G15. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G15 nor the T3i 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 T3i 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 T3i and their specifications in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the G15 gets 350 shots out of its NB-10L battery, while the T3i can take 440 images on a single charge of its LP-E8 power pack.

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.

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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
1.
 
Canon G15 107 mm 76 mm 40 mm 352 g 350 n Sep 2012 499i
2.
 
Canon T3i 133 mm 100 mm 80 mm 570 g 440 n Feb 2011 599i
3.
 
Canon T6s 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 565 g 440 n Feb 2015 649i
4.
 
Canon SX60 128 mm 93 mm 114 mm 650 g 340 n Sep 2014 549i
5.
 
Canon G16 109 mm 76 mm 40 mm 356 g 360 n Aug 2013 549 i
6.
 
Canon T5i 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 580 g 440 n Mar 2013 649i
7.
 
Canon S120 100 mm 59 mm 29 mm 217 g 230 n Aug 2013 449i
8.
 
Canon M 109 mm 66 mm 32 mm 298 g 230 n Jul 2012 599i
9.
 
Canon SX50 123 mm 87 mm 106 mm 595 g 315 n Sep 2012 429i
10.
 
Canon T4i 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849i
11.
 
Canon G12 112 mm 76 mm 48 mm 401 g 370 n Sep 2010 499i
12.
 
Canon T2i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 530 g 440 n Feb 2010 699i
13.
 
Fujifilm X20 117 mm 70 mm 57 mm 353 g 270 n Jan 2013 599i
14.
 
Fujifilm X10 117 mm 70 mm 57 mm 350 g 270 n Sep 2011 599i
15.
 
Nikon P7800 119 mm 78 mm 50 mm 399 g 350 n Sep 2013 549i
16.
 
Panasonic LX7 111 mm 68 mm 46 mm 298 g 330 n Jul 2012 499i
17.
 
Panasonic FZ150 124 mm 82 mm 92 mm 528 g 410 n Aug 2011 499i
Note: 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 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 T3i, 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.

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. 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 T3i an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the T3i 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 T3i offers a 3:2 aspect.

In terms of chip-set technology, the G15 uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 5) than the T3i (DIGIC 4), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.

Canon G15 and Canon T3i sensor measures

With 17.9MP, the T3i offers a higher resolution than the G15 (12MP), but the T3i nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.31μm versus 1.89μm for the G15) due to its larger sensor. However, the G15 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 7 months) than the T3i, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.

The resolution advantage of the Canon T3i implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the T3i 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 Canon PowerShot G15 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon EOS Rebel T3i are ISO 100 to ISO 6400, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-12800.

G15 versus T3i MP

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 consideration, the T3i offers substantially better image quality than the G15 (overall score 19 points higher). The advantage is based on 2.2 bits higher color depth, and 2.3 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.

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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
1.
 
Canon G15 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/24p19.911.516546
2.
 
Canon T3i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.579365
3.
 
Canon T6s APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570
4.
 
Canon SX60 1/2.3 14.2 4608 30721080/60p19.210.812739
5.
 
Canon G16 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054
6.
 
Canon T5i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.268161
7.
 
Canon S120 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.311.924656
8.
 
Canon M APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.282765
9.
 
Canon SX50 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.217947
10.
 
Canon T4i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262
11.
 
Canon G12 1/1.7 10.0 3648 2736720/24p20.411.216147
12.
 
Canon T2i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.578466
13.
 
Fujifilm X20 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p20.110.9-46246
14.
 
Fujifilm X10 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/30p20.511.324550
15.
 
Nikon P7800 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/30p21.211.720054
16.
 
Panasonic LX7 1/1.7 10.0 3648 27361080/60p20.711.714750
17.
 
Panasonic FZ150 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.410.913240
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the T3i provides a faster frame rate than the G15. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/30p, while the G15 is limited to 1080/24p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The G15 and the T3i 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 G15 and Canon T3i 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
Specifications
(inch/000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Max
Shutter
Speed *
Max
Shutter
Flaps *
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Canon G15optical n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.1/s Y Y
2.
 
Canon T3ioptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel n 1/4000s 3.7/s Y n
3.
 
Canon T6soptical Y3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
4.
 
Canon SX60922 n3.0 / 922 swivel n 1/2000s 6.4/s Y Y
5.
 
Canon G16optical n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.2/s Y Y
6.
 
Canon T5ioptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
7.
 
Canon S120none n3.0 / 922 fixed Y 1/2000s 12.1/s Y Y
8.
 
Canon Mnone n3.0 / 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.3/s n n
9.
 
Canon SX50202 n3.0 / 461 swivel n 1/2000s 2.2/s Y Y
10.
 
Canon T4ioptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
11.
 
Canon G12optical n2.8 / 461 swivel n 1/4000s 1.1/s Y Y
12.
 
Canon T2ioptical n3.0 / 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 3.7/s Y n
13.
 
Fujifilm X20optical n2.8 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 12.0/s Y Y
14.
 
Fujifilm X10optical n2.8 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 10.0/s Y Y
15.
 
Nikon P7800921 n3.0 / 921 swivel n 1/4000s 8.0/s Y Y
16.
 
Panasonic LX7optional n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 11.0/s Y Y
17.
 
Panasonic FZ150202 n3.0 / 460 swivel n 1/2000s 12.0/s Y Y
Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.
The T3i has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the G15 does not have a selfie-screen.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the G15 and the T3i write their files to SDXC cards.

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 PowerShot G15 and Canon EOS Rebel T3i 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
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Canon G15Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
2.
 
Canon T3iYmono / monoY-mini2.0---
3.
 
Canon T6sYstereo / monoY-mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon SX60Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon G16Ystereo / mono--mini2.0Y--
6.
 
Canon T5iYstereo / monoY-mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon S120-stereo / mono--mini2.0Y--
8.
 
Canon MYstereo / monoY-mini2.0---
9.
 
Canon SX50Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
10.
 
Canon T4iYstereo / monoY-mini2.0---
11.
 
Canon G12Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
12.
 
Canon T2iYstereo / -Y-mini2.0---
13.
 
Fujifilm X20Ystereo / mono--micro2.0---
14.
 
Fujifilm X10Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
15.
 
Nikon P7800Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0---
16.
 
Panasonic LX7Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
17.
 
Panasonic FZ150Ystereo / ---mini2.0---

It is notable that the T3i 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 T3i have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The T3i was replaced by the Canon T4i, 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.

Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Is the Canon G15 better than the Canon T3i or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.


Advantages of the Canon PowerShot G15:

  • Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 5 vs DIGIC 4).
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with a built-in lens, while the T3i requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (107x76mm vs 133x100mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the T3i).
  • 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 modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 7 months after the T3i).


Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS Rebel T3i:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (17.9 vs 12MP), which boosts linear resolution by 25%.
  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (19 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (2.2 bits more color depth).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (2.3 stops ISO advantage).
  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/30p versus 1080/24p).
  • 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).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3.7 vs 2.1 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More flexible: Makes it possible to change lenses and thus to use specialty optics.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (440 versus 350) out of a single battery charge.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in February 2011).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the T3i is the clear winner of the contest (13 : 7 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.

G15 07:13 T3i

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon G15 and the Canon T3i 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 says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the G15 and the T3i 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.

Expert reviews

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], 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.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon G154/5+..76/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 499i
2.
 
Canon T3i3/5o..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2011 599i
3.
 
Canon T6s5/5+..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649i
4.
 
Canon SX603/5+ +..75/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2014 549i
5.
 
Canon G164/5+....4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i
6.
 
Canon T5i......76/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2013 649i
7.
 
Canon S120..+ +....4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 449i
8.
 
Canon M3/5+....4/54/5 Jul 2012 599i
9.
 
Canon SX503/5+ +..72/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 429i
10.
 
Canon T4i4/5+ +..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849i
11.
 
Canon G124/5+..73/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2010 499i
12.
 
Canon T2i..+ +..77/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699i
13.
 
Fujifilm X204/5+ +..77/1004.5/55/5 Jan 2013 599i
14.
 
Fujifilm X10......76/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2011 599i
15.
 
Nikon P78003/5......4/54.5/5 Sep 2013 549i
16.
 
Panasonic LX73/5+ +..75/1004/54.5/5 Jul 2012 499i
17.
 
Panasonic FZ1503/5+ +..76/1004/54.5/5 Aug 2011 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 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.

Canon G15:
Check Ebay offers
Canon T3i:
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 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.

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    Specifications: Canon G15 vs Canon T3i

    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 G15 Canon T3i
    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 February 2011
    Launch Price USD 499 USD 599
    Sensor Specs Canon G15 Canon T3i
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    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
    Crop Factor 4.6x 1.6x
    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 - 6,400 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 100 - 12,800 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 5 DIGIC 4
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 46 65
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 19.9 22.1
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.5 11.5
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 165 793
    Screen Specs Canon G15 Canon T3i
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 80% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.53x
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 922k dots 1040k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Swivel screen
    Shooting Specs Canon G15 Canon T3i
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 2.1 shutter flaps/s 3.7 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 no
    Connectivity Specs Canon G15 Canon T3i
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    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 T3i
    Battery Type NB-10L LP-E8
    Battery Life (CIPA)350 shots per charge440 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 107 x 76 x 40 mm
    (4.2 x 3.0 x 1.6 in)
    133 x 100 x 80 mm
    (5.2 x 3.9 x 3.1 in)
    Camera Weight 352 g (12.4 oz) 570 g (20.1 oz)
    Canon G15:
    Check Ebay offers
    Canon T3i:
    Check Ebay offers

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