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Canon G15 vs XSi

The Canon PowerShot G15 and the Canon EOS Rebel XSi (labelled Canon 450D in some countries) are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in September 2012 and January 2008. The G15 is a fixed lens compact, while the XSi is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a 1/1.7-inch (G15) and an APS-C (XSi) sensor. The G15 has a resolution of 12 megapixels, whereas the XSi provides 12.2 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 XSi
Canon G15 Canon XSi
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 12.2 MP, APS-C Sensor
1080/24p Video no Video
ISO 80-12,800 ISO 100-1,600
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.0 LCD, 922k dots 3.0 LCD, 230k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
2.1 shutter flaps per second 3.5 shutter flaps per second
350 shots per battery charge500 shots per battery charge
107 x 76 x 40 mm, 352 g 129 x 98 x 62 mm, 524 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot G15 and the Canon EOS Rebel XSi? 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 side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon G15 and the Canon XSi. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

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

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon XSi is considerably larger (55 percent) than the Canon G15. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G15 nor the XSi 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 XSi 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 XSi 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 XSi can take 500 images on a single charge of its LP-E5 power pack.

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.

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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 XSi 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 n Jan 2008 799i
3.
 
Canon SX60 128 mm 93 mm 114 mm 650 g 340 n Sep 2014 549i
4.
 
Canon G16 109 mm 76 mm 40 mm 356 g 360 n Aug 2013 549 i
5.
 
Canon S120 100 mm 59 mm 29 mm 217 g 230 n Aug 2013 449i
6.
 
Canon SX50 123 mm 87 mm 106 mm 595 g 315 n Sep 2012 429i
7.
 
Canon T4i 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849i
8.
 
Canon T3 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 n Feb 2011 449i
9.
 
Canon G12 112 mm 76 mm 48 mm 401 g 370 n Sep 2010 499i
10.
 
Canon T1i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 n Mar 2009 799i
11.
 
Canon 40D 146 mm 108 mm 74 mm 822 g 750 n Aug 2007 1,299i
12.
 
Canon XTi 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 n Aug 2006 799i
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
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 XSi, 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.

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Sensor comparison

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. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon G15 features a 1/1.7-inch sensor and the Canon XSi an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the XSi is 665 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 XSi offers a 3:2 aspect.

In terms of chip-set technology, the G15 uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 5) than the XSi (DIGIC 3), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.

Canon G15 and Canon XSi sensor measures

With 12.2MP, the XSi offers a higher resolution than the G15 (12MP), but the XSi nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.19μm versus 1.89μm for the G15) due to its larger sensor. However, the G15 is a much more recent model (by 4 years and 7 months) than the XSi, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.

The Canon PowerShot G15 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon EOS Rebel XSi are ISO 100 to ISO 1600 (no boost).

G15 versus XSi MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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 XSi offers substantially better image quality than the G15 (overall score 15 points higher). The advantage is based on 2 bits higher color depth, 0.7 EV of lower dynamic range, and 2.1 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
1.
 
Canon G15 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/24p19.911.516546
2.
 
Canon XSi APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.869261
3.
 
Canon SX60 1/2.3 14.2 4608 30721080/60p19.210.812739
4.
 
Canon G16 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054
5.
 
Canon S120 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.311.924656
6.
 
Canon SX50 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.217947
7.
 
Canon T4i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262
8.
 
Canon T3 APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562
9.
 
Canon G12 1/1.7 10.0 3648 2736720/24p20.411.216147
10.
 
Canon T1i APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363
11.
 
Canon 40D APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.370364
12.
 
Canon XTi APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.066462
13.
 
Fujifilm X20 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p........
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

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The G15 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the XSi does not. The highest resolution format that the G15 can use is 1080/24p.

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The G15 and the XSi 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 table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon G15 and Canon XSi in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

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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
1.
 
Canon G15optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.1 Y Y
2.
 
Canon XSioptical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
3.
 
Canon SX60922 n 3.0 922 swivel n 1/2000s 6.4 Y Y
4.
 
Canon G16optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.2 Y Y
5.
 
Canon S120none n 3.0 922 fixed Y 1/2000s 12.1 Y Y
6.
 
Canon SX50202 n 3.0 461 swivel n 1/2000s 2.2 Y Y
7.
 
Canon T4ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
8.
 
Canon T3optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
9.
 
Canon G12optical n 2.8 461 swivel n 1/4000s 1.1 Y Y
10.
 
Canon T1ioptical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4 Y n
11.
 
Canon 40Doptical Y 3.0 230 fixed n 1/8000s 6.5 Y n
12.
 
Canon XTioptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
13.
 
Fujifilm X20optical n 2.8 460 fixed n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
14.
 
Fujifilm X10optical n 2.8 460 fixed n 1/4000s 10.0 Y Y
15.
 
Nikon P7800921 n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 8.0 Y Y
16.
 
Panasonic LX7optional n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 11.0 Y Y
17.
 
Panasonic FZ150202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 12.0 Y Y

The G15 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the XSi uses SDHC 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 PowerShot G15 and Canon EOS Rebel XSi 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
1.
 
Canon G15Ystereomono--mini2.0---
2.
 
Canon XSiY----mini2.0---
3.
 
Canon SX60YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon G16Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--
5.
 
Canon S120-stereomono--mini2.0Y--
6.
 
Canon SX50Ystereomono--mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon T4iYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon T3Ystereomono--mini2.0---
9.
 
Canon G12Ystereomono--mini2.0---
10.
 
Canon T1iYmonomono--mini2.0---
11.
 
Canon 40DY-----2.0---
12.
 
Canon XTiY-----2.0---
13.
 
Fujifilm X20Ystereomono--micro2.0---
14.
 
Fujifilm X10Ystereomono--mini2.0---
15.
 
Nikon P7800YstereomonoY-mini2.0---
16.
 
Panasonic LX7Ystereomono--mini2.0---
17.
 
Panasonic FZ150Ystereo---mini2.0---

Both the G15 and the XSi have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The XSi was replaced by the Canon T1i, 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 is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon G15 and the Canon XSi? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Reasons to prefer the Canon PowerShot G15:

  • More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (0.7 EV of extra DR).
  • Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 5 vs DIGIC 3).
  • Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/24p movies.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (922k vs 230k dots).
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with a built-in lens, while the XSi requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (107x76mm vs 129x98mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the XSi).
  • 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: Reflects 4 years and 7 months of technical progress since the XSi launch.


Advantages of the Canon EOS Rebel XSi:

  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (15 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (2 bits more color depth).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (2.1 stops ISO advantage).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3.5 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 (500 versus 350) out of a single battery charge.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in January 2008).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the G15 emerges as the winner of the contest (10 : 7 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. 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 10:07 XSi

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon G15 and the Canon XSi 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 XSi in practical situations. 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 hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear 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.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 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 XSi..+ ++ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799i
3.
 
Canon SX603/5+ +75/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2014 549i
4.
 
Canon G164/5+..4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i
5.
 
Canon S120..+ +..4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 449i
6.
 
Canon SX503/5+ +72/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 429i
7.
 
Canon T4i4/5+ +77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849i
8.
 
Canon T3..80/10069/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449i
9.
 
Canon G124/5+73/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2010 499i
10.
 
Canon T1i..+ +74/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799i
11.
 
Canon 40D..+ ++ +4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2007 1,299i
12.
 
Canon XTi..+ ++ +o4/5 Aug 2006 799i
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. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Canon G15:
Check Ebay offers
Canon XSi:
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. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Canon G15 vs Canon XSi

    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 XSi
    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 January 2008
    Launch Price USD 499 USD 799
    Sensor Specs Canon G15 Canon XSi
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format 1/1.7" Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 7.6 x 5.7 mm 22.2 x 14.8 mm
    Sensor Area 43.32 mm2 328.56 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 9.5 mm 26.7 mm
    Crop Factor 4.6x 1.6x
    Sensor Resolution 12 Megapixels 12.2 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4000 x 3000 pixels 4272 x 2848 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.89 μm 5.19 μm
    Pixel Density 27.70 MP/cm2 3.70 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/24p Video no Video
    ISO Setting 80 - 12,800 ISO 100 - 1,600 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 5 DIGIC 3
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 46 61
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 19.9 21.9
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.5 10.8
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 165 692
    Screen Specs Canon G15 Canon XSi
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 80% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.54x
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 922k dots 230k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon G15 Canon XSi
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 2.1 shutter flaps/s 3.5 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDHC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Canon G15 Canon XSi
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon G15 Canon XSi
    Battery Type NB-10L LP-E5
    Battery Life (CIPA)350 shots per charge500 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 107 x 76 x 40 mm
    (4.2 x 3.0 x 1.6 in)
    129 x 98 x 62 mm
    (5.1 x 3.9 x 2.4 in)
    Camera Weight 352 g (12.4 oz) 524 g (18.5 oz)

    Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.

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