Canon G15 vs Nikon D70s
The Canon PowerShot G15 and the Nikon D70s are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in September 2012 and April 2005. The G15 is a fixed lens compact, while the D70s is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a 1/1.7-inch (G15) and an APS-C (D70s) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 12 megapixels, whereas the Nikon provides 6 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Canon G15||Nikon D70s|
|Fixed lens compact camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|28-140mm f/1.8-2.8||Nikon F mount lenses|
|12 MP, 1/1.7" Sensor||6 MP, APS-C Sensor|
|1080/24p Video||no Video|
|ISO 80-12,800||ISO 200-1,600|
|Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|3.0 LCD, 922k dots||2.0 LCD, 130k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|2.1 shutter flaps per second||3 shutter flaps per second|
|350 shots per battery charge||500 shots per battery charge|
|107 x 76 x 40 mm, 352 g||140 x 111 x 78 mm, 679 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot G15 and the Nikon D70s? 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 Nikon D70s. 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 Nikon D70s is considerably larger (91 percent) than the Canon G15. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G15 nor the D70s 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 D70s 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 D70s and their specifications in the Nikon Lens Catalog.
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, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|Canon G15||4.2 in||3.0 in||1.6 in||12.4 oz||350||n||Sep 2012||499|
|Nikon D70s||5.5 in||4.4 in||3.1 in||24.0 oz||500||n||Apr 2005||899|
|Canon SX60||5.0 in||3.7 in||4.5 in||22.9 oz||340||n||Sep 2014||549|
|Canon G16||4.3 in||3.0 in||1.6 in||12.6 oz||360||n||Aug 2013||549|
|Canon S120||3.9 in||2.3 in||1.1 in||7.7 oz||230||n||Aug 2013||449|
|Canon SX50||4.8 in||3.4 in||4.2 in||21.0 oz||315||n||Sep 2012||429|
|Canon G12||4.4 in||3.0 in||1.9 in||14.1 oz||370||n||Sep 2010||499|
|Fujifilm X20||4.6 in||2.8 in||2.2 in||12.5 oz||270||n||Jan 2013||599|
|Fujifilm X10||4.6 in||2.8 in||2.2 in||12.3 oz||270||n||Sep 2011||599|
|Nikon P7800||4.7 in||3.1 in||2.0 in||14.1 oz||350||n||Sep 2013||549|
|Nikon D5300||4.9 in||3.9 in||3.0 in||16.9 oz||600||n||Oct 2013||799|
|Nikon D40||4.9 in||3.7 in||2.5 in||18.4 oz||470||n||Nov 2006||499|
|Nikon D80||5.2 in||4.1 in||3.0 in||23.6 oz||600||n||Aug 2006||999|
|Nikon D50||5.2 in||4.0 in||3.0 in||21.9 oz||400||n||Apr 2005||749|
|Nikon D70||5.5 in||4.4 in||3.1 in||24.0 oz||400||n||Jan 2004||999|
|Panasonic LX7||4.4 in||2.7 in||1.8 in||10.5 oz||330||n||Jul 2012||499|
|Panasonic FZ150||4.9 in||3.2 in||3.6 in||18.6 oz||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.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.
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 D70s, 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 imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units 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 Nikon D70s an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the D70s is 760 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 4.6 and 1.5. The sensor in the G15 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the D70s offers a 3:2 aspect.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon G15 offers a higher resolution of 12 megapixels, compared with 6 MP of the Nikon D70s. 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 7.85μm for the D70s). However, it should be noted that the G15 is much more recent (by 7 years and 4 months) than the D70s, 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 Nikon D70s are 15 x 10 inches or 38.2 x 25.4 cm for good quality, 12 x 8 inches or 30.6 x 20.3 cm for very good quality, and 10 x 6.7 inches or 25.5 x 16.9 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 Nikon D70s are ISO 200 to ISO 1600 (no boost).
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 D70s has a markedly higher DXO score than the G15 (overall score 4 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 0.5 bits higher color depth, 1.2 EV of lower dynamic range, and 1.7 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.
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The G15 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the D70s 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 variety of features. The G15 and the D70s 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 Nikon D70s in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
The G15 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the D70s uses Compact Flash 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 Nikon D70s and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
Both the G15 and the D70s have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D70s was replaced by the Nikon D80, 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 and Nikon websites.
So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Canon G15 or the Nikon D70s – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Advantages of the Canon PowerShot G15:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (12 vs 6MP) with a 38% higher linear resolution.
- More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (1.2 EV of extra DR).
- Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/24p movies.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.0") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (922k vs 130k dots).
- Ready to shoot: Comes with a built-in lens, while the D70s requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (107x76mm vs 140x111mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the D70s).
- 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 7 years and 4 months of technical progress since the D70s launch.
Reasons to prefer the Nikon D70s:
- Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (4 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (1.7 stops ISO advantage).
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3 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 April 2005).
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the G15 is the clear winner of the match-up (11 : 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 sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape 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 Nikon D70s 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 D70s. 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 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.
|Canon G15||+||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||499|
|Nikon D70s||..||..||..||o||5/5||Apr 2005||899|
|Canon SX60||+ +||75/100||4/5||..||4.5/5||Sep 2014||549|
|Canon G16||+||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||549|
|Canon S120||+ +||..||4.5/5||o||4.5/5||Aug 2013||449|
|Canon SX50||+ +||72/100||4.5/5||..||4.5/5||Sep 2012||429|
|Canon G12||+||73/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2010||499|
|Fujifilm X20||+ +||77/100||4.5/5||..||5/5||Jan 2013||599|
|Fujifilm X10||..||76/100||4/5||3.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2011||599|
|Nikon P7800||..||..||4/5||3.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2013||549|
|Nikon D5300||+ +||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||799|
|Nikon D40||81/100||+ +||o||5/5||4.5/5||Nov 2006||499|
|Nikon D80||+||+ +||o||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2006||999|
|Nikon D50||78/100||+ +||4/5||o||4.5/5||Apr 2005||749|
|Nikon D70||..||+ +||..||o||..||Jan 2004||999|
|Panasonic LX7||+ +||75/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2012||499|
|Panasonic FZ150||+ +||76/100||4/5||5/5||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 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.
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 Nikon D70s
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||Nikon D70s|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||28-140mm f/1.8-2.8||Nikon F mount lenses|
|Launch Date||September 2012||April 2005|
|Launch Price||USD 499||USD 899|
|Sensor Specs||Canon G15||Nikon D70s|
|Sensor Format||1/1.7" Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||7.6 x 5.7 mm||23.7 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||43.32 mm2||369.72 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||9.5 mm||28.4 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||12 Megapixels||6 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4000 x 3000 pixels||3008 x 2000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.89 μm||7.85 μm|
|Pixel Density||27.70 MP/cm2||1.63 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/24p Video||no Video|
|ISO Setting||80 - 12,800 ISO||200 - 1,600 ISO|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||46||50|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||19.9||20.4|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.5||10.3|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||165||529|
|Screen Specs||Canon G15||Nikon D70s|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||80%||95%|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||2.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||922k dots||130k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon G15||Nikon D70s|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||2.1 shutter flaps/s||3 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||CF cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon G15||Nikon D70s|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||no HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Canon G15||Nikon D70s|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||350 shots per charge||500 shots per charge|
107 x 76 x 40 mm
(4.2 x 3.0 x 1.6 in)
140 x 111 x 78 mm
(5.5 x 4.4 x 3.1 in)
|Camera Weight||352 g (12.4 oz)||679 g (24.0 oz)|
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