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Canon G15 vs Nikon L840

The Canon PowerShot G15 and the Nikon Coolpix L840 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in September 2012 and February 2015. Both the G15 and the L840 are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on a 1/1.7-inch (G15) and a 1/2.3-inch (L840) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 12 megapixels, whereas the Nikon provides 15.9 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 Nikon L840
Canon G15 Nikon L840
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
28-140mm f/1.8-2.8 22.5-855mm f/3-6.5
12 MP, 1/1.7" Sensor 15.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor
1080/24p Video 1080/60i Video
ISO 80-12,800 ISO 100-6,400
Optical viewfinder No viewfinder, LCD framing
3.0 LCD, 922k dots 3.0 LCD, 921k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Tilting screen (not touch-sensitive)
2.1 shutter flaps per second 7.4 shutter flaps per second
350 shots per battery charge590 shots per battery charge
107 x 76 x 40 mm, 352 g 113 x 78 x 96 mm, 538 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot G15 and the Nikon Coolpix L840? 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 Nikon L840. 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 dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The L840 can be obtained in two different colors (black, red), while the G15 is only available in black.

Size Canon G15 vs Nikon L840
Compare G15 versus L840 top
Comparison G15 or L840 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon L840 is notably larger (8 percent) than the Canon G15. Moreover, the L840 is substantially heavier (53 percent) than the G15. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G15 nor the L840 are weather-sealed.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon G15 4.2 in 3.0 in 1.6 in 12.4 oz 350 n Sep 2012 499i
 
Nikon L840 4.4 in 3.1 in 3.8 in 19.0 oz 590 n Feb 2015 299i
 
Canon SX530 4.7 in 3.2 in 3.6 in 15.6 oz 210 n Jan 2015 429i
 
Canon SX60 5.0 in 3.7 in 4.5 in 22.9 oz 340 n Sep 2014 549i
 
Canon G16 4.3 in 3.0 in 1.6 in 12.6 oz 360 n Aug 2013 549 i
 
Canon S120 3.9 in 2.3 in 1.1 in 7.7 oz 230 n Aug 2013 449i
 
Canon SX50 4.8 in 3.4 in 4.2 in 21.0 oz 315 n Sep 2012 429i
 
Canon G12 4.4 in 3.0 in 1.9 in 14.1 oz 370 n Sep 2010 499i
 
Fujifilm X20 4.6 in 2.8 in 2.2 in 12.5 oz 270 n Jan 2013 599i
 
Fujifilm X10 4.6 in 2.8 in 2.2 in 12.3 oz 270 n Sep 2011 599i
 
Nikon B600 4.8 in 3.2 in 3.9 in 17.6 oz 280 n Jan 2019 349 i
 
Nikon B500 4.5 in 3.1 in 3.7 in 19.1 oz 600 n Jan 2016 299i
 
Nikon P900 5.5 in 4.1 in 5.4 in 31.7 oz 360 n Mar 2015 599i
 
Nikon P7800 4.7 in 3.1 in 2.0 in 14.1 oz 350 n Sep 2013 549i
 
Panasonic LX7 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.8 in 10.5 oz 330 n Jul 2012 499i
 
Panasonic FZ150 4.9 in 3.2 in 3.6 in 18.6 oz 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.
(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 naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The L840 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 40 percent) than the G15, which puts it into a different market segment. 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.

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Sensor comparison

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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 L840 a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The sensor area in the L840 is 35 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 4.6 and 5.6. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.

Canon G15 and Nikon L840 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the L840 offers a higher resolution of 15.9 megapixels, compared with 12 MP of the G15. 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 1.33μm versus 1.89μm for the G15). However, it should be noted that the L840 is much more recent (by 2 years and 4 months) than the G15, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the L840 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The resolution advantage of the Nikon L840 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the L840 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 23 x 17.3 inches or 58.5 x 43.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 18.4 x 13.8 inches or 46.8 x 35.1 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 15.4 x 11.5 inches or 39 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 Nikon Coolpix L840 are ISO 100 to ISO 6400 (no boost).

G15 versus L840 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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"). The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-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
 
Canon G15 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/24p19.911.516546
 
Nikon L840 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60i........
 
Canon SX530 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p........
 
Canon SX60 1/2.3 14.2 4608 30721080/60p19.210.812739
 
Canon G16 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054
 
Canon S120 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.311.924656
 
Canon SX50 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.217947
 
Canon G12 1/1.7 10.0 3648 2736720/24p20.411.216147
 
Fujifilm X20 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p........
 
Fujifilm X10 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/30p20.511.324550
 
Nikon B600 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p........
 
Nikon B500 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60i........
 
Nikon P900 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60p........
 
Nikon P7800 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/30p21.211.720054
 
Panasonic LX7 1/1.7 10.0 3648 27361080/60p20.711.714750
 
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. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the L840 provides a faster frame rate than the G15. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60i, while the Canon is limited to 1080/24p.

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the G15 has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the L840 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon G15 and Nikon L840 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 G15optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.1 Y Y
 
Nikon L840none n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 7.4 Y Y
 
Canon SX530none n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/2000s 1.6 Y Y
 
Canon SX60922 n 3.0 922 swivel n 1/2000s 6.4 Y Y
 
Canon G16optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.2 Y Y
 
Canon S120none n 3.0 922 fixed Y 1/2000s 12.1 Y Y
 
Canon SX50202 n 3.0 461 swivel n 1/2000s 2.2 Y Y
 
Canon G12optical n 2.8 461 swivel n 1/4000s 1.1 Y Y
 
Fujifilm X20optical n 2.8 460 fixed n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
 
Fujifilm X10optical n 2.8 460 fixed n 1/4000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Nikon B600none n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 7.4 Y Y
 
Nikon B500none n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 7.4 Y Y
 
Nikon P900921 n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 7.0 Y Y
 
Nikon P7800921 n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 8.0 Y Y
 
Panasonic LX7optional n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 11.0 Y Y
 
Panasonic FZ150202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 12.0 Y Y

Both the G15 and the L840 have zoom lenses built in. The G15 has a 28-140mm f/1.8-2.8 optic and the L840 offers a 22.5-855mm f/3-6.5 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Nikon provides a wider angle of view at the short end, as well as more tele-photo reach at the long end than the Canon. The G15 offers the faster maximum aperture.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the G15 and the L840 write their files to 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 PowerShot G15 and Nikon Coolpix L840 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 G15Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Nikon L840-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Canon SX530-stereomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Canon SX60YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
 
Canon G16Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--
 
Canon S120-stereomono--mini2.0Y--
 
Canon SX50Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon G12Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Fujifilm X20Ystereomono--micro2.0---
 
Fujifilm X10Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Nikon B600-stereomono--micro2.0Y-Y
 
Nikon B500-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
 
Nikon P900-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Nikon P7800YstereomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Panasonic LX7Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Panasonic FZ150Ystereo---mini2.0---

It is notable that the G15 has a hotshoe, while the L840 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.

Both the G15 and the L840 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The G15 was replaced by the Canon G16, while the L840 was followed by the Nikon B500. 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.

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Review summary

So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon G15 and the Nikon L840? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Advantages of the Canon PowerShot G15:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
  • Richer colors: The pixel size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
  • More dynamic range: Larger pixels capture a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Larger pixels means good image quality even under poor lighting.
  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/1.8 vs f/3).
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 186g or 35 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in September 2012).

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Arguments in favor of the Nikon Coolpix L840:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (15.9 vs 12MP), which boosts linear resolution by 15%.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60i versus 1080/24p).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (7.4 vs 2.1 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
  • More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (590 versus 350) out of a single battery charge.
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (40 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years and 4 months of technical progress since the G15 launch.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the L840 emerges as the winner of the match-up (12 : 10 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 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.

G15 10:12 L840

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon G15 and the Nikon L840 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Travel-Zoom Camera and Best Superzoom 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 says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the G15 and the L840 in practical situations. 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.

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 (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 G15+76/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 499i
 
Nikon L840+ +..3.5/5..4/5 Feb 2015 299i
 
Canon SX530+ +..4/5..4/5 Jan 2015 429i
 
Canon SX60+ +75/1004/5..4.5/5 Sep 2014 549i
 
Canon G16+..4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i
 
Canon S120+ +..4.5/5o4.5/5 Aug 2013 449i
 
Canon SX50+ +72/1004.5/5..4.5/5 Sep 2012 429i
 
Canon G12+73/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2010 499i
 
Fujifilm X20+ +77/1004.5/5..5/5 Jan 2013 599i
 
Fujifilm X10..76/1004/53.5/54.5/5 Sep 2011 599i
 
Nikon B600+..3.5/5..3/5 Jan 2019 349 i
 
Nikon B500+..4/5..3.5/5 Jan 2016 299i
 
Nikon P900..77/1004/54.5/54/5 Mar 2015 599i
 
Nikon P7800....4/53.5/54.5/5 Sep 2013 549i
 
Panasonic LX7+ +75/1004/55/54.5/5 Jul 2012 499i
 
Panasonic FZ150+ +76/1004/55/54.5/5 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. 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. 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
Nikon L840:
Check Ebay offers

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. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Canon G15 vs Nikon L840

    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 Nikon L840
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 28-140mm f/1.8-2.8 22.5-855mm f/3-6.5
    Launch Date September 2012 February 2015
    Launch Price USD 499 USD 299
    Sensor Specs Canon G15 Nikon L840
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format 1/1.7" Sensor 1/2.3" Sensor
    Sensor Size 7.6 x 5.7 mm 6.17 x 4.55 mm
    Sensor Area 43.32 mm2 28.0735 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 9.5 mm 7.7 mm
    Crop Factor 4.6x 5.6x
    Sensor Resolution 12 Megapixels 15.9 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4000 x 3000 pixels 4608 x 3456 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.89 μm 1.33 μm
    Pixel Density 27.70 MP/cm2 56.73 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/24p Video 1080/60i Video
    ISO Setting 80 - 12,800 ISO 100 - 6,400 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 46 ..
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 19.9 ..
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.5 ..
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 165 ..
    Screen Specs Canon G15 Nikon L840
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder no viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 80%
    Viewfinder Magnification
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 922k dots 921k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Tilting screen
    Shooting Specs Canon G15 Nikon L840
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 2.1 shutter flaps/s 7.4 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-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 Nikon L840
    External Flash Hotshoe no Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI micro HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication no NFC NFC built-in
    Body Specs Canon G15 Nikon L840
    Battery Type NB-10L 4xAA
    Battery Life (CIPA)350 shots per charge590 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 107 x 76 x 40 mm
    (4.2 x 3.0 x 1.6 in)
    113 x 78 x 96 mm
    (4.4 x 3.1 x 3.8 in)
    Camera Weight 352 g (12.4 oz) 538 g (19.0 oz)

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