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Canon G15 vs Nikon P7800

The Canon PowerShot G15 and the Nikon Coolpix P7800 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in September 2012 and September 2013. Both the G15 and the P7800 are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with a 1/1.7-inch sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 12 megapixels.

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 P7800
Canon G15   Nikon P7800
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
28-140mm f/1.8-2.8 28-200mm f/2.0-4.0
12 MP – 1/1.7" sensor 12 MP – 1/1.7" sensor
1080/24p Video 1080/30p Video
ISO 80-12,800 ISO 80-3,200 (80 - 6,400)
Optical viewfinder Electronic viewfinder (921k dots)
3.0" LCD – 922k dots 3.0" LCD – 921k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive)
2.1 shutter flaps per second 8 shutter flaps per second
350 shots per battery charge350 shots per battery charge
107 x 76 x 40 mm, 352 g 119 x 78 x 50 mm, 399 g
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Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot G15 and the Nikon Coolpix P7800? 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 P7800. 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.

Size Canon G15 vs Nikon P7800
Compare G15 versus P7800 top
Comparison G15 or P7800 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon P7800 is notably larger (14 percent) than the Canon G15. Moreover, the P7800 is markedly heavier (13 percent) than the G15. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G15 nor the P7800 are weather-sealed.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. 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 499ebay.com
2.
 
Nikon P7800 119 mm 78 mm 50 mm 399 g 350 n Sep 2013 549ebay.com
3.
 
Canon SX60 128 mm 93 mm 114 mm 650 g 340 n Sep 2014 549ebay.com
4.
 
Canon G16 109 mm 76 mm 40 mm 356 g 360 n Aug 2013 549ebay.com
5.
 
Canon S120 100 mm 59 mm 29 mm 217 g 230 n Aug 2013 449ebay.com
6.
 
Canon SX50 123 mm 87 mm 106 mm 595 g 315 n Sep 2012 429ebay.com
7.
 
Canon G12 112 mm 76 mm 48 mm 401 g 370 n Sep 2010 499ebay.com
8.
 
Fujifilm X20 117 mm 70 mm 57 mm 353 g 270 n Jan 2013 599ebay.com
9.
 
Fujifilm X10 117 mm 70 mm 57 mm 350 g 270 n Sep 2011 599ebay.com
10.
 
Olympus Stylus 1 116 mm 87 mm 57 mm 402 g 410 n Oct 2013 699ebay.com
11.
 
Panasonic LF1 103 mm 62 mm 28 mm 192 g 250 n Apr 2013 499ebay.com
12.
 
Panasonic LX7 111 mm 68 mm 46 mm 298 g 330 n Jul 2012 499ebay.com
13.
 
Panasonic FZ150 124 mm 82 mm 92 mm 528 g 410 n Aug 2011 499ebay.com
14.
 
Pentax MX-1 122 mm 61 mm 51 mm 391 g 290 n Jan 2013 499ebay.com
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 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 somewhat cheaper (by 9 percent) than the P7800 at launch, but both cameras fall into the same price category. 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 imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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 tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature a 1/1.7-inch sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 4.6. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the smaller-sensor digicams that favor affordability and compact design. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.

Canon G15 and Nikon P7800 sensor measures

The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 12 megapixels. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the G15 and the P7800 have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the P7800 is a somewhat more recent model (by 11 months) than the G15, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time.

The Canon PowerShot G15 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon Coolpix P7800 are ISO 80 to ISO 3200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 80-6400.

In terms of underlying technology, the G15 is build around a CMOS sensor, while the P7800 uses a BSI-CMOS imager. Both cameras use a Bayer filter for capturing RGB colors on a square grid of photosensors. This arrangement is found in most digital cameras.

G15 versus P7800 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 P7800 has a markedly higher DXO score than the G15 (overall score 8 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 1.3 bits higher color depth, 0.2 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.3 stops in additional low light sensitivity. 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
1.
 
Canon G15 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/24p19.911.516546
2.
 
Nikon P7800 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/30p21.211.720054
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 G12 1/1.7 10.0 3648 2736720/24p20.411.216147
8.
 
Fujifilm X20 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p20.110.9-46246
9.
 
Fujifilm X10 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/30p20.511.324550
10.
 
Olympus Stylus 1 1/1.7 11.8 3968 29761080/30p20.711.617951
11.
 
Panasonic LF1 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60i20.811.621152
12.
 
Panasonic LX7 1/1.7 10.0 3648 27361080/60p20.711.714750
13.
 
Panasonic FZ150 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.410.913240
14.
 
Pentax MX-1 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/30p20.411.320849
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the P7800 provides a faster frame rate than the G15. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/30p, while the Canon is limited to 1080/24p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the P7800 has an electronic viewfinder (921k dots), while the G15 has an optical one. Both systems have their advantages, with the electronic viewfinder making it possible to project supplementary shooting information into the framing view, whereas the optical viewfinder offers lag-free viewing and a very clear framing image. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon G15, the Nikon P7800, and comparable cameras.

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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.
 
Nikon P7800921 n3.0 / 921 swivel n 1/4000s 8.0/s Y Y
3.
 
Canon SX60922 n3.0 / 922 swivel n 1/2000s 6.4/s Y Y
4.
 
Canon G16optical n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.2/s Y Y
5.
 
Canon S120none n3.0 / 922 fixed Y 1/2000s 12.1/s Y Y
6.
 
Canon SX50202 n3.0 / 461 swivel n 1/2000s 2.2/s Y Y
7.
 
Canon G12optical n2.8 / 461 swivel n 1/4000s 1.1/s Y Y
8.
 
Fujifilm X20optical n2.8 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 12.0/s Y Y
9.
 
Fujifilm X10optical n2.8 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 10.0/s Y Y
10.
 
Olympus Stylus 11440 n3.0 / 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 7.0/s Y Y
11.
 
Panasonic LF1200 n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 10.0/s Y Y
12.
 
Panasonic LX7optional n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 11.0/s Y Y
13.
 
Panasonic FZ150202 n3.0 / 460 swivel n 1/2000s 12.0/s Y Y
14.
 
Pentax MX-1none n3.0 / 920 tilting n 1/8000s 1.0/s Y Y
Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.
The P7800 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.

The Nikon P7800 has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.

Both the G15 and the P7800 have zoom lenses built in. The G15 has a 28-140mm f/1.8-2.8 optic and the P7800 offers a 28-200mm f/2.0-4.0 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Canon and Nikon provide the same view at the wide-angle end, but the Nikon has more tele-photo reach at the long end. The G15 offers the faster maximum aperture.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the G15 and the P7800 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 Nikon Coolpix P7800 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.
 
Nikon P7800Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0---
3.
 
Canon SX60Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon G16Ystereo / mono--mini2.0Y--
5.
 
Canon S120-stereo / mono--mini2.0Y--
6.
 
Canon SX50Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon G12Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
8.
 
Fujifilm X20Ystereo / mono--micro2.0---
9.
 
Fujifilm X10Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
10.
 
Olympus Stylus 1Ystereo / mono--micro2.0Y--
11.
 
Panasonic LF1-stereo / mono--mini2.0YY-
12.
 
Panasonic LX7Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
13.
 
Panasonic FZ150Ystereo / ---mini2.0---
14.
 
Pentax MX-1-stereo / mono--mini2.0---

It is notable that the P7800 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 P7800 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on ebay. The G15 was replaced by the Canon G16, while the P7800 does not have a direct successor. 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.

Review summary

So how do things add up? Is the Canon G15 better than the Nikon P7800 or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot G15:

  • Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/1.8 vs f/2.0).
  • More compact: Is smaller (107x76mm vs 119x78mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 47g or 12 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in September 2012).

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Reasons to prefer the Nikon Coolpix P7800:

  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (8 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (1.3 bits more color depth).
  • 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 framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
  • 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 (8 vs 2.1 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (11 months) more recently.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the P7800 is the clear winner of the contest (11 : 5 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.

G15 05:11 P7800

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon G15 and the Nikon P7800 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Travel-Zoom Camera listing 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 P7800 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 expert reviews are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major 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 499ebay.com
2.
 
Nikon P78003/5......4/54.5/5 Sep 2013 549ebay.com
3.
 
Canon SX603/5+ +..75/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2014 549ebay.com
4.
 
Canon G164/5+....4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549ebay.com
5.
 
Canon S120..+ +....4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 449ebay.com
6.
 
Canon SX503/5+ +..72/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 429ebay.com
7.
 
Canon G124/5+..73/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2010 499ebay.com
8.
 
Fujifilm X204/5+ +..77/1004.5/55/5 Jan 2013 599ebay.com
9.
 
Fujifilm X10......76/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2011 599ebay.com
10.
 
Olympus Stylus 1..+ +....4.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 699ebay.com
11.
 
Panasonic LF13/5+....4/54.5/5 Apr 2013 499ebay.com
12.
 
Panasonic LX73/5+ +..75/1004/54.5/5 Jul 2012 499ebay.com
13.
 
Panasonic FZ1503/5+ +..76/1004/54.5/5 Aug 2011 499ebay.com
14.
 
Pentax MX-13/5....74/1004/54/5 Jan 2013 499ebay.com
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. 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, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

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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 your choice using the following search menu. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Canon G15 vs Nikon P7800

    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 P7800
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 28-140mm f/1.8-2.8 28-200mm f/2.0-4.0
    Launch Date September 2012 September 2013
    Launch Price USD 499 USD 549
    Sensor Specs Canon G15 Nikon P7800
    Sensor Technology CMOS BSI-CMOS
    Sensor Format 1/1.7" Sensor 1/1.7" Sensor
    Sensor Size 7.6 x 5.7 mm 7.6 x 5.7 mm
    Sensor Area 43.32 mm2 43.32 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 9.5 mm 9.5 mm
    Crop Factor 4.6x 4.5x
    Sensor Resolution 12 Megapixels 12 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4000 x 3000 pixels 4000 x 3000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.89 μm 1.89 μm
    Pixel Density 27.70 MP/cm2 27.70 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/24p Video 1080/30p Video
    ISO Setting 80 - 12,800 ISO 80 - 3,200 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 80 - 6,400 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 46 54
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 19.9 21.2
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.5 11.7
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 165 200
    Screen Specs Canon G15 Nikon P7800
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 80% 100%
    Viewfinder Resolution 921k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 922k dots 921k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Swivel screen
    Shooting Specs Canon G15 Nikon P7800
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 2.1 shutter flaps/s 8 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse Photographyno IntervalometerIntervalometer built-in
    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 Nikon P7800
    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 Nikon P7800
    Battery Type NB-10L EN-EL14
    Battery Life (CIPA)350 shots per charge350 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 107 x 76 x 40 mm
    (4.2 x 3.0 x 1.6 in)
    119 x 78 x 50 mm
    (4.7 x 3.1 x 2.0 in)
    Camera Weight 352 g (12.4 oz) 399 g (14.1 oz)
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