Canon G15 vs Olympus E-500
The Canon PowerShot G15 and the Olympus Evolt E-500 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2012 and September 2005. The G15 is a fixed lens compact, while the E-500 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a 1/1.7-inch (G15) and a Four Thirds (E-500) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 12 megapixels, whereas the Olympus provides 8 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Canon G15||Olympus E-500|
|Fixed lens compact camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|28-140mm f/1.8-2.8||Four Thirds lenses|
|12 MP, 1/1.7" Sensor||8 MP, Four Thirds Sensor|
|1080/24p Video||no Video|
|ISO 80-12800||ISO 100-400 (100-1600)|
|Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|3.0" LCD, 922k dots||2.5" LCD, 215k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|2.1 shutter flaps per second||2.5 shutter flaps per second|
|350 shots per battery charge||750 shots per battery charge|
|107 x 76 x 40 mm, 352 g||130 x 95 x 66 mm, 479 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot G15 and the Olympus Evolt E-500? 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 physical size and weight of the Canon G15 and the Olympus E-500 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.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus E-500 is considerably larger (52 percent) than the Canon G15. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G15 nor the E-500 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 E-500 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 E-500 and their specifications in the Four Thirds Lens Catalog.
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, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.
|Canon G15»||4.2 in||3.0 in||1.6 in||12.4 oz||350||n||Sep 2012||499||-||Canon G15|
|Olympus E-500«||5.1 in||3.7 in||2.6 in||16.9 oz||750||n||Sep 2005||599||-||Olympus E-500|
|Canon SX60« »||5.0 in||3.7 in||4.5 in||22.9 oz||340||n||Sep 2014||549||-||Canon SX60|
|Canon G16« »||4.3 in||3.0 in||1.6 in||12.6 oz||360||n||Aug 2013||549||Canon G16|
|Canon S120« »||3.9 in||2.3 in||1.1 in||7.7 oz||230||n||Aug 2013||449||-||Canon S120|
|Canon SX50« »||4.8 in||3.4 in||4.2 in||21.0 oz||315||n||Sep 2012||429||-||Canon SX50|
|Canon G12« »||4.4 in||3.0 in||1.9 in||14.1 oz||370||n||Sep 2010||499||-||Canon G12|
|Fujifilm X20« »||4.6 in||2.8 in||2.2 in||12.5 oz||270||n||Jan 2013||599||-||Fujifilm X20|
|Fujifilm X10« »||4.6 in||2.8 in||2.2 in||12.3 oz||270||n||Sep 2011||599||-||Fujifilm X10|
|Nikon P7800« »||4.7 in||3.1 in||2.0 in||14.1 oz||350||n||Sep 2013||549||-||Nikon P7800|
|Olympus E-410« »||5.1 in||3.6 in||2.1 in||15.3 oz||500||n||Mar 2007||699||-||Olympus E-410|
|Olympus E-510« »||5.4 in||3.6 in||2.7 in||19.0 oz||750||n||Mar 2007||799||-||Olympus E-510|
|Olympus E-330« »||5.5 in||3.4 in||2.8 in||22.5 oz||750||n||Jan 2006||999||-||Olympus E-330|
|Olympus E-400« »||5.1 in||3.6 in||2.1 in||15.3 oz||500||n||Sep 2006||699||-||Olympus E-400|
|Olympus E-300« »||5.8 in||3.3 in||2.5 in||22.0 oz||750||n||Sep 2004||799||-||Olympus E-300|
|Panasonic LX7« »||4.4 in||2.7 in||1.8 in||10.5 oz||330||n||Jul 2012||499||-||Panasonic LX7|
|Panasonic FZ150« »||4.9 in||3.2 in||3.6 in||18.6 oz||410||n||Aug 2011||499||-||Panasonic FZ150|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
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 E-500, 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.
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. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better 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 Olympus E-500 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the E-500 is 423 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 4.6 and 2.0. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon G15 offers a higher resolution of 12 megapixels, compared with 8 MP of the Olympus E-500. 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 5.30μm for the E-500). However, it should be noted that the G15 is much more recent (by 6 years and 11 months) than the E-500, 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 inch or 50.8 x 38.1 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 16 x 12 inch or 40.6 x 30.5 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 13.3 x 10 inch or 33.9 x 25.4 cm. The corresponding values for the Olympus E-500 are 16.3 x 12.2 inch or 41.5 x 31.1 cm for good quality, 13.1 x 9.8 inch or 33.2 x 24.9 cm for very good quality, and 10.9 x 8.2 inch or 27.6 x 20.7 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 Olympus Evolt E-500 are ISO 100 to ISO 400, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-1600.
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"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|Canon G15»||1/1.7||12.0||4000||3000||1080/24p||19.9||11.5||165||46||Canon G15|
|Olympus E-500«||Four Thirds||8.0||3264||2448||-||-||-||-||-||Olympus E-500|
|Canon SX60« »||1/2.3||14.2||4608||3072||1080/60p||19.2||10.8||127||39||Canon SX60|
|Canon G16« »||1/1.7||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||21.0||11.7||230||54||Canon G16|
|Canon S120« »||1/1.7||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||21.3||11.9||246||56||Canon S120|
|Canon SX50« »||1/2.3||12.0||4000||3000||1080/24p||20.3||11.2||179||47||Canon SX50|
|Canon G12« »||1/1.7||10.0||3648||2736||720/24p||20.4||11.2||161||47||Canon G12|
|Fujifilm X20« »||2/3||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||-||-||-||-||Fujifilm X20|
|Fujifilm X10« »||2/3||12.0||4000||3000||1080/30p||20.5||11.3||245||50||Fujifilm X10|
|Nikon P7800« »||1/1.7||12.0||4000||3000||1080/30p||21.2||11.7||200||54||Nikon P7800|
|Olympus E-410« »||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||-||21.1||10.0||494||51||Olympus E-410|
|Olympus E-510« »||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||-||21.2||10.0||442||52||Olympus E-510|
|Olympus E-330« »||Four Thirds||7.4||3136||2352||-||-||-||-||-||Olympus E-330|
|Olympus E-400« »||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||-||-||-||-||-||Olympus E-400|
|Olympus E-300« »||Four Thirds||8.0||3264||2448||-||-||-||-||-||Olympus E-300|
|Panasonic LX7« »||1/1.7||10.0||3648||2736||1080/60p||20.7||11.7||147||50||Panasonic LX7|
|Panasonic FZ150« »||1/2.3||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||19.4||10.9||132||40||Panasonic FZ150|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The G15 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the E-500 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 E-500 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 Olympus E-500 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|Canon G15»||optical||n||3.0||922||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.1||Y||Y||Canon G15|
|Olympus E-500«||optical||n||2.5||215||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.5||Y||n||Olympus E-500|
|Canon SX60« »||922||n||3.0||922||swivel||n||1/2000s||6.4||Y||Y||Canon SX60|
|Canon G16« »||optical||n||3.0||922||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.2||Y||Y||Canon G16|
|Canon S120« »||-||n||3.0||922||fixed||Y||1/2000s||12.1||Y||Y||Canon S120|
|Canon SX50« »||202||n||3.0||461||swivel||n||1/2000s||2.2||Y||Y||Canon SX50|
|Canon G12« »||optical||n||2.8||461||swivel||n||1/4000s||1.1||Y||Y||Canon G12|
|Fujifilm X20« »||optical||n||2.8||460||fixed||n||1/4000s||12.0||Y||Y||Fujifilm X20|
|Fujifilm X10« »||optical||n||2.8||460||fixed||n||1/4000s||10.0||Y||Y||Fujifilm X10|
|Nikon P7800« »||921||n||3.0||921||swivel||n||1/4000s||8.0||Y||Y||Nikon P7800|
|Olympus E-410« »||optical||n||2.5||215||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n||Olympus E-410|
|Olympus E-510« »||optical||n||2.5||215||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||Y||Olympus E-510|
|Olympus E-330« »||optical||n||2.5||215||tilting||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n||Olympus E-330|
|Olympus E-400« »||optical||n||2.5||215||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n||Olympus E-400|
|Olympus E-300« »||optical||n||1.8||134||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.5||Y||n||Olympus E-300|
|Panasonic LX7« »||-||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/4000s||11.0||Y||Y||Panasonic LX7|
|Panasonic FZ150« »||202||n||3.0||460||swivel||n||1/2000s||12.0||Y||Y||Panasonic FZ150|
The G15 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the E-500 uses Compact Flash or xD Picture cards. The E-500 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the G15 only has one slot.
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 Olympus Evolt E-500 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Canon G15»||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon G15|
|Olympus E-500«||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-500|
|Canon SX60« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon SX60|
|Canon G16« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Canon G16|
|Canon S120« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Canon S120|
|Canon SX50« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon SX50|
|Canon G12« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon G12|
|Fujifilm X20« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-||Fujifilm X20|
|Fujifilm X10« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Fujifilm X10|
|Nikon P7800« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon P7800|
|Olympus E-410« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-410|
|Olympus E-510« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-510|
|Olympus E-330« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-330|
|Olympus E-400« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-400|
|Olympus E-300« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-300|
|Panasonic LX7« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Panasonic LX7|
|Panasonic FZ150« »||Y||stereo||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Panasonic FZ150|
Both the G15 and the E-500 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The E-500 was replaced by the Olympus E-510, 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 Olympus websites.
So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon G15 and the Olympus E-500? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Advantages of the Canon PowerShot G15:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (12 vs 8MP) with a 23% higher linear resolution.
- Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/24p movies.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (922k vs 215k dots).
- Ready to shoot: Comes with a built-in lens, while the E-500 requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (107x76mm vs 130x95mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the E-500).
- 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 6 years and 11 months of technical progress since the E-500 launch.
Reasons to prefer the Olympus Evolt E-500:
- 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.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (2.5 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 (750 versus 350) out of a single battery charge.
- Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in September 2005).
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the G15 comes out slightly ahead of the E-500 (10 : 9 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 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.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon G15 and the Olympus E-500 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 the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the G15 or the E-500 perform in practice. 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 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.
|Canon G15»||+||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||499||-||Canon G15|
|Olympus E-500«||76/100||+ +||-||-||-||Sep 2005||599||-||Olympus E-500|
|Canon SX60« »||+ +||75/100||4/5||-||4.5/5||Sep 2014||549||-||Canon SX60|
|Canon G16« »||+||-||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||549||Canon G16|
|Canon S120« »||+ +||-||4.5/5||o||4.5/5||Aug 2013||449||-||Canon S120|
|Canon SX50« »||+ +||72/100||4.5/5||-||4.5/5||Sep 2012||429||-||Canon SX50|
|Canon G12« »||+||73/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2010||499||-||Canon G12|
|Fujifilm X20« »||+ +||77/100||4.5/5||-||5/5||Jan 2013||599||-||Fujifilm X20|
|Fujifilm X10« »||-||76/100||4/5||3.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2011||599||-||Fujifilm X10|
|Nikon P7800« »||-||-||4/5||3.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2013||549||-||Nikon P7800|
|Olympus E-410« »||86/100||+ +||4/5||o||4.5/5||Mar 2007||699||-||Olympus E-410|
|Olympus E-510« »||89/100||+ +||3.5/5||o||4.5/5||Mar 2007||799||-||Olympus E-510|
|Olympus E-330« »||-||+||o||3.5/5||-||Jan 2006||999||-||Olympus E-330|
|Olympus E-400« »||85/100||-||4/5||-||4/5||Sep 2006||699||-||Olympus E-400|
|Olympus E-300« »||-||+||o||o||4.5/5||Sep 2004||799||-||Olympus E-300|
|Panasonic LX7« »||+ +||75/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2012||499||-||Panasonic LX7|
|Panasonic FZ150« »||+ +||76/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2011||499||-||Panasonic FZ150|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (-) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods 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. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
- Canon 1D vs Canon G15
- Canon 5D Mark III vs Olympus E-500
- Canon 5D Mark IV vs Olympus E-500
- Canon 7D II vs Olympus E-500
- Canon G15 vs Leica Q2
- Canon G15 vs Nikon D610
- Canon G15 vs Nikon W300
- Canon G15 vs Panasonic FZ80
- Canon G15 vs Panasonic GF6
- Canon G15 vs Sony HX99
- Fujifilm GFX 50R vs Olympus E-500
- Leica V-LUX 5 vs Olympus E-500
Specifications: Canon G15 vs Olympus E-500
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||Olympus E-500|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||28-140mm f/1.8-2.8||Four Thirds lenses|
|Launch Date||September 2012||September 2005|
|Launch Price||USD 499||USD 599|
|Sensor Specs||Canon G15||Olympus E-500|
|Sensor Format||1/1.7" Sensor||Four Thirds Sensor|
|Sensor Size||7.6 x 5.7 mm||17.3 x 13.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||43.32 mm2||224.9 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||9.5 mm||21.6 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||12 Megapixels||8 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4000 x 3000 pixels||3264 x 2448 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.89 μm||5.30 μm|
|Pixel Density||27.70 MP/cm2||3.55 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/24p Video||no Video|
|ISO Setting||80-12800 ISO||100-400 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||100-1600 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 5||TruePic|
|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||Olympus E-500|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||80%||95%|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0 inch||2.5 inch|
|LCD Resolution||922k dots||215k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon G15||Olympus E-500|
|Autofocus System||Contrast-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||2.1 shutter flaps/s||2.5 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||CF or XD cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Dual card slots|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon G15||Olympus E-500|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||no HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Canon G15||Olympus E-500|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||350 shots per charge||750 shots per charge|
107 x 76 x 40 mm
(4.2 x 3.0 x 1.6 in)
130 x 95 x 66 mm
(5.1 x 3.7 x 2.6 in)
|Camera Weight||352 g (12.4 oz)||479 g (16.9 oz)|
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