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Canon G15 vs Panasonic G2

The Canon PowerShot G15 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2012 and March 2010. The G15 is a fixed lens compact, while the G2 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on a 1/1.7-inch (G15) and a Four Thirds (G2) 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 Panasonic G2
Canon G15 Panasonic G2
Fixed lens compact camera Mirrorless system camera
28-140mm f/1.8-2.8 Micro Four Thirds lenses
12 MP, 1/1.7" Sensor 12 MP, Four Thirds Sensor
1080/24p Video 720/30p Video
ISO 80-12,800 ISO 100-6,400
Optical viewfinder Electronic viewfinder (1440k dots)
3.0 LCD, 922k dots 3.0 LCD, 460k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Swivel touchscreen
2.1 shutter flaps per second 2.6 shutter flaps per second
350 shots per battery charge360 shots per battery charge
107 x 76 x 40 mm, 352 g 124 x 84 x 74 mm, 428 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot G15 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2? 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 physical size and weight of the Canon G15 and the Panasonic G2 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.

The G2 can be obtained in three different colors (black, blue, red), while the G15 is only available in black.

Size Canon G15 vs Panasonic G2
Compare G15 versus G2 top
Comparison G15 or G2 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic G2 is notably larger (28 percent) than the Canon G15. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G15 nor the G2 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 G2 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 G2 and their specifications in the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the G15 gets 350 shots out of its NB-10L battery, while the G2 can take 360 images on a single charge of its DMW-BLB13 power pack.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. 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 107 mm 76 mm 40 mm 352 g 350 n Sep 2012 499i
 
Panasonic G2 124 mm 84 mm 74 mm 428 g 360 n Mar 2010 599i
 
Canon SX60 128 mm 93 mm 114 mm 650 g 340 n Sep 2014 549i
 
Canon G16 109 mm 76 mm 40 mm 356 g 360 n Aug 2013 549 i
 
Canon S120 100 mm 59 mm 29 mm 217 g 230 n Aug 2013 449i
 
Canon SX50 123 mm 87 mm 106 mm 595 g 315 n Sep 2012 429i
 
Canon G12 112 mm 76 mm 48 mm 401 g 370 n Sep 2010 499i
 
Fujifilm X20 117 mm 70 mm 57 mm 353 g 270 n Jan 2013 599i
 
Fujifilm X10 117 mm 70 mm 57 mm 350 g 270 n Sep 2011 599i
 
Nikon P7800 119 mm 78 mm 50 mm 399 g 350 n Sep 2013 549i
 
Panasonic LX7 111 mm 68 mm 46 mm 298 g 330 n Jul 2012 499i
 
Panasonic FZ150 124 mm 82 mm 92 mm 528 g 410 n Aug 2011 499i
 
Panasonic G3 115 mm 84 mm 47 mm 336 g 270 n May 2011 599i
 
Panasonic GF3 108 mm 67 mm 32 mm 264 g 300 n Jun 2011 549i
 
Panasonic G10 124 mm 84 mm 74 mm 388 g 380 n Mar 2010 499i
 
Panasonic GH1 124 mm 90 mm 45 mm 385 g 300 n Mar 2009 899i
 
Panasonic G1 124 mm 84 mm 45 mm 360 g 410 n Sep 2008 599i
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 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 G2, 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.

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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. 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 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 Panasonic G2 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the G2 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.

Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors.

Canon G15 and Panasonic G2 sensor measures

Even though the G2 has a larger sensor, both cameras offer the same resolution of 12 megapixels. This implies that the G2 has a lower pixel density and larger individual pixels (with a pixel pitch of 4.33μm versus 1.89μm for the G15), which gives it a potential advantage in terms of light gathering capacity. It should, however, be noted that the G15 is much more recent (by 2 years and 6 months) than the G2, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that at least partly compensate for the smaller pixel size.

The Canon PowerShot G15 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 are ISO 100 to ISO 6400 (no boost).

G15 versus G2 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 G2 has a markedly higher DXO score than the G15 (overall score 7 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 1.3 bits higher color depth, 1.2 EV of lower dynamic range, and 1.6 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
 
Canon G15 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/24p19.911.516546
 
Panasonic G2 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.349353
 
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 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
 
Panasonic G3 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i21.010.666756
 
Panasonic GF3 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i20.610.045849
 
Panasonic G10 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.141152
 
Panasonic GH1 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/24p21.611.677264
 
Panasonic G1 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000none21.110.346353

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 G15 provides a higher video resolution than the G2. It can shoot video footage at 1080/24p, while the Panasonic is limited to 720/30p.

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Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the G2 has an electronic viewfinder (1440k 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 adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon G15 and Panasonic G2 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
 
Panasonic G21440 n 3.0 460 swivel Y 1/4000s 2.6 Y n
 
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 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
 
Panasonic G31440 n 3.0 460 swivel Y 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
 
Panasonic GF3none n 3.0 460 fixed Y 1/4000s 3.2 Y n
 
Panasonic G10202 n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 2.6 Y n
 
Panasonic GH11440 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Panasonic G11440 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n

One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The G2 has a touchscreen, while the G15 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.

The G2 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.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the G15 and the G2 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 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 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---
 
Panasonic G2Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
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 P7800YstereomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Panasonic LX7Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Panasonic FZ150Ystereo---mini2.0---
 
Panasonic G3Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Panasonic GF3-stereomono--mini2.0---
 
Panasonic G10Ymono---mini2.0---
 
Panasonic GH1Ystereo-Y-mini2.0---
 
Panasonic G1Y----mini2.0---

Both the G15 and the G2 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The G2 was replaced by the Panasonic G3, 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 Panasonic websites.

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Review summary

So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Canon G15 or the Panasonic G2 – 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.

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Advantages of the Canon PowerShot G15:

  • More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (1.2 EV of extra DR).
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (1080/24p vs 720/30p).
  • Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (922k vs 460k dots).
  • Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the G2 requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (107x76mm vs 124x84mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the G2).
  • 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 2 years and 6 months of technical progress since the G2 launch.

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Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2:

  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (7 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (1.3 bits more color depth).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (1.6 stops ISO advantage).
  • 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.
  • Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (2.6 vs 2.1 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with specialty optics.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in March 2010).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the match-up finishes in a tie (10 points each). 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 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.

G15 10:10 G2

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon G15 and the Panasonic G2 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Travel-Zoom Camera and Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens 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 G2 perform in practice. 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 where reviews by experts come in. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear 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
 
Panasonic G2..72/1004/54/54.5/5 Mar 2010 599i
 
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 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
 
Panasonic G3+ +75/1004.5/54.5/55/5 May 2011 599i
 
Panasonic GF382/10071/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Jun 2011 549i
 
Panasonic G10..70/1004/5..4/5 Mar 2010 499i
 
Panasonic GH1+ +72/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2009 899i
 
Panasonic G1+ +70/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2008 599i
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. 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, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Canon G15:
Check Ebay offers
Panasonic G2:
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. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications: Canon G15 vs Panasonic G2

    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 Panasonic G2
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens 28-140mm f/1.8-2.8 Micro Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date September 2012 March 2010
    Launch Price USD 499 USD 599
    Sensor Specs Canon G15 Panasonic G2
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    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
    Crop Factor 4.6x 2.0x
    Sensor Resolution 12 Megapixels 12 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4000 x 3000 pixels 4000 x 3000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.89 μm 4.33 μm
    Pixel Density 27.70 MP/cm2 5.34 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/24p Video 720/30p Video
    ISO Setting 80 - 12,800 ISO 100 - 6,400 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 5 Venus HD II
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 46 53
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 19.9 21.2
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.5 10.3
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 165 493
    Screen Specs Canon G15 Panasonic G2
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 80% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.70x
    Viewfinder Resolution 1440k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 922k dots 460k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Swivel screen
    Touch Input no Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Canon G15 Panasonic G2
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 2.1 shutter flaps/s 2.6 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 Panasonic G2
    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 Panasonic G2
    Battery Type NB-10L DMW-BLB13
    Battery Life (CIPA)350 shots per charge360 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 107 x 76 x 40 mm
    (4.2 x 3.0 x 1.6 in)
    124 x 84 x 74 mm
    (4.9 x 3.3 x 2.9 in)
    Camera Weight 352 g (12.4 oz) 428 g (15.1 oz)

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