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Canon G15 vs Sony A5000

The Canon PowerShot G15 and the Sony Alpha A5000 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2012 and January 2014. The G15 is a fixed lens compact, while the A5000 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on a 1/1.7-inch (G15) and an APS-C (A5000) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 12 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 19.8 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 Sony A5000
Canon G15 Sony A5000
Fixed lens compact camera Mirrorless system camera
28-140mm f/1.8-2.8 Sony E mount lenses
12 MP, 1/1.7" Sensor 19.8 MP, APS-C Sensor
1080/24p Video 1080/60i Video
ISO 80-12,800 ISO 100-16,000
Optical viewfinder No viewfinder, LCD framing
3.0 LCD, 922k dots 3.0 LCD, 461k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Tilting screen (not touch-sensitive)
2.1 shutter flaps per second 3.5 shutter flaps per second
350 shots per battery charge420 shots per battery charge
107 x 76 x 40 mm, 352 g 110 x 63 x 36 mm, 269 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot G15 and the Sony Alpha A5000? 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 Sony A5000. 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 width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The A5000 can be obtained in three different colors (black, silver, white), while the G15 is only available in black.

Size Canon G15 vs Sony A5000
Compare G15 versus A5000 top
Comparison G15 or A5000 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony A5000 is notably smaller (15 percent) than the Canon G15. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G15 nor the A5000 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 A5000 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 A5000 and their specifications in the Sony E-Mount Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the G15 gets 350 shots out of its NB-10L battery, while the A5000 can take 420 images on a single charge of its NP-FW50 power pack. The power pack in the A5000 can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. 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.

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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
 
Sony A5000 110 mm 63 mm 36 mm 269 g 420 n Jan 2014 449i
 
Canon M10 108 mm 67 mm 35 mm 301 g 255 n Oct 2015 499i
 
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
 
Sony RX100 IV 102 mm 58 mm 41 mm 298 g 280 n Jun 2015 999i
 
Sony A5100 110 mm 63 mm 36 mm 283 g 400 n Aug 2014 549 i
 
Sony A6000 120 mm 67 mm 45 mm 344 g 360 n Feb 2014 599i
 
Sony NEX-3N 110 mm 62 mm 35 mm 269 g 480 n Feb 2013 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. 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 size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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. 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 more expensive and 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 Sony A5000 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the A5000 is 730 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 A5000 offers a 3:2 aspect.

In terms of underlying technology, both cameras are build around CMOS sensors.

Canon G15 and Sony A5000 sensor measures

With 19.8MP, the A5000 offers a higher resolution than the G15 (12MP), but the A5000 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.25μm versus 1.89μm for the G15) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the A5000 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 3 months) than the G15, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.

The resolution advantage of the Sony A5000 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the A5000 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 27.3 x 18.2 inches or 69.3 x 46.1 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 21.8 x 14.5 inches or 55.4 x 36.9 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 18.2 x 12.1 inches or 46.2 x 30.8 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 Sony Alpha A5000 are ISO 100 to ISO 16000 (no boost).

G15 versus A5000 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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"). Of the two cameras under consideration, the A5000 offers substantially better image quality than the G15 (overall score 33 points higher). The advantage is based on 3.9 bits higher color depth, 1.5 EV in additional dynamic range, and 2.7 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.

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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
 
Sony A5000 APS-C 19.8 5456 36321080/60i23.813.0108979
 
Canon M10 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.475365
 
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
 
Sony RX100 IV 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.659170
 
Sony A5100 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.812.7134780
 
Sony A6000 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.113.1134782
 
Sony NEX-3N APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60i22.812.5106774

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the A5000 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 range of features. For example, the G15 has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the A5000 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon G15 and Sony A5000 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

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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
 
Sony A5000none n 3.0 461 tilting n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
 
Canon M10none n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 4.6 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
 
Sony RX100 IV2359 n 3.0 1228 tilting n 1/2000s 16.0 Y Y
 
Sony A5100none n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
 
Sony A60001440 n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/4000s 11.0 Y n
 
Sony NEX-3Noptional n 3.0 460 tilting n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
The A5000 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 G15 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the A5000 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. The A5000 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the G15 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD 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 Sony Alpha A5000 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---
 
Sony A5000-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Canon M10-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 P7800YstereomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Panasonic LX7Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Panasonic FZ150Ystereo---mini2.0---
 
Sony RX100 IV-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony A5100-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony A6000Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony NEX-3N-stereomono--micro2.0---

It is notable that the G15 has a hotshoe, while the A5000 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.

Both the G15 and the A5000 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The G15 was replaced by the Canon G16, while the A5000 was followed by the Sony A5100. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Sony websites.

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Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Canon G15 better than the Sony A5000 or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Reasons to prefer the Canon PowerShot G15:

  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (922k vs 461k dots).
  • Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the A5000 requires a separate lens.
  • Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
  • Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in September 2012).

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Advantages of the Sony Alpha A5000:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (19.8 vs 12MP), which boosts linear resolution by 31%.
  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (33 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (3.9 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (1.5 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (2.7 stops ISO advantage).
  • 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.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3.5 vs 2.1 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with specialty optics.
  • More compact: Is smaller (110x63mm vs 107x76mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (420 versus 350) out of a single battery charge.
  • Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
  • 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.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 3 months) more recently.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the A5000 is the clear winner of the contest (17 : 6 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 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 06:17 A5000

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon G15 and the Sony A5000 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 technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the G15 and the A5000 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 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
 
Sony A5000+..4.5/5o4.5/5 Jan 2014 449i
 
Canon M10......o4/5 Oct 2015 499i
 
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
 
Sony RX100 IV+ +85/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 999i
 
Sony A5100+..4.5/54.5/55/5 Aug 2014 549 i
 
Sony A6000+80/1004.5/55/55/5 Feb 2014 599i
 
Sony NEX-3N....4.5/54/54.5/5 Feb 2013 499i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Canon G15:
Check Ebay offers
Sony A5000:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, 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 Sony A5000

    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 Sony A5000
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens 28-140mm f/1.8-2.8 Sony E mount lenses
    Launch Date September 2012 January 2014
    Launch Price USD 499 USD 449
    Sensor Specs Canon G15 Sony A5000
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format 1/1.7" Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 7.6 x 5.7 mm 23.2 x 15.4 mm
    Sensor Area 43.32 mm2 357.28 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 9.5 mm 27.8 mm
    Crop Factor 4.6x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 12 Megapixels 19.8 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4000 x 3000 pixels 5456 x 3632 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.89 μm 4.25 μm
    Pixel Density 27.70 MP/cm2 5.55 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/24p Video 1080/60i Video
    ISO Setting 80 - 12,800 ISO 100 - 16,000 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 5 BIONZ X
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 46 79
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 19.9 23.8
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.5 13.0
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 165 1089
    Screen Specs Canon G15 Sony A5000
    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 461k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Tilting screen
    Shooting Specs Canon G15 Sony A5000
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing Aidno Peaking FeatureFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/4000s 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 2.1 shutter flaps/s 3.5 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards MS or SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Canon G15 Sony A5000
    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 Sony A5000
    Battery Type NB-10L NP-FW50
    Battery Life (CIPA)350 shots per charge420 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging no USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 107 x 76 x 40 mm
    (4.2 x 3.0 x 1.6 in)
    110 x 63 x 36 mm
    (4.3 x 2.5 x 1.4 in)
    Camera Weight 352 g (12.4 oz) 269 g (9.5 oz)

    Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.

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