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Canon G15 vs Sony H400

The Canon PowerShot G15 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H400 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in September 2012 and February 2014. Both the G15 and the H400 are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on a 1/1.7-inch (G15) and a 1/2.3-inch (H400) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 12 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 19.9 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 Sony H400
Canon G15 Sony H400
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
28-140mm f/1.8-2.8 24.5-1550mm f/3.4-6.5
12 MP, 1/1.7" Sensor 19.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor
1080/24p Video 720/30p Video
ISO 80-12,800 ISO 80-3,200
Optical viewfinder Electronic viewfinder (210k dots)
3.0 LCD, 922k dots 3.0 LCD, 460k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
2.1 shutter flaps per second 0.7 shutter flaps per second
350 shots per battery charge300 shots per battery charge
107 x 76 x 40 mm, 352 g 130 x 95 x 122 mm, 628 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot G15 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H400? 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

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon G15 and the Sony H400 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon G15 vs Sony H400
Compare G15 versus H400 top
Comparison G15 or H400 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony H400 is considerably larger (52 percent) than the Canon G15. Moreover, the H400 is substantially heavier (78 percent) than the G15. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G15 nor the H400 are weather-sealed.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. 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
 
Canon G15 4.2 in 3.0 in 1.6 in 12.4 oz 350 n Sep 2012 499i
 
Sony H400 5.1 in 3.7 in 4.8 in 22.2 oz 300 n Feb 2014 319 i
 
Canon SX410 4.1 in 2.7 in 3.3 in 11.5 oz 185 n Feb 2015 279i
 
Canon SX710 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.4 in 9.5 oz 230 n Jan 2015 349i
 
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 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
 
Sony HX400V 5.1 in 3.7 in 4.1 in 23.3 oz 300 n Feb 2014 499 i
 
Sony H300 5.0 in 3.5 in 3.6 in 20.8 oz 350 n Feb 2014 219 i
 
Sony H200 4.8 in 3.3 in 3.4 in 18.7 oz 240 n Jan 2013 249 i
Notes: 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 listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The H400 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 36 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.

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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. 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 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 Sony H400 a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The sensor area in the H400 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 Sony H400 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the H400 offers a higher resolution of 19.9 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 1.19μm versus 1.89μm for the G15). However, it should be noted that the H400 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 4 months) than the G15, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that partly offset its pixel-size disadvantage. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the H400 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The resolution advantage of the Sony H400 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the H400 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 25.8 x 19.3 inches or 65.4 x 49.1 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 20.6 x 15.5 inches or 52.3 x 39.3 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 17.2 x 12.9 inches or 43.6 x 32.7 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 Cyber-shot DSC-H400 are ISO 80 to ISO 3200 (no boost).

G15 versus H400 MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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.

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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 H400 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/30p........
 
Canon SX410 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/30p........
 
Canon SX710 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
 
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 HX400V 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
 
Sony H300 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/30p........
 
Sony H200 1/2.3 15.2 5184 2930720/30p........

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the G15 provides a higher video resolution than the H400. It can shoot video footage at 1080/24p, while the Sony 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 H400 has an electronic viewfinder (210k 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 table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon G15 and Sony H400 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 H400210 n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/2000s 0.7 Y Y
 
Canon SX410none n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5 Y Y
 
Canon SX710none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/3200s 6.0 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 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 HX400V210 n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Sony H300none n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/1500s 0.8 Y Y
 
Sony H200none n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/1500s 0.8 Y Y

Both the G15 and the H400 have zoom lenses built in. The G15 has a 28-140mm f/1.8-2.8 optic and the H400 offers a 24.5-1550mm f/3.4-6.5 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Sony 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.

The G15 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the H400 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo 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 Cyber-shot DSC-H400 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 H400-monomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Canon SX410-stereomono---2.0---
 
Canon SX710-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
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 HX400VYstereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony H300-monomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Sony H200-monomono---2.0---

It is notable that the G15 has a hotshoe, while the H400 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.

The H400 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Sony. In contrast, the G15 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the G15 was succeeded 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 Sony websites.

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Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Canon G15 better than the Sony H400 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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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.
  • 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).
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (2.1 vs 0.7 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/1.8 vs f/3.4).
  • More compact: Is smaller (107x76mm vs 130x95mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 276g or 44 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (350 versus 300) on a single battery charge.
  • 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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Reasons to prefer the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H400:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (19.9 vs 12MP), which boosts linear resolution by 29%.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
  • 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.
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (36 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 4 months) more recently.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the G15 is the clear winner of the match-up (16 : 8 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 wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

G15 16:08 H400

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon G15 and the Sony H400 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 remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the G15 or the H400. 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 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 H400o..3.5/5..3.5/5 Feb 2014 319 i
 
Canon SX410o........ Feb 2015 279i
 
Canon SX710+..4/5..3.5/5 Jan 2015 349i
 
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 HX400V+ +..4/5..4/5 Feb 2014 499 i
 
Sony H300+..4.5/5..4/5 Feb 2014 219 i
 
Sony H200....3.5/5..3.5/5 Jan 2013 249 i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted 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 comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Canon G15:
Check Ebay offers
Sony H400:
Check Amazon price

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, 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 Sony H400

    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 H400
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 28-140mm f/1.8-2.8 24.5-1550mm f/3.4-6.5
    Launch Date September 2012 February 2014
    Launch Price USD 499 USD 319
    Sensor Specs Canon G15 Sony H400
    Sensor Technology CMOS CCD
    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 19.9 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4000 x 3000 pixels 5152 x 3864 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.89 μm 1.19 μm
    Pixel Density 27.70 MP/cm2 70.91 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/24p Video 720/30p Video
    ISO Setting 80 - 12,800 ISO 80 - 3,200 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 5 BIONZ
    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 Sony H400
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 80% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification
    Viewfinder Resolution 210k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 922k dots 460k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon G15 Sony H400
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 2.1 shutter flaps/s 0.7 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 no
    Connectivity Specs Canon G15 Sony H400
    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
    Body Specs Canon G15 Sony H400
    Battery Type NB-10L NP-BX1
    Battery Life (CIPA)350 shots per charge300 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 107 x 76 x 40 mm
    (4.2 x 3.0 x 1.6 in)
    130 x 95 x 122 mm
    (5.1 x 3.7 x 4.8 in)
    Camera Weight 352 g (12.4 oz) 628 g (22.2 oz)

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