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CNET First Look
Canon finally puts a fast lens on its G-series cameraThe Canon PowerShot G15 continues the G series tradition of solid advanced compacts, but doesn't rank as best in class by any particular measure.
-The Canon Powershot G12 was a good enthusiast compact and the G15s are respectable followup to that model. It's a little faster with a somewhat redesigned body that's got a similar feature set plus roughly the same photo quality, although at a slightly higher resolution, large but with a shallow grip. It's a little lighter than it's predecessor, but it's still feel solid and substantial. Most of the weight loss comes from surgery. Canon cut off the articulated LCD that's too bad because the movable LCD is one of the main reasons opt for a camera of this size over a more compact version. That's plus the optical view finder in a shoot. Canon also moved some stuff around on a body like switching to a pop up flash, moving the ISO dial to a button on the back, and stocking mode dial and exposure compensation dial in an interesting offset design. The controls are pretty easy to access and operate. The way still think the placement of the front dial is awkward and the record button is too hard to feel and press. All JPEG photos don't really stand to pixel peeping level scrutiny beyond ISO 200. You can get more mileage out of rough files as high as ISO 1600 even for prints especially if you're not planning to view them at 100%. The camera does have a not uncommon tendency to blow up highlights, but the color and other aspects of the exposure are pretty well. The best part of the camera though is the lens. It's fast. The maximum aperture tops out the nice F2.8 at the longest focal length and it's fairly sharp in the center, though somewhat subject to distortion at the sides even at a 5-mm equivalent angle of you. Canon improved the auto focus performance for the G15 making it at lot faster for shooting in good light. In dim light, it hasn't changed much and it's still a bit slow going from shot to shot. Well, it doesn't over best in class photo quality like the more expensive Sony RX100. It does have the viewfinder and shoot that the Sony lacks and it remains an all around good option for advanced photographers so like jacket pocket portability. I'm Lori Grunin, and this is the Canon Powershot G15.