Canon G15 quick review

Canon G15 quick review

Nov 22

Canon G15 camera

The Canon G15 is the long anticipated replacement for the Canon G12. We got the camera last week, here are the highlights of what we found:

  • Macro capability is excellent, same as the Canon G12 lens
  • Auto-focus does not seem that different; in our low light tests, the auto-focus speed at 28mm was similar; when zoomed in, the G15 sometimes did focus faster than the G12 some of the time, but it wasn’t a huge improvement. The G15 was a little faster in bright light with moving objects.


  • Camera is slightly smaller than the G12
  • 28-140mm lens is the same size as the G12 lens when zoomed-in and zoomed-out
  • Like the G12, no TTL in manual mode
  • The G15 lens is much brighter than the G12 lens; F1.8 at 28mm, and an amazing F2.8 at 140mm. Great for indoors!
  • Tilt-and-swivel LCD of the G12 is gone
  • Megapixels increased from 10 to 12
  • 1080p video, much better LCD than the G12
  • Flash recycle time is good
  • Like the Canon G12 & S100, no TTL in manual mode

Housings from Recsea, Nauticam, and Ikelite are coming soon. We expect Ikelite housings to arrive the first week of December, and Recsea to arrive the last week of December. Nauticam housings will arrive at a date yet TBD.

Both the G12 and G15 can take great macro. When zoomed out, you can pretty much focus as close as you want to a subject. We recommend zooming in and using a macro lens,which will give you an image about 1-inch across, with enough working distance to get the shot.

canon g15 review photo

Canon g15 review photo, F5, 28mm, 4:3 aspect ratio

Canon g15 review photo, 100% crop

Canon g15 review photo, 100% crop of above photo, detail looks very good


G15 quick review: Conclusion:

The G15 is a nice improvement over the G12, and will appeal to people who want a great G-series compact with a long lens that can do great macro, or a G-series compact with better video. The hot shoe flash is nice – you’ll be able to do fast shooting with an Ikelite housing and electronic sync cords. The internal flash recycle time is fast.

But – the Sony RX-100, with its small size, large sensor, and TTL in manual mode will be giving it some serious competition.



  1. Brad C

    Any word on when the third party housings for the G15 will start to appear?

  2. Scott Gietler

    Ikelite is expected within the next 2 weeks (11-23 – 12-6). Recsea may release in the last week of December. If I hear back from any other manufacturers I’ll update the post. – Scott

  3. So this means getting another housing that costs 2-3 times more than the camera itself?

    Thanks but no thanks, I’ll stick to my trusted G12 / Ikelite combo. :-)

  4. Elaine

    what is the difference between the canon housing and the other third party housings?

  5. Hi Elaine,

    Typically the Canon brand housings are very cheaply made and can flood easily. We saw this often with the G12 housing especially. In addition they usually do not allow access to all the camera controls which is a huge negative in my opinion. 3rd party housings are usually better quality, offer full camera access and allow better connections for additions like macro and wide angle lenses.

  6. Felicity

    Quick one for you …
    I’m presuming we’re waiting on the housing to be released to test out underwater ability? (forgive me if I have completely misread!)
    If you we’re needing to purchase a new compact camera specifically for underwater use – which would you choose between the G12 and the new G15??
    Am super keen to hear your feedback as I’m off on a diving trip for a few months in the new year and am wanting to upgrade to one or the other.
    Thanks in advance!!

  7. Hi Felicity,

    Yes, the housings for the G15 have not shipped out yet, so we cannot test how everything functions underwater. However it seems that it will be a good step up from the G12. The G15 housings should be out by January. Both are great options, the G15 is newer with some upgraded specs. Hope that is helpful.

  8. sarah

    Hi – Just interested in what the widest wide angle housing and lens combo will be for the G15 and what field of view it will likely give?


    • hi Sarah

      The Canon and Ikelite housings will not offer any true wide-angle options. With the Recsea G15 housing, you can have a 150 degree angle of view with a fisheye lens – which I highly recommend – Scott

  9. Borre

    I’ve been using the G10 with original Canon camera housing for 4-5 years with a Fantasea Nano Ray flash combo, as the built in flasha has its clear disadvantages (brightness and located too close to the lens). The housing offers full access to all controls and no flooding issues whatsoever, but that might be different from the G12. I definetively will go for the G15 with Canon’s own housing bringing my Fantasea along.

    • hi Borre

      FYI we have seen an extremely high amount of fatal flooding in the Canon G12 housing (about half of all users!) – hopefully the Canon G15 housing owners fare better – Scott

  10. Joe Seven

    I have a couple of “newbie” questions:

    I was really excited about getting a G15 and the Canon housing. I’ve used Canon housings before on other point-and-shoots and have had only good experiences. Call me crazy but I’m not really worried about flooding.

    BUT… I just read a review which essentially states that the Canon G15 housing is “useless” underwater.

    Huh?? Can someone clarify this issue? I don’t really understand what the reviewer is talking about. (I’m no expert with underwater optics). Is he saying you can’t use the lens at certain zoom ranges? Do other 3rd party housings have the same problem?

    If the G15 doesn’t work well underwater, I’ll be tempted to just go with the Canon s110 + the Canon housing for that model.

    Thanks for your help!

    • Hi Joe,

      Regarding your comment above… the article is reviewing only the G15 with the Canon housing which really is the lowest option of housings available. The G series has a long zoom range making wet wide angle lenses not an option because of the length of the port (there will be too much vignetting). The camera however is great. It appears to function just like the G12 which is magnificent underwater. While we have not had a chance to test it yet, (housings are still on the way) we are pretty confident that it will be a great underwater. Just say away from the cheap housing. If you want to do great wide angle look at the Recsea housing which allows for a port change to a nice wide angle fisheye lens, and that camera will give you the best wide angle of any compact out there.

      • Sue

        Aloha! I have been using Canons (an SD550 for about a thousand dives)WITH the Canon case, and then a Canon G9 for about a thousand dives WITH the Canon case. I have NEVER had a flooding incident. IF you take care of your case, and learn how to clean it and correctly apply silicone (use a magnifying glass if your eyes aren’t great), you shouldn’t have a problem. Wiping your o-ring with a towel on a boat is dumb, and I’ve seen lots of flooding when folks do stuff like that. Also, don’t store your o-ring in your case. Put it into a zip lock. And buy a new ring every 2 years! Every time I actually find out WHY somebody’s Canon case flooded, it always seems to be the fault of the person, not the case. That being said, the Recsea case (expensive though it is) is smaller. I am very disappointed that the Recsea can only use a DRY wide angle. For me, that’s a deal-breaker. All that money and no wet lens! The Ikelite case is huge. I’ve put wet lenses on my G9 using sticky tape and a few macro lenses from a friend. They work well. If the G15 can adapt for macro wet, I’ll be getting that. Otherwise, I’m sticking with the Canon cases. I’m a fan.

  11. linda

    You can use wet macro lenses with any of the housings out there for the G15. All you need is an adaptor to attach it to the housing. Subsee will make a flip adapter for their +5 and +10 wet lenses for any housing that is on the market. I used it with my G10 and canon housing.
    There are also adapters made by other companies for recses and ikelite housings.

  12. I’ve read all the comments, and some people have mentioned the canon housing?

    In my opionion they are great. Have done about 300 dives with mine and as long as you take good care of it it won’t flood.

    As for the rest of the housings…
    RECSEA = very expensiver
    ikelite = bulky

    I’ve been searching everywhere for that one with no luck…
    Does anyone know when it will come out for the G15?

  13. Divermike

    Quite a lot of negative comments regarding Cannon housings…
    I have to say that after using Cannon housings for Ixus and and S95, more than a thousand combined dives, I have never had a problem with them.

    However I found my first experience with an Ikelite housing for a S95 , bulky, misfitting buttons, badly fitted the camera and finally led to my first and only flooding.

    Just saying.

  14. Jacinto Castillo

    I’m lost. I have already a Canon G15 (and exciting going next summer Deep on the water) I’m lost because I don’t know what is the best option for a G15’s housing. Money it’s an issue as well, I would like the WP-DC48, but his unusual front make me doubt a lot. I would prefer any with M67 front to adapt different wide lenses. I like Macro Photo but I’m more on Macro Video.
    I would like from you any tip to resolve my problem: Thinking on money wise and best results, which is the Housing best option (when you have a G15) to make some Macro Photos as well as Macro video? Minimal lenses unit I must to buy? Minimal strobe? (I was thinking on Inon S2000) Minimal Light? (I was thinking on I Torch Video Pro-4) Thank a lot for cooperation.
    All the best.

  15. troy w

    Been using the G15 in the Canon WPDC48 housing for the last few months with no issues. Before that, I was using the S100 and G12 in Canon housings with no issues either. The biggest drawback to the Canon housings for me are the shallower depth ratings. Unfortunately, the few recreationally diveable wrecks here are at the depth limit for the Canon housing(s). That aspect aside, the Canon housings have performed very well and are easier to use, ergonomically, than the Ikelite housings…

  16. Linus

    Hi, I am new to underwater photograph and I just bought a canon g15 and their underwater housing .may I know where can I buy red filters for my cam?

  17. Paul Eisenberg

    Just returned from 20 dives at CoCo View in Roatan. Used my G15 with Canon housing. Good camera fit and access to all controls except unable to retract flash once released. Shot all natural light, which I greatly prefer to the harsh colors and shadows with flash. Shot nudis, eels, sea horses, barracuda, squid, wide angle scenes, diver shots front lit, backlit. Even shot eels in dark spaces under overhangs. Set to RAW plus JPEG and used shutter priority, built in underwater white balance, fine tuned in Photoshop. I use a stanless dive rod on a wrist band, and use this to anchor in sand or against hard rock/hard rock to stabilize myself and camera but only when needed (in surge, etc.) for Quick focus. Sharp images. No issues with the camera or housing. Next time will try some of tips I’ve read. I was able to get shots like my Canon 7D in Ikelite Housing with dome port, L series 17-40 and 10-22 lenses. And, so much easier to handle. A bit less flexibility than my &D setup, but probably not enough to warrant the travel weight and hassle of my big kit. Very satisfied with this set up.

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