Birma wrote:The speed of the lens is a really good point Henry, that doesn't always get considered in reviews I have seen for these high-end P&S cameras.
You may remember that more than 2 years ago I posted about my wish for a digicam with a larger sensor, modest zoom lens, IS, builtin flash, $400, and a VF. At the time there wasn't anything. At that time the choices were basically:
- Canon G12 with a small sensor, slow lens, and VF
- Canon S95 with a small sensor, fast lens at only shortest FL but slow at longer FLs, but no VF
- Fuji X100 with big sensor, fast 35mm lens, and VF, but too big/heavy
- Olympus/Panasonic had not so big m4/3 models with interchangeable lenses, but even with the smallest lens (14mm f2.5 pancake) it was too big and there was no VF
- NEX 3/5 with big sensor, interchangeable lenses, but even with the smallest lens (16mm f2.8 pancake) it was too big and there was no VF
- Panasonic LX5 with small sensor and no VF
The $400 price point was the least important, but it was about what I felt was reasonable for the camera I described in that post.
Since then there have been some big sensor digicams but they each are missing things I wanted:
- RX100 (no VF, much more than $400)
- RX1 (no VF, no zoom, much, much, much more than $400 )
- Canon GX1 (big/heavy, much more than $400)
The G15 still has a small sensor, but the tech of the sensor has improved so it is better than a few years ago. The thing that really changes things though is that fast 28-140mm f1.8-2.8 lens. A small sensor with a slow lens means you will always wish for a bigger sensor, but a good small sensor with a fast lens means that you can use lower ISOs. We all know that sensor tech is always improving at a pretty fast rate, but lens design doesn't improve nearly as fast. So, it is somewhat surprising that this fast lens couldn't have been designed and used a couple of years ago. I think it just came down to all the competition from m4/3, NEX, etc. mirrorless that caused Canon to rethink the G line of digicams to give them a reason to exist. I think the G15 is a pretty good combination of features and the first G that I was interested in getting. By the way, I paid $385 for the G15 so less than the $400.
This is what DxO says about the new lens:
Although it has a similar range of focal lengths to that found on the previous model, the G12 (and slightly wider range over the large sensor G1X variant) the G15 boasts a truly fast f/1.8-2.8 variable maximum aperture. Not only is this lens over stop faster (brighter), a real benefit for available light photography while permitting some extra degree of depth of field control, it has a complex optical construction including multiple aspherical surfaces as well as single UD (Ultra low Dispersion) glass element. While aspherical elements are common, UD glass is usually reserved for the firm’s L-series lenses and should help reduce chromatic aberration.
For those who are interested you can find the old thread here:
By the way, people here who know me know I don't cheerlead for brands or cameras. I don't care one bit about brands. I am just posting here some of my thoughts about how the G15 and its combo of good small sensor and good, fast lens changes things.