The mode dial has the usual PASM, auto, and scene modes, movie mode, and two custom settings slots, plus Movie Digest (2-to-4-second clips that are automatically strung together with stills) and Creative Filters modes. The latter are the rather typical set you see everywhere, and not particularly interesting implementations. There's a slow-motion option for video, but it produces tiny videos.
On the back there's an inset movie record button that sits too flush with the thumb rest, making it difficult to engage quickly. The AE lock, AF area, ISO sensitivity, and menu buttons surround the navigation dial, which contains a dedicated manual focus button, macro, flash, and display, as well as the Func Set button for pulling up frequently used shooting settings. There's also the shortcut button for one user-defined direct-access control, moved to the top right of the back. The sad victim: the dedicated metering button.
|Canon PowerShot G15/G16||Fujifilm X20||Nikon Coolpix P7800||Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100|
|Sensor (effective resolution)||12.1MP CMOS||12MP X-Trans CMOS||12.2MP BSI CMOS||20.2MP Exmor CMOS|
|Sensitivity range||ISO 80 - ISO 12800||ISO 100 - ISO 12800||ISO 80 - ISO 3200/6400 (exp)||ISO 100 - ISO 25600|
|Lens||28 - 140mm |
|28 - 112mm |
|28 - 200mm |
|28 - 100mm |
|Closest focus (inches)||0.4||3.9||0.8||1.9|
|Burst shooting||9.3fps/10fps |
11 JPEG/n/a raw
6 JPEG/ n/a raw
(10fps with fixed exposure)
|25-area Contrast AF|
|Metering||n/a||256 zones||224 segment||n/a|
|Shutter||15 - 1/4,000 sec||30 - 1/4,000 sec||60 - 1/4,000 sec||30 - 1/2,000 sec; bulb|
|LCD||3-inch fixed 922,000 dots||2.8-inch fixed |
|3-inch articulated |
|3-inch fixed |
|Video (best quality)||1080 @ 24p/ |
1080 @ 60p
H.264 QuickTime MOV
|1080/60p H.264 QuickTime MOV Stereo||1080/30p |
H.264 QuickTime MOV
|1080/ 60p/50p |
|Manual iris and shutter in video||No/No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Zoom during movies||Yes/Yes (digital?)||Yes||Yes |
|Wireless connection||No/Wi-Fi||No||Optional |
via WU-1a ($59.95)
|Battery life (CIPA rating)||350/360 shots ||270 shots||350 shots||330 shots|
|Size (WHD, inches)||4.4 x 3 x 1.6||4.6 x 2.7 x 2.2||4.7 x 3.1 x 2||4 x 2.4 x 1.4|
|Weight (ounces)||12.3/12.5||12.8||14.1 (est)||8.5|
|March 2013||September 2013||July 2012|
Overall, with the exception of the aforementioned record button, and the annoying operation of the quick-settings menu -- you have to press the Func button to dismiss it, you can't just press another button -- I like the design of the camera and find it delivers a pretty streamlined shooting experience. For the most part, the interface operates cleanly; you can quickly dive down to more detailed adjustments straight from the quick-settings menu.
The camera also adds three night scene modes: Star Nightscape (long exposure), Star Trails, and Star Time Lapse Movie. Unfortunately, these aren't very testable in Manhattan. Canon does seem to have relaxed the G15's constraint of only being able to use ISO 80 for exposures longer than 1 second.
Canon still lags behind almost everyone with its mobile app. Though the G16's big add is Wi-Fi, the Canon app only supports image transfers and phone-based geotagging, not remote shooting. Plus it's pretty clunky to use.
If you're sensitive to price and don't care about Wi-Fi or speed, I'd look for price drops on the G15. And if you want better photo quality and have the budget, I'd probably suggest paying a little more for the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 -- or finding an inexpensive ILC paired with a small lens for maximum compactness. But as long as you stay in the light, the G16 is still a fine choice.
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
|Time to first shot||Raw shot-to-shot time||Typical shot-to-shot time||Shutter lag (dim)||Shutter lag (typical)|
(Longer bars indicate better performance)