Canon S110 and Canon G15 cameras announced

Revolutionary or Evolutionary? Read on to find out
By Scott Gietler

The Canon S100 and Canon G12 are two of the most popular cameras on the market for underwater photography. How will their replacements, the Canon S110 and Canon G15 stack up?  Manufacturers often make "improvements" that have unintended consequences for underwater photography.


Canon S110 - basically the same as the Canon S100

No big news here - Canon took the S100, took away the built-in GPS, and added wi-fi. The controls are the same, but the body was changed ever so slightly - probably just enough to make the metal S100 housings not work with the S110. We'll post the test results as soon as we get an S110 in-house. 

canon g15 review for underwater photography
Canon G15


Canon G15 - revolutionary F1.8 - F2.8 lens

The new Canon G15 has a new, very bright F1.8 - F2.8 lens. The Canon G1X was a disaster for underwater photography because it lacked the ability to take close-up photos. We'll be anxious to see how the new lens on the G15 performs. 

The Canon G12 is one of our two favorite compact cameras (the Sony RX-100 is the other), hopefully Canon didn't restrict the macro capability of the Canon G15 too much, and the G15 can take the G12's spot. According to the official specs on the Canon website, the macro capability on the G15 is the same as the G12.


Canon G12, Canon G15 differences:

  • Canon G15 has a much brighter lens (both cameras have a 28-140mm lens), which will have some great benefits for indoor and ambient light photography, including the ability to blur the background when zoomed in to 140mm. The Canon G12 lens has a F2.8/4.5 aperture.

  • 12 megapixels instead of 10

  • Canon is claiming faster auto-focus. We will have to wait and see!

  • Canon G15 is slightly smaller

  • Full HD 1080p video recording; lens can zoom & focus while recording

  • Offers an HDR mode

  • Upgraded CMOS sensor

  • ISO dial has disappeared

  • No more articulating LCD screen

  • Retail price of $499


Initial thoughts on the Canon G15 and S110

It appears that the Canon S110 and Canon G15 will continue to be solid choices for underwater photography, with great macro and wide-angle wet lens capability, but with increased competition from the Sony RX-100. We'll continue to update this article once we handle the cameras ourselves.

Update: Nov 23th 2012 - our partner Bluewater Photo has just posted a Canon G15 quick review for underwater photography


Canon G15, S110 underwater housings

  • Ikelite, Nauticam and Recsea have underwater housings for the Canon S110; all 3 housings support wide-angle and macro wet lenses

  • Ikelite and Recsea have released Canon G15 housings; both housings support macro lenses, only the Recsea housing supports a fisheye lens

  • Recsea Canon G15 Housing Review


Further Reading

Sony RX-100 review

Canon S110  & Canon G15 underwater settings


Scott Gietler is the owner of Bluewater Photo, Bluewater Travel, and the Underwater Photography Guide. Bluewater Photo, based in Culver City, CA is one of the world’s largest and most prestigious underwater camera stores, serving many thousands of customers each year, where nothing is more important than customer service. The Underwater Photography Guide is the world’s first website to feature free tutorials on underwater photography, and has become the most trafficked resource on underwater photography worldwide. Bluewater Travel is a full-service dive travel wholesaler sending groups and individuals on the world’s best dive vacations. 

Scott is also an avid diver, underwater photographer, and budding marine biologist, having created the online guide to the underwater flora and fauna of Southern California. He is the past vice-president of the Los Angeles Underwater Photographic Society, has volunteered extensively at the Santa Monica aquarium, and is the creator of the Ocean Art underwater photo competition, one of the largest underwater international photo competitions ever held in terms of value of prizes. He lives in California with his wife, newborn girl and scuba-diving, photo taking 4 year old son.

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