Cannon: Powershot G15 vs 600D/Rebel T3i - Which model should I buy?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by the8thark, Sep 22, 2013.

  1. the8thark, Sep 22, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2013

    the8thark macrumors 68040


    Apr 18, 2011
    I have been looking at various cameras recently and trying to decide which model to buy. And after some research I have (I think) narrowed it down to 2 different models.

    1. Cannon Powershot G15
    2. Cannon EOS 600D/Rebel T3i (two different names for the same model)

    I basically am after a camera that takes a good photo when I press the button. Has little to no delay from button press to photo taken, a decent optical zoom, 3-5x is enough for me I don't need 20x or anything like that and lastly a decent sensor. And it must be really portable. I don't want to be forced to take a huge camera bag with me.

    But overall I just want something that takes a good picture. I'm no camera expert and I have derived these two specific models as they are in my price range and this is what I have been advised by many people. But I can't pick the difference between the two models. Well I can but I don't know which is the right one for me. Or would a 3rd different model be better?

    If anyone could share some advice of this I'd be very happy.
    Thank you in advance.

    [edit] I am reading the dpreview reviews on both cameras now. Long reads so will take a while to let all that information sink in.

    Dpreview reviews:

    G15 -
    600D -

    Ok both reviews are read. But I have a question. From that site:
    G15 - 76% gold
    600D - 77% silver

    How can a lower rated camera get a better medal? Unless entry level dslr's are rated differently to better point and shoot cameras like the G15.
  2. paolo- macrumors 6502a

    Aug 24, 2008
    Honestly, if you're after a small camera and you're not really interested in learning a lot about photography, you're probably better off with a compact camera like the G15 than a DSLR like the t3i. The t3i is quite big and what it has going for it is that you can change the lenses and a larger sensor. But if you're not interested in changing lenses, you just wind up with a really big camera...

    The Sony rx100 (and it's new revision the rx100 ii) might also be worth looking at. It has a larger sensor than the G15 but the overall camera is actually smaller. So I'm guessing it's better in low light and possibly more detail (and shallower depth of field if you want to go there). It just seems like a better camera overall and is just a bit more expensive. I'm not sure what Nikon is offering in terms of high-end compacts...
  3. the8thark, Sep 22, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2013

    the8thark thread starter macrumors 68040


    Apr 18, 2011
    Thanks for that reply.

    I do have zero interest to be swapping lenses. So a high end compact would probably better suit me. The prices I can get both for are very different though.

    G15 - around $400 here
    G16 - around $650
    RX100 - around $500 here
    RX100-2 - around $700 here.

    $700 seems like a lot for a compact camera. I mentioned the older RX100 too just as a comparison.

    Going off the review for the RX100 here:
    It looks like a very good camera and the RX100-2 should be even better, but not sure if I can justify the cost.

    I also added in the G16. The just released model after the G15. I have looked and not seen that many reviews at all out for the G16. Probably too new.

    So this puts me in a dilemma. Four different cameras at four very different price points. And all four of them look very good. I would think the RX100 series is the better camera but is it worth $30 more? And is sony a good camera brand? I have been using an older sony camera and it works just fine, but in the high end compact market I just don't know.

    [edit] After a chat on the MR IRC channel they recommended a 4/3 sensor compact with interchangeable lenses to future proof myself. That just complicated things more. As I have no idea which camera in that bracket would be good as a first camera.
  4. paolo- macrumors 6502a

    Aug 24, 2008
    The differences between the RX100 and the RX100-2 probably aren't a big deal for you. It got a connector for an external flash, wifi and NFC. The sensor apparently got a bit of an upgrade too. But it's the same lens and roughly the same body. In my mind, the 500$ RX100 gives you more for your money.

    I think Sony is a good camera brand. They haven't been recognized much at the pro end of the spectrum but lately they've been coming out with some good compact cameras. Like the RX100 and also the nex line which is similar to the 4/3 cameras in that they are interchangeable lens cameras but without a mirror so they are smaller. Though the nex has a larger sensor than the 4/3 cameras. They make great sensors, actually Nikon uses Sony sensors in a few of their cameras, I think Olympus does as well. Most of the high end Sony lenses are designed by Zeiss which are quite highly regarded. I've heard some say that the ergonomics and the menus systems on the nex line can be a bit confusing at times.

    If you want to complicate things further you might want to look at the Nex 3N it's a very small, can change lenses and has a large APS-C sized sensor (same size as the t3i). For 450$ you can get it with a good zoom lens that's retractable so the whole package is fairly small.

    I'm not too familiar with the 4/3 system. I'd go with Nex over it as I tend to shoot in low light and I like a shallow depth of field look ( Both are areas in which the nex has an edge over 4/3. So I can't really recommend you any models.

    As for future proofing, it really depends on what you want to do with your camera. If you see it more as a tool to document things and take snapshots rather than an artistic medium and tool, I don't think you'll be gaining much from a camera with interchangeable lenses. If you don't want to learn a lot on photography and just spend time taking pictures you might as well save your money and get a smaller camera that's just made for a more casual shooter that just wants to point and click. But if you see taking up photography as a hobby, maybe an nex or a 4/3 camera would be better suited for you.
  5. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California

    What are you going to do with the camera? Bothof these are for some one more serious about photography. If you are just taking vacation snapshots you should look at the SIZE o the camera. Get one that fits in a pocket.

    About the 600D SLR, this is just a body, what lens would you get to go with it? The lens is FAR more importent than the body. Heck, et a used 400D for $150 and I doubt anyomne will know wich body you used bit they can see which lens you used in the final image.

    These expensive cameras do NOT take better pictures, they allow a photographer more options. If you don't care about this you can sve some money and more importantly have a smaller camera that you will actually take with out and use.

    One othe question. About how many shots per month do you take?

    Are you shooting RAW images or JPG images and do you plan to shoot RAW format. If not then why pay for a camera that can do that?

    Finally the most important question: What is "wrong" with your current camera? Is there a problem with the images? If you can clearly state a problem it is easy to fix but vaugely wordd problems are not so easy to fix. Justsaying "I want better pictures" is not enough. But if you say you need a faster handing camera because you tend to miss the action, well then you need an SLR. Maybe you want to shoot in poor light with no flash? Be specific.
  6. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
    Neither, or - the one you're more likely to carry with you.

    The 600D will take better pictures with practice but if it's too big and conspicuous to carry with you everywhere then what's the point?

    The RX100 is a much better camera than the G-series Canon. The S-series Canons have the same innards as the Gs but are much smaller and lighter - easily fit in a pants pocket.

    I had (still have actually) a G11 and it was brilliant. Small, tough and took a great picture. Replaced with a NEX 5N as my main shooter and the difference once I'd been shooting for a while was substantial. I don't mind the extra size (with the 55-210 lens it's pretty big - with a 16mm pancake it's not much bigger than the G11) so it's a great walk-around shooter. Anything bigger than that though, like a full body SLR just felt enormous. The only SLR I've found that I wouldn't have an issue with is the new little 100D.
  7. the8thark thread starter macrumors 68040


    Apr 18, 2011
    I have found that you can't really buy the NEX-5N anymore. But you can get the NEX-3N. And with a base 16-50mm lens it's easily within my price range. Around $550. I'm pretty sure that is the model after the NEX-5N. And I quite like that camera. It looks nice, is a nice size and has the interchangeable lenses as some people have told me I should be getting. Not for now but if the future if I ever want to venture out I have the options to do so.

    The camera I have does not have to be pants pocketable. Just able to be easy to put in a bag and "it's a great walk-around shooter" is what I am after. And it's a better price then the RX100-2. Honestly I'm not 100% happy with that camera at that price point. But that NEX-3N really interests me. Thanks so much.

    Yes I am looking closely at the size of the camera.

    And I'll go into some more detail with the camera I have (Which I have to return one day, I just have it on an indefinite loan)

    1. The sensor size is a little small (I think). Compared to some other cameras they take more of a photo. Like at times I wish I could get that little more in the sides of each photo. Sensor issue I think.

    2. Low light photography is garbage on this camera. I know very low light will always be bad no matter what camera, but for this camera I have even with half decent light or a really cloudy day and there is defo some noise there in the photo. I'd like to be able to take some decent photos at night. As it stands walk into a really well lit area at night and boom lower picture quality because no sun. But I think a better camera would fix this.

    I have never shot in raw before. I'm not even sure the camera I have used will do raw. I never bothered to investigate that to be honest.

    What I want to do is have a camera I can take around the place and also one that is good enough to make a photo coffee table book with. I don't take photos every day. Really only when I go out. But when I do I will take like 250 each day I am out. Can say that from experience as I took that many each day in Melbourne with the little camera I am borrowing now. Those photos are ok. Well some of them are good. The night time ones are well . . . the points above describe that pretty well. So how many a month, hmmm probably 3-4 days per month of 250 a day. I don't have too much time to take lots of photos. But when I can I can go a little crazy on the photo taking.

    If you need anymore information from me, please let me know. Not sure if I have given you the problem detail you need.

    Thank you very much for all of that information.

    "Like the RX100 and also the nex line which is similar to the 4/3 cameras in that they are interchangeable lens cameras"
    I thought the RX100 was a fixed lens camera?

    And I hear you loud and clear. I need to put some serious time into learning how to take a proper photo and think of it as art and not just a tool for getting a photo. Sure I think I can take a photo, but I bet the ones I have taken to a professional eye are pure garbage. I realise a better camera is just gives you more options to take a better photo and you need better skill/subject matter to get that photo. I understand this quite well as I write song lyrics and music. I have for years now. And in that realm, it's not what you use, but how you use it that matters. The same few words or sounds, but in a different order or creatively used can make all the difference. And I would assume the same applies to a camera. Go get creative with the photos, learn how to use what you have a lot, and you'll take better photos.

    In saying this, I would like to get into photography. It would possibly fuel one of the things I've always wanted to do. Food photography. I do cook for a living and have realised the food I cook looks not too bad, but the photos I take of it are complete garbage. Almost to the point, I'd not serve the dish up based on it's photo, but in real life it's fine. But that is an aside, as that would probably need some special pro camera to do that well, I have no idea, so I want to just start small here.

    So after saying all of this, I think the NEX-3N is probably what I want. I have options in the future, and I do want to step it up in the future or have the option to do so. Looks like I'm going to try out the NEX-3N in store to see if I like it :)
  8. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
    Yeah this was a couple of years ago so the 5N became the 5R became the 5T.

    The 3N is tiny and comes with the powerzoom 16-50mm lens which is perfectly serviceable and small. It has a zoom lever on the body so if you're coming from a point-and-shoot it's a comforting addition.

    I have a great deal of fun shooting with older lenses - because the E-mount has loads of adapters available online for about $15 I have had great success shooting with old K-mount and some funny C-mount lenses. The focus peaking on the NEX is brilliant for old manual focus lenses.
  9. the8thark thread starter macrumors 68040


    Apr 18, 2011
    Thanks a lot for this. I am coming from a point and shoot to that zoom lever is very nice indeed.

    For me the prices are like this (all with 16-50 lens)
    3N - $550
    5R - $679
    5T - $900

    Since from what I have read the 5R and 5T are very similar. So it's down to the 5R vs the 3N. And actually neither are better in everything. For me I see it as (as a comparison between the two):

    + Touch screen
    + Has ISO 100 - 25600
    + 920k dots LCD screen
    + Zoom lever
    - No built in flash
    - Price

    + In built Flash
    + Price
    - Has ISO 200 - 16000
    - 460k dots LCD screen
    - Not touch screen

    Everything else that matters to me is roughly the same between the models. Is the 5R worth $130 more? I'm very tempted to say it's not. And go with the 3N. But . . . does the difference is ISO options really make a difference? Will I ever say "Oh I wish the 3N had an iso 100 setting?". If that does not matter I'll get the 3N. But what do you think?
  10. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
    The 3N has the zoom lever, not the 5.

    I hardly use the touch screen, I found it more annoying than anything.

    Oooh, wasn't aware that the 3N only goes to ISO 200 - that might make it difficult shooting wide open if you ever get some of the faster prime lenses. What's the fastest shutter speed on the 3N?


    The 3N has a built-in flash. This means you can't use it with a viewfinder or a bigger flash like you can on the 5 series. It might seem handy to have a built-in unit but it does limit the eventual expandability as you get better and want to experiment with flash. The EVF Sony make seems to review pretty well - it's probably going to be the next bit of kit I pick up, no more staring at the screen to compose a shot. Much more natural.

    Pretty sure the 5 comes with a screw on flash. My 5N did and it's a tiny little thing but useful when needed. I always try to not use a flash where at all possible.
  11. the8thark thread starter macrumors 68040


    Apr 18, 2011
    The shutter speeds I found after a little research

    3N - 1/4000 to 30 seconds
    5R - 1/4000 to 30s (found that the 5N you have is 1/4000, I would assume to 30s as well).

    Is it easy to navigate the menus to get to all the features you want on your 5N?

    And for ISO on the 3N. I don't have every website in agreement but for the ones I'd trust they say 200-16000 with auto as well.

    On the high end every site I say agrees with the 16000 but on the low end it's 50/50 alternating between 100-200 for the sites I look at.

    Since you have a 5N, and the newer 5R is almost the same, would you recommend I get a 5R or a 3N? After everything I have said. I am after everything stuck between the two? I can't decide if the extra $130 for the 5R (basically the same thing as you have) is worth it over the 3N?

    And thank you for your reply
  12. danmanc macrumors newbie

    Nov 11, 2014
    I would take the Rebel only because of speed between shutter releases. If it weren't for that, I'd take the compact G15 in a heartbeat!
  13. Miltz macrumors 6502a

    Sep 6, 2013
    New York
    Based on what you said so far I would go with the G15, if you can get the G16 on sale, then get that.
  14. steveash macrumors 6502


    Aug 7, 2008
    The G15 makes the most sense based on your description. You might also want to consider the recently discontinued EOS M which has the same internals as the T3i/600D but in a smaller package and at a very low price (at least here in the UK). The sacrifice is the lack of a viewfinder.
  15. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
  16. steveash macrumors 6502


    Aug 7, 2008

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