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Canon PowerShot G15 Digital Camera Review$499.99
The PowerShot G15 can record full-HD 1080P video, as well as 720P and VGA (640x480). The highest quality video mode records at 24 frames per second, while 720P and VGA come in at 30fps. In addition, 720P video can be recorded in Apple's iFrame format, which is perfectly suited to editing in FinalCut Pro and iMovie. All HD videos are recorded in H.264 format in a .MOV container. Find out how the performed in our video image quality test./r:link_to_content
Bizarrely for a camera that's extremely capable in nearly every other respect, there are virtual no manual controls available during video recording.
Even more bizarrely, the one major shooting setting you can adjust—exposure compensation—doesn't take advantage of the beautiful physical EV comp dial. If you turn the dial while in Movie mode, the EV compensation overlay shows up and moves, but it's greyed out and has no effect. To actually adjust the exposure, you need to press the AE Lock (*) button (which brings up a separate on-screen sliding scale) and turn the rear command dial. We can't figure out a good reason why Canon would do this.
Beyond this one option, video recording is entirely automatic; no adjustments are possible.
The full zoom range is available during video recording, but the lens zooms at a massively reduced rate in order to keep the noise of the zoom mechanism under control.
The camera does focus automatically during video recording, but it's a pretty unremarkable implementation. The focusing mechanism is pretty slow, and hunts occasionally in low light. You certainly won't want to use it for any sort of action shooting.
You can use a number of the scene modes during video recording, and the Miniature Effect is also available when shooting 720P and VGA movies. Using this effect will bring framerates down to at least 6fps, though, so don't expect cinematic quality. Another nifty trick is super slow-motion VGA and half-VGA recording, at 120 and 240fps, respectively.
The on-board stereo microphone records bright, clear audio with ample volume, but its omnidirectional design means that it's prone to picking up annoying environmental noise. Moreover, it records clicking and whirring noises from the lens's zoom and focusing mechanisms very easily. This is pretty much par for the course, but we always hope for better.