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Canon 40D vs G1X

The Canon EOS 40D and the Canon PowerShot G1 X are two enthusiast cameras that were announced, respectively, in August 2007 and January 2012. The 40D is a DSLR, while the G1X is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (40D) and an 1.5-inch (G1X) sensor. The 40D has a resolution of 10.1 megapixels, whereas the G1X provides 14.2 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Canon 40D versus Canon G1 X
Canon 40D Canon G1 X
Digital single lens reflex Fixed lens compact camera
Canon EF mount lenses 28-112mm f/2.8-5.8
10.1 MP, APS-C Sensor 14.2 MP, 1.5" Sensor
no Video 1080/24p Video
ISO 100-1,600 (100 - 3,200) ISO 100-12,800
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.0 LCD, 230k dots 3.0 LCD, 922k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) no rear screen
6.5 shutter flaps per second 1.9 shutter flaps per second
750 shots per battery charge250 shots per battery charge
146 x 108 x 74 mm, 822 g 117 x 81 x 65 mm, 534 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 40D and the Canon PowerShot G1 X? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon 40D and the Canon G1 X. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon 40D vs Canon G1 X
Compare 40D versus G1X top
Comparison 40D or G1X rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon G1 X is considerably smaller (40 percent) than the Canon 40D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 40D nor the G1X are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the G1X has a lens built in, whereas the 40D is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the 40D and their specifications in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the 40D gets 750 shots out of its BP-511A battery, while the G1X can take 250 images on a single charge of its NB-10L power pack.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon 40D 5.7 in 4.3 in 2.9 in 29.0 oz 750 n Aug 2007 1,299i
 
Canon G1 X 4.6 in 3.2 in 2.6 in 18.8 oz 250 n Jan 2012 799i
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 4.6 in 2.9 in 2.6 in 19.5 oz 240 n Feb 2014 799i
 
Canon G16 4.3 in 3.0 in 1.6 in 12.6 oz 360 n Aug 2013 549 i
 
Canon T4i 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.3 oz 440 n Jun 2012 849i
 
Canon T3 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 17.5 oz 700 n Feb 2011 449i
 
Canon 60D 5.7 in 4.2 in 3.1 in 26.6 oz 1100 Y Aug 2010 1,399i
 
Canon T1i 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.3 oz 400 n Mar 2009 799i
 
Canon 50D 5.7 in 4.3 in 2.9 in 29.0 oz 800 Y Aug 2008 1,299i
 
Canon XS 5.0 in 3.9 in 2.6 in 17.7 oz 500 n Jun 2008 449i
 
Canon XSi 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.5 oz 500 n Jan 2008 799i
 
Canon 30D 5.7 in 4.2 in 2.9 in 27.7 oz 750 n Feb 2006 1,399i
 
Canon XTi 5.0 in 3.3 in 2.6 in 19.6 oz 370 n Aug 2006 799i
 
Canon 20D 5.7 in 4.2 in 2.8 in 27.2 oz 700 n Aug 2004 1,499i
 
Canon 10D 5.9 in 4.2 in 3.0 in 30.0 oz 500 n Feb 2003 1,999i
 
Nikon D90 5.2 in 4.1 in 3.0 in 24.8 oz 850 n Aug 2008 1,299i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The G1X was launched at a lower price than the 40D, despite having a lens built in. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

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Sensor comparison

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon 40D features an APS-C sensor and the Canon G1 X an 1.5-inch sensor. The sensor area in the G1X is 21 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.6 and 1.85. The sensor in the 40D has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the G1X offers a 4:3 aspect.

Technology-wise, the G1X uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 5) than the 40D (DIGIC 3), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.

Canon 40D and Canon G1 X sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the G1X offers a higher resolution of 14.2 megapixels, compared with 10.1 MP of the 40D. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 4.30μm versus 5.73μm for the 40D). However, it should be noted that the G1X is much more recent (by 4 years and 4 months) than the 40D, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.

The resolution advantage of the Canon G1 X implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the G1X for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 21.8 x 16.3 inches or 55.3 x 41.5 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 17.4 x 13.1 inches or 44.2 x 33.2 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 14.5 x 10.9 inches or 36.8 x 27.6 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon 40D are 19.4 x 13 inches or 49.4 x 32.9 cm for good quality, 15.6 x 10.4 inches or 39.5 x 26.3 cm for very good quality, and 13 x 8.6 inches or 32.9 x 21.9 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon EOS 40D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600, which can be extended to ISO 100-3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon PowerShot G1 X are ISO 100 to ISO 12800 (no boost).

40D versus G1X MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). Of the two cameras under review, the 40D has a notably higher overall DXO score than the G1X (overall score 4 points higher), which gives it an advantage in terms of imaging quality. This advantage is based on 0.4 bits higher color depth, 0.5 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.1 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

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Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
 
Canon 40D APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.370364
 
Canon G1 X 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.864460
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 31201080/30p21.510.858158
 
Canon G16 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054
 
Canon T4i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262
 
Canon T3 APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562
 
Canon 60D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.581366
 
Canon T1i APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363
 
Canon 50D APS-C 15.1 4752 3168none21.811.469663
 
Canon XS APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none........
 
Canon XSi APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.869261
 
Canon 30D APS-C 8.2 3504 2336none21.510.873659
 
Canon XTi APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.066462
 
Canon 20D APS-C 8.2 3504 2336none21.911.072162
 
Canon 10D APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.110.957157
 
Nikon D90 APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.712.597773

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The G1X indeed provides for movie recording, while the 40D does not. The highest resolution format that the G1X can use is 1080/24p.

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The 40D and the G1X are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon 40D, the Canon G1 X, and comparable cameras.

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Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
(000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
 
Canon 40Doptical Y 3.0 230 fixed n 1/8000s 6.5 Y n
 
Canon G1 Xoptical n 3.0 922 Swivel n 1/4000s 1.9 Y Y
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIoptional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 5.2 Y Y
 
Canon G16optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.2 Y Y
 
Canon T4ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon T3optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Canon 60Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel n 1/8000s 5.3 Y n
 
Canon T1ioptical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4 Y n
 
Canon 50Doptical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/8000s 6.3 Y n
 
Canon XSoptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Canon XSioptical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
 
Canon 30Doptical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon XTioptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Canon 20Doptical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon 10Doptical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Nikon D90optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 4.5 Y n

One feature that is present on the 40D, but is missing on the G1X is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.

The G1X has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the 40D does not have a selfie-screen.

The 40D writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the G1X uses SDXC cards.

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Connectivity comparison

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Canon EOS 40D and Canon PowerShot G1 X and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
 
Canon 40DY-----2.0---
 
Canon G1 XYstereomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIYstereomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Canon G16Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--
 
Canon T4iYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Canon T3Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon 60DYmonomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Canon T1iYmonomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon 50DY----mini2.0---
 
Canon XSY-----2.0---
 
Canon XSiY----mini2.0---
 
Canon 30DY-----2.0---
 
Canon XTiY-----2.0---
 
Canon 20DY-----1.1---
 
Canon 10DY-----1.1---
 
Nikon D90Ymonomono--mini2.0---

Studio photographers will appreciate that the Canon 40D (unlike the G1X) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.

Both the 40D and the G1X have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 40D was replaced by the Canon 50D, while the G1X was followed by the Canon G1X Mark II. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon website.

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Review summary

So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon 40D and the Canon G1 X? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.


Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS 40D:

  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (4 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (6.5 vs 1.9 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More flexible: Can take a variety of interchangeable lenses, including specialty optics.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (750 versus 250) on a single battery charge.
  • Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in August 2007).


Reasons to prefer the Canon PowerShot G1 X:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (14.2 vs 10.1MP), which boosts linear resolution by 16%.
  • Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 5 vs DIGIC 3).
  • Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/24p video.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (922k vs 230k dots).
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with an integrated lens, while the 40D requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (117x81mm vs 146x108mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the 40D).
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
  • More modern: Reflects 4 years and 4 months of technical progress since the 40D launch.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the G1X emerges as the winner of the match-up (11 : 8 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

40D 08:11 G1X

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 40D and the Canon G1 X place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Travel-Zoom Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the 40D or the G1X perform in practice. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.

Expert reviews

This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.

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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon 40D+ ++ +4.5/5o4.5/5 Aug 2007 1,299i
 
Canon G1 X+76/1004/54/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799i
 
Canon G1 X Mark II+77/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 799i
 
Canon G16+..4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i
 
Canon T4i+ +77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849i
 
Canon T380/10069/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449i
 
Canon 60D+79/1004/55/54.5/5 Aug 2010 1,399i
 
Canon T1i+ +74/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799i
 
Canon 50D+ ++ +4.5/55/54.5/5 Aug 2008 1,299i
 
Canon XS82/100+ +3.5/54/54.5/5 Jun 2008 449i
 
Canon XSi+ ++ +4/55/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799i
 
Canon 30D+ ++ +oo.. Feb 2006 1,399i
 
Canon XTi+ ++ +o4.5/54/5 Aug 2006 799i
 
Canon 20D..+ +..o.. Aug 2004 1,499i
 
Canon 10D..+ +..o.. Feb 2003 1,999i
 
Nikon D90+ ++ +4/55/54.5/5 Aug 2008 1,299i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Canon 40D:
Check Ebay offers
Canon G1 X:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

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    Specifications: Canon 40D vs Canon G1 X

    Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Canon 40D Canon G1 X
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses 28-112mm f/2.8-5.8
    Launch Date August 2007 January 2012
    Launch Price USD 1,299 USD 799
    Sensor Specs Canon 40D Canon G1 X
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor 1.5" Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.3 x 14.9 mm 18.7 x 14.0 mm
    Sensor Area 332.27 mm2 261.8 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.8 mm 23.4 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.85x
    Sensor Resolution 10.1 Megapixels 14.2 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3888 x 2592 pixels 4352 x 3264 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 5.73 μm 4.30 μm
    Pixel Density 3.03 MP/cm2 5.43 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video 1080/24p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 1,600 ISO 100 - 12,800 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 3,200 ISO no Enhancement
    Image Processor DIGIC 3 DIGIC 5
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 64 60
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.1 21.7
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.3 10.8
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 703 644
    Screen Specs Canon 40D Canon G1 X
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 74%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.59x
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel no Top Display
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 922k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon 40D Canon G1 X
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 6.5 shutter flaps/s 1.9 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium CF cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Canon 40D Canon G1 X
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket no PC Sync
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon 40D Canon G1 X
    Battery Type BP-511A NB-10L
    Battery Life (CIPA)750 shots per charge250 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 146 x 108 x 74 mm
    (5.7 x 4.3 x 2.9 in)
    117 x 81 x 65 mm
    (4.6 x 3.2 x 2.6 in)
    Camera Weight 822 g (29.0 oz) 534 g (18.8 oz)

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