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Canon 40D versus Canon G16

The Canon EOS 40D and the Canon PowerShot G16 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in August 2007 and August 2013. The 40D is a DSLR, while the G16 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (40D) and a 1/1.7-inch (G16) sensor. The 40D has a resolution of 10.1 megapixel, whereas the G16 provides 12 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Canon 40D vs Canon G16

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon 40D and the Canon G16 is provided in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also toggle the display to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the 40D – represents the basis or 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Canon 40D vs Canon G16
Compare 40D versus G16 top
Compare 40D and G16 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon G16 is considerably smaller (47 percent) than the Canon 40D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 40D nor the G16 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the G16 has a lens build 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 find an overview of optics 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 G16 can take 360 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. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Canon 40D» 5.7 in 4.3 in 2.9 in 29.0 oz 750 n Aug 2007 1,299- i
Canon G16« 4.3 in 3.0 in 1.6 in 12.6 oz 360 n Aug 2013 549 i i
Canon G1 X Mark II« » 4.6 in 2.9 in 2.6 in 19.5 oz 240 n Feb 2014 799 i i
Canon 70D« » 5.5 in 4.1 in 3.1 in 26.6 oz 920 Y Jul 2013 1,199- i
Canon SL1« » 4.6 in 3.6 in 2.7 in 14.4 oz 380 n Mar 2013 549- i
Canon G15« » 4.2 in 3.0 in 1.6 in 12.4 oz 350 n Sep 2012 499- i
Canon G12« » 4.4 in 3.0 in 1.9 in 14.1 oz 370 n Sep 2010 499- i
Canon 60D« » 5.7 in 4.2 in 3.1 in 26.6 oz 1100 Y Aug 2010 1,399- i
Canon 50D« » 5.7 in 4.3 in 2.9 in 29.0 oz 800 Y Aug 2008 1,299- i
Canon XSi« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.5 oz 500 n Jan 2008 799- i
Canon 30D« » 5.7 in 4.2 in 2.9 in 27.7 oz 750 n Feb 2006 1,399- i
Canon XTi« » 5.0 in 3.3 in 2.6 in 19.6 oz 370 n Aug 2006 799- i
Canon 20D« » 5.7 in 4.2 in 2.8 in 27.2 oz 700 n Aug 2004 1,499- i
Canon 10D« » 5.9 in 4.2 in 3.0 in 30.0 oz 500 n Feb 2003 1,999- i
Nikon D90« » 5.2 in 4.1 in 3.0 in 24.8 oz 850 n Aug 2008 1,299- i
Olympus E-30« » 5.6 in 4.3 in 3.0 in 24.7 oz 750 n Nov 2008 1,299- i
Panasonic LX7« » 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.8 in 10.5 oz 330 n Jul 2012 499- i

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The G16 was launched at a lower price than the 40D, despite having a lens build 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.

 

Sensor comparison: Canon 40D vs Canon G16

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to 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 G16 a 1/1.7-inch sensor. The sensor area in the G16 is 87 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.6 and 4.65. The sensor in the 40D has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the G16 offers a 4:3 aspect.

Canon 40D and Canon G16 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the G16 offers a higher resolution of 12 megapixel, compared with 10.1 MP of the 40D. This megapixel advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 1.87μm versus 5.73μm for the 40D). However, it should be noted that the G16 is much more recent (by 6 years) than the 40D, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.

40D versus G16 MP

For most cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. Of the two cameras under review, the 40D has a notably higher overall DXO score than the G16 (overall score 10 points higher), which gives it an advantage in terms of imaging quality. This advantage is based on 1.1 bits higher color depth, 0.4 EV of lower dynamic range, and 1.6 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera 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 2592-22.111.370364
Canon G16« 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054
Canon G1 X Mark II« » 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 31201080/30p21.510.858158
Canon 70D« » APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/30p22.511.692668
Canon SL1« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.811.384363
Canon G15« » 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/24p19.911.516546
Canon G12« » 1/1.7 10.0 3648 2736720/24p20.411.216147
Canon 60D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.581366
Canon 50D« » APS-C 15.1 4752 3168-21.811.469663
Canon XSi« » APS-C 12.2 4272 2848-21.910.869261
Canon 30D« » APS-C 8.2 3504 2336-21.510.873659
Canon XTi« » APS-C 10.1 3888 2592-22.111.066462
Canon 20D« » APS-C 8.2 3504 2336-21.911.072162
Canon 10D« » APS-C 6.3 3072 2048-21.110.957157
Nikon D90« » APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.712.597773
Olympus E-30« » Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024-21.310.453055
Panasonic LX7« » 1/1.7 10.0 3648 27361080/60p20.711.714750

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The G16 indeed provides for movie recording, while the 40D does not. The highest resolution format that the G16 can use is 1080/60p.

 

Feature comparison: Canon 40D vs Canon G16

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 40D and the G16 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 table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon 40D and Canon G16 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras. If you need more detail on the specs, you can find comprehensive listings, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.

Core Features
  Camera Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Canon 40D»optical Y 3.0 230 fixed n 8000 6.5 Y n
Canon G16«optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 4000 2.2 Y Y
Canon G1 X Mark II« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 5.2 Y Y
Canon 70D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 8000 7.0 Y n
Canon SL1« »optical n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 4000 4.9 Y n
Canon G15« »optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 4000 2.1 Y Y
Canon G12« »optical n 2.8 461 swivel n 4000 1.1 Y Y
Canon 60D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel n 8000 5.3 Y n
Canon 50D« »optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 8000 6.3 Y n
Canon XSi« »optical n 3.0 230 fixed n 4000 3.5 Y n
Canon 30D« »optical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 8000 5.0 Y n
Canon XTi« »optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n
Canon 20D« »optical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 8000 5.0 Y n
Canon 10D« »optical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n
Nikon D90« »optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 4.5 Y n
Olympus E-30« »optical Y 2.7 230 swivel n 8000 5.0 Y Y
Panasonic LX7« »- n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 11.0 Y Y

The G16 is a current model that online retailers, such as amazon, will have in stock. In contrast, the 40D has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the 40D was succeeded by the Canon 50D.

Review summary: Canon 40D vs Canon G16

So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Canon 40D or the Canon G16 – has the upper hand? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.


Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS 40D:

  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (10 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (1.1 bits more color depth).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (1.6 stops ISO advantage).
  • Easier setting verification: Has an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (8000/sec vs 4000/sec) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (6.5 vs 2.2 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 360) on a single battery charge.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in August 2007).


Advantages of the Canon PowerShot G16:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (12 vs 10.1MP), which boosts linear resolution by 7%.
  • Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/60p video.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (922k vs 230k dots).
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with an integrated lens, while the 40D requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (109x76mm vs 146x108mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens build in (unlike the 40D).
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology build-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a build-in lens.
  • More modern: Reflects 6 years of technical progress since the 40D launch.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the match-up finishes in a tie (9 points each). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera.

40D 09:09 G16

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the 40D and the G16 in practical situations. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate. This is why expert reviews are important. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The full reviews are available by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review scores
  Camera cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Canon 40D»HiRecHiRec4.5/5rev4.5/5 Aug 2007 1,299- i
Canon G16«Rec-4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i i
Canon G1 X Mark II« »Rec77/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 799 i i
Canon 70D« »HiRec83/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Jul 2013 1,199- i
Canon SL1« »Rec78/1004/54/54/5 Mar 2013 549- i
Canon G15« »Rec76/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 499- i
Canon G12« »Rec73/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2010 499- i
Canon 60D« »Rec79/1004/55/54.5/5 Aug 2010 1,399- i
Canon 50D« »HiRecHiRec4.5/55/54.5/5 Aug 2008 1,299- i
Canon XSi« »HiRecHiRec4/55/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799- i
Canon 30D« »HiRecHiRecrevrev- Feb 2006 1,399- i
Canon XTi« »HiRecHiRecrev4.5/54/5 Aug 2006 799- i
Canon 20D« »-HiRec-rev- Aug 2004 1,499- i
Canon 10D« »-HiRec-rev- Feb 2003 1,999- i
Nikon D90« »HiRecHiRec4/55/54.5/5 Aug 2008 1,299- i
Olympus E-30« »-71/1004.5/5-4/5 Nov 2008 1,299- i
Panasonic LX7« »HiRec75/1004/55/54.5/5 Jul 2012 499- i

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

 

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make your choice using the following search menu. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool. If you cannot find the camera you are interested in, please contact me, and I will try to locate and add the respective data to the application.

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