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Canon 500D versus Canon G1 X

The Canon EOS 500D (called Canon T1i in some regions) and the Canon PowerShot G1 X are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in March 2009 and January 2012. The 500D is a DSLR, while the G1X is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (500D) and an 1.5-inch (G1X) sensor. The 500D has a resolution of 15.1 megapixel, whereas the G1X provides 14.2 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 500D vs Canon G1 X

The physical size and weight of the Canon 500D and the Canon G1 X are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. 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 size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also use the toggle button 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 500D – represents the basis or 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Canon 500D vs Canon G1 X
Compare 500D versus G1X top
Compare 500D and 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 notably smaller (25 percent) than the Canon 500D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 500D 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 build in, whereas the 500D 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 500D and their specifications in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the 500D gets 400 shots out of its LP-E5 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. 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)
Camera
Model
Canon 500D» 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.3 oz 400 n Mar 2009 799- i Canon 500D
Canon G1 X« 4.6 in 3.2 in 2.6 in 18.8 oz 250 n Jan 2012 799- i Canon G1 X
Canon 750D« » 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.6 oz 440 n Feb 2015 749- i Canon 750D
Canon 760D« » 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.9 oz 440 n Feb 2015 849- i Canon 760D
Canon 1200D« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 16.9 oz 500 n Feb 2014 449- i Canon 1200D
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 G1 X Mark II
Canon 700D« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.5 oz 440 n Mar 2013 649- i Canon 700D
Canon G16« » 4.3 in 3.0 in 1.6 in 12.6 oz 360 n Aug 2013 549 i i Canon G16
Canon 650D« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.3 oz 440 n Jun 2012 849- i Canon 650D
Canon T4i« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.3 oz 440 n Jun 2012 849- i Canon T4i
Canon 600D« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.1 oz 440 n Feb 2011 599- i Canon 600D
Canon T3« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 17.5 oz 700 n Feb 2011 449- i Canon T3
Canon 550D« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.7 oz 440 n Feb 2010 699- i Canon 550D
Canon T1i« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.3 oz 400 n Mar 2009 799- i Canon T1i
Canon 450D« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.5 oz 500 n Jan 2008 799- i Canon 450D

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. 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.

 

Sensor comparison: Canon 500D vs Canon G1 X

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon 500D 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 500D 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 500D (DIGIC 4), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.

Canon 500D and Canon G1 X sensor measures

With 15.1MP, the 500D offers a slightly higher resolution than the G1X (14.2MP), but the 500D nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.69μm versus 4.30μm for the G1X) due to its larger sensor. However, the G1X is a somewhat more recent model (by 2 years and 9 months) than the 500D, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.

500D versus G1X MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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"). The Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar image quality. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
Canon 500D» APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363Canon 500D
Canon G1 X« 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.864460Canon G1 X
Canon 750D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p22.712.091971Canon 750D
Canon 760D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570Canon 760D
Canon 1200D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463Canon 1200D
Canon G1 X Mark II« » 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 31201080/30p21.510.858158Canon G1 X Mark II
Canon 700D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.268161Canon 700D
Canon G16« » 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054Canon G16
Canon 650D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262Canon 650D
Canon T4i« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262Canon T4i
Canon 600D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.579365Canon 600D
Canon T3« » APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562Canon T3
Canon 550D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.578466Canon 550D
Canon T1i« » APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363Canon T1i
Canon 450D« » APS-C 12.2 4272 2848-21.910.869261Canon 450D

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the G1X provides a faster frame rate than the 500D. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/24p, while the 500D is limited to 1080/20p.

 

Feature comparison: Canon 500D vs Canon G1 X

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The 500D 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 table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon 500D and Canon G1 X in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras. If needed, the dpreview camera hub, for example, contains further detail on the cameras' specs.

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)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec)
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
Canon 500D»optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 3.4 Y n Canon 500D
Canon G1 X«optical n 3.0 922 Swivel n 4000 1.9 Y Y Canon G1 X
Canon 750D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon 750D
Canon 760D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon 760D
Canon 1200D« »optical n 3.0 460 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon 1200D
Canon G1 X Mark II« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 5.2 Y Y Canon G1 X Mark II
Canon 700D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon 700D
Canon G16« »optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 4000 2.2 Y Y Canon G16
Canon 650D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon 650D
Canon T4i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon T4i
Canon 600D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel n 4000 3.7 Y n Canon 600D
Canon T3« »optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon T3
Canon 550D« »optical n 3.0 1040 fixed n 4000 3.7 Y n Canon 550D
Canon T1i« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 3.4 Y n Canon T1i
Canon 450D« »optical n 3.0 230 fixed n 4000 3.5 Y n Canon 450D

The 500D writes its imaging data to SDHC cards, while the G1X uses SDXC cards.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
Canon 500D»Ymonomono--mini2.0---Canon 500D
Canon G1 X«Ystereomono--mini2.0---Canon G1 X
Canon 750D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon 750D
Canon 760D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon 760D
Canon 1200D« »Ymonomono--mini2.0---Canon 1200D
Canon G1 X Mark II« »Ystereomono--mini2.0YY-Canon G1 X Mark II
Canon 700D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Canon 700D
Canon G16« »Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--Canon G16
Canon 650D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Canon 650D
Canon T4i« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Canon T4i
Canon 600D« »YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Canon 600D
Canon T3« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Canon T3
Canon 550D« »Ystereo-Y-mini2.0---Canon 550D
Canon T1i« »Ymonomono--mini2.0---Canon T1i
Canon 450D« »Y----mini2.0---Canon 450D

Both the 500D and the G1X have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 500D was replaced by the Canon 550D, while the G1X was followed by the Canon G1X Mark II.

Review summary: Canon 500D vs Canon G1 X

So how do things add up? Is the Canon 500D better than the Canon G1 X or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.


Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS 500D:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (15.1 vs 14.2MP) with a 5% higher linear resolution.
  • More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (0.7 EV of extra DR).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3.4 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 (400 versus 250) on a single battery charge.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in March 2009).


Advantages of the Canon PowerShot G1 X:

  • Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 5 vs DIGIC 4).
  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/24p versus 1080/20p).
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with an integrated lens, while the 500D requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (117x81mm vs 129x98mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology build-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years and 9 months of technical progress since the 500D launch.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the match-up finishes in a tie (6 points each). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera.

500D 06:06 G1X

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the 500D or the G1X. 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). You can find the full text of the reviews by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Canon 500D»HiRec74/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799- i Canon 500D
Canon G1 X«Rec76/1004/54/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799- i Canon G1 X
Canon 750D« »-75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749- i Canon 750D
Canon 760D« »Rec77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 849- i Canon 760D
Canon 1200D« »Rec-4/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449- i Canon 1200D
Canon G1 X Mark II« »Rec77/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 799 i i Canon G1 X Mark II
Canon 700D« »-76/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Mar 2013 649- i Canon 700D
Canon G16« »Rec-4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i i Canon G16
Canon 650D« »HiRec77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849- i Canon 650D
Canon T4i« »HiRec77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849- i Canon T4i
Canon 600D« »rev77/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2011 599- i Canon 600D
Canon T3« »80/10069/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449- i Canon T3
Canon 550D« »HiRec77/1004/55/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699- i Canon 550D
Canon T1i« »HiRec74/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799- i Canon T1i
Canon 450D« »HiRecHiRec4/55/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799- i Canon 450D

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

 

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 use the search menu below. 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 the camera you are interested in is not available, kindly get in touch, and I will try to locate and add the respective data to the application.

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