Canon 50D vs G1X
The Canon EOS 50D and the Canon PowerShot G1 X are two enthusiast cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in August 2008 and January 2012. The 50D is a DSLR, while the G1X is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (50D) and an 1.5-inch (G1X) sensor. The 50D has a resolution of 15.1 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.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 50D 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.
The physical size and weight of the Canon 50D 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 successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
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 50D. It is worth mentioning in this context that the 50D is splash and dust resistant, while the G1X does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the G1X has a lens built in, whereas the 50D 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 50D and their specifications in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras there.
|1.||Canon 50D||146 mm||108 mm||74 mm||822 g||800||Y||Aug 2008||1,299|
|2.||Canon G1 X||117 mm||81 mm||65 mm||534 g||250||n||Jan 2012||799|
|3.||Canon 80D||139 mm||105 mm||79 mm||730 g||960||Y||Feb 2016||1,199|
|4.||Canon 7D II||149 mm||112 mm||78 mm||910 g||670||Y||Sep 2014||1,799|
|5.||Canon G1 X Mark II||116 mm||74 mm||66 mm||553 g||240||n||Feb 2014||799|
|6.||Canon 70D||139 mm||104 mm||79 mm||755 g||920||Y||Jul 2013||1,199|
|7.||Canon G16||109 mm||76 mm||40 mm||356 g||360||n||Aug 2013||549|
|8.||Canon 650D||133 mm||100 mm||79 mm||575 g||440||n||Jun 2012||849|
|9.||Canon 1100D||130 mm||100 mm||78 mm||495 g||700||n||Feb 2011||449|
|10.||Canon 60D||145 mm||106 mm||79 mm||755 g||1100||Y||Aug 2010||1,399|
|11.||Canon 1D Mark IV||156 mm||157 mm||80 mm||1230 g||1500||Y||Oct 2009||4,999|
|12.||Canon 7D||148 mm||111 mm||74 mm||860 g||800||Y||Sep 2009||1,699|
|13.||Canon 500D||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||520 g||400||n||Mar 2009||799|
|14.||Canon 40D||146 mm||108 mm||74 mm||822 g||750||n||Aug 2007||1,299|
|15.||Canon 30D||144 mm||106 mm||74 mm||785 g||750||n||Feb 2006||1,399|
|16.||Canon 5D||152 mm||113 mm||75 mm||895 g||400||Y||Aug 2005||3,299|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The G1X was launched at a lower price than the 50D, 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.
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon 50D 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 50D 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 50D (DIGIC 4), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.
With 15.1MP, the 50D offers a slightly higher resolution than the G1X (14.2MP), but the 50D 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 much more recent model (by 3 years and 4 months) than the 50D, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.
The resolution advantage of the Canon 50D implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the 50D for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 23.8 x 15.8 inches or 60.4 x 40.2 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 19 x 12.7 inches or 48.3 x 32.2 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 15.8 x 10.6 inches or 40.2 x 26.8 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon G1 X are 21.8 x 16.3 inches or 55.3 x 41.5 cm for good quality, 17.4 x 13.1 inches or 44.2 x 33.2 cm for very good quality, and 14.5 x 10.9 inches or 36.8 x 27.6 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Canon EOS 50D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 3200, which can be extended to ISO 100-12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon PowerShot G1 X are ISO 100 to ISO 12800 (no boost).
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"). The Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
| DXO |
|2.||Canon G1 X||1.5-inch||14.2||4352||3264||1080/24p||21.7||10.8||644||60|
|4.||Canon 7D II||APS-C||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.4||11.8||1082||70|
|5.||Canon G1 X Mark II||1.5-inch||13.0||4160||3120||1080/30p||21.5||10.8||581||58|
|11.||Canon 1D Mark IV||APS-H||16.0||4896||3264||1080/30p||22.8||12.0||1320||74|
|16.||Canon 5D||Full Frame||12.7||4368||2912||none||22.9||11.1||1368||71|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The G1X indeed provides for movie recording, while the 50D does not. The highest resolution format that the G1X can use is 1080/24p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The 50D 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 50D, the Canon G1 X, and comparable cameras.
|2.||Canon G1 X||optical||n||3.0||922||Swivel||n||1/4000s||1.9||Y||Y|
|4.||Canon 7D II||optical||Y||3.0||1040||fixed||n||1/8000s||10.0||Y||n|
|5.||Canon G1 X Mark II||optional||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||5.2||Y||Y|
|11.||Canon 1D Mark IV||optical||Y||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/8000s||10.0||n||n|
One feature that is present on the 50D, 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 50D does not have a selfie-screen.
The 50D writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the G1X uses SDXC cards.
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 50D and Canon PowerShot G1 X and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|2.||Canon G1 X||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|4.||Canon 7D II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-|
|5.||Canon G1 X Mark II||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|11.||Canon 1D Mark IV||Y||stereo||-||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Canon 50D (unlike the G1X) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
Both the 50D and the G1X have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 50D was replaced by the Canon 60D, 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.
So what is the bottom line? Is the Canon 50D better than the Canon G1 X or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS 50D:
- 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 (0.6 EV of extra DR).
- 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 (6.3 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 (800 versus 250) on a single battery charge.
- Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
- 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 2008).
Reasons to prefer the Canon PowerShot G1 X:
- Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 5 vs DIGIC 4).
- Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/24p video.
- 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 50D 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 50D).
- 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 3 years and 4 months of technical progress since the 50D launch.
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the 50D comes out slightly ahead of the G1X (10 : 9 points). 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. 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.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 50D 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 50D or the G1X perform in practice. 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 adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). 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.
|1.||Canon 50D||..||+ +||+ +||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2008||1,299|
|2.||Canon G1 X||5/5||+||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2012||799|
|3.||Canon 80D||4/5||+ +||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||1,199|
|4.||Canon 7D II||4.5/5||+||84/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||1,799|
|5.||Canon G1 X Mark II||3/5||+||77/100||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||799|
|6.||Canon 70D||5/5||+ +||83/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jul 2013||1,199|
|7.||Canon G16||4/5||+||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||549|
|8.||Canon 650D||4/5||+ +||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2012||849|
|9.||Canon 1100D||..||80/100||69/100||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2011||449|
|10.||Canon 60D||5/5||+||79/100||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2010||1,399|
|11.||Canon 1D Mark IV||5/5||..||89/100||..||..||Oct 2009||4,999|
|12.||Canon 7D||5/5||+ +||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2009||1,699|
|13.||Canon 500D||..||+ +||74/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2009||799|
|14.||Canon 40D||..||+ +||+ +||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2007||1,299|
|15.||Canon 30D||..||+ +||+ +||o||..||Feb 2006||1,399|
|16.||Canon 5D||..||88/100||+ +||o||..||Aug 2005||3,299|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time 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. 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? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
Specifications: Canon 50D 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 Model||Canon 50D||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 2008||January 2012|
|Launch Price||USD 1,299||USD 799|
|Sensor Specs||Canon 50D||Canon G1 X|
|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|
|Sensor Resolution||15.1 Megapixels||14.2 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4752 x 3168 pixels||4352 x 3264 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.69 μm||4.30 μm|
|Pixel Density||4.53 MP/cm2||5.43 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||1080/24p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 3,200 ISO||100 - 12,800 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 12,800 ISO||no Enhancement|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 4||DIGIC 5|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||63||60|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||21.8||21.7|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.4||10.8|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||696||644|
|Screen Specs||Canon 50D||Canon G1 X|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%||74%|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel||no Top Display|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||920k dots||922k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon 50D||Canon G1 X|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||6.3 shutter flaps/s||1.9 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||CF cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon 50D||Canon G1 X|
|Studio Flash||PC Sync socket||no PC Sync|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Canon 50D||Canon G1 X|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||not weather sealed|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||800 shots per charge||250 shots per charge|
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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