Canon G1 X Mark II versus Canon G3 X
The Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II and the Canon PowerShot G3 X are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in February 2014 and June 2015. Both the G1X Mark II and the G3X are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on an 1.5-inch (G1X Mark II) and an one-inch sensor. The G1X Mark II has a resolution of 13 megapixel, whereas the G3X provides 20 MP.
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon G1 X Mark II and the Canon G3 X. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. If you prefer, you can also use the toggle button to switch to a comparison in percentage terms (in this case, the camera on the left side – the G1X Mark II – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon G3 X is considerably larger (110 percent) than the Canon G1 X Mark II. Moreover, the G3X is markedly heavier (33 percent) than the G1X Mark II. It is noteworthy in this context that the G3X is splash and dust-proof, while the G1X Mark II does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
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 comparisons there.
|Camera Body Specifications
|Canon G1 X Mark II (⇒ rgt)||116 mm||74 mm||66 mm||553 g||240||no||2014||799||latest||check|
|Canon G3 X (⇒ lft)||123 mm||77 mm||105 mm||733 g||300||YES||2015||999||latest||check|
|Canon 80D (⇒ lft | rgt)||139 mm||105 mm||79 mm||730 g||960||YES||2016||1,199||latest||check|
|Canon XC10 (⇒ lft | rgt)||125 mm||102 mm||122 mm||1040 g||..||no||2015||2,499||latest||check|
|Canon T6s (⇒ lft | rgt)||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||565 g||440||no||2015||849||discont.||check|
|Canon G5 X (⇒ lft | rgt)||112 mm||76 mm||44 mm||353 g||210||no||2015||799||latest||check|
|Canon SX60 (⇒ lft | rgt)||128 mm||93 mm||114 mm||650 g||340||no||2014||549||latest||check|
|Canon 7D II (⇒ lft | rgt)||149 mm||112 mm||78 mm||910 g||670||YES||2014||1,799||latest||check|
|Canon G7 X (⇒ lft | rgt)||103 mm||60 mm||40 mm||304 g||210||no||2014||699||discont.||check|
|Canon 70D (⇒ lft | rgt)||139 mm||104 mm||79 mm||755 g||920||YES||2013||1,199||discont.||check|
|Canon G16 (⇒ lft | rgt)||109 mm||76 mm||40 mm||356 g||360||no||2013||549||latest||check|
|Canon G1 X (⇒ lft | rgt)||117 mm||81 mm||65 mm||534 g||250||no||2012||799||discont.||check|
|Canon T1i (⇒ lft | rgt)||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||520 g||400||no||2009||799||discont.||check|
|Canon XSi (⇒ lft | rgt)||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||524 g||500||no||2008||799||discont.||check|
|Panasonic FZ1000 (⇒ lft | rgt)||137 mm||99 mm||131 mm||831 g||360||no||2014||899||discont.||check|
|Panasonic LX100 (⇒ lft | rgt)||115 mm||66 mm||55 mm||393 g||300||no||2014||899||latest||check|
|Sony RX100 IV (⇒ lft | rgt)||102 mm||58 mm||41 mm||298 g||280||no||2015||999||discont.||check|
The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The G1X Mark II was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 20 percent) than the G3X, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. 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.
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 tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon G1 X Mark II features an 1.5-inch sensor and the Canon G3 X an one-inch sensor. The sensor area in the G3X is 56 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.85 and 2.7. The sensor in the G1X Mark II has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the G3X offers a 3:2 aspect.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the G3X offers a higher resolution of 20 megapixel, compared with 13 MP of the G1X Mark II. 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 2.41μm versus 4.49μm for the G1X Mark II). However, it should be noted that the G3X is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 4 months) than the G1X Mark II, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that partly offset its pixel-size disadvantage.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for most 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 consideration, the G3X has a markedly higher DXO score than the G1X Mark II (overall score 5 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 0.1 bits lower color depth, 1.5 EV in additional dynamic range, 0.2 stops of reduced low light sensitivity. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|Canon G1 X Mark II (⇒ rgt)||1.5-inch||13.0||4160||3120||1080/30p||21.5||10.8||581||58|
|Canon G3 X (⇒ lft)||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.4||12.3||521||63|
|Canon 80D (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.6||13.2||1135||79|
|Canon XC10 (⇒ lft | rgt)||1-inch||12.0||4000||3000||4K/30p||-||-||-||-|
|Canon T6s (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/30p||22.6||12.0||915||70|
|Canon G5 X (⇒ lft | rgt)||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||-||-||-||-|
|Canon SX60 (⇒ lft | rgt)||1/2.3||14.2||4608||3072||1080/60p||19.2||10.8||127||39|
|Canon 7D II (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.4||11.8||1082||70|
|Canon G7 X (⇒ lft | rgt)||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||23.0||12.7||556||71|
|Canon 70D (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||20.0||5472||3648||1080/30p||22.5||11.6||926||68|
|Canon G16 (⇒ lft | rgt)||1/1.7||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||21.0||11.7||230||54|
|Canon G1 X (⇒ lft | rgt)||1.5-inch||14.2||4352||3264||1080/24p||21.7||10.8||644||60|
|Canon T1i (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||15.1||4752||3168||1080/20p||21.7||11.5||663||63|
|Canon XSi (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||12.2||4272||2848||no||21.9||10.8||692||61|
|Panasonic FZ1000 (⇒ lft | rgt)||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.1||11.7||517||64|
|Panasonic LX100 (⇒ lft | rgt)||Four Thirds||12.7||4112||3088||4K/30p||22.3||12.5||553||67|
|Sony RX100 IV (⇒ lft | rgt)||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.6||591||70|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the G3X provides a faster frame rate than the G1X Mark II. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the G1X Mark II is limited to 1080/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The G1X Mark II and the G3X are similar in the sense that neither of the two has a viewfinder. The images are, thus, framed using live view on the rear LCD. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon G1 X Mark II and Canon G3 X along with similar information for a selection of comparators. The full specs-sheets can be found in the camera manual or, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.
|Canon G1 X Mark II (⇒ rgt)||no||no||3.0||1040||tilting||YES||4000||5.2||6.8||YES|
|Canon G3 X (⇒ lft)||no||no||3.2||1620||tilting||YES||2000||5.9||6.8||YES|
|Canon 80D (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||YES||3.0||1040||swivel||YES||8000||7.0||12||no|
|Canon XC10 (⇒ lft | rgt)||no||no||3.0||1030||tilting||YES||2000||3.8||no||YES|
|Canon T6s (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||YES||3.0||1040||swivel||YES||4000||5.0||12||no|
|Canon G5 X (⇒ lft | rgt)||2360||no||3.0||1040||swivel||YES||2000||5.9||7||YES|
|Canon SX60 (⇒ lft | rgt)||922||no||3.0||922||swivel||no||2000||6.4||5.5||YES|
|Canon 7D II (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||YES||3.0||1040||fixed||no||8000||10.0||11||no|
|Canon G7 X (⇒ lft | rgt)||no||no||3.0||1040||tilting||YES||2000||6.5||7||YES|
|Canon 70D (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||YES||3.0||1040||swivel||YES||8000||7.0||12||no|
|Canon G16 (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||3.0||922||fixed||no||4000||2.2||7||YES|
|Canon G1 X (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||3.0||922||Swivel||no||4000||1.9||7||YES|
|Canon T1i (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||3.0||920||fixed||no||4000||3.4||13||no|
|Canon XSi (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||3.0||230||fixed||no||4000||3.5||13||no|
|Panasonic FZ1000 (⇒ lft | rgt)||2359||no||3.0||921||swivel||no||4000||12.0||13.5||YES|
|Panasonic LX100 (⇒ lft | rgt)||2764||no||3.0||921||fixed||no||4000||11.0||no||YES|
|Sony RX100 IV (⇒ lft | rgt)||2359||no||3.0||1228||tilting||no||2000||16.0||10.2||YES|
Both the G1X Mark II and the G3X have zoom lenses build in. The G1X Mark II has a 24-120mm f/2.0-3.9 optic and the G3X offers a 24-600mm f/2.8-5.6 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the G1X Mark II and G3X provide the same view at the wide-angle end, but the G3X has more tele-photo reach at the long end. The G1X Mark II offers the faster maximum aperture.
Both the G1X Mark II and the G3X are current models that good online retailers will have in stock. You can check the latest prices, for example, at amazon. The G1X Mark II replaced the earlier Canon G1 X, while the G3X does not have a direct predecessor.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Canon G1 X Mark II better than the Canon G3 X or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Advantages of the Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II:
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (4000/sec vs 2000/sec) to freeze action.
- Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/2.0 vs f/2.8).
- More compact: Is smaller (116x74mm vs 123x77mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 180g or 25 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (20 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in February 2014).
Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot G3 X:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (20 vs 13MP), which boosts linear resolution by 26%.
- Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (5 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (1.5 EV of extra DR).
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p vs 1080/30p).
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1620k vs 1040k dots).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5.9 vs 5.2 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (300 versus 240) out of a single battery charge.
- Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
- More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 4 months) more recently.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the G3X is the clear winner of the contest (11 : 6 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.
In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the G1X Mark II or the G3X handle or perform in practice. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased. 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. The detailed reviews can be accessed, respectively, on the websites of cameralabs.com, dpreview.com, ephotozine.com, imaging-resource.com, and photographyblog.com.
|Canon G1 X Mark II (⇒ rgt)||Rec||77/100 Silver||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||2014||799||latest||check|
|Canon G3 X (⇒ lft)||Rec||-||4.5/5||3.5/5||4/5||2015||999||latest||check|
|Canon 80D (⇒ lft | rgt)||HiRec||84/100 Silver||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||2016||1,199||latest||check|
|Canon XC10 (⇒ lft | rgt)||-||80/100||-||-||-||2015||2,499||latest||check|
|Canon T6s (⇒ lft | rgt)||Rec||77/100 Silver||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||2015||849||discont.||check|
|Canon G5 X (⇒ lft | rgt)||HiRec||78/100 Silver||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||2015||799||latest||check|
|Canon SX60 (⇒ lft | rgt)||HiRec||75/100||4/5||-||4.5/5||2014||549||latest||check|
|Canon 7D II (⇒ lft | rgt)||Rec||84/100 Silver||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||2014||1,799||latest||check|
|Canon G7 X (⇒ lft | rgt)||HiRec||77/100 Silver||4.5/5||3.5/5||4.5/5||2014||699||discont.||check|
|Canon 70D (⇒ lft | rgt)||HiRec||83/100 Gold||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||2013||1,199||discont.||check|
|Canon G16 (⇒ lft | rgt)||Rec||-||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||2013||549||latest||check|
|Canon G1 X (⇒ lft | rgt)||79/100 Rec||76/100 Silver||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||2012||799||discont.||check|
|Canon T1i (⇒ lft | rgt)||88/100 HiRec||74/100 HiRec||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||2009||799||discont.||check|
|Canon XSi (⇒ lft | rgt)||88/100 HiRec||HiRec||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||2008||799||discont.||check|
|Panasonic FZ1000 (⇒ lft | rgt)||HiRec||82/100 Gold||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||2014||899||discont.||check|
|Panasonic LX100 (⇒ lft | rgt)||HiRec||85/100 Gold||5/5||4/5||5/5||2014||899||latest||check|
|Sony RX100 IV (⇒ lft | rgt)||HiRec||85/100 Gold||4/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||2015||999||discont.||check|
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 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.
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