Canon G1 X Mark II vs SX540
The Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II and the Canon PowerShot SX540 HS are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in February 2014 and January 2016. Both the G1X Mark II and the SX540 are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on an 1.5-inch (G1X Mark II) and a 1/2.3-inch (SX540) sensor. The G1X Mark II has a resolution of 13 megapixels, whereas the SX540 provides 20.2 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 PowerShot G1 X Mark II and the Canon PowerShot SX540 HS? 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.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon G1 X Mark II and the Canon SX540 is provided 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 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 SX540 is notably larger (15 percent) than the Canon G1 X Mark II. However, the SX540 is markedly lighter (20 percent) than the G1X Mark II. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G1X Mark II nor the SX540 are weather-sealed.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. 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 G1 X Mark II||116 mm||74 mm||66 mm||553 g||240||n||Feb 2014||799|
|2.||Canon SX540||120 mm||82 mm||92 mm||442 g||205||n||Jan 2016||399|
|3.||Canon SX730||110 mm||64 mm||40 mm||300 g||250||n||Apr 2017||399|
|4.||Canon T6||129 mm||101 mm||78 mm||485 g||500||n||Mar 2016||449|
|5.||Canon SX720||110 mm||64 mm||36 mm||270 g||250||n||Feb 2016||379|
|6.||Canon T6s||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||565 g||440||n||Feb 2015||649|
|7.||Canon XC10||125 mm||102 mm||122 mm||1040 g||370||n||Apr 2015||2,499|
|8.||Canon SX530||120 mm||82 mm||92 mm||442 g||210||n||Jan 2015||429|
|9.||Canon SX710||113 mm||66 mm||35 mm||269 g||230||n||Jan 2015||349|
|10.||Canon SX60||128 mm||93 mm||114 mm||650 g||340||n||Sep 2014||549|
|11.||Canon G16||109 mm||76 mm||40 mm||356 g||360||n||Aug 2013||549|
|12.||Canon S120||100 mm||59 mm||29 mm||217 g||230||n||Aug 2013||449|
|13.||Canon G1 X||117 mm||81 mm||65 mm||534 g||250||n||Jan 2012||799|
|14.||Canon T1i||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||520 g||400||n||Mar 2009||799|
|15.||Canon XSi||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||524 g||500||n||Jan 2008||799|
|16.||Olympus Stylus 1||116 mm||87 mm||57 mm||402 g||410||n||Oct 2013||699|
|17.||Panasonic LX100||115 mm||66 mm||55 mm||393 g||300||n||Sep 2014||899|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The SX540 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 50 percent) than the G1X Mark II, which puts it into a different market segment. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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 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. 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 G1 X Mark II features an 1.5-inch sensor and the Canon SX540 a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The sensor area in the SX540 is 89 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.85 and 5.6. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the SX540 offers a higher resolution of 20.2 megapixels, compared with 13 MP of the G1X Mark II. 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 1.18μm versus 4.49μm for the G1X Mark II). However, it should be noted that the SX540 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 10 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. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the SX540 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Canon SX540 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the SX540 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 25.9 x 19.4 inches or 65.8 x 49.4 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 20.7 x 15.6 inches or 52.7 x 39.5 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 17.3 x 13 inches or 43.9 x 32.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon G1 X Mark II are 20.8 x 15.6 inches or 52.8 x 39.6 cm for good quality, 16.6 x 12.5 inches or 42.3 x 31.7 cm for very good quality, and 13.9 x 10.4 inches or 35.2 x 26.4 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon PowerShot SX540 HS are ISO 80 to ISO 3200 (no boost).
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|1.||Canon G1 X Mark II||1.5-inch||13.0||4160||3120||1080/30p||21.5||10.8||581||58|
|13.||Canon G1 X||1.5-inch||14.2||4352||3264||1080/24p||21.7||10.8||644||60|
|16.||Olympus Stylus 1||1/1.7||11.8||3968||2976||1080/30p||20.7||11.6||179||51|
|17.||Panasonic LX100||Four Thirds||12.7||4112||3088||4K/30p||22.3||12.5||553||67|
|Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the SX540 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 SX540 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. That said, the G1X Mark II can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the EVF-DC1. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon G1 X Mark II and Canon SX540 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|1.||Canon G1 X Mark II||optional||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||5.2||Y||Y|
|2.||Canon SX540||none||n||3.0 / 461||fixed||n||1/2000s||5.9||Y||Y|
|3.||Canon SX730||none||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||n||1/3200s||5.9||Y||Y|
|4.||Canon T6||optical||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|5.||Canon SX720||none||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/3200s||5.9||Y||Y|
|6.||Canon T6s||optical||Y||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n|
|7.||Canon XC10||none||n||3.0 / 1030||tilting||Y||1/2000s||3.8||n||Y|
|8.||Canon SX530||none||n||3.0 / 461||fixed||n||1/2000s||1.6||Y||Y|
|9.||Canon SX710||none||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/3200s||6.0||Y||Y|
|10.||Canon SX60||922||n||3.0 / 922||swivel||n||1/2000s||6.4||Y||Y|
|11.||Canon G16||optical||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.2||Y||Y|
|12.||Canon S120||none||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||Y||1/2000s||12.1||Y||Y|
|13.||Canon G1 X||optical||n||3.0 / 922||swivel||n||1/4000s||1.9||Y||Y|
|14.||Canon T1i||optical||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.4||Y||n|
|15.||Canon XSi||optical||n||3.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.5||Y||n|
|16.||Olympus Stylus 1||1440||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||7.0||Y||Y|
|17.||Panasonic LX100||2764||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/4000s||11.0||n||Y|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The G1X Mark II has a touchscreen, while the SX540 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.The G1X Mark II has an articulated LCD that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in snapping selfies. In contrast, the SX540 does not have a selfie-screen.
The Canon G1 X Mark II has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
Both the G1X Mark II and the SX540 have zoom lenses built in. The G1X Mark II has a 24-120mm f/2.0-3.9 optic and the SX540 offers a 24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the G1X Mark II and SX540 provide the same view at the wide-angle end, but the SX540 has more tele-photo reach at the long end. The G1X Mark II offers the faster maximum aperture.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the G1X Mark II and the SX540 write their files to SDXC cards. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.
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 PowerShot G1 X Mark II and Canon PowerShot SX540 HS and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Canon G1 X Mark II||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|2.||Canon SX540||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|3.||Canon SX730||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|4.||Canon T6||Y||mono / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|5.||Canon SX720||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|6.||Canon T6s||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|7.||Canon XC10||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|8.||Canon SX530||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|9.||Canon SX710||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|10.||Canon SX60||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|11.||Canon G16||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|12.||Canon S120||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|13.||Canon G1 X||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|14.||Canon T1i||Y||mono / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|15.||Canon XSi||Y||- / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|16.||Olympus Stylus 1||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|17.||Panasonic LX100||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
It is notable that the G1X Mark II has a hotshoe, while the SX540 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.
The SX540 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Canon. In contrast, the G1X Mark II has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the G1X Mark II was succeeded by the Canon G1 X Mark III. 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 conclusions can be drawn? Is the Canon G1 X Mark II better than the Canon SX540 or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Advantages of the Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
- Richer colors: The pixel size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger pixels capture a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger pixels means good image quality even under poor lighting.
- More framing options: Can be equipped with a hotshoe-mounted accessory-viewfinder.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 461k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/2.0 vs f/3.4).
- More compact: Is smaller (116x74mm vs 120x82mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (240 versus 205) on a single battery charge.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in February 2014).
Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot SX540 HS:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (20.2 vs 13MP), which boosts linear resolution by 25%.
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/30p).
- 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.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 111g or 20 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (50 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 10 months) more recently.
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the G1X Mark II is the clear winner of the match-up (17 : 8 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 wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro 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 G1 X Mark II and the Canon SX540 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Travel-Zoom Camera and Best Superzoom Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the G1X Mark II or the SX540 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 hands-on reviews by experts are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], 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 G1 X Mark II||3/5||+||..||77/100||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||799|
|2.||Canon SX540||..||..||..||..||..||..||Jan 2016||399|
|3.||Canon SX730||..||+||..||..||4/5||4/5||Apr 2017||399|
|4.||Canon T6||4/5||o||4/5||73/100||4/5||4/5||Mar 2016||449|
|5.||Canon SX720||..||+||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||379|
|6.||Canon T6s||5/5||+||..||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||649|
|7.||Canon XC10||..||..||..||80/100||..||..||Apr 2015||2,499|
|8.||Canon SX530||..||+ +||..||..||4/5||4/5||Jan 2015||429|
|9.||Canon SX710||..||+||..||..||4/5||3.5/5||Jan 2015||349|
|10.||Canon SX60||3/5||+ +||..||75/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||549|
|11.||Canon G16||4/5||+||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||549|
|12.||Canon S120||..||+ +||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||449|
|13.||Canon G1 X||5/5||+||..||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2012||799|
|14.||Canon T1i||..||+ +||..||74/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2009||799|
|15.||Canon XSi||..||+ +||..||+ +||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2008||799|
|16.||Olympus Stylus 1||..||+ +||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||699|
|17.||Panasonic LX100||5/5||+ +||..||85/100||5/5||5/5||Sep 2014||899|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
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 use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
- Canon 1D Mark IV vs Canon SX540
- Canon 350D vs Canon SX540
- Canon G1 X Mark II vs Fujifilm X-A3
- Canon G1 X Mark II vs Fujifilm X-T10
- Canon G1 X Mark II vs Olympus E-330
- Canon G1 X Mark II vs Panasonic GH3
- Canon G1 X Mark II vs Sony A6300
- Canon G1 X Mark II vs Sony RX1R
- Canon M6 vs Canon SX540
- Canon SX540 vs Sony HX400V
- Canon SX540 vs Sony RX10
- Canon SX540 vs Sony RX100 III
Specifications: Canon G1 X Mark II vs Canon SX540
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 G1 X Mark II||Canon SX540|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||24-120mm f/2.0-3.9||24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5|
|Launch Date||February 2014||January 2016|
|Launch Price||USD 799||USD 399|
|Sensor Specs||Canon G1 X Mark II||Canon SX540|
|Sensor Format||1.5" Sensor||1/2.3" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||18.7 x 14.0 mm||6.17 x 4.55 mm|
|Sensor Area||261.8 mm2||28.0735 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||23.4 mm||7.7 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||13 Megapixels||20.2 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4160 x 3120 pixels||5184 x 3888 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.49 μm||1.18 μm|
|Pixel Density||4.96 MP/cm2||71.80 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/30p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 12,800 ISO||80 - 3,200 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 6||DIGIC 6|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||58||..|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||21.5||..|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||10.8||..|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||581||..|
|Screen Specs||Canon G1 X Mark II||Canon SX540|
|Viewfinder Type||Viewfinder optional||no viewfinder|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots||461k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Fixed screen|
|Touch Input||Touchscreen||no Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon G1 X Mark II||Canon SX540|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||no Peaking Feature|
|Continuous Shooting||5.2 shutter flaps/s||5.9 shutter flaps/s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||no Intervalometer|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon G1 X Mark II||Canon SX540|
|External Flash||Hotshoe||no Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||NFC built-in||NFC built-in|
|Body Specs||Canon G1 X Mark II||Canon SX540|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||240 shots per charge||205 shots per charge|
116 x 74 x 66 mm
(4.6 x 2.9 x 2.6 in)
120 x 82 x 92 mm
(4.7 x 3.2 x 3.6 in)
|Camera Weight||553 g (19.5 oz)||442 g (15.6 oz)|
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