Canon G1 X Mark II vs Nikon Coolpix A
The Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II and the Nikon Coolpix A are two enthusiast cameras that were announced, respectively, in February 2014 and March 2013. Both the G1X Mark II and the Coolpix A are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on an 1.5-inch (G1X Mark II) and an APS-C (Coolpix A) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 13 megapixels, whereas the Nikon provides 16.1 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 Nikon Coolpix A? 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 side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon G1 X Mark II and the Nikon Coolpix A. 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.
The Coolpix A can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the G1X Mark II is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon Coolpix A is notably smaller (17 percent) than the Canon G1 X Mark II. Moreover, the Coolpix A is substantially lighter (46 percent) than the G1X Mark II. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G1X Mark II nor the Coolpix A are weather-sealed.
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.
|1.||Canon G1 X Mark II||116 mm||74 mm||66 mm||553 g||240||n||Feb 2014||799|
|2.||Nikon Coolpix A||111 mm||64 mm||40 mm||299 g||230||n||Mar 2013||1,099|
|3.||Canon 760D||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||565 g||440||n||Feb 2015||649|
|4.||Canon XC10||125 mm||102 mm||122 mm||1040 g||370||n||Apr 2015||2,499|
|5.||Canon G7 X||103 mm||60 mm||40 mm||304 g||210||n||Sep 2014||699|
|6.||Canon SX60||128 mm||93 mm||114 mm||650 g||340||n||Sep 2014||549|
|7.||Canon G16||109 mm||76 mm||40 mm||356 g||360||n||Aug 2013||549|
|8.||Canon S120||100 mm||59 mm||29 mm||217 g||230||n||Aug 2013||449|
|9.||Canon G1 X||117 mm||81 mm||65 mm||534 g||250||n||Jan 2012||799|
|10.||Canon 500D||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||520 g||400||n||Mar 2009||799|
|11.||Canon 450D||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||524 g||500||n||Jan 2008||799|
|12.||Fujifilm X100T||127 mm||74 mm||52 mm||440 g||330||n||Sep 2014||1,299|
|13.||Olympus Stylus 1||116 mm||87 mm||57 mm||402 g||410||n||Oct 2013||699|
|14.||Panasonic LX100||115 mm||66 mm||55 mm||393 g||300||n||Sep 2014||899|
|15.||Ricoh GR||117 mm||61 mm||35 mm||245 g||290||n||Apr 2013||799|
|16.||Sony RX100 IV||102 mm||58 mm||41 mm||298 g||280||n||Jun 2015||999|
|17.||Sony NEX-6||120 mm||67 mm||43 mm||345 g||360||n||Sep 2012||999|
|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 manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The G1X Mark II was launched at a markedly lower price (by 27 percent) than the Coolpix A, which puts it into a different market segment. 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 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 Nikon Coolpix A an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the Coolpix A is 40 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.85 and 1.5. The sensor in the G1X Mark II has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the Coolpix A offers a 3:2 aspect.
With 16.1MP, the Coolpix A offers a higher resolution than the G1X Mark II (13MP), but the Coolpix A nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.78μm versus 4.49μm for the G1X Mark II) due to its larger sensor. However, the G1X Mark II is a somewhat more recent model (by 11 months) than the Coolpix A, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the Coolpix A has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Nikon Coolpix A implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the Coolpix A for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 24.6 x 16.3 inches or 62.6 x 41.5 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 19.7 x 13.1 inches or 50.1 x 33.2 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 16.4 x 10.9 inches or 41.7 x 27.6 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 Nikon Coolpix A are ISO 100 to ISO 6400, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-25600.
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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"). Of the two cameras under consideration, the Coolpix A offers substantially better image quality than the G1X Mark II (overall score 22 points higher). The advantage is based on 1.9 bits higher color depth, 3 EV in additional dynamic range, and 1 stops in additional 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.
| DXO |
|1.||Canon G1 X Mark II||1.5-inch||13.0||4160||3120||1080/30p||21.5||10.8||581||58|
|2.||Nikon Coolpix A||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||23.4||13.8||1164||80|
|5.||Canon G7 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||23.0||12.7||556||71|
|9.||Canon G1 X||1.5-inch||14.2||4352||3264||1080/24p||21.7||10.8||644||60|
|13.||Olympus Stylus 1||1/1.7||11.8||3968||2976||1080/30p||20.7||11.6||179||51|
|14.||Panasonic LX100||Four Thirds||12.7||4112||3088||4K/30p||22.3||12.5||553||67|
|16.||Sony RX100 IV||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.6||591||70|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/30p).
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The G1X Mark II and the Coolpix A 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. However, optional viewfinders – the EVF-DC1 for the G1X Mark II and the DF-CP1 for the Coolpix A – are available as accessories. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon G1 X Mark II and Nikon Coolpix A 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.||Nikon Coolpix A||optional||n||3.0||921||fixed||n||1/2000s||4.0||Y||n|
|5.||Canon G7 X||none||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||6.5||Y||Y|
|9.||Canon G1 X||optical||n||3.0||922||Swivel||n||1/4000s||1.9||Y||Y|
|13.||Olympus Stylus 1||1440||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||7.0||Y||Y|
|16.||Sony RX100 IV||2359||n||3.0||1228||tilting||n||1/2000s||16.0||Y||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 Coolpix A 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 Coolpix A does not have a selfie-screen.
The Canon G1 X Mark II and the Nikon Coolpix A both have 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.
The G1X Mark II is equipped with a zoom lens, while the Coolpix A comes with a built-in prime. The G1X Mark II has a 24-120mm f/2.0-3.9 optic and the Coolpix A offers a 28mm f/2.8 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Canon provides a wider angle of view at the short end, as well as more tele-photo reach at the long end than the Nikon. The G1X Mark II offers the faster maximum aperture.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the G1X Mark II and the Coolpix A write their files to SDXC cards. The G1X Mark II supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the Coolpix A cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD 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 PowerShot G1 X Mark II and Nikon Coolpix A and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|1.||Canon G1 X Mark II||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|2.||Nikon Coolpix A||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|5.||Canon G7 X||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|9.||Canon G1 X||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|13.||Olympus Stylus 1||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|16.||Sony RX100 IV||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
It is notable that the G1X Mark II offers wifi support, while the Coolpix A does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.
Both the G1X Mark II and the Coolpix A have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The G1X Mark II was replaced by the Canon G1 X Mark III, while the Coolpix A does not have a direct successor. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Nikon websites.
So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon G1 X Mark II and the Nikon Coolpix A? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Reasons to prefer the Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 921k 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.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5.2 vs 4 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/2.0 vs f/2.8).
- Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
- Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (27 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 11 months after the Coolpix A).
Advantages of the Nikon Coolpix A:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (16.1 vs 13MP), which boosts linear resolution by 14%.
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (22 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (1.9 bits more color depth).
- More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (3 EV of extra DR).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (1 stops ISO advantage).
- More compact: Is smaller (111x64mm vs 116x74mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 254g or 46 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in March 2013).
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the G1X Mark II is the clear winner of the match-up (15 : 9 points). 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. 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 Nikon Coolpix A place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Travel-Zoom Camera and Best Prime Lens Compact 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 partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the G1X Mark II or the Coolpix A. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.
This is where reviews by experts come in. 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 G1 X Mark II||3/5||+||77/100||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||799|
|2.||Nikon Coolpix A||4/5||+||75/100||4/5||4/5||Mar 2013||1,099|
|3.||Canon 760D||5/5||+||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||649|
|4.||Canon XC10||..||..||80/100||..||..||Apr 2015||2,499|
|5.||Canon G7 X||4/5||+ +||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||699|
|6.||Canon SX60||3/5||+ +||75/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||549|
|7.||Canon G16||4/5||+||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||549|
|8.||Canon S120||..||+ +||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||449|
|9.||Canon G1 X||5/5||+||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2012||799|
|10.||Canon 500D||..||+ +||74/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2009||799|
|11.||Canon 450D||..||+ +||+ +||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2008||799|
|12.||Fujifilm X100T||5/5||+||81/100||4.5/5||5/5||Sep 2014||1,299|
|13.||Olympus Stylus 1||..||+ +||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||699|
|14.||Panasonic LX100||5/5||+ +||85/100||5/5||5/5||Sep 2014||899|
|15.||Ricoh GR||5/5||..||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2013||799|
|16.||Sony RX100 IV||4.5/5||+ +||85/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||999|
|17.||Sony NEX-6||5/5||+ +||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||999|
|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. 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? 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.
Specifications: Canon G1 X Mark II vs Nikon Coolpix A
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||Nikon Coolpix A|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||24-120mm f/2.0-3.9||28mm f/2.8|
|Launch Date||February 2014||March 2013|
|Launch Price||USD 799||USD 1,099|
|Sensor Specs||Canon G1 X Mark II||Nikon Coolpix A|
|Sensor Format||1.5" Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||18.7 x 14.0 mm||23.6 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||261.8 mm2||368.16 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||23.4 mm||28.3 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||13 Megapixels||16.1 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4160 x 3120 pixels||4928 x 3264 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.49 μm||4.78 μm|
|Pixel Density||4.96 MP/cm2||4.37 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/30p Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 12,800 ISO||100 - 6,400 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||100 - 25,600 ISO|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||58||80|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||21.5||23.4|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||10.8||13.8|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||581||1164|
|Screen Specs||Canon G1 X Mark II||Nikon Coolpix A|
|Viewfinder Type||Viewfinder optional||Viewfinder optional|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots||921k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Fixed screen|
|Touch Input||Touchscreen||no Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon G1 X Mark II||Nikon Coolpix A|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||no Peaking Feature|
|Continuous Shooting||5.2 shutter flaps/s||4 shutter flaps/s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||Intervalometer built-in|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon G1 X Mark II||Nikon Coolpix A|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||no HDMI|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||no Wifi|
|Near-Field Communication||NFC built-in||no NFC|
|Body Specs||Canon G1 X Mark II||Nikon Coolpix A|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||240 shots per charge||230 shots per charge|
116 x 74 x 66 mm
(4.6 x 2.9 x 2.6 in)
111 x 64 x 40 mm
(4.4 x 2.5 x 1.6 in)
|Camera Weight||553 g (19.5 oz)||299 g (10.5 oz)|
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