Canon G1 X Mark II vs Nikon D300
The Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II and the Nikon D300 are two enthusiast cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in February 2014 and August 2007. The G1X Mark II is a fixed lens compact, while the D300 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on an 1.5-inch (G1X Mark II) and an APS-C (D300) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 13 megapixels, whereas the Nikon provides 12.2 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Canon G1 X Mark II||Nikon D300|
|Fixed lens compact camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|24-120mm f/2.0-3.9||Nikon F mount lenses|
|13 MP, 1.5" Sensor||12.2 MP, APS-C Sensor|
|1080/30p Video||no Video|
|ISO 100-12800||ISO 200-3200 (100-6400)|
|Viewfinder optional||Optical viewfinder|
|3.0" LCD, 1040k dots||3.0" LCD, 922k dots|
|Tilting touchscreen||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|5.2 shutter flaps per second||6 shutter flaps per second|
|Not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|240 shots per battery charge||1000 shots per battery charge|
|116 x 74 x 66 mm, 553 g||147 x 114 x 74 mm, 925 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II and the Nikon D300? 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 G1 X Mark II and the Nikon D300 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 dimensions 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 Nikon D300 is considerably larger (95 percent) than the Canon G1 X Mark II. It is noteworthy in this context that the D300 is splash and dust-proof, while the G1X Mark II does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the G1X Mark II has a lens built in, whereas the D300 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 D300 and their specifications in the Nikon Lens Catalog.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.
|Canon G1 X Mark II»||116 mm||74 mm||66 mm||553 g||240||n||Feb 2014||799||Canon G1 X Mark II|
|Nikon D300«||147 mm||114 mm||74 mm||925 g||1000||Y||Aug 2007||1,799||Nikon D300|
|Canon 760D« »||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||565 g||440||n||Feb 2015||649||Canon 760D|
|Canon G5 X« »||112 mm||76 mm||44 mm||353 g||210||n||Oct 2015||799||Canon G5 X|
|Canon XC10« »||125 mm||102 mm||122 mm||1040 g||..||n||Apr 2015||2,499||Canon XC10|
|Canon SX60« »||128 mm||93 mm||114 mm||650 g||340||n||Sep 2014||549||Canon SX60|
|Canon G16« »||109 mm||76 mm||40 mm||356 g||360||n||Aug 2013||549||Canon G16|
|Canon S120« »||100 mm||59 mm||29 mm||217 g||230||n||Aug 2013||449||Canon S120|
|Canon G1 X« »||117 mm||81 mm||65 mm||534 g||250||n||Jan 2012||799||Canon G1 X|
|Canon 500D« »||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||520 g||400||n||Mar 2009||799||Canon 500D|
|Canon 450D« »||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||524 g||500||n||Jan 2008||799||Canon 450D|
|Nikon D7000« »||132 mm||105 mm||77 mm||780 g||1050||Y||Sep 2010||1,499||Nikon D7000|
|Nikon D300S« »||147 mm||115 mm||81 mm||938 g||950||Y||Jul 2009||1,799||Nikon D300S|
|Nikon D700« »||147 mm||123 mm||77 mm||1074 g||1000||Y||Jul 2008||2,999||Nikon D700|
|Nikon D2Xs« »||158 mm||150 mm||86 mm||1252 g||3800||Y||Jun 2006||4,699||Nikon D2Xs|
|Nikon D200« »||147 mm||113 mm||74 mm||920 g||400||Y||Nov 2005||1,699||Nikon D200|
|Panasonic LX100« »||115 mm||66 mm||55 mm||393 g||300||n||Sep 2014||899||Panasonic LX100|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. 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 Mark II was launched at a lower price than the D300, 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 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. 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 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 D300 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the D300 is 42 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 D300 offers a 3:2 aspect.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon G1 X Mark II offers a higher resolution of 13 megapixels, compared with 12.2 MP of the Nikon D300. 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 4.49μm versus 5.53μm for the D300). However, it should be noted that the G1X Mark II is much more recent (by 6 years and 5 months) than the D300, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.
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 D300 are ISO 200 to ISO 3200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-6400.
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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 D300 has a markedly higher DXO score than the G1X Mark II (overall score 9 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 0.6 bits higher color depth, 1.2 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.2 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|Canon G1 X Mark II||1.5-inch||13.0||4160||3120||1080/30p||21.5||10.8||581||58||Canon G1 X Mark II|
|Nikon D300||APS-C||12.2||4288||2848||none||22.1||12.0||679||67||Nikon D300|
|Canon 760D||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/30p||22.6||12.0||915||70||Canon 760D|
|Canon G5 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||..||..||..||..||Canon G5 X|
|Canon XC10||1-inch||12.0||4000||3000||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Canon XC10|
|Canon SX60||1/2.3||14.2||4608||3072||1080/60p||19.2||10.8||127||39||Canon SX60|
|Canon G16||1/1.7||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||21.0||11.7||230||54||Canon G16|
|Canon S120||1/1.7||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||21.3||11.9||246||56||Canon S120|
|Canon G1 X||1.5-inch||14.2||4352||3264||1080/24p||21.7||10.8||644||60||Canon G1 X|
|Canon 500D||APS-C||15.1||4752||3168||1080/20p||21.7||11.5||663||63||Canon 500D|
|Canon 450D||APS-C||12.2||4272||2848||none||21.9||10.8||692||61||Canon 450D|
|Nikon D7000||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||10800/24p||23.5||13.9||1167||80||Nikon D7000|
|Nikon D300S||APS-C||12.2||4288||2848||720/24p||22.5||12.2||787||70||Nikon D300S|
|Nikon D700||Full Frame||12.1||4256||2832||none||23.5||12.2||2303||80||Nikon D700|
|Nikon D2Xs||APS-C||12.2||4288||2848||none||22.2||10.9||489||59||Nikon D2Xs|
|Nikon D200||APS-C||10.0||3872||2592||none||22.3||11.5||583||64||Nikon D200|
|Panasonic LX100||Four Thirds||12.7||4112||3088||4K/30p||22.3||12.5||553||67||Panasonic LX100|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The G1X Mark II indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the D300 does not. The highest resolution format that the G1X Mark II can use is 1080/30p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the D300 has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the G1X Mark II relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the G1X Mark II can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the EVF-DC1. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon G1 X Mark II and Nikon D300 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|Canon G1 X Mark II||optional||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||5.2||Y||Y||Canon G1 X Mark II|
|Nikon D300||optical||Y||3.0||922||fixed||n||1/8000s||6.0||Y||n||Nikon D300|
|Canon 760D||optical||Y||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Canon 760D|
|Canon G5 X||2360||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/2000s||5.9||Y||Y||Canon G5 X|
|Canon XC10||none||n||3.0||1030||tilting||Y||1/2000s||3.8||n||Y||Canon XC10|
|Canon SX60||922||n||3.0||922||swivel||n||1/2000s||6.4||Y||Y||Canon SX60|
|Canon G16||optical||n||3.0||922||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.2||Y||Y||Canon G16|
|Canon S120||none||n||3.0||922||fixed||Y||1/2000s||12.1||Y||Y||Canon S120|
|Canon G1 X||optical||n||3.0||922||Swivel||n||1/4000s||1.9||Y||Y||Canon G1 X|
|Canon 500D||optical||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.4||Y||n||Canon 500D|
|Canon 450D||optical||n||3.0||230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.5||Y||n||Canon 450D|
|Nikon D7000||optical||Y||3.0||921||fixed||n||1/8000s||6.0||Y||n||Nikon D7000|
|Nikon D300S||optical||Y||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/8000s||7.0||Y||n||Nikon D300S|
|Nikon D700||optical||Y||3.0||922||fixed||n||1/8000s||8.0||Y||n||Nikon D700|
|Nikon D2Xs||optical||Y||2.5||230||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0||n||n||Nikon D2Xs|
|Nikon D200||optical||Y||2.5||230||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D200|
|Panasonic LX100||2764||n||3.0||921||fixed||n||1/4000s||11.0||n||Y||Panasonic LX100|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The G1X Mark II has a touchscreen, while the D300 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 D300 does not have a selfie-screen.
The Canon G1 X Mark II and the Nikon D300 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 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the D300 uses Compact Flash 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 D300 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Canon G1 X Mark II||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon G1 X Mark II|
|Nikon D300||Y||none||none||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D300|
|Canon 760D||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon 760D|
|Canon G5 X||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon G5 X|
|Canon XC10||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon XC10|
|Canon SX60||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon SX60|
|Canon G16||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Canon G16|
|Canon S120||-||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Canon S120|
|Canon G1 X||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon G1 X|
|Canon 500D||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 500D|
|Canon 450D||Y||none||none||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 450D|
|Nikon D7000||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D7000|
|Nikon D300S||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D300S|
|Nikon D700||Y||none||none||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D700|
|Nikon D2Xs||Y||none||none||-||-||none||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D2Xs|
|Nikon D200||Y||none||none||-||-||none||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D200|
|Panasonic LX100||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Panasonic LX100|
It is notable that the G1X Mark II offers wifi support, while the D300 does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Nikon D300 (unlike the G1X Mark II) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
The G1X Mark II is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Canon. In contrast, the D300 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the D300 was succeeded by the Nikon D300S. 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 what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon G1 X Mark II and the Nikon D300? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II:
- Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/30p movies.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 922k 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.
- Ready to shoot: Comes with a built-in lens, while the D300 requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (116x74mm vs 147x114mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the D300).
- 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.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More modern: Reflects 6 years and 5 months of technical progress since the D300 launch.
Advantages of the Nikon D300:
- Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (9 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (1.2 EV of extra DR).
- Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (6 vs 5.2 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More flexible: Makes it possible to change lenses and thus to use specialty optics.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (1000 versus 240) out of a single battery charge.
- Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
- Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in August 2007).
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the G1X Mark II emerges as the winner of the contest (13 : 11 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 D300 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Travel-Zoom Camera and Best DSLR Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the G1X Mark II or the D300 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 where reviews by experts come in. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). 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.
The above review scores should be interpreted 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. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods 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? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu 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.
- Canon 1Ds vs Nikon D300
- Canon 2000D vs Nikon D300
- Canon 550D vs Canon G1 X Mark II
- Canon G1 X Mark II vs Canon SX60
- Canon G1 X Mark II vs Hasselblad X1D
- Canon G1 X Mark II vs Leica Digilux 3
- Canon G1 X Mark II vs Nikon B700
- Canon G1 X Mark II vs Olympus E-30
- Canon G1 X Mark II vs Panasonic ZS80
- Canon G1 X Mark II vs Pentax K-1
- Nikon D300 vs Panasonic G80
- Nikon D300 vs Sony RX10
Specifications: Canon G1 X Mark II vs Nikon D300
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 D300|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||24-120mm f/2.0-3.9||Nikon F mount lenses|
|Launch Date||February 2014||August 2007|
|Launch Price||USD 799||USD 1799|
|Sensor Specs||Canon G1 X Mark II||Nikon D300|
|Sensor Format||1.5" Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||18.7 x 14.0 mm||23.6 x 15.8 mm|
|Sensor Area||261.8 mm2||372.88 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||23.4 mm||28.4 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||13 Megapixels||12.2 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4160 x 3120 pixels||4288 x 2848 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.49 μm||5.53 μm|
|Pixel Density||4.96 MP/cm2||3.28 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/30p Video||no Video|
|ISO Setting||100-12800 ISO||200-3200 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||100-6400 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 6||EXPEED|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||58||67|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||21.5||22.1|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||10.8||12.0|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||581||679|
|Screen Specs||Canon G1 X Mark II||Nikon D300|
|Viewfinder Type||Viewfinder optional||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Top-Level Screen||no Top Display||Control Panel|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots||922k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Fixed screen|
|Touch Input||Touchscreen||no Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon G1 X Mark II||Nikon D300|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||No Peaking Feature|
|Continuous Shooting||5.2 shutter flaps/s||6 shutter flaps/s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||Intervalometer built-in|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||CF cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon G1 X Mark II||Nikon D300|
|Studio Flash||no PC Sync||PC Sync socket|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||no Wifi|
|Near-Field Communication||NFC built-in||no NFC|
|Body Specs||Canon G1 X Mark II||Nikon D300|
|Environmental Sealing||Not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||240 shots per charge||1000 shots per charge|
116 x 74 x 66 mm
(4.6 x 2.9 x 2.6 in)
147 x 114 x 74 mm
(5.8 x 4.5 x 2.9 in)
|Camera Weight||553 g (19.5 oz)||925 g (32.6 oz)|
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