Canon G1 X Mark II vs Olympus E-P1
The Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II and the Olympus PEN E-P1 are two enthusiast cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in February 2014 and June 2009. The G1X Mark II is a fixed lens compact, while the E-P1 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on an 1.5-inch (G1X Mark II) and a Four Thirds (E-P1) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 13 megapixels, whereas the Olympus provides 12.2 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their sensors, their features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
|Canon G1 X Mark II||Olympus E-P1|
|Fixed lens compact camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|24-120mm f/2.0-3.9||Micro Four Thirds lenses|
|13 MP, 1.5" Sensor||12.2 MP, Four Thirds Sensor|
|1080/30p Video||720/30p Video|
|ISO 100-12800||ISO 100-6400|
|Viewfinder optional||No viewfinder, LCD framing|
|3.0" LCD, 1040k dots||3.0" LCD, 230k dots|
|Tilting touchscreen||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|5.2 shutter flaps per second||3 shutter flaps per second|
|Lens-based stabilization||In-body stabilization|
|240 shots per battery charge||300 shots per battery charge|
|116 x 74 x 66 mm, 553 g||121 x 70 x 36 mm, 355 g|
Body comparison: Canon G1 X Mark II vs Olympus E-P1
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon G1 X Mark II and the Olympus E-P1 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 size 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 Olympus E-P1 is somewhat smaller (1 percent) than the Canon G1 X Mark II. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G1X Mark II nor the E-P1 are weather-sealed.
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 E-P1 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 E-P1 and their specifications in the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog.
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 camera comparisons there.
|Canon G1 X Mark II»||4.6 in||2.9 in||2.6 in||19.5 oz||240||n||Feb 2014||799||Canon G1 X Mark II|
|Olympus E-P1«||4.8 in||2.8 in||1.4 in||12.5 oz||300||n||Jun 2009||799||-||Olympus E-P1|
|Canon G5 X« »||4.4 in||3.0 in||1.7 in||12.5 oz||210||n||Oct 2015||799||Canon G5 X|
|Canon T6i« »||5.2 in||4.0 in||3.1 in||19.6 oz||440||n||Feb 2015||749||-||Canon T6i|
|Canon T6s« »||5.2 in||4.0 in||3.1 in||19.9 oz||440||n||Feb 2015||849||-||Canon T6s|
|Canon XC10« »||4.9 in||4.0 in||4.8 in||36.7 oz||..||n||Apr 2015||2,499||-||Canon XC10|
|Canon SX60« »||5.0 in||3.7 in||4.5 in||22.9 oz||340||n||Sep 2014||549||-||Canon SX60|
|Canon G16« »||4.3 in||3.0 in||1.6 in||12.6 oz||360||n||Aug 2013||549||Canon G16|
|Canon G1 X« »||4.6 in||3.2 in||2.6 in||18.8 oz||250||n||Jan 2012||799||-||Canon G1 X|
|Canon T1i« »||5.1 in||3.9 in||2.4 in||18.3 oz||400||n||Mar 2009||799||-||Canon T1i|
|Canon XSi« »||5.1 in||3.9 in||2.4 in||18.5 oz||500||n||Jan 2008||799||-||Canon XSi|
|Olympus E-P3« »||4.8 in||2.7 in||1.3 in||13.0 oz||330||n||Jun 2011||799||-||Olympus E-P3|
|Olympus E-PL1« »||4.5 in||2.8 in||1.7 in||11.8 oz||290||n||Feb 2010||599||-||Olympus E-PL1|
|Olympus E-620« »||5.1 in||3.7 in||2.4 in||18.4 oz||500||n||Feb 2009||699||-||Olympus E-620|
|Olympus E-P2« »||4.8 in||2.8 in||1.4 in||12.5 oz||300||n||Nov 2009||799||-||Olympus E-P2|
|Olympus E-520« »||5.4 in||3.6 in||2.7 in||18.9 oz||750||n||May 2008||699||-||Olympus E-520|
|Panasonic LX100« »||4.5 in||2.6 in||2.2 in||13.9 oz||300||n||Sep 2014||899||Panasonic LX100|
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. 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.
Sensor comparison: Canon G1 X Mark II vs Olympus E-P1
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to 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 Olympus E-P1 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the E-P1 is 14 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.85 and 2.0. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.
With 13MP, the G1X Mark II offers a slightly higher resolution than the E-P1 (12.2MP), but the G1X Mark II nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.49μm versus 4.29μm for the E-P1) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the G1X Mark II is a somewhat more recent model (by 4 years and 7 months) than the E-P1, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.
The Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12800 The corresponding ISO settings for the Olympus PEN E-P1 are ISO 100 to ISO 6400 (no boost).
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|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|
|Olympus E-P1«||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||720/30p||21.4||10.4||536||55||Olympus E-P1|
|Canon G5 X« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||-||-||-||-||Canon G5 X|
|Canon T6i« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||22.7||12.0||919||71||Canon T6i|
|Canon T6s« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/30p||22.6||12.0||915||70||Canon T6s|
|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 G1 X« »||1.5-inch||14.2||4352||3264||1080/24p||21.7||10.8||644||60||Canon G1 X|
|Canon T1i« »||APS-C||15.1||4752||3168||1080/20p||21.7||11.5||663||63||Canon T1i|
|Canon XSi« »||APS-C||12.2||4272||2848||-||21.9||10.8||692||61||Canon XSi|
|Olympus E-P3« »||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||1080/60i||20.8||10.1||536||51||Olympus E-P3|
|Olympus E-PL1« »||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||720/30p||21.5||10.1||487||54||Olympus E-PL1|
|Olympus E-620« »||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||-||21.3||10.3||536||55||Olympus E-620|
|Olympus E-P2« »||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||720/30p||21.5||10.4||505||56||Olympus E-P2|
|Olympus E-520« »||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||-||21.4||10.4||548||55||Olympus E-520|
|Panasonic LX100« »||Four Thirds||12.7||4112||3088||4K/30p||22.3||12.5||553||67||Panasonic LX100|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the G1X Mark II provides a higher video resolution than the E-P1. It can shoot video footage at 1080/30p, while the Olympus is limited to 720/30p.
Feature comparison: Canon G1 X Mark II vs Olympus E-P1
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The G1X Mark II and the E-P1 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 adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon G1 X Mark II and Olympus E-P1 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|Canon G1 X Mark II»||-||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||4000||5.2||Y||Y||Canon G1 X Mark II|
|Olympus E-P1«||-||n||3.0||230||fixed||n||4000||3.0||n||Y||Olympus E-P1|
|Canon G5 X« »||2360||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||2000||5.9||Y||Y||Canon G5 X|
|Canon T6i« »||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||4000||5.0||Y||n||Canon T6i|
|Canon T6s« »||optical||Y||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||4000||5.0||Y||n||Canon T6s|
|Canon XC10« »||-||n||3.0||1030||tilting||Y||2000||3.8||n||Y||Canon XC10|
|Canon SX60« »||922||n||3.0||922||swivel||n||2000||6.4||Y||Y||Canon SX60|
|Canon G16« »||optical||n||3.0||922||fixed||n||4000||2.2||Y||Y||Canon G16|
|Canon G1 X« »||optical||n||3.0||922||Swivel||n||4000||1.9||Y||Y||Canon G1 X|
|Canon T1i« »||optical||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||4000||3.4||Y||n||Canon T1i|
|Canon XSi« »||optical||n||3.0||230||fixed||n||4000||3.5||Y||n||Canon XSi|
|Olympus E-P3« »||-||n||3.0||614||fixed||Y||4000||3.0||Y||Y||Olympus E-P3|
|Olympus E-PL1« »||-||n||2.7||230||fixed||n||2000||3.0||Y||Y||Olympus E-PL1|
|Olympus E-620« »||optical||n||2.7||230||swivel||n||4000||4.0||Y||Y||Olympus E-620|
|Olympus E-P2« »||-||n||3.0||230||fixed||n||4000||3.0||n||Y||Olympus E-P2|
|Olympus E-520« »||optical||n||2.7||215||fixed||n||4000||3.5||Y||Y||Olympus E-520|
|Panasonic LX100« »||2764||n||3.0||921||fixed||n||4000||11.0||n||Y||Panasonic LX100|
One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The G1X Mark II has one, while the E-P1 does not. While the built-in flash of the G1X Mark II is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.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 E-P1 does not have a selfie-screen.
The G1X Mark II writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the E-P1 uses SDHC cards.
Connectivity comparison: Canon G1 X Mark II vs Olympus E-P1
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 Olympus PEN E-P1 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|
|Olympus E-P1«||Y||stereo||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-P1|
|Canon G5 X« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon G5 X|
|Canon T6i« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon T6i|
|Canon T6s« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon T6s|
|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 G1 X« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon G1 X|
|Canon T1i« »||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon T1i|
|Canon XSi« »||Y||-||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon XSi|
|Olympus E-P3« »||Y||stereo||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-P3|
|Olympus E-PL1« »||Y||stereo||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-PL1|
|Olympus E-620« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-620|
|Olympus E-P2« »||Y||stereo||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-P2|
|Olympus E-520« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-520|
|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 E-P1 does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.
The G1X Mark II is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Canon. In contrast, the E-P1 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the E-P1 was succeeded by the Olympus E-P2.
Review summary: Canon G1 X Mark II vs Olympus E-P1
So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Canon G1 X Mark II or the Olympus E-P1 – has the upper hand? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Advantages of the Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II:
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (1080/30p vs 720/30p).
- More framing options: Can be equipped with a hotshoe-mounted accessory-viewfinder.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 230k 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 burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5.2 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the E-P1 requires a separate lens.
- Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
- 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 modern: Reflects 4 years and 7 months of technical progress since the E-P1 launch.
Arguments in favor of the Olympus PEN E-P1:
- More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with specialty optics.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (300 versus 240) out of a single battery charge.
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in June 2009).
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 (12 : 3 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision.
In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the G1X Mark II and the E-P1 in practical situations. 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.
Expert reviews: Canon G1 X Mark II vs Olympus E-P1
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 (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). You can find the full text of the reviews by clicking on the site logo in the table header.
|Canon G1 X Mark II»||Rec||77/100||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||799||Canon G1 X Mark II|
|Olympus E-P1«||Rec||66/100||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||Jun 2009||799||-||Olympus E-P1|
|Canon G5 X« »||HiRec||78/100||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Oct 2015||799||Canon G5 X|
|Canon T6i« »||-||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||749||-||Canon T6i|
|Canon T6s« »||Rec||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||849||-||Canon T6s|
|Canon XC10« »||-||80/100||-||-||-||Apr 2015||2,499||-||Canon XC10|
|Canon SX60« »||HiRec||75/100||4/5||-||4.5/5||Sep 2014||549||-||Canon SX60|
|Canon G16« »||Rec||-||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||549||Canon G16|
|Canon G1 X« »||Rec||76/100||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2012||799||-||Canon G1 X|
|Canon T1i« »||HiRec||74/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2009||799||-||Canon T1i|
|Canon XSi« »||HiRec||HiRec||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2008||799||-||Canon XSi|
|Olympus E-P3« »||83/100||74/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2011||799||-||Olympus E-P3|
|Olympus E-PL1« »||86/100||69/100||4/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2010||599||-||Olympus E-PL1|
|Olympus E-620« »||88/100||72/100||4.5/5||rev||5/5||Feb 2009||699||-||Olympus E-620|
|Olympus E-P2« »||Rec||69/100||4/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Nov 2009||799||-||Olympus E-P2|
|Olympus E-520« »||87/100||HiRec||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||May 2008||699||-||Olympus E-520|
|Panasonic LX100« »||HiRec||85/100||5/5||4/5||5/5||Sep 2014||899||Panasonic LX100|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. 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. 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 are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
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Specifications: Canon G1 X Mark II vs Olympus E-P1
|Camera Model||Canon G1 X Mark II||Olympus E-P1|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||24-120mm f/2.0-3.9||Micro Four Thirds lenses|
|Launch Date||February 2014||June 2009|
|Launch Price||USD 799||USD 799|
|Sensor Format||1.5" Sensor||Four Thirds Sensor|
|Sensor Size||18.7 x 14.0 mm||17.3 x 14.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||261.8 mm2||224.9 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||23.4 mm||21.6 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||13 Megapixels||12.2 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4160 x 3120 pixels||4032 x 3024 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.49 μm||4.29 μm|
|Pixel Density||4.96 MP/cm2||5.42 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/30p Video||720/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100-12800 ISO||100-6400 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 6||TruePic V|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||58||55|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||21.5||21.4|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||10.8||10.4|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||581||536|
|Viewfinder Type||Viewfinder optional||No viewfinder|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots||230k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Fixed screen|
|Touch Input||Touchscreen||no Touchscreen|
|Autofocus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/4000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||5.2 shutter flaps/s||3 shutter flaps/s|
|Image Stabilization||Lens-based stabilization||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDHC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|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|
|Battery Type||NB-12L power pack||BLS-1 power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||240 shots per charge||300 shots per charge|
116 x 74 x 66 mm
(4.6 x 2.9 x 2.6 in)
121 x 70 x 36 mm
(4.8 x 2.8 x 1.4 in)
|Camera Weight||553 g (19.5 oz)||355 g (12.5 oz)|
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