Canon G1 X Mark II vs Panasonic GH1
The Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1 are two enthusiast cameras that were announced, respectively, in February 2014 and March 2009. The G1X Mark II is a fixed lens compact, while the GH1 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on an 1.5-inch (G1X Mark II) and a Four Thirds (GH1) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 13 megapixels, whereas the Panasonic provides 12 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 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1? 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 Panasonic GH1 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The GH1 can be obtained in two different colors (black, red), 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 Panasonic GH1 is notably larger (30 percent) than the Canon G1 X Mark II. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G1X Mark II nor the GH1 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 GH1 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 GH1 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 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||ebay.com|
|2.||Panasonic GH1||124 mm||90 mm||45 mm||385 g||300||n||Mar 2009||899||ebay.com|
|3.||Canon G5 X||112 mm||76 mm||44 mm||353 g||210||n||Oct 2015||799||ebay.com|
|4.||Canon T6s||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||565 g||440||n||Feb 2015||649||ebay.com|
|5.||Canon SX60||128 mm||93 mm||114 mm||650 g||340||n||Sep 2014||549||ebay.com|
|6.||Canon G16||109 mm||76 mm||40 mm||356 g||360||n||Aug 2013||549||ebay.com|
|7.||Canon S120||100 mm||59 mm||29 mm||217 g||230||n||Aug 2013||449||ebay.com|
|8.||Canon G1 X||117 mm||81 mm||65 mm||534 g||250||n||Jan 2012||799||ebay.com|
|9.||Canon T1i||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||520 g||400||n||Mar 2009||799||ebay.com|
|10.||Canon XSi||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||524 g||500||n||Jan 2008||799||ebay.com|
|11.||Olympus Stylus 1||116 mm||87 mm||57 mm||402 g||410||n||Oct 2013||699||ebay.com|
|12.||Panasonic LX100||115 mm||66 mm||55 mm||393 g||300||n||Sep 2014||899||ebay.com|
|13.||Panasonic G10||124 mm||84 mm||74 mm||388 g||380||n||Mar 2010||499||ebay.com|
|14.||Panasonic G2||124 mm||84 mm||74 mm||428 g||360||n||Mar 2010||599||ebay.com|
|15.||Panasonic GH2||124 mm||90 mm||76 mm||442 g||330||n||Sep 2010||899||ebay.com|
|16.||Panasonic G1||124 mm||84 mm||45 mm||360 g||410||n||Sep 2008||599||ebay.com|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. 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 GH1, 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. 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. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better 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 Panasonic GH1 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the GH1 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 GH1 (12MP), but the G1X Mark II nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.49μm versus 4.33μm for the GH1) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the G1X Mark II is a much more recent model (by 4 years and 11 months) than the GH1, and its sensor will 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 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1 are ISO 100 to ISO 1600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-3200.
Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors. Both cameras use a Bayer filter for capturing RGB colors on a square grid of photosensors. This arrangement is found in most digital cameras.
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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 GH1 has a markedly higher DXO score than the G1X Mark II (overall score 6 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 0.1 bits higher color depth, 0.8 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.4 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|1.||Canon G1 X Mark II||1.5-inch||13.0||4160||3120||1080/30p||21.5||10.8||581||58|
|2.||Panasonic GH1||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||1080/24p||21.6||11.6||772||64|
|3.||Canon G5 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.4||12.3||471||62|
|8.||Canon G1 X||1.5-inch||14.2||4352||3264||1080/24p||21.7||10.8||644||60|
|11.||Olympus Stylus 1||1/1.7||11.8||3968||2976||1080/30p||20.7||11.6||179||51|
|12.||Panasonic LX100||Four Thirds||12.7||4112||3088||4K/30p||22.3||12.5||553||67|
|13.||Panasonic G10||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||720/30p||21.2||10.1||411||52|
|14.||Panasonic G2||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||720/30p||21.2||10.3||493||53|
|15.||Panasonic GH2||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60i||21.2||11.3||655||60|
|16.||Panasonic G1||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||none||21.1||10.3||463||53|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the G1X Mark II provides a higher frame rate than the GH1. It can shoot video footage at 1080/30p, while the Panasonic is limited to 1080/24p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the GH1 has an electronic viewfinder (1440k dots), which can be very helpful 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 Panasonic GH1 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|1.||Canon G1 X Mark II||optional||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||5.2/s||Y||Y|
|2.||Panasonic GH1||1440||n||3.0 / 460||swivel||n||1/4000s||3.0/s||Y||n|
|3.||Canon G5 X||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/2000s||5.9/s||Y||Y|
|4.||Canon T6s||optical||Y||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0/s||Y||n|
|5.||Canon SX60||922||n||3.0 / 922||swivel||n||1/2000s||6.4/s||Y||Y|
|6.||Canon G16||optical||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.2/s||Y||Y|
|7.||Canon S120||none||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||Y||1/2000s||12.1/s||Y||Y|
|8.||Canon G1 X||optical||n||3.0 / 922||swivel||n||1/4000s||1.9/s||Y||Y|
|9.||Canon T1i||optical||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.4/s||Y||n|
|10.||Canon XSi||optical||n||3.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.5/s||Y||n|
|11.||Olympus Stylus 1||1440||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||7.0/s||Y||Y|
|12.||Panasonic LX100||2764||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/4000s||11.0/s||n||Y|
|13.||Panasonic G10||202||n||3.0 / 460||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.6/s||Y||n|
|14.||Panasonic G2||1440||n||3.0 / 460||swivel||Y||1/4000s||2.6/s||Y||n|
|15.||Panasonic GH2||1534||n||3.0 / 460||swivel||n||1/4000s||3.0/s||Y||n|
|16.||Panasonic G1||1440||n||3.0 / 460||swivel||n||1/4000s||3.0/s||Y||n|
|Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The G1X Mark II has a touchscreen, while the GH1 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.Both cameras have an articulated rear screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This feature will be particularly appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies.
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.
The G1X Mark II writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the GH1 uses SDHC cards. The G1X Mark II supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the GH1 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 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1 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.||Panasonic GH1||Y||stereo / -||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|3.||Canon G5 X||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|4.||Canon T6s||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|5.||Canon SX60||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|6.||Canon G16||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|7.||Canon S120||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|8.||Canon G1 X||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|9.||Canon T1i||Y||mono / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|10.||Canon XSi||Y||- / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|11.||Olympus Stylus 1||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|12.||Panasonic LX100||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|13.||Panasonic G10||Y||mono / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|14.||Panasonic G2||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|15.||Panasonic GH2||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|16.||Panasonic G1||Y||- / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
It is notable that the G1X Mark II offers wifi support, while the GH1 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 GH1 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on ebay. The GH1 was replaced by the Panasonic GH2, while the G1X Mark II was followed by the Canon G1 X Mark III. Further information on the features and operation of the G1X Mark II and GH1 can be found, respectively, in the Canon G1 X Mark II Manual (free pdf) or the online Panasonic GH1 Manual.
So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Canon G1 X Mark II or the Panasonic GH1 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II:
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/30p versus 1080/24p).
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 460k dots).
- Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5.2 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the GH1 requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (116x74mm vs 124x90mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- 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 at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More modern: Reflects 4 years and 11 months of technical progress since the GH1 launch.
Advantages of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1:
- Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (6 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (0.8 EV of extra DR).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (0.4 stops ISO advantage).
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
- 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 March 2009).
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 (13 : 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 wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports 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 Panasonic GH1 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Travel-Zoom Camera and Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens 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 GH1 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 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], 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||ebay.com|
|2.||Panasonic GH1||..||+ +||..||72/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2009||899||ebay.com|
|3.||Canon G5 X||5/5||+ +||..||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2015||799||ebay.com|
|4.||Canon T6s||5/5||+||..||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||649||ebay.com|
|5.||Canon SX60||3/5||+ +||..||75/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||549||ebay.com|
|6.||Canon G16||4/5||+||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||549||ebay.com|
|7.||Canon S120||..||+ +||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||449||ebay.com|
|8.||Canon G1 X||5/5||+||..||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2012||799||ebay.com|
|9.||Canon T1i||..||+ +||..||74/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2009||799||ebay.com|
|10.||Canon XSi||..||+ +||..||+ +||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2008||799||ebay.com|
|11.||Olympus Stylus 1||..||+ +||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||699||ebay.com|
|12.||Panasonic LX100||5/5||+ +||..||85/100||5/5||5/5||Sep 2014||899||ebay.com|
|13.||Panasonic G10||3/5||..||..||70/100||4/5||4/5||Mar 2010||499||ebay.com|
|14.||Panasonic G2||..||..||..||72/100||4/5||4.5/5||Mar 2010||599||ebay.com|
|15.||Panasonic GH2||5/5||+ +||..||79/100||4.5/5||5/5||Sep 2010||899||ebay.com|
|16.||Panasonic G1||..||+ +||..||70/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2008||599||ebay.com|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
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 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 are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make your choice using the following search menu. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
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- Canon G1 X Mark II vs Canon SX60
- Canon G1 X Mark II vs Fujifilm X100S
- Canon G1 X Mark II vs Hasselblad X1D
- Canon G1 X Mark II vs Panasonic GH2
- Canon G1 X Mark II vs Panasonic LF1
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- Panasonic GH1 vs Ricoh GR III
- Panasonic GH1 vs Sony A7C
Specifications: Canon G1 X Mark II vs Panasonic GH1
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||Panasonic GH1|
|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||March 2009|
|Launch Price||USD 799||USD 899|
|Sensor Specs||Canon G1 X Mark II||Panasonic GH1|
|Sensor Format||1.5" Sensor||Four Thirds Sensor|
|Sensor Size||18.7 x 14.0 mm||17.3 x 13.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||261.8 mm2||224.9 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||23.4 mm||21.6 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||13 Megapixels||12 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4160 x 3120 pixels||4000 x 3000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.49 μm||4.33 μm|
|Pixel Density||4.96 MP/cm2||5.34 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/30p Video||1080/24p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 12,800 ISO||100 - 1,600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||100 - 3,200 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 6||Venus HD|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||58||64|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||21.5||21.6|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||10.8||11.6|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||581||772|
|Screen Specs||Canon G1 X Mark II||Panasonic GH1|
|Viewfinder Type||Viewfinder optional||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||1440k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots||460k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Swivel screen|
|Touch Input||Touchscreen||no Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon G1 X Mark II||Panasonic GH1|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||no Peaking Feature|
|Continuous Shooting||5.2 shutter flaps/s||3 shutter flaps/s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||no Intervalometer|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDHC cards|
|Single or Dual Card Slots||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon G1 X Mark II||Panasonic GH1|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||no MIC socket||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||no Wifi|
|Near-Field Communication||NFC built-in||no NFC|
|Body Specs||Canon G1 X Mark II||Panasonic GH1|
|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)
124 x 90 x 45 mm
(4.9 x 3.5 x 1.8 in)
|Camera Weight||553 g (19.5 oz)||385 g (13.6 oz)|
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