PW

Canon G1 X Mark II versus Sony A9

The Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II and the Sony Alpha A9 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in February 2014 and April 2017. The G1X Mark II is a fixed lens compact, while the A9 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on an 1.5-inch (G1X Mark II) and a full frame (A9) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 13 megapixel, whereas the Sony provides 24 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Canon G1 X Mark II vs Sony A9

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon G1 X Mark II and the Sony A9. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also toggle the display to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the G1X Mark II – represents 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Canon G1 X Mark II vs Sony A9
Compare G1X Mark II versus A9 top
Compare G1X Mark II and A9 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony A9 is notably larger (42 percent) than the Canon G1 X Mark II. It is noteworthy in this context that the A9 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 build in, whereas the A9 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can find an overview of optics for the A9 and their specifications in the Sony FE Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the G1X Mark II gets 240 shots out of its NB-12L battery, while the A9 can take 650 images on a single charge of its NP-FZ100 power pack.

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.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Canon G1 X Mark II» 4.6 in 2.9 in 2.6 in 19.5 oz 240 n Feb 2014 799 i i
Sony A9« 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.5 in 23.7 oz 650 Y Apr 2017 4,499 i i
Canon XC10« » 4.9 in 4.0 in 4.8 in 36.7 oz .. n Apr 2015 2,499- i
Canon T6s« » 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.9 oz 440 n Feb 2015 849- i
Canon G5 X« » 4.4 in 3.0 in 1.7 in 12.5 oz 210 n Oct 2015 799 i i
Canon SX60« » 5.0 in 3.7 in 4.5 in 22.9 oz 340 n Sep 2014 549 i i
Canon G7 X« » 4.1 in 2.4 in 1.6 in 10.7 oz 210 n Sep 2014 699- i
Canon G16« » 4.3 in 3.0 in 1.6 in 12.6 oz 360 n Aug 2013 549 i i
Canon G1 X« » 4.6 in 3.2 in 2.6 in 18.8 oz 250 n Jan 2012 799- i
Canon T1i« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.3 oz 400 n Mar 2009 799- i
Canon XSi« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.5 oz 500 n Jan 2008 799- i
Panasonic LX100« » 4.5 in 2.6 in 2.2 in 13.9 oz 300 n Sep 2014 899 i i
Sony A7 III« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.9 in 22.9 oz 610 Y Feb 2018 1,999 i i
Sony A7R III« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.9 in 22.9 oz 650 Y Oct 2017 3,199 i i
Sony A7R II« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.4 in 22.0 oz 290 Y Jun 2015 3,199- i
Sony A7S II« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.4 in 22.1 oz 370 Y Sep 2015 2,999 i i
Sony A7 II« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.4 in 21.1 oz 350 Y Nov 2014 1,999- i

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The G1X Mark II was launched at a lower price than the A9, despite having a lens build 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.

 

Sensor comparison: Canon G1 X Mark II vs Sony A9

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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. 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 more expensive and 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 Sony A9 a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the A9 is 223 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.85 and 1.0. The sensor in the G1X Mark II has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the A9 offers a 3:2 aspect.

Canon G1 X Mark II and Sony A9 sensor measures

With 24MP, the A9 offers a higher resolution than the G1X Mark II (13MP), but the A9 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.94μm versus 4.49μm for the G1X Mark II) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the A9 is a much more recent model (by 3 years and 2 months) than the G1X Mark II, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.

G1X Mark II versus A9 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for most cameras. 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 A9 offers substantially better image quality than the G1X Mark II (overall score 34 points higher). The advantage is based on 3.4 bits higher color depth, 2.5 EV in additional dynamic range, and 2.6 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.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Canon G1 X Mark II» 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 31201080/30p21.510.858158
Sony A9« Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p24.913.3351792
Canon XC10« » 1-inch 12.0 4000 30004K/30p----
Canon T6s« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570
Canon G5 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p----
Canon SX60« » 1/2.3 14.2 4608 30721080/60p19.210.812739
Canon G7 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p23.012.755671
Canon G16« » 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054
Canon G1 X« » 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.864460
Canon T1i« » APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363
Canon XSi« » APS-C 12.2 4272 2848-21.910.869261
Panasonic LX100« » Four Thirds 12.7 4112 30884K/30p22.312.555367
Sony A7 III« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p25.014.7373096
Sony A7R III« » Full Frame 42.2 7952 53044K/30p26.014.73523100
Sony A7R II« » Full Frame 42.2 7952 53044K/30p26.013.9343498
Sony A7S II« » Full Frame 12.0 4240 28324K/30p23.613.3299385
Sony A7 II« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.913.6244990

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the A9 provides a better video resolution than the G1X Mark II. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Canon is limited to 1080/30p.

 

Feature comparison: Canon G1 X Mark II vs Sony A9

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the A9 has an electronic viewfinder (3686k 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. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon G1 X Mark II, the Sony A9, and comparable cameras. If you need more detail on the specs, you can find comprehensive listings, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.

Core Features
  Camera Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Canon G1 X Mark II»- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 5.2 Y Y
Sony A9«3686 n 3.0 1440 tilting Y 8000 20.0 n Y
Canon XC10« »- n 3.0 1030 tilting Y 2000 3.8 n Y
Canon T6s« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n
Canon G5 X« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 2000 5.9 Y Y
Canon SX60« »922 n 3.0 922 swivel n 2000 6.4 Y Y
Canon G7 X« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 2000 6.5 Y Y
Canon G16« »optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 4000 2.2 Y Y
Canon G1 X« »optical n 3.0 922 Swivel n 4000 1.9 Y Y
Canon T1i« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 3.4 Y n
Canon XSi« »optical n 3.0 230 fixed n 4000 3.5 Y n
Panasonic LX100« »2764 n 3.0 921 fixed n 4000 11.0 n Y
Sony A7 III« »2359 n 3.0 922 tilting Y 8000 10.0 n Y
Sony A7R III« »3686 n 3.0 1440 tilting Y 8000 10.0 n Y
Sony A7R II« »2400 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 8000 5.0 n Y
Sony A7S II« »2400 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 8000 5.0 n Y
Sony A7 II« »2400 n 3.0 1230 tilting n 8000 5.0 n Y

Both the G1X Mark II and the A9 are current models that good online retailers will have in stock. You can check the latest prices, for example, at amazon. The G1X Mark II replaced the earlier Canon G1 X, while the A9 does not have a direct predecessor.

Review summary: Canon G1 X Mark II vs Sony A9

So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Canon G1 X Mark II or the Sony A9 – has the upper hand? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

ilogo

Reasons to prefer the Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II:

  • Ready to shoot: Has a lens build-in, whereas the A9 requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (116x74mm vs 127x96mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a build-in lens (unlike the A9).
  • Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
  • More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a build-in lens.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in February 2014).

ilogo

Arguments in favor of the Sony Alpha A9:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 13MP), which boosts linear resolution by 39%.
  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (34 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (3.4 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (2.5 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (2.6 stops ISO advantage).
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/30p).
  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image framing and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1440k vs 1040k dots).
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (8000/sec vs 4000/sec) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (20 vs 5.2 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with specialty optics.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (650 versus 240) out of a single battery charge.
  • Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
  • More modern: Reflects 3 years and 2 months of technical progress since the G1X Mark II launch.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the A9 is the clear winner of the contest (14 : 6 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.

G1X Mark II 06:14 A9

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the G1X Mark II and the A9 in practical situations. 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 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). The detailed reviews can be accessed by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review scores
  Camera cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Canon G1 X Mark II»Rec77/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 799 i i
Sony A9«HiRec89/1005/55/55/5 Apr 2017 4,499 i i
Canon XC10« »-80/100--- Apr 2015 2,499- i
Canon T6s« »Rec77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 849- i
Canon G5 X« »HiRec78/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Oct 2015 799 i i
Canon SX60« »HiRec75/1004/5-4.5/5 Sep 2014 549 i i
Canon G7 X« »HiRec77/1004.5/53.5/54.5/5 Sep 2014 699- i
Canon G16« »Rec-4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i i
Canon G1 X« »Rec76/1004/54/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799- i
Canon T1i« »HiRec74/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799- i
Canon XSi« »HiRecHiRec4/55/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799- i
Panasonic LX100« »HiRec85/1005/54/55/5 Sep 2014 899 i i
Sony A7 III« »HiRec89/1005/5-5/5 Feb 2018 1,999 i i
Sony A7R III« »HiRec90/1004.5/55/55/5 Oct 2017 3,199 i i
Sony A7R II« »HiRec90/1005/54.5/55/5 Jun 2015 3,199- i
Sony A7S II« »Rec-4.5/55/55/5 Sep 2015 2,999 i i
Sony A7 II« »Rec82/1004.5/55/55/5 Nov 2014 1,999- i

The review scores listed above should be treated 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. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, 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 make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool. If you do not see the camera that you are looking for, please send me an email, and I will try to update the database with the necessary infos.

vs

    You are here  »   »