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).
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.
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|
|Canon G1 X Mark II»||4.6 in||2.9 in||2.6 in||19.5 oz||240||n||Feb 2014||799|
|Sony A9«||5.0 in||3.8 in||2.5 in||23.7 oz||650||Y||Apr 2017||4,499|
|Canon XC10« »||4.9 in||4.0 in||4.8 in||36.7 oz||..||n||Apr 2015||2,499||-|
|Canon T6s« »||5.2 in||4.0 in||3.1 in||19.9 oz||440||n||Feb 2015||849||-|
|Canon G5 X« »||4.4 in||3.0 in||1.7 in||12.5 oz||210||n||Oct 2015||799|
|Canon SX60« »||5.0 in||3.7 in||4.5 in||22.9 oz||340||n||Sep 2014||549|
|Canon G7 X« »||4.1 in||2.4 in||1.6 in||10.7 oz||210||n||Sep 2014||699||-|
|Canon G16« »||4.3 in||3.0 in||1.6 in||12.6 oz||360||n||Aug 2013||549|
|Canon G1 X« »||4.6 in||3.2 in||2.6 in||18.8 oz||250||n||Jan 2012||799||-|
|Canon T1i« »||5.1 in||3.9 in||2.4 in||18.3 oz||400||n||Mar 2009||799||-|
|Canon XSi« »||5.1 in||3.9 in||2.4 in||18.5 oz||500||n||Jan 2008||799||-|
|Panasonic LX100« »||4.5 in||2.6 in||2.2 in||13.9 oz||300||n||Sep 2014||899|
|Sony A7 III« »||5.0 in||3.8 in||2.9 in||22.9 oz||610||Y||Feb 2018||1,999|
|Sony A7R III« »||5.0 in||3.8 in||2.9 in||22.9 oz||650||Y||Oct 2017||3,199|
|Sony A7R II« »||5.0 in||3.8 in||2.4 in||22.0 oz||290||Y||Jun 2015||3,199||-|
|Sony A7S II« »||5.0 in||3.8 in||2.4 in||22.1 oz||370||Y||Sep 2015||2,999|
|Sony A7 II« »||5.0 in||3.8 in||2.4 in||21.1 oz||350||Y||Nov 2014||1,999||-|
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.
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.
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.
|Canon G1 X Mark II»||1.5-inch||13.0||4160||3120||1080/30p||21.5||10.8||581||58|
|Sony A9«||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||24.9||13.3||3517||92|
|Canon XC10« »||1-inch||12.0||4000||3000||4K/30p||-||-||-||-|
|Canon T6s« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/30p||22.6||12.0||915||70|
|Canon G5 X« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||-||-||-||-|
|Canon SX60« »||1/2.3||14.2||4608||3072||1080/60p||19.2||10.8||127||39|
|Canon G7 X« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||23.0||12.7||556||71|
|Canon G16« »||1/1.7||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||21.0||11.7||230||54|
|Canon G1 X« »||1.5-inch||14.2||4352||3264||1080/24p||21.7||10.8||644||60|
|Canon T1i« »||APS-C||15.1||4752||3168||1080/20p||21.7||11.5||663||63|
|Canon XSi« »||APS-C||12.2||4272||2848||-||21.9||10.8||692||61|
|Panasonic LX100« »||Four Thirds||12.7||4112||3088||4K/30p||22.3||12.5||553||67|
|Sony A7 III« »||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||25.0||14.7||3730||96|
|Sony A7R III« »||Full Frame||42.2||7952||5304||4K/30p||26.0||14.7||3523||100|
|Sony A7R II« »||Full Frame||42.2||7952||5304||4K/30p||26.0||13.9||3434||98|
|Sony A7S II« »||Full Frame||12.0||4240||2832||4K/30p||23.6||13.3||2993||85|
|Sony A7 II« »||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.9||13.6||2449||90|
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.
|Canon G1 X Mark II»||-||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||4000||5.2||Y||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.
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).
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.
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.
|Canon G1 X Mark II»||Rec||77/100||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||799|
|Sony A9«||HiRec||89/100||5/5||5/5||5/5||Apr 2017||4,499|
|Canon XC10« »||-||80/100||-||-||-||Apr 2015||2,499||-|
|Canon T6s« »||Rec||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||849||-|
|Canon G5 X« »||HiRec||78/100||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Oct 2015||799|
|Canon SX60« »||HiRec||75/100||4/5||-||4.5/5||Sep 2014||549|
|Canon G7 X« »||HiRec||77/100||4.5/5||3.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||699||-|
|Canon G16« »||Rec||-||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||549|
|Canon G1 X« »||Rec||76/100||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2012||799||-|
|Canon T1i« »||HiRec||74/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2009||799||-|
|Canon XSi« »||HiRec||HiRec||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2008||799||-|
|Panasonic LX100« »||HiRec||85/100||5/5||4/5||5/5||Sep 2014||899|
|Sony A7 III« »||HiRec||89/100||5/5||-||5/5||Feb 2018||1,999|
|Sony A7R III« »||HiRec||90/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Oct 2017||3,199|
|Sony A7R II« »||HiRec||90/100||5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Jun 2015||3,199||-|
|Sony A7S II« »||Rec||-||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Sep 2015||2,999|
|Sony A7 II« »||Rec||82/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Nov 2014||1,999||-|
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.
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