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Canon G1 X Mark III versus Olympus E-M5 II

The Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark III and the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II are two enthusiast cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in October 2017 and February 2015. The G1X Mark III is a fixed lens compact, while the E-M5 II is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on an APS-C (G1X Mark III) and a Four Thirds (E-M5 II) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 24 megapixel, whereas the Olympus provides 15.9 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 III vs Olympus E-M5 II

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon G1 X Mark III and the Olympus E-M5 II is provided in the side-by-side display below. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth measures 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 side – the G1X Mark III – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Canon G1 X Mark III vs Olympus E-M5 II
Compare G1X Mark III versus E-M5 II top
Compare G1X Mark III and E-M5 II rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus E-M5 II is notably larger (18 percent) than the Canon G1 X Mark III. In this context, it is worth noting that both cameras are splash and dust-proof and can, hence, be used in inclement weather conditions or harsh environments.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the G1X Mark III has a lens build in, whereas the E-M5 II 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 E-M5 II and their specifications in the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the G1X Mark III gets 200 shots out of its NB-13L battery, while the E-M5 II can take 310 images on a single charge of its BLN-1 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 III» 4.5 in 3.1 in 2.0 in 14.1 oz 200 Y Oct 2017 1,299 i i
Olympus E-M5 II« 4.9 in 3.3 in 1.8 in 16.5 oz 310 Y Feb 2015 1,099 i i
Canon G9 X Mark II« » 3.9 in 2.3 in 1.2 in 7.3 oz 235 n Jan 2017 529 i i
Canon 6D Mark II« » 5.7 in 4.4 in 3.0 in 27.0 oz 1200 Y Jun 2017 1,999 i i
Canon 80D« » 5.5 in 4.1 in 3.1 in 25.8 oz 960 Y Feb 2016 1,199 i i
Canon 1D X Mark II« » 6.2 in 6.6 in 3.3 in 54.0 oz 1210 Y Feb 2016 5,999 i i
Canon G7 X Mark II« » 4.2 in 2.4 in 1.7 in 11.3 oz 265 n Feb 2016 699 i i
Fujifilm X100F« » 5.0 in 3.0 in 2.0 in 16.5 oz 390 n Jan 2017 1,299 i i
Nikon D7500« » 5.4 in 4.1 in 2.9 in 25.4 oz 950 Y Apr 2017 1,299 i i
Olympus E-M1 II« » 5.3 in 3.6 in 2.6 in 20.2 oz 440 Y Sep 2016 1,999 i i
Olympus E-M10 II« » 4.7 in 3.3 in 1.9 in 13.8 oz 320 n Aug 2015 799- i
Olympus E-M10« » 4.7 in 3.2 in 1.8 in 14.0 oz 320 n Jan 2014 699- i
Olympus E-M1« » 5.1 in 3.7 in 2.5 in 17.5 oz 350 Y Sep 2013 1,399- i
Olympus E-M5« » 4.8 in 3.5 in 1.7 in 15.0 oz 360 Y Feb 2012 1,299- i
Panasonic FZ2500« » 5.4 in 4.0 in 5.3 in 32.3 oz 350 n Sep 2016 1,199 i i
Sony RX10 IV« » 5.2 in 3.7 in 5.7 in 38.6 oz 400 Y Sep 2017 1,699 i i
Sony RX10 III« » 5.2 in 3.7 in 5.0 in 37.1 oz 420 Y Mar 2016 1,499- 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. 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 III vs Olympus E-M5 II

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. 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 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 III features an APS-C sensor and the Olympus E-M5 II a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the E-M5 II is 32 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 2.0. The sensor in the G1X Mark III has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the E-M5 II offers a 4:3 aspect.

Canon G1 X Mark III and Olympus E-M5 II sensor measures

With 24MP, the G1X Mark III offers a higher resolution than the E-M5 II (15.9MP), but the G1X Mark III has marginally smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.72μm versus 3.76μm for the E-M5 II). However, the G1X Mark III is a somewhat more recent model (by 2 years and 8 months) than the E-M5 II, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.

Unlike the G1X Mark III, the E-M5 II has the capacity to capture high quality composite images (40MP) by combining multiple shots after shifting its sensor by miniscule distances. This multi-shot, pixel-shift mode is most suitable for photography of stationary objects (landscapes, studio scenes).

G1X Mark III versus E-M5 II MP

For most cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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"). 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 III» APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----
Olympus E-M5 II« Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p23.012.584273
Canon G9 X Mark II« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.912.552265
Canon 6D Mark II« » Full Frame 26.0 6240 41601080/60p24.411.9286285
Canon 80D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.2113579
Canon 1D X Mark II« » Full Frame 20.0 5472 36484K/60p24.113.5320788
Canon G7 X Mark II« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p----
Fujifilm X100F« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----
Nikon D7500« » APS-C 20.7 5568 37124K/30p24.314.0148386
Olympus E-M1 II« » Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/30p23.712.8131280
Olympus E-M10 II« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p23.112.584273
Olympus E-M10« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.812.388472
Olympus E-M1« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p23.012.775773
Olympus E-M5« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60i22.812.382671
Panasonic FZ2500« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p----
Sony RX10 IV« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p----
Sony RX10 III« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p23.112.647270

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, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/60p).

 

Feature comparison: Canon G1 X Mark III vs Olympus E-M5 II

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The G1X Mark III and the E-M5 II are similar in the sense that both feature an electronic viewfinder, which is helpful when framing images in bright sunlight. Moreover, their viewfinders offer an identical resolution of 2360k dots. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon G1 X Mark III, the Olympus E-M5 II, and comparable cameras. If needed, the dpreview camera hub, for example, contains further detail on the cameras' specs.

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 III»2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 2000 9.0 Y Y
Olympus E-M5 II«2360 n 3.0 1037 swivel Y 8000 10.0 n Y
Canon G9 X Mark II« »- n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 2000 8.2 Y Y
Canon 6D Mark II« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 6.5 n n
Canon 80D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 8000 7.0 Y n
Canon 1D X Mark II« »optical Y 3.2 1620 fixed Y 8000 16.0 n n
Canon G7 X Mark II« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 2000 8.0 Y Y
Fujifilm X100F« »2360 n 3.0 1040 fixed n 4000 8.0 Y n
Nikon D7500« »optical Y 3.2 922 tilting Y 8000 8.0 Y n
Olympus E-M1 II« »2360 n 3.0 1037 swivel Y 8000 18.0 n Y
Olympus E-M10 II« »2360 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 8.0 Y Y
Olympus E-M10« »1440 n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 4000 8.0 Y Y
Olympus E-M1« »2360 n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 8000 10.0 n Y
Olympus E-M5« »1440 n 3.0 610 tilting Y 4000 9.0 n Y
Panasonic FZ2500« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 12.0 Y Y
Sony RX10 IV« »2359 Y 3.0 1440 tilting Y 2000 24.0 Y Y
Sony RX10 III« »2359 Y 3.0 1229 tilting n 2000 14.0 Y Y

Both the G1X Mark III and the E-M5 II are current models that good online retailers will have in stock. You can check the latest prices, for example, at amazon. The E-M5 II replaced the earlier Olympus E-M5, while the G1X Mark III followed on from the Canon G1 X Mark II.

Review summary: Canon G1 X Mark III vs Olympus E-M5 II

So what is the bottom line? Is the Canon G1 X Mark III better than the Olympus E-M5 II or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Reasons to prefer the Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark III:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (24 vs 15.9MP) with a 25% higher linear resolution.
  • Better image quality: Features a larger and more technologically advanced imaging sensor.
  • Ready to shoot: Has a lens build-in, whereas the E-M5 II requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (115x78mm vs 124x85mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a build-in lens (unlike the E-M5 II).
  • Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years and 8 months of technical progress since the E-M5 II launch.

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Arguments in favor of the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II:

  • High quality composites: Can combine several shots after pixel-shifting its sensor.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (8000/sec vs 2000/sec) to freeze action.
  • More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with specialty optics.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (310 versus 200) out of a single battery charge.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in February 2015).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the G1X Mark III emerges as the winner of the contest (7 : 5 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.

G1X Mark III 07:05 E-M5 II

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the G1X Mark III or the E-M5 II. 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 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). 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 III»Rec79/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Oct 2017 1,299 i i
Olympus E-M5 II«HiRec81/1005/54.5/55/5 Feb 2015 1,099 i i
Canon G9 X Mark II« »-75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2017 529 i i
Canon 6D Mark II« »Rec80/1004.5/54/54/5 Jun 2017 1,999 i i
Canon 80D« »HiRec84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2016 1,199 i i
Canon 1D X Mark II« »-89/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2016 5,999 i i
Canon G7 X Mark II« »HiRec81/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Feb 2016 699 i i
Fujifilm X100F« »Rec83/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Jan 2017 1,299 i i
Nikon D7500« »HiRec86/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Apr 2017 1,299 i i
Olympus E-M1 II« »HiRec85/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2016 1,999 i i
Olympus E-M10 II« »HiRec80/1005/55/55/5 Aug 2015 799- i
Olympus E-M10« »-80/1005/54.5/55/5 Jan 2014 699- i
Olympus E-M1« »HiRec84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2013 1,399- i
Olympus E-M5« »HiRec80/1004.5/55/55/5 Feb 2012 1,299- i
Panasonic FZ2500« »Rec82/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Sep 2016 1,199 i i
Sony RX10 IV« »Rec84/1004.5/5-5/5 Sep 2017 1,699 i i
Sony RX10 III« »Rec84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Mar 2016 1,499- i

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when refering to cameras in the same category and of the same age. 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. 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 the camera you are interested in is not available, kindly get in touch, and I will try to update the database with the necessary infos.

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