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Canon G1 X vs G16

The Canon PowerShot G1 X and the Canon PowerShot G16 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in January 2012 and August 2013. Both the G1X and the G16 are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on an 1.5-inch (G1X) and a 1/1.7-inch (G16) sensor. The G1X has a resolution of 14.2 megapixels, whereas the G16 provides 12 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Canon G1 X versus Canon G16
Canon G1 X Canon G16
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
28-112mm f/2.8-5.8 28-140mm f/1.8-2.8
14.2 MP, 1.5" Sensor 12 MP, 1/1.7" Sensor
1080/24p Video 1080/60p Video
ISO 100-12,800 ISO 80-12,800
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.0 LCD, 922k dots 3.0 LCD, 922k dots
no rear screen Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
1.9 shutter flaps per second 2.2 shutter flaps per second
250 shots per battery charge360 shots per battery charge
117 x 81 x 65 mm, 534 g 109 x 76 x 40 mm, 356 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot G1 X and the Canon PowerShot G16? 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.

Body comparison

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon G1 X and the Canon G16. 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.

Size Canon G1 X vs Canon G16
Compare G1X versus G16 top
Comparison G1X or G16 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon G16 is notably smaller (13 percent) than the Canon G1 X. Moreover, the G16 is markedly lighter (33 percent) than the G1X. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G1X nor the G16 are weather-sealed.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon G1 X 4.6 in 3.2 in 2.6 in 18.8 oz 250 n Jan 2012 799i
 
Canon G16 4.3 in 3.0 in 1.6 in 12.6 oz 360 n Aug 2013 549 i
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 4.6 in 2.9 in 2.6 in 19.5 oz 240 n Feb 2014 799i
 
Canon SL1 4.6 in 3.6 in 2.7 in 14.4 oz 380 n Mar 2013 549i
 
Canon S120 3.9 in 2.3 in 1.1 in 7.7 oz 230 n Aug 2013 449i
 
Canon G15 4.2 in 3.0 in 1.6 in 12.4 oz 350 n Sep 2012 499i
 
Canon SX50 4.8 in 3.4 in 4.2 in 21.0 oz 315 n Sep 2012 429i
 
Canon T4i 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.3 oz 440 n Jun 2012 849i
 
Canon T3 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 17.5 oz 700 n Feb 2011 449i
 
Canon G12 4.4 in 3.0 in 1.9 in 14.1 oz 370 n Sep 2010 499i
 
Canon T1i 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.3 oz 400 n Mar 2009 799i
 
Canon XSi 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.5 oz 500 n Jan 2008 799i
 
Leica V-LUX 4 4.9 in 3.4 in 4.3 in 20.7 oz 540 n Sep 2012 949i
 
Leica V-LUX 3 4.9 in 3.2 in 3.7 in 19.0 oz 410 n Dec 2011 949i
 
Nikon P7800 4.7 in 3.1 in 2.0 in 14.1 oz 350 n Sep 2013 549i
 
Panasonic LX7 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.8 in 10.5 oz 330 n Jul 2012 499i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.

Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. 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 G16 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 31 percent) than the G1X, which puts it into a different market segment. 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

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 tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon G1 X features an 1.5-inch sensor and the Canon G16 a 1/1.7-inch sensor. The sensor area in the G16 is 84 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.85 and 4.65. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.

Technology-wise, the G16 uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 6) than the G1X (DIGIC 5), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.

Canon G1 X and Canon G16 sensor measures

With 14.2MP, the G1X offers a higher resolution than the G16 (12MP), but the G1X nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.30μm versus 1.87μm for the G16) due to its larger sensor. However, the G16 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 7 months) than the G1X, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.

The resolution advantage of the Canon G1 X implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the G1X for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 21.8 x 16.3 inches or 55.3 x 41.5 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 17.4 x 13.1 inches or 44.2 x 33.2 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 14.5 x 10.9 inches or 36.8 x 27.6 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon G16 are 20 x 15 inches or 50.8 x 38.1 cm for good quality, 16 x 12 inches or 40.6 x 30.5 cm for very good quality, and 13.3 x 10 inches or 33.9 x 25.4 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon PowerShot G1 X has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon PowerShot G16 are ISO 80 to ISO 12800 (no boost).

G1X versus G16 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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"). Of the two cameras under review, the G1X has a notably higher overall DXO score than the G16 (overall score 6 points higher), which gives it an advantage in terms of imaging quality. This advantage is based on 0.7 bits higher color depth, 0.9 EV of lower dynamic range, and 1.5 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.

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Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
 
Canon G1 X 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.864460
 
Canon G16 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 31201080/30p21.510.858158
 
Canon SL1 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.811.384363
 
Canon S120 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.311.924656
 
Canon G15 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/24p19.911.516546
 
Canon SX50 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.217947
 
Canon T4i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262
 
Canon T3 APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562
 
Canon G12 1/1.7 10.0 3648 2736720/24p20.411.216147
 
Canon T1i APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363
 
Canon XSi APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.869261
 
Leica V-LUX 4 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p........
 
Leica V-LUX 3 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p........
 
Nikon P7800 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/30p21.211.720054
 
Panasonic LX7 1/1.7 10.0 3648 27361080/60p20.711.714750

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the G16 provides a faster frame rate than the G1X. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the G1X is limited to 1080/24p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The G1X and the G16 are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon G1 X, the Canon G16, and comparable cameras.

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Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
(000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
 
Canon G1 Xoptical n 3.0 922 Swivel n 1/4000s 1.9 Y Y
 
Canon G16optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.2 Y Y
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIoptional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 5.2 Y Y
 
Canon SL1optical n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.9 Y n
 
Canon S120none n 3.0 922 fixed Y 1/2000s 12.1 Y Y
 
Canon G15optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.1 Y Y
 
Canon SX50202 n 3.0 461 swivel n 1/2000s 2.2 Y Y
 
Canon T4ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon T3optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Canon G12optical n 2.8 461 swivel n 1/4000s 1.1 Y Y
 
Canon T1ioptical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4 Y n
 
Canon XSioptical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
 
Leica V-LUX 41312 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
 
Leica V-LUX 3202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 12.0 Y Y
 
Nikon P7800921 n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 8.0 Y Y
 
Panasonic LX7optional n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 11.0 Y Y
The G1X 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 G16 does not have a selfie-screen.

The Canon G16 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.

Both the G1X and the G16 have zoom lenses built in. The G1X has a 28-112mm f/2.8-5.8 optic and the G16 offers a 28-140mm f/1.8-2.8 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the G1X and G16 provide the same view at the wide-angle end, but the G16 has more tele-photo reach at the long end. The G16 offers the faster maximum aperture.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the G1X and the G16 write their files to SDXC cards. The G16 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the G1X cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.

Connectivity comparison

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 and Canon PowerShot G16 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
 
Canon G1 XYstereomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon G16Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIYstereomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Canon SL1YmonomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Canon S120-stereomono--mini2.0Y--
 
Canon G15Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon SX50Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon T4iYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Canon T3Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon G12Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon T1iYmonomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon XSiY----mini2.0---
 
Leica V-LUX 4YstereomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Leica V-LUX 3Ystereo---mini2.0---
 
Nikon P7800YstereomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Panasonic LX7Ystereomono--mini2.0---

It is notable that the G16 offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the G1X does not provide wifi capability.

The G16 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Canon. In contrast, the G1X has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the G1X was succeeded by the Canon G1X Mark II. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon website.

Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Canon G1 X or the Canon G16 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.


Reasons to prefer the Canon PowerShot G1 X:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (14.2 vs 12MP) with a 9% higher linear resolution.
  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (6 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (1.5 stops ISO advantage).
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in January 2012).


Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot G16:

  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (0.9 EV of extra DR).
  • Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 6 vs DIGIC 5).
  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/24p).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (2.2 vs 1.9 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/1.8 vs f/2.8).
  • More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
  • More compact: Is smaller (109x76mm vs 117x81mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 178g or 33 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (360 versus 250) out of a single battery charge.
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (31 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 7 months) more recently.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the G16 is the clear winner of the contest (14 : 5 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.

G1X 05:14 G16

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon G1 X and the Canon G16 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Travel-Zoom Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the G1X or the G16. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.

Expert reviews

This is why expert reviews are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). 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.

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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon G1 X+76/1004/54/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799i
 
Canon G16+..4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i
 
Canon G1 X Mark II+77/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 799i
 
Canon SL1+78/1004/54/54/5 Mar 2013 549i
 
Canon S120+ +..4.5/5o4.5/5 Aug 2013 449i
 
Canon G15+76/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 499i
 
Canon SX50+ +72/1004.5/5..4.5/5 Sep 2012 429i
 
Canon T4i+ +77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849i
 
Canon T380/10069/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449i
 
Canon G12+73/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2010 499i
 
Canon T1i+ +74/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799i
 
Canon XSi+ ++ +4/55/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799i
 
Leica V-LUX 4.......... Sep 2012 949i
 
Leica V-LUX 3.......... Dec 2011 949i
 
Nikon P7800....4/53.5/54.5/5 Sep 2013 549i
 
Panasonic LX7+ +75/1004/55/54.5/5 Jul 2012 499i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Canon G1 X:
Check Ebay offers
Canon G16:
Check Amazon price

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.

~

    Specifications: Canon G1 X vs Canon G16

    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 Specifications
    Camera Model Canon G1 X Canon G16
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 28-112mm f/2.8-5.8 28-140mm f/1.8-2.8
    Launch Date January 2012 August 2013
    Launch Price USD 799 USD 549
    Sensor Specs Canon G1 X Canon G16
    Sensor Technology CMOS BSI-CMOS
    Sensor Format 1.5" Sensor 1/1.7" Sensor
    Sensor Size 18.7 x 14.0 mm 7.44 x 5.58 mm
    Sensor Area 261.8 mm2 41.5152 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 23.4 mm 9.3 mm
    Crop Factor 1.85x 4.65x
    Sensor Resolution 14.2 Megapixels 12 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4352 x 3264 pixels 4000 x 3000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.30 μm 1.87 μm
    Pixel Density 5.43 MP/cm2 28.91 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/24p Video 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 12,800 ISO 80 - 12,800 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 5 DIGIC 6
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 60 54
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.7 21.0
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 10.8 11.7
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 644 230
    Screen Specs Canon G1 X Canon G16
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 74% 80%
    Viewfinder Magnification
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 922k dots 922k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon G1 X Canon G16
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing Aidno Peaking FeatureFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/4000s 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 1.9 shutter flaps/s 2.2 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse Photographyno IntervalometerIntervalometer built-in
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Canon G1 X Canon G16
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi Wifi built-in
    Body Specs Canon G1 X Canon G16
    Battery Type NB-10L NB-10L
    Battery Life (CIPA)250 shots per charge360 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 117 x 81 x 65 mm
    (4.6 x 3.2 x 2.6 in)
    109 x 76 x 40 mm
    (4.3 x 3.0 x 1.6 in)
    Camera Weight 534 g (18.8 oz) 356 g (12.6 oz)

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