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Canon G1 X versus Canon G5 X

The Canon PowerShot G1 X and the Canon PowerShot G5 X are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in January 2012 and October 2015. Both the G1X and the G5X are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on an 1.5-inch (G1X) and an one-inch (G5X) sensor. The G1X has a resolution of 14.2 megapixel, whereas the G5X provides 20 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 vs Canon G5 X

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon G1 X and the Canon G5 X. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also use the toggle button 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 – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Canon G1 X vs Canon G5 X
G1X versus G5X top view
G1X and G5X rear side
Body view (G1X on the left)

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon G5 X is notably smaller (10 percent) than the Canon G1 X. Moreover, the G5X is markedly lighter (34 percent) than the G1X. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G1X nor the G5X are weather-sealed.

Concerning battery life, the G1X gets 250 shots out of its NB-10L battery, while the G5X can take 210 images on a single charge of its NB-13L 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 Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(y/n)
Camera
Launch
(year)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(amazon)
Used
Price
(ebay)
Canon G1 X (⇒ rgt) 117 mm 81 mm 65 mm 534 g 250 no 2012 799discont. check
Canon G5 X (⇒ lft) 112 mm 76 mm 44 mm 353 g 210 no 2015 799 latest check
Canon M6 (⇒ lft | rgt) 112 mm 68 mm 45 mm 390 g 295 no 2017 779 latest check
Canon G7 X Mark II (⇒ lft | rgt) 106 mm 61 mm 42 mm 319 g 265 no 2016 699 latest check
Canon M3 (⇒ lft | rgt) 111 mm 68 mm 44 mm 366 g 250 no 2015 679discont. check
Canon T6i (⇒ lft | rgt) 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 555 g 440 no 2015 749discont. check
Canon G1 X Mark II (⇒ lft | rgt) 116 mm 74 mm 66 mm 553 g 240 no 2014 799 latest check
Canon G7 X (⇒ lft | rgt) 103 mm 60 mm 40 mm 304 g 210 no 2014 699discont. check
Canon G16 (⇒ lft | rgt) 109 mm 76 mm 40 mm 356 g 360 no 2013 549 latest check
Canon T4i (⇒ lft | rgt) 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 no 2012 849discont. check
Canon SX50 (⇒ lft | rgt) 123 mm 87 mm 106 mm 595 g 315 no 2012 429discont. check
Canon T3 (⇒ lft | rgt) 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 no 2011 449discont. check
Canon T1i (⇒ lft | rgt) 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 no 2009 799discont. check
Canon XSi (⇒ lft | rgt) 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 no 2008 799discont. check
Leica V-LUX 4 (⇒ lft | rgt) 125 mm 87 mm 110 mm 588 g 540 no 2012 949discont. check
Leica V-LUX 3 (⇒ lft | rgt) 124 mm 81 mm 95 mm 540 g 410 no 2011 949discont. check

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 two cameras under review were launched at the same price and fall into the same 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: Canon G1 X vs Canon G5 X

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. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon G1 X features an 1.5-inch sensor and the Canon G5 X an one-inch sensor. The sensor area in the G5X is 56 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.85 and 2.7. The sensor in the G1X has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the G5X offers a 3:2 aspect.

Canon G1 X and Canon G5 X sensor measures
Sensor size

Despite having a smaller sensor, the G5X offers a higher resolution of 20 megapixel, compared with 14.2 MP of the G1X. This megapixel advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 2.41μm versus 4.30μm for the G1X). However, it should be noted that the G5X is much more recent (by 3 years and 9 months) than the G1X, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.

G1X versus G5X MP
Sensor resolution

For most cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(Megapixel)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Canon G1 X (⇒ rgt) 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 3264 1080/24p 21.7 10.8 644 60
Canon G5 X (⇒ lft) 1-inch 20.0 5472 3648 1080/60p - - - -
Canon M6 (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 24.0 6000 4000 1080/60p .. .. .. ..
Canon G7 X Mark II (⇒ lft | rgt) 1-inch 20.0 5472 3648 1080/60p - - - -
Canon M3 (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 24.0 6000 4000 1080/30p 22.8 11.8 1169 72
Canon T6i (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 24.0 6000 4000 1080/60p 22.7 12.0 919 71
Canon G1 X Mark II (⇒ lft | rgt) 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 3120 1080/30p 21.5 10.8 581 58
Canon G7 X (⇒ lft | rgt) 1-inch 20.0 5472 3648 1080/60p 23.0 12.7 556 71
Canon G16 (⇒ lft | rgt) 1/1.7 12.0 4000 3000 1080/60p 21.0 11.7 230 54
Canon T4i (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 17.9 5184 3456 1080/30p 21.7 11.2 722 62
Canon SX50 (⇒ lft | rgt) 1/2.3 12.0 4000 3000 1080/24p 20.3 11.2 179 47
Canon T3 (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 12.2 4272 2848 720/30p 21.9 11.0 755 62
Canon T1i (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 15.1 4752 3168 1080/20p 21.7 11.5 663 63
Canon XSi (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 12.2 4272 2848 no 21.9 10.8 692 61
Leica V-LUX 4 (⇒ lft | rgt) 1/2.3 12.0 4000 3000 1080/60p - - - -
Leica V-LUX 3 (⇒ lft | rgt) 1/2.3 12.0 4000 3000 1080/60p - - - -

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 G5X 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: Canon G1 X vs Canon G5 X

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the G5X has an electronic viewfinder (2360k dots), while the G1X has an optical one. Both systems have their advantages, with the electronic viewfinder making it possible to project supplementary shooting information into the framing view, whereas the optical viewfinder offers lag-free viewing and a very clear framing image. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon G1 X and Canon G5 X along with similar information for a selection of comparators. 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
(Y/n)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(Y/n)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(GN)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Canon G1 X (⇒ rgt) optical no 3.0 922 Swivel no 4000 1.9 7 YES
Canon G5 X (⇒ lft) 2360 no 3.0 1040 swivel YES 2000 5.9 7 YES
Canon M6 (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 1040 tilting YES 4000 9.0 5 no
Canon G7 X Mark II (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 1040 tilting YES 2000 8.0 7 YES
Canon M3 (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 1040 tilting YES 4000 4.2 5 no
Canon T6i (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3.0 1040 swivel YES 4000 5.0 12 no
Canon G1 X Mark II (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 1040 tilting YES 4000 5.2 6.8 YES
Canon G7 X (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 1040 tilting YES 2000 6.5 7 YES
Canon G16 (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3.0 922 fixed no 4000 2.2 7 YES
Canon T4i (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3.0 1040 swivel YES 4000 5.0 13 no
Canon SX50 (⇒ lft | rgt) 202 no 3.0 461 swivel no 2000 2.2 5.5 YES
Canon T3 (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 2.7 230 fixed no 4000 3.0 9.2 no
Canon T1i (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3.0 920 fixed no 4000 3.4 13 no
Canon XSi (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3.0 230 fixed no 4000 3.5 13 no
Leica V-LUX 4 (⇒ lft | rgt) 1312 no 3.0 460 swivel no 4000 12.0 13.5 YES
Leica V-LUX 3 (⇒ lft | rgt) 202 no 3.0 460 swivel no 2000 12.0 9.5 YES

Both the G1X and the G5X have zoom lenses build in. The G1X has a 28-112mm f/2.8-5.8 optic and the G5X offers a 24-100mm f/1.8-2.8 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the G5X provides a wider angle of view at the short end than the G1X, but less tele-photo reach at the long end. The G5X offers the faster maximum aperture.

The G5X is a current model that online retailers, such as amazon, will have in stock. In contrast, the G1X has been discontinued (but it 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.

Review summary: Canon G1 X vs Canon G5 X

So what is the bottom line? Is the Canon G1 X better than the Canon G5 X or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.


Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot G1 X:

  • Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (4000/sec vs 2000/sec) to freeze action.
  • More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (250 versus 210) on a single battery charge.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in January 2012).

Advantages of the Canon PowerShot G5 X:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (20 vs 14.2MP), which boosts linear resolution by 21%.
  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/24p).
  • More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 922k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5.9 vs 1.9 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/1.8 vs f/2.8).
  • Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 181g or 34 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • More modern: Reflects 3 years and 9 months of technical progress since the G1X launch.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the G5X is the clear winner of the contest (11 : 5 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera.

G1X 05:11 G5X

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 or the G5X handle or perform in practice. 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. This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites. You can find the full text of the reviews, respectively, at cameralabs.com, dpreview.com, ephotozine.com, imaging-resource.com, and photographyblog.com.

Review scores
Camera camera
labs
.com
dp
review
.com
ephoto
zine
.com
imaging
resource
.com
photography
blog
.com
Camera
Launch
(year)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(amazon)
Used
Price
(ebay)
Canon G1 X (⇒ rgt) 79/100 Rec 76/100 Silver 4/5 4/5 4.5/5 2012 799discont. check
Canon G5 X (⇒ lft) HiRec 78/100 Silver 4.5/5 4/5 4.5/5 2015 799 latest check
Canon M6 (⇒ lft | rgt) - 80/100 Silver 4/5 4.5/5 4/5 2017 779 latest check
Canon G7 X Mark II (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 81/100 Silver 4.5/5 4/5 4.5/5 2016 699 latest check
Canon M3 (⇒ lft | rgt) reviewed 75/100 4.5/5 4.5/5 4/5 2015 679discont. check
Canon T6i (⇒ lft | rgt) - 75/100 4.5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2015 749discont. check
Canon G1 X Mark II (⇒ lft | rgt) Rec 77/100 Silver 4/5 4/5 4.5/5 2014 799 latest check
Canon G7 X (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 77/100 Silver 4.5/5 3.5/5 4.5/5 2014 699discont. check
Canon G16 (⇒ lft | rgt) Rec - 4.5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2013 549 latest check
Canon T4i (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 77/100 Silver 4.5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2012 849discont. check
Canon SX50 (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 72/100 4.5/5 - 4.5/5 2012 429discont. check
Canon T3 (⇒ lft | rgt) 80/100 69/100 4/5 4/5 4.5/5 2011 449discont. check
Canon T1i (⇒ lft | rgt) 88/100 HiRec 74/100 HiRec 4.5/5 5/5 4.5/5 2009 799discont. check
Canon XSi (⇒ lft | rgt) 88/100 HiRec HiRec 4/5 5/5 4.5/5 2008 799discont. check
Leica V-LUX 4 (⇒ lft | rgt) - - - - - 2012 949discont. check
Leica V-LUX 3 (⇒ lft | rgt) - - - - - 2011 949discont. check

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. 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. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.


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. If the camera you are interested in is not available, kindly get in touch, and I will try to add information on that model to the database.

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