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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 physical size and weight of the Canon G1 X and the Canon G5 X are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size 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 – represents the basis or 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Canon G1 X vs Canon G5 X
Compare G1X versus G5X top
Compare G1X and G5X rear

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 adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. 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.

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)
Camera
Model
Canon G1 X» 4.6 in 3.2 in 2.6 in 18.8 oz 250 n Jan 2012 799- i Canon G1 X
Canon G5 X« 4.4 in 3.0 in 1.7 in 12.5 oz 210 n Oct 2015 799 i i Canon G5 X
Canon M6« » 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.8 in 13.8 oz 295 n Feb 2017 779 i i Canon M6
Canon G7 X Mark II« » 4.2 in 2.4 in 1.7 in 11.3 oz 265 n Feb 2016 699 i i Canon G7 X Mark II
Canon M3« » 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.7 in 12.9 oz 250 n Feb 2015 679- i Canon M3
Canon T6i« » 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.6 oz 440 n Feb 2015 749- i Canon T6i
Canon G1 X Mark II« » 4.6 in 2.9 in 2.6 in 19.5 oz 240 n Feb 2014 799 i i Canon G1 X Mark II
Canon G7 X« » 4.1 in 2.4 in 1.6 in 10.7 oz 210 n Sep 2014 699- i Canon G7 X
Canon G16« » 4.3 in 3.0 in 1.6 in 12.6 oz 360 n Aug 2013 549 i i Canon G16
Canon T4i« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.3 oz 440 n Jun 2012 849- i Canon T4i
Canon SX50« » 4.8 in 3.4 in 4.2 in 21.0 oz 315 n Sep 2012 429- i Canon SX50
Canon T3« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 17.5 oz 700 n Feb 2011 449- i Canon T3
Canon T1i« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.3 oz 400 n Mar 2009 799- i Canon T1i
Canon XSi« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.5 oz 500 n Jan 2008 799- i Canon XSi
Leica V-LUX 4« » 4.9 in 3.4 in 4.3 in 20.7 oz 540 n Sep 2012 949- i Leica V-LUX 4
Leica V-LUX 3« » 4.9 in 3.2 in 3.7 in 19.0 oz 410 n Dec 2011 949- i Leica V-LUX 3

Any camera purchase will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. 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. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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.

 

Sensor comparison: Canon G1 X vs Canon G5 X

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. 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

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

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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"). The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
Canon G1 X» 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.864460Canon G1 X
Canon G5 X« 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p----Canon G5 X
Canon M6« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----Canon M6
Canon G7 X Mark II« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p----Canon G7 X Mark II
Canon M3« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.811.8116972Canon M3
Canon T6i« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p22.712.091971Canon T6i
Canon G1 X Mark II« » 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 31201080/30p21.510.858158Canon G1 X Mark II
Canon G7 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p23.012.755671Canon G7 X
Canon G16« » 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054Canon G16
Canon T4i« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262Canon T4i
Canon SX50« » 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.217947Canon SX50
Canon T3« » APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562Canon T3
Canon T1i« » APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363Canon T1i
Canon XSi« » APS-C 12.2 4272 2848-21.910.869261Canon XSi
Leica V-LUX 4« » 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p----Leica V-LUX 4
Leica V-LUX 3« » 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p----Leica V-LUX 3

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, 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
Model
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
Camera
Model
Canon G1 X»optical n 3.0 922 Swivel n 4000 1.9 Y Y Canon G1 X
Canon G5 X«2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 2000 5.9 Y Y Canon G5 X
Canon M6« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 9.0 Y n Canon M6
Canon G7 X Mark II« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 2000 8.0 Y Y Canon G7 X Mark II
Canon M3« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 4.2 Y n Canon M3
Canon T6i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon T6i
Canon G1 X Mark II« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 5.2 Y Y Canon G1 X Mark II
Canon G7 X« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 2000 6.5 Y Y Canon G7 X
Canon G16« »optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 4000 2.2 Y Y Canon G16
Canon T4i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon T4i
Canon SX50« »202 n 3.0 461 swivel n 2000 2.2 Y Y Canon SX50
Canon T3« »optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon T3
Canon T1i« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 3.4 Y n Canon T1i
Canon XSi« »optical n 3.0 230 fixed n 4000 3.5 Y n Canon XSi
Leica V-LUX 4« »1312 n 3.0 460 swivel n 4000 12.0 Y Y Leica V-LUX 4
Leica V-LUX 3« »202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 2000 12.0 Y Y Leica V-LUX 3

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 how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon G1 X and the Canon G5 X? 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 individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the G5X is the clear winner of the contest (11 : 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 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. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate. This is why hands-on reviews by experts 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
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Canon G1 X»Rec76/1004/54/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799- i Canon G1 X
Canon G5 X«HiRec78/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Oct 2015 799 i i Canon G5 X
Canon M6« »-80/1004/54.5/54/5 Feb 2017 779 i i Canon M6
Canon G7 X Mark II« »HiRec81/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Feb 2016 699 i i Canon G7 X Mark II
Canon M3« »rev75/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Feb 2015 679- i Canon M3
Canon T6i« »-75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749- i Canon T6i
Canon G1 X Mark II« »Rec77/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 799 i i Canon G1 X Mark II
Canon G7 X« »HiRec77/1004.5/53.5/54.5/5 Sep 2014 699- i Canon G7 X
Canon G16« »Rec-4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i i Canon G16
Canon T4i« »HiRec77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849- i Canon T4i
Canon SX50« »HiRec72/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Sep 2012 429- i Canon SX50
Canon T3« »80/10069/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449- i Canon T3
Canon T1i« »HiRec74/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799- i Canon T1i
Canon XSi« »HiRecHiRec4/55/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799- i Canon XSi
Leica V-LUX 4« »----- Sep 2012 949- i Leica V-LUX 4
Leica V-LUX 3« »----- Dec 2011 949- i Leica V-LUX 3

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings are only valid when refering to cameras in the same category and of the same age. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods 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 use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored. If the camera you are interested in is not available, please send me an email, and I will try to update the database with the necessary infos.

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