Canon G1 X vs M5
The Canon PowerShot G1 X and the Canon EOS M5 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in January 2012 and September 2016. The G1X is a fixed lens compact, while the M5 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on an 1.5-inch (G1X) and an APS-C (M5) sensor. The G1X has a resolution of 14.2 megapixels, whereas the M5 provides 24 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot G1 X and the Canon EOS M5? 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.
The physical size and weight of the Canon G1 X and the Canon M5 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. 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 measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon M5 is notably larger (9 percent) than the Canon G1 X. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G1X nor the M5 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the G1X has a lens built in, whereas the M5 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup.
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.
|1.||Canon G1 X||117 mm||81 mm||65 mm||534 g||250||n||Jan 2012||799|
|2.||Canon M5||116 mm||89 mm||61 mm||427 g||295||n||Sep 2016||979|
|3.||Canon 77D||131 mm||100 mm||76 mm||540 g||600||n||Feb 2017||899|
|4.||Canon M6||112 mm||68 mm||45 mm||390 g||295||n||Feb 2017||779|
|5.||Canon M100||108 mm||67 mm||35 mm||302 g||295||n||Aug 2017||499|
|6.||Canon M3||111 mm||68 mm||44 mm||366 g||250||n||Feb 2015||679|
|7.||Canon G1 X Mark II||116 mm||74 mm||66 mm||553 g||240||n||Feb 2014||799|
|8.||Canon G16||109 mm||76 mm||40 mm||356 g||360||n||Aug 2013||549|
|9.||Canon S120||100 mm||59 mm||29 mm||217 g||230||n||Aug 2013||449|
|10.||Canon 650D||133 mm||100 mm||79 mm||575 g||440||n||Jun 2012||849|
|11.||Canon SX50||123 mm||87 mm||106 mm||595 g||315||n||Sep 2012||429|
|12.||Canon 1100D||130 mm||100 mm||78 mm||495 g||700||n||Feb 2011||449|
|13.||Canon 500D||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||520 g||400||n||Mar 2009||799|
|14.||Canon 450D||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||524 g||500||n||Jan 2008||799|
|15.||Leica V-LUX 4||125 mm||87 mm||110 mm||588 g||540||n||Sep 2012||949|
|16.||Leica V-LUX 3||124 mm||81 mm||95 mm||540 g||410||n||Dec 2011||949|
|17.||Nikon D5500||124 mm||97 mm||70 mm||420 g||820||n||Jan 2015||899|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
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 G1X was launched at a lower price than the M5, despite having a lens built 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.
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 features an 1.5-inch sensor and the Canon M5 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the M5 is 27 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.85 and 1.6. The sensor in the G1X has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the M5 offers a 3:2 aspect.
Technology-wise, the M5 uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 7) than the G1X (DIGIC 5), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.
With 24MP, the M5 offers a higher resolution than the G1X (14.2MP), but the M5 has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.72μm versus 4.30μm for the G1X). Yet, the M5 is a much more recent model (by 4 years and 8 months) than the G1X, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.
The resolution advantage of the Canon M5 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the M5 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 30 x 20 inches or 76.2 x 50.8 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 24 x 16 inches or 61 x 40.6 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20 x 13.3 inches or 50.8 x 33.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon G1 X are 21.8 x 16.3 inches or 55.3 x 41.5 cm for good quality, 17.4 x 13.1 inches or 44.2 x 33.2 cm for very good quality, and 14.5 x 10.9 inches or 36.8 x 27.6 cm for excellent quality prints.
The M5 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.
The Canon PowerShot G1 X has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon EOS M5 are ISO 100 to ISO 25600 (no boost).
For many 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. Of the two cameras under consideration, the M5 offers substantially better image quality than the G1X (overall score 17 points higher). The advantage is based on 1.7 bits higher color depth, 1.6 EV in additional dynamic range, and 1 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
| DXO |
|1.||Canon G1 X||1.5-inch||14.2||4352||3264||1080/24p||21.7||10.8||644||60|
|7.||Canon G1 X Mark II||1.5-inch||13.0||4160||3120||1080/30p||21.5||10.8||581||58|
|15.||Leica V-LUX 4||1/2.3||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||..||..||..||..|
|16.||Leica V-LUX 3||1/2.3||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||..||..||..||..|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the M5 provides a faster frame rate than the G1X. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the G1X is limited to 1080/24p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the M5 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 following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon G1 X, the Canon M5, and comparable cameras.
|1.||Canon G1 X||optical||n||3.0||922||Swivel||n||1/4000s||1.9||Y||Y|
|7.||Canon G1 X Mark II||optional||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||5.2||Y||Y|
|15.||Leica V-LUX 4||1312||n||3.0||460||swivel||n||1/4000s||12.0||Y||Y|
|16.||Leica V-LUX 3||202||n||3.0||460||swivel||n||1/2000s||12.0||Y||Y|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The M5 has a touchscreen, while the G1X has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.Both cameras have an articulated rear screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This feature will be particularly appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the G1X and the M5 write their files to SDXC cards. The M5 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.
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 EOS M5 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|1.||Canon G1 X||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|7.||Canon G1 X Mark II||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|15.||Leica V-LUX 4||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|16.||Leica V-LUX 3||Y||stereo||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
It is notable that the M5 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 M5 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.
So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon G1 X and the Canon M5? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot G1 X:
- Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
- Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the M5 requires a separate lens.
- Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in January 2012).
Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS M5:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 14.2MP), which boosts linear resolution by 33%.
- Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (17 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (1.7 bits more color depth).
- More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (1.6 EV of extra DR).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (1 stops ISO advantage).
- Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 7 vs DIGIC 5).
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/24p).
- Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1620k vs 922k dots).
- Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (9 vs 1.9 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 (295 versus 250) out of a single battery charge.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
- More modern: Reflects 4 years and 8 months of technical progress since the G1X launch.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the M5 is the clear winner of the contest (21 : 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.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon G1 X and the Canon M5 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Travel-Zoom Camera and Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
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 shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the G1X or the M5. 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 where reviews by experts come in. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). 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.
|1.||Canon G1 X||5/5||+||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2012||799|
|2.||Canon M5||4/5||+||82/100||4/5||4/5||Sep 2016||979|
|3.||Canon 77D||4.5/5||..||82/100||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2017||899|
|4.||Canon M6||..||..||80/100||4/5||4/5||Feb 2017||779|
|5.||Canon M100||3/5||+||..||4/5||3.5/5||Aug 2017||499|
|6.||Canon M3||4/5||o||75/100||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2015||679|
|7.||Canon G1 X Mark II||3/5||+||77/100||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||799|
|8.||Canon G16||4/5||+||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||549|
|9.||Canon S120||..||+ +||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||449|
|10.||Canon 650D||4/5||+ +||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2012||849|
|11.||Canon SX50||3/5||+ +||72/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||429|
|12.||Canon 1100D||..||80/100||69/100||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2011||449|
|13.||Canon 500D||..||+ +||74/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2009||799|
|14.||Canon 450D||..||+ +||+ +||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2008||799|
|15.||Leica V-LUX 4||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2012||949|
|16.||Leica V-LUX 3||..||..||..||..||..||Dec 2011||949|
|17.||Nikon D5500||5/5||+||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2015||899|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price 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.
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. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
Specifications: Canon G1 X vs Canon M5
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 Model||Canon G1 X||Canon M5|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||28-112mm f/2.8-5.8||Canon EF-M mount lenses|
|Launch Date||January 2012||September 2016|
|Launch Price||USD 799||USD 979|
|Sensor Specs||Canon G1 X||Canon M5|
|Sensor Format||1.5" Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||18.7 x 14.0 mm||22.3 x 14.9 mm|
|Sensor Area||261.8 mm2||332.27 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||23.4 mm||26.8 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||14.2 Megapixels||24 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4352 x 3264 pixels||6000 x 4000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.30 μm||3.72 μm|
|Pixel Density||5.43 MP/cm2||7.22 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/24p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 12,800 ISO||100 - 25,600 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 5||DIGIC 7|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||60||77|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||21.7||23.4|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||10.8||12.4|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||644||1262|
|Screen Specs||Canon G1 X||Canon M5|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||74%||100%|
|Viewfinder Magnification||.. x|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2360k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.2inch|
|LCD Resolution||922k dots||1620k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon G1 X||Canon M5|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||On-Sensor Phase-detect|
|Manual Focusing Aid||no Peaking Feature||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/4000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||1.9 shutter flaps/s||9 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-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 M5|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||no MIC socket||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||no NFC||NFC built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||no Bluetooth||Bluetooth built-in|
|Body Specs||Canon G1 X||Canon M5|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||250 shots per charge||295 shots per charge|
117 x 81 x 65 mm
(4.6 x 3.2 x 2.6 in)
116 x 89 x 61 mm
(4.6 x 3.5 x 2.4 in)
|Camera Weight||534 g (18.8 oz)||427 g (15.1 oz)|
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