Canon G1 X vs SL1
The Canon PowerShot G1 X and the Canon EOS Rebel SL1 (labelled Canon 100D in some countries) are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in January 2012 and March 2013. The G1X is a fixed lens compact, while the SL1 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on an 1.5-inch (G1X) and an APS-C (SL1) sensor. The G1X has a resolution of 14.2 megapixels, whereas the SL1 provides 17.9 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 Rebel SL1? 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.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon G1 X and the Canon SL1 is provided 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.
The SL1 can be obtained in two different colors (black, white), while the G1X is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon SL1 is notably larger (12 percent) than the Canon G1 X. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G1X nor the SL1 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 SL1 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the SL1 and their specifications in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.
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, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras there.
|1.||Canon G1 X||117 mm||81 mm||65 mm||534 g||250||n||Jan 2012||799|
|2.||Canon SL1||117 mm||91 mm||69 mm||407 g||380||n||Mar 2013||549|
|3.||Canon SL2||122 mm||93 mm||70 mm||453 g||650||n||Jun 2017||549|
|4.||Canon G1 X Mark II||116 mm||74 mm||66 mm||553 g||240||n||Feb 2014||799|
|5.||Canon G16||109 mm||76 mm||40 mm||356 g||360||n||Aug 2013||549|
|6.||Canon T5i||133 mm||100 mm||79 mm||580 g||440||n||Mar 2013||649|
|7.||Canon S120||100 mm||59 mm||29 mm||217 g||230||n||Aug 2013||449|
|8.||Canon M||109 mm||66 mm||32 mm||298 g||230||n||Jul 2012||599|
|9.||Canon SX50||123 mm||87 mm||106 mm||595 g||315||n||Sep 2012||429|
|10.||Canon T4i||133 mm||100 mm||79 mm||575 g||440||n||Jun 2012||849|
|11.||Canon T3||130 mm||100 mm||78 mm||495 g||700||n||Feb 2011||449|
|12.||Canon T3i||133 mm||100 mm||80 mm||570 g||440||n||Feb 2011||599|
|13.||Canon T1i||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||520 g||400||n||Mar 2009||799|
|14.||Canon XSi||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|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
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.
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 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. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to 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 SL1 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the SL1 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 SL1 offers a 3:2 aspect.
With 17.9MP, the SL1 offers a higher resolution than the G1X (14.2MP), but the SL1 nevertheless has marginally larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.31μm versus 4.30μm for the G1X) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the SL1 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 2 months) than the G1X, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.
The resolution advantage of the Canon SL1 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the SL1 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 25.9 x 17.3 inches or 65.8 x 43.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 20.7 x 13.8 inches or 52.7 x 35.1 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 17.3 x 11.5 inches or 43.9 x 29.3 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 SL1 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 Rebel SL1 are ISO 100 to ISO 12800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-25600.
For many 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 Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
| DXO |
|1.||Canon G1 X||1.5-inch||14.2||4352||3264||1080/24p||21.7||10.8||644||60|
|4.||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 cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the SL1 provides a faster frame rate than the G1X. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/30p, while the G1X is limited to 1080/24p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The G1X and the SL1 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 table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon G1 X and Canon SL1 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|1.||Canon G1 X||optical||n||3.0||922||Swivel||n||1/4000s||1.9||Y||Y|
|4.||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 SL1 has a touchscreen, while the G1X has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.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 SL1 does not have a selfie-screen.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the G1X and the SL1 write their files to SDXC cards. The SL1 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 Rebel SL1 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||-||-||-|
|4.||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 SL1 has a microphone port, which can help to improve the quality of audio recordings by attaching an external microphone. The G1X does not feature such a mic input.
Both the G1X and the SL1 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The G1X was replaced by the Canon G1X Mark II, while the SL1 was followed by the Canon SL2. 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 conclusions can be drawn? Is the Canon G1 X better than the Canon SL1 or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Advantages of the Canon PowerShot G1 X:
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Ready to shoot: Comes with a built-in lens, while the SL1 requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (117x81mm vs 117x91mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in January 2012).
Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS Rebel SL1:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (17.9 vs 14.2MP), which boosts linear resolution by 15%.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (0.4 stops ISO advantage).
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/30p 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 detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 922k dots).
- Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (4.9 vs 1.9 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More flexible: Makes it possible to change lenses and thus to use specialty optics.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (380 versus 250) out of a single battery charge.
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
- More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 2 months) more recently.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the SL1 is the clear winner of the contest (12 : 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 wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro 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 SL1 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Travel-Zoom Camera and Best DSLR Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the G1X or the SL1. 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 expert reviews are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera 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 SL1||4/5||+||78/100||4/5||4/5||Mar 2013||549|
|3.||Canon SL2||4/5||+ +||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2017||549|
|4.||Canon G1 X Mark II||3/5||+||77/100||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||799|
|5.||Canon G16||4/5||+||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||549|
|6.||Canon T5i||..||..||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2013||649|
|7.||Canon S120||..||+ +||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||449|
|8.||Canon M||3/5||+||..||4/5||4/5||Jul 2012||599|
|9.||Canon SX50||3/5||+ +||72/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||429|
|10.||Canon T4i||4/5||+ +||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2012||849|
|11.||Canon T3||..||80/100||69/100||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2011||449|
|12.||Canon T3i||3/5||o||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2011||599|
|13.||Canon T1i||..||+ +||74/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2009||799|
|14.||Canon XSi||..||+ +||+ +||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2008||799|
|15.||Leica V-LUX 4||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2012||949|
|16.||Leica V-LUX 3||..||..||..||..||..||Dec 2011||949|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, 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 make your choice using the following search menu. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
Specifications: Canon G1 X vs Canon SL1
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 SL1|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||28-112mm f/2.8-5.8||Canon EF mount lenses|
|Launch Date||January 2012||March 2013|
|Launch Price||USD 799||USD 549|
|Sensor Specs||Canon G1 X||Canon SL1|
|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||17.9 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4352 x 3264 pixels||5184 x 3456 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.30 μm||4.31 μm|
|Pixel Density||5.43 MP/cm2||5.39 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/24p Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 12,800 ISO||100 - 12,800 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||100 - 25,600 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 5||DIGIC 5|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||60||63|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||21.7||21.8|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||10.8||11.3|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||644||843|
|Screen Specs||Canon G1 X||Canon SL1|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||74%||95%|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||922k dots||1040k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon G1 X||Canon SL1|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||1.9 shutter flaps/s||4.9 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 SL1|
|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||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Canon G1 X||Canon SL1|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||250 shots per charge||380 shots per charge|
117 x 81 x 65 mm
(4.6 x 3.2 x 2.6 in)
117 x 91 x 69 mm
(4.6 x 3.6 x 2.7 in)
|Camera Weight||534 g (18.8 oz)||407 g (14.4 oz)|
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