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Canon G1 X vs SX40

The Canon PowerShot G1 X and the Canon PowerShot SX40 HS are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in January 2012 and September 2011. Both the G1X and the SX40 are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on an 1.5-inch (G1X) and a 1/2.3-inch (SX40) sensor. The G1X has a resolution of 14.2 megapixels, whereas the SX40 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 SX40
Canon G1 X Canon SX40
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
28-112mm f/2.8-5.8 24-840mm f/2.7-5.8
14.2 MP, 1.5" Sensor 12 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor
1080/24p Video 1080/24p Video
ISO 100-12,800 ISO 100-3,200
Optical viewfinder Electronic viewfinder (202k dots)
3.0 LCD, 922k dots 2.7 LCD, 230k dots
no rear screen Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive)
1.9 shutter flaps per second 10.3 shutter flaps per second
250 shots per battery charge380 shots per battery charge
117 x 81 x 65 mm, 534 g 123 x 92 x 108 mm, 600 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot G1 X and the Canon PowerShot SX40 HS? 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 physical size and weight of the Canon G1 X and the Canon SX40 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.

Size Canon G1 X vs Canon SX40
Compare G1X versus SX40 top
Comparison G1X or SX40 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon SX40 is notably larger (19 percent) than the Canon G1 X. Moreover, the SX40 is markedly heavier (12 percent) than the G1X. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G1X nor the SX40 are weather-sealed.

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.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon G1 X 117 mm 81 mm 65 mm 534 g 250 n Jan 2012 799i
2.
 
Canon SX40 123 mm 92 mm 108 mm 600 g 380 n Sep 2011 429i
3.
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 116 mm 74 mm 66 mm 553 g 240 n Feb 2014 799i
4.
 
Canon G16 109 mm 76 mm 40 mm 356 g 360 n Aug 2013 549 i
5.
 
Canon S120 100 mm 59 mm 29 mm 217 g 230 n Aug 2013 449i
6.
 
Canon SX50 123 mm 87 mm 106 mm 595 g 315 n Sep 2012 429i
7.
 
Canon T4i 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849i
8.
 
Canon T3 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 n Feb 2011 449i
9.
 
Canon SX30 123 mm 92 mm 108 mm 601 g 370 n Sep 2010 429i
10.
 
Canon SX20 123 mm 88 mm 87 mm 600 g .. n Aug 2009 399i
11.
 
Canon T1i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 n Mar 2009 799i
12.
 
Canon XSi 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 n Jan 2008 799i
13.
 
Leica V-LUX 4 125 mm 87 mm 110 mm 588 g 540 n Sep 2012 949i
14.
 
Leica V-LUX 3 124 mm 81 mm 95 mm 540 g 410 n Dec 2011 949i
15.
 
Panasonic FZ150 124 mm 82 mm 92 mm 528 g 410 n Aug 2011 499i
16.
 
Panasonic FZ100 124 mm 82 mm 92 mm 540 g 410 n Jul 2010 499i
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 SX40 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 46 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.

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Sensor comparison

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 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 SX40 a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The sensor area in the SX40 is 89 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.85 and 5.6. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.

Canon G1 X and Canon SX40 sensor measures

With 14.2MP, the G1X offers a higher resolution than the SX40 (12MP), but the G1X nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.30μm versus 1.53μm for the SX40) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the G1X is a somewhat more recent model (by 3 months) than the SX40, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the SX40 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

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 SX40 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 SX40 HS are ISO 100 to ISO 3200 (no boost).

G1X versus SX40 MP

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. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

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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
1.
 
Canon G1 X 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.864460
2.
 
Canon SX40 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p........
3.
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 31201080/30p21.510.858158
4.
 
Canon G16 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054
5.
 
Canon S120 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.311.924656
6.
 
Canon SX50 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.217947
7.
 
Canon T4i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262
8.
 
Canon T3 APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562
9.
 
Canon SX30 1/2.3 14.0 4320 3240720/30p........
10.
 
Canon SX20 1/2.3 12.0 4000 3000720/30p........
11.
 
Canon T1i APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363
12.
 
Canon XSi APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.869261
13.
 
Leica V-LUX 4 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p........
14.
 
Leica V-LUX 3 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p........
15.
 
Panasonic FZ150 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.410.913240
16.
 
Panasonic FZ100 1/2.3 14.0 4320 32401080/60i........

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, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/24p).

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Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the SX40 has an electronic viewfinder (202k 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 SX40, 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
1.
 
Canon G1 Xoptical n 3.0 922 Swivel n 1/4000s 1.9 Y Y
2.
 
Canon SX40202 n 2.7 230 swivel n 1/3200s 10.3 Y Y
3.
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIoptional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 5.2 Y Y
4.
 
Canon G16optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.2 Y Y
5.
 
Canon S120none n 3.0 922 fixed Y 1/2000s 12.1 Y Y
6.
 
Canon SX50202 n 3.0 461 swivel n 1/2000s 2.2 Y Y
7.
 
Canon T4ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
8.
 
Canon T3optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
9.
 
Canon SX30202 n 2.7 230 swivel n 1/3200s 0.6 Y Y
10.
 
Canon SX20202 n 2.5 230 swivel n 1/3200s 0.7 Y Y
11.
 
Canon T1ioptical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4 Y n
12.
 
Canon XSioptical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
13.
 
Leica V-LUX 41312 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
14.
 
Leica V-LUX 3202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 12.0 Y Y
15.
 
Panasonic FZ150202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 12.0 Y Y
16.
 
Panasonic FZ100202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 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 SX40 does not have a selfie-screen.

Both the G1X and the SX40 have zoom lenses built in. The G1X has a 28-112mm f/2.8-5.8 optic and the SX40 offers a 24-840mm f/2.7-5.8 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the SX40 provides a wider angle of view at the short end, as well as more tele-photo reach at the long end than the G1X. The SX40 offers the faster maximum aperture.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the G1X and the SX40 write their files to SDXC cards.

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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 SX40 HS 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
1.
 
Canon G1 XYstereomono--mini2.0---
2.
 
Canon SX40Ystereomono--YES2.0---
3.
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIYstereomono--mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon G16Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--
5.
 
Canon S120-stereomono--mini2.0Y--
6.
 
Canon SX50Ystereomono--mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon T4iYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon T3Ystereomono--mini2.0---
9.
 
Canon SX30Ystereomono--YES2.0---
10.
 
Canon SX20Ystereomono--YES2.0---
11.
 
Canon T1iYmonomono--mini2.0---
12.
 
Canon XSiY----mini2.0---
13.
 
Leica V-LUX 4YstereomonoY-mini2.0---
14.
 
Leica V-LUX 3Ystereo---mini2.0---
15.
 
Panasonic FZ150Ystereo---mini2.0---
16.
 
Panasonic FZ100Ystereomono--mini2.0---

Both the G1X and the SX40 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The SX40 was replaced by the Canon SX50, while the G1X was followed 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.

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Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon G1 X and the Canon SX40? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot G1 X:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (14.2 vs 12MP) with a 9% higher linear resolution.
  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
  • Richer colors: The pixel size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
  • More dynamic range: Larger pixels capture a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Larger pixels means good image quality even under poor lighting.
  • Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.7") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (922k vs 230k dots).
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/3200s) to freeze action.
  • More compact: Is smaller (117x81mm vs 123x92mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 66g or 11 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 3 months after the SX40).


Reasons to prefer the Canon PowerShot SX40 HS:

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
  • More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10.3 vs 1.9 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/2.7 vs f/2.8).
  • Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
  • More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (380 versus 250) out of a single battery charge.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (46 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in September 2011).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the G1X is the clear winner of the match-up (14 : 10 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 14:10 SX40

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon G1 X and the Canon SX40 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Travel-Zoom Camera and Best Superzoom 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 SX40. 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 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.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon G1 X5/5+76/1004/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799i
2.
 
Canon SX40..+..4.5/54/5 Sep 2011 429i
3.
 
Canon G1 X Mark II3/5+77/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2014 799i
4.
 
Canon G164/5+..4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i
5.
 
Canon S120..+ +..4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 449i
6.
 
Canon SX503/5+ +72/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 429i
7.
 
Canon T4i4/5+ +77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849i
8.
 
Canon T3..80/10069/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449i
9.
 
Canon SX303/5+ +..3.5/54/5 Sep 2010 429i
10.
 
Canon SX20..+ +73/100..4/5 Aug 2009 399i
11.
 
Canon T1i..+ +74/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799i
12.
 
Canon XSi..+ ++ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799i
13.
 
Leica V-LUX 4.......... Sep 2012 949i
14.
 
Leica V-LUX 3.......... Dec 2011 949i
15.
 
Panasonic FZ1503/5+ +76/1004/54.5/5 Aug 2011 499i
16.
 
Panasonic FZ100..+..4.5/54.5/5 Jul 2010 499i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated 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.

Canon G1 X:
Check Ebay offers
Canon SX40:
Check Ebay offers

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.

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    Specifications: Canon G1 X vs Canon SX40

    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 SX40
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 28-112mm f/2.8-5.8 24-840mm f/2.7-5.8
    Launch Date January 2012 September 2011
    Launch Price USD 799 USD 429
    Sensor Specs Canon G1 X Canon SX40
    Sensor Technology CMOS BSI-CMOS
    Sensor Format 1.5" Sensor 1/2.3" Sensor
    Sensor Size 18.7 x 14.0 mm 6.17 x 4.55 mm
    Sensor Area 261.8 mm2 28.0735 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 23.4 mm 7.7 mm
    Crop Factor 1.85x 5.6x
    Sensor Resolution 14.2 Megapixels 12 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4352 x 3264 pixels 4000 x 3000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.30 μm 1.53 μm
    Pixel Density 5.43 MP/cm2 42.74 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/24p Video 1080/24p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 12,800 ISO 100 - 3,200 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 60 ..
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.7 ..
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 10.8 ..
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 644 ..
    Screen Specs Canon G1 X Canon SX40
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 74% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification
    Viewfinder Resolution 202k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 2.7inch
    LCD Resolution 922k dots 230k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen
    Shooting Specs Canon G1 X Canon SX40
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 1.9 shutter flaps/s 10.3 shutter flaps/s
    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 no
    Connectivity Specs Canon G1 X Canon SX40
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI YES HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon G1 X Canon SX40
    Battery Type NB-10L NB-10L
    Battery Life (CIPA)250 shots per charge380 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 117 x 81 x 65 mm
    (4.6 x 3.2 x 2.6 in)
    123 x 92 x 108 mm
    (4.8 x 3.6 x 4.3 in)
    Camera Weight 534 g (18.8 oz) 600 g (21.2 oz)

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