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Canon G1 X vs T2i

The Canon PowerShot G1 X and the Canon EOS Rebel T2i (labelled Canon 550D in some countries) are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in January 2012 and February 2010. The G1X is a fixed lens compact, while the T2i is a DSLR. The cameras are based on an 1.5-inch (G1X) and an APS-C (T2i) sensor. The G1X has a resolution of 14.2 megapixels, whereas the T2i provides 17.9 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 T2i
Canon G1 X Canon T2i
Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
28-112mm f/2.8-5.8 Canon EF mount lenses
14.2 MP, 1.5" Sensor 17.9 MP, APS-C Sensor
1080/24p Video 1080/30p Video
ISO 100-12,800 ISO 100-6,400 (100 - 12,800)
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.0 LCD, 922k dots 3.0 LCD, 1040k dots
no rear screen Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
1.9 shutter flaps per second 3.7 shutter flaps per second
250 shots per battery charge440 shots per battery charge
117 x 81 x 65 mm, 534 g 129 x 98 x 62 mm, 530 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot G1 X and the Canon EOS Rebel T2i? 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 side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon G1 X and the Canon T2i. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon G1 X vs Canon T2i
Compare G1X versus T2i top
Comparison G1X or T2i rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon T2i is notably larger (33 percent) than the Canon G1 X. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G1X nor the T2i 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 T2i 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 T2i and their specifications in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the G1X gets 250 shots out of its NB-10L battery, while the T2i can take 440 images on a single charge of its LP-E8 power pack.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

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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
 
Canon G1 X 117 mm 81 mm 65 mm 534 g 250 n Jan 2012 799i
 
Canon T2i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 530 g 440 n Feb 2010 699i
 
Canon T6s 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 565 g 440 n Feb 2015 649i
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 116 mm 74 mm 66 mm 553 g 240 n Feb 2014 799i
 
Canon G16 109 mm 76 mm 40 mm 356 g 360 n Aug 2013 549 i
 
Canon T5i 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 580 g 440 n Mar 2013 649i
 
Canon S120 100 mm 59 mm 29 mm 217 g 230 n Aug 2013 449i
 
Canon 650D 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849i
 
Canon SX50 123 mm 87 mm 106 mm 595 g 315 n Sep 2012 429i
 
Canon T4i 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849i
 
Canon 1100D 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 n Feb 2011 449i
 
Canon T3i 133 mm 100 mm 80 mm 570 g 440 n Feb 2011 599i
 
Canon 500D 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 n Mar 2009 799i
 
Canon T1i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 n Mar 2009 799i
 
Canon 450D 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 n Jan 2008 799i
 
Leica V-LUX 4 125 mm 87 mm 110 mm 588 g 540 n Sep 2012 949i
 
Leica V-LUX 3 124 mm 81 mm 95 mm 540 g 410 n Dec 2011 949i
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 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.

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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 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. 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 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 T2i an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the T2i 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 T2i offers a 3:2 aspect.

In terms of chip-set technology, the G1X uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 5) than the T2i (DIGIC 4), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.

Canon G1 X and Canon T2i sensor measures

With 17.9MP, the T2i offers a higher resolution than the G1X (14.2MP), but the T2i nevertheless has marginally larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.31μm versus 4.30μm for the G1X) due to its larger sensor. However, the G1X is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 11 months) than the T2i, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.

The resolution advantage of the Canon T2i implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the T2i 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 Canon PowerShot G1 X has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon EOS Rebel T2i are ISO 100 to ISO 6400, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-12800.

G1X versus T2i 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. Of the two cameras under consideration, the T2i has a markedly higher DXO score than the G1X (overall score 6 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 0.4 bits higher color depth, 0.7 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.3 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

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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
 
Canon G1 X 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.864460
 
Canon T2i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.578466
 
Canon T6s APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 31201080/30p21.510.858158
 
Canon G16 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054
 
Canon T5i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.268161
 
Canon S120 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.311.924656
 
Canon 650D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262
 
Canon SX50 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.217947
 
Canon T4i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262
 
Canon 1100D APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562
 
Canon T3i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.579365
 
Canon 500D APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363
 
Canon T1i APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363
 
Canon 450D APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.869261
 
Leica V-LUX 4 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p........
 
Leica V-LUX 3 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p........

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the T2i provides a faster frame rate than the G1X. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/30p, while the G1X is limited to 1080/24p.

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The G1X and the T2i 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 following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon G1 X, the Canon T2i, 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
 
Canon G1 Xoptical n 3.0 922 Swivel n 1/4000s 1.9 Y Y
 
Canon T2ioptical n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n
 
Canon T6soptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIoptional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 5.2 Y Y
 
Canon G16optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.2 Y Y
 
Canon T5ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon S120none n 3.0 922 fixed Y 1/2000s 12.1 Y Y
 
Canon 650Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon SX50202 n 3.0 461 swivel n 1/2000s 2.2 Y Y
 
Canon T4ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon 1100Doptical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Canon T3ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n
 
Canon 500Doptical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4 Y n
 
Canon T1ioptical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4 Y n
 
Canon 450Doptical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
 
Leica V-LUX 41312 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
 
Leica V-LUX 3202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 12.0 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 T2i does not have a selfie-screen.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the G1X and the T2i 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 EOS Rebel T2i 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
 
Canon G1 XYstereomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon T2iYstereo-Y-mini2.0---
 
Canon T6sYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIYstereomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Canon G16Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--
 
Canon T5iYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Canon S120-stereomono--mini2.0Y--
 
Canon 650DYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Canon SX50Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon T4iYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Canon 1100DYstereomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon T3iYmonomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Canon 500DYmonomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon T1iYmonomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon 450DY----mini2.0---
 
Leica V-LUX 4YstereomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Leica V-LUX 3Ystereo---mini2.0---

It is notable that the T2i 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 T2i have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The T2i was replaced by the Canon T3i, 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 the Canon G1 X better than the Canon T2i or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Reasons to prefer the Canon PowerShot G1 X:

  • Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 5 vs DIGIC 4).
  • 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 T2i requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (117x81mm vs 129x98mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 11 months after the T2i).


Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS Rebel T2i:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (17.9 vs 14.2MP), which boosts linear resolution by 15%.
  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (6 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (0.7 EV of extra DR).
  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/30p versus 1080/24p).
  • 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).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3.7 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 (440 versus 250) out of a single battery charge.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in February 2010).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the T2i is the clear winner of the contest (10 : 6 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. 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.

G1X 06:10 T2i

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon G1 X and the Canon T2i 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 specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the G1X or the T2i. 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.

Expert reviews

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). 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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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon G1 X+76/1004/54/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799i
 
Canon T2i+ +77/1004/55/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699i
 
Canon T6s+77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649i
 
Canon G1 X Mark II+77/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 799i
 
Canon G16+..4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i
 
Canon T5i..76/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Mar 2013 649i
 
Canon S120+ +..4.5/5o4.5/5 Aug 2013 449i
 
Canon 650D+ +77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849i
 
Canon SX50+ +72/1004.5/5..4.5/5 Sep 2012 429i
 
Canon T4i+ +77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849i
 
Canon 1100D80/10069/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449i
 
Canon T3io77/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2011 599i
 
Canon 500D+ +74/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799i
 
Canon T1i+ +74/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799i
 
Canon 450D+ ++ +4/55/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799i
 
Leica V-LUX 4.......... Sep 2012 949i
 
Leica V-LUX 3.......... Dec 2011 949i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. 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. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Canon G1 X:
Check Ebay offers
Canon T2i:
Check Ebay offers

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. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Canon G1 X vs Canon T2i

    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 T2i
    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 February 2010
    Launch Price USD 799 USD 699
    Sensor Specs Canon G1 X Canon T2i
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    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
    Crop Factor 1.85x 1.6x
    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 - 6,400 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 100 - 12,800 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 5 DIGIC 4
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 60 66
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.7 22.1
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 10.8 11.5
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 644 784
    Screen Specs Canon G1 X Canon T2i
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 74% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.54x
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 922k dots 1040k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon G1 X Canon T2i
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 1.9 shutter flaps/s 3.7 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 T2i
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    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 T2i
    Battery Type NB-10L LP-E8
    Battery Life (CIPA)250 shots per charge440 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 117 x 81 x 65 mm
    (4.6 x 3.2 x 2.6 in)
    129 x 98 x 62 mm
    (5.1 x 3.9 x 2.4 in)
    Camera Weight 534 g (18.8 oz) 530 g (18.7 oz)

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