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Canon G1 X vs T3i

The Canon PowerShot G1 X and the Canon EOS Rebel T3i (labelled Canon 600D in some countries) are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in January 2012 and February 2011. The G1X is a fixed lens compact, while the T3i is a DSLR. The cameras are based on an 1.5-inch (G1X) and an APS-C (T3i) sensor. The G1X has a resolution of 14.2 megapixels, whereas the T3i 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 T3i
Canon G1 X   Canon T3i
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
Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive) Swivel 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 133 x 100 x 80 mm, 570 g
Canon G1 X:
Check Ebay offers
Canon T3i:
Check Ebay offers

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot G1 X and the Canon EOS Rebel T3i? 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 T3i 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 width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon G1 X vs Canon T3i
Compare G1X versus T3i top
Comparison G1X or T3i rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon T3i is notably larger (40 percent) than the Canon G1 X. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G1X nor the T3i 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 T3i 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 T3i 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 T3i can take 440 images on a single charge of its LP-E8 power pack.

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 T3i 133 mm 100 mm 80 mm 570 g 440 n Feb 2011 599i
3.
 
Canon T6s 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 565 g 440 n Feb 2015 649i
4.
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 116 mm 74 mm 66 mm 553 g 240 n Feb 2014 799i
5.
 
Canon G16 109 mm 76 mm 40 mm 356 g 360 n Aug 2013 549 i
6.
 
Canon T5i 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 580 g 440 n Mar 2013 649i
7.
 
Canon S120 100 mm 59 mm 29 mm 217 g 230 n Aug 2013 449i
8.
 
Canon M 109 mm 66 mm 32 mm 298 g 230 n Jul 2012 599i
9.
 
Canon SX50 123 mm 87 mm 106 mm 595 g 315 n Sep 2012 429i
10.
 
Canon T4i 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849i
11.
 
Canon T3 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 n Feb 2011 449i
12.
 
Canon T2i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 530 g 440 n Feb 2010 699i
13.
 
Canon T1i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 n Mar 2009 799i
14.
 
Canon XSi 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 n Jan 2008 799i
15.
 
Leica V-LUX 4 125 mm 87 mm 110 mm 588 g 540 n Sep 2012 949i
16.
 
Leica V-LUX 3 124 mm 81 mm 95 mm 540 g 410 n Dec 2011 949i
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. 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

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. 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 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 T3i an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the T3i 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 T3i offers a 3:2 aspect.

In terms of chip-set technology, the G1X uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 5) than the T3i (DIGIC 4), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.

Canon G1 X and Canon T3i sensor measures

With 17.9MP, the T3i offers a higher resolution than the G1X (14.2MP), but the T3i 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 11 months) than the T3i, 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 T3i implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the T3i 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 T3i are ISO 100 to ISO 6400, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-12800.

G1X versus T3i 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 T3i has a markedly higher DXO score than the G1X (overall score 5 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 adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-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 T3i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.579365
3.
 
Canon T6s APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570
4.
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 31201080/30p21.510.858158
5.
 
Canon G16 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054
6.
 
Canon T5i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.268161
7.
 
Canon S120 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.311.924656
8.
 
Canon M APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.282765
9.
 
Canon SX50 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.217947
10.
 
Canon T4i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262
11.
 
Canon T3 APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562
12.
 
Canon T2i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.578466
13.
 
Canon T1i APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363
14.
 
Canon XSi APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.869261
15.
 
Leica V-LUX 4 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.811.150143
16.
 
Leica V-LUX 3 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.711.043042
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.

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 T3i provides a faster frame rate than the G1X. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/30p, while the G1X is limited to 1080/24p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The G1X and the T3i 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 T3i, and comparable cameras.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Specifications
(inch/000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Max
Shutter
Speed *
Max
Shutter
Flaps *
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Canon G1 Xoptical n3.0 / 922 swivel n 1/4000s 1.9/s Y Y
2.
 
Canon T3ioptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel n 1/4000s 3.7/s Y n
3.
 
Canon T6soptical Y3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
4.
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIoptional n3.0 / 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 5.2/s Y Y
5.
 
Canon G16optical n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.2/s Y Y
6.
 
Canon T5ioptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
7.
 
Canon S120none n3.0 / 922 fixed Y 1/2000s 12.1/s Y Y
8.
 
Canon Mnone n3.0 / 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.3/s n n
9.
 
Canon SX50202 n3.0 / 461 swivel n 1/2000s 2.2/s Y Y
10.
 
Canon T4ioptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
11.
 
Canon T3optical n2.7 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
12.
 
Canon T2ioptical n3.0 / 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 3.7/s Y n
13.
 
Canon T1ioptical n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4/s Y n
14.
 
Canon XSioptical n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5/s Y n
15.
 
Leica V-LUX 41312 n3.0 / 460 swivel n 1/4000s 12.0/s Y Y
16.
 
Leica V-LUX 3202 n3.0 / 460 swivel n 1/2000s 12.0/s Y Y
Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.
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 T3i write their files to SDXC cards.

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 T3i 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
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Canon G1 XYstereo / mono--mini2.0---
2.
 
Canon T3iYmono / monoY-mini2.0---
3.
 
Canon T6sYstereo / monoY-mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIYstereo / mono--mini2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon G16Ystereo / mono--mini2.0Y--
6.
 
Canon T5iYstereo / monoY-mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon S120-stereo / mono--mini2.0Y--
8.
 
Canon MYstereo / monoY-mini2.0---
9.
 
Canon SX50Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
10.
 
Canon T4iYstereo / monoY-mini2.0---
11.
 
Canon T3Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
12.
 
Canon T2iYstereo / -Y-mini2.0---
13.
 
Canon T1iYmono / mono--mini2.0---
14.
 
Canon XSiY- / ---mini2.0---
15.
 
Leica V-LUX 4Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0---
16.
 
Leica V-LUX 3Ystereo / ---mini2.0---

It is notable that the T3i 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 T3i have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The T3i was replaced by the Canon T4i, 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.

Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon G1 X and the Canon T3i? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.


Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot G1 X:

  • Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 5 vs DIGIC 4).
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with a built-in lens, while the T3i requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (117x81mm vs 133x100mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the T3i).
  • Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 11 months after the T3i).


Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS Rebel T3i:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (17.9 vs 14.2MP), which boosts linear resolution by 15%.
  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (5 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 2011).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the T3i 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 sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

G1X 06:10 T3i

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon G1 X and the Canon T3i 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 T3i. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.

Expert reviews

This is where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], 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 
 DCW 
 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 T3i3/5o..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2011 599i
3.
 
Canon T6s5/5+..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649i
4.
 
Canon G1 X Mark II3/5+..77/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2014 799i
5.
 
Canon G164/5+....4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i
6.
 
Canon T5i......76/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2013 649i
7.
 
Canon S120..+ +....4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 449i
8.
 
Canon M3/5+....4/54/5 Jul 2012 599i
9.
 
Canon SX503/5+ +..72/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 429i
10.
 
Canon T4i4/5+ +..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849i
11.
 
Canon T3..80/100..69/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449i
12.
 
Canon T2i..+ +..77/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699i
13.
 
Canon T1i..+ +..74/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799i
14.
 
Canon XSi..+ +..+ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799i
15.
 
Leica V-LUX 4............ Sep 2012 949i
16.
 
Leica V-LUX 3............ Dec 2011 949i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Canon G1 X:
Check Ebay offers
Canon T3i:
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 make a corresponding selection in the search boxes 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 T3i

    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 T3i
    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 2011
    Launch Price USD 799 USD 599
    Sensor Specs Canon G1 X Canon T3i
    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 65
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.7 22.1
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 10.8 11.5
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 644 793
    Screen Specs Canon G1 X Canon T3i
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 74% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.53x
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 922k dots 1040k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen Swivel screen
    Shooting Specs Canon G1 X Canon T3i
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 1.9 shutter flaps/s 3.7 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 no
    Connectivity Specs Canon G1 X Canon T3i
    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 T3i
    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)
    133 x 100 x 80 mm
    (5.2 x 3.9 x 3.1 in)
    Camera Weight 534 g (18.8 oz) 570 g (20.1 oz)
    Canon G1 X:
    Check Ebay offers
    Canon T3i:
    Check Ebay offers

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