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Canon G1 X vs Leica Digilux 3

The Canon PowerShot G1 X and the Leica Digilux 3 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in January 2012 and September 2006. The G1X is a fixed lens compact, while the Digilux 3 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on an 1.5-inch (G1X) and a Four Thirds (Digilux 3) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 14.2 megapixels, whereas the Leica provides 7.4 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
Leica Digilux 3
Canon G1 X   Leica Digilux 3
Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
28-112mm f/2.8-5.8 Four Thirds lenses
14.2 MP, 1.5" Sensor 7.4 MP, Four Thirds Sensor
1080/24p Video no Video
ISO 100-12,800 ISO 100-1,600
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.0 LCD, 922k dots 2.5 LCD, 207k dots
Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
1.9 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
250 shots per battery charge750 shots per battery charge
117 x 81 x 65 mm, 534 g 146 x 87 x 77 mm, 606 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot G1 X and the Leica Digilux 3? 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

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon G1 X and the Leica Digilux 3 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon G1 X vs Leica Digilux 3
Compare G1X versus Digilux 3 top
Comparison G1X or Digilux 3 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Leica Digilux 3 is notably larger (34 percent) than the Canon G1 X. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G1X nor the Digilux 3 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 Digilux 3 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 Digilux 3 and their specifications in the Four Thirds Lens Catalog.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. 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.

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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.
 
Leica Digilux 3 146 mm 87 mm 77 mm 606 g 750 n Sep 2006 1,499i
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 650D 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849i
7.
 
Canon SX50 123 mm 87 mm 106 mm 595 g 315 n Sep 2012 429i
8.
 
Canon 1100D 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 n Feb 2011 449i
9.
 
Canon 500D 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 n Mar 2009 799i
10.
 
Canon 450D 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 n Jan 2008 799i
11.
 
Leica V-LUX 4 125 mm 87 mm 110 mm 588 g 540 n Sep 2012 949i
12.
 
Leica V-LUX 3 124 mm 81 mm 95 mm 540 g 410 n Dec 2011 949i
13.
 
Olympus E-330 140 mm 87 mm 72 mm 637 g 750 n Jan 2006 999i
14.
 
Olympus E-500 130 mm 95 mm 66 mm 479 g 750 n Sep 2005 599i
15.
 
Olympus E-300 147 mm 85 mm 64 mm 624 g 750 n Sep 2004 799i
16.
 
Panasonic L10 135 mm 96 mm 78 mm 556 g 450 n Aug 2007 599i
17.
 
Panasonic L1 146 mm 87 mm 64 mm 606 g 750 n Feb 2006 999i
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. The G1X was launched at a lower price than the Digilux 3, despite having a lens built in. 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 imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and 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 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 Leica Digilux 3 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the Digilux 3 is 14 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.85 and 2.0. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.

Canon G1 X and Leica Digilux 3 sensor measures

With 14.2MP, the G1X offers a higher resolution than the Digilux 3 (7.4MP), but the G1X has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.30μm versus 5.51μm for the Digilux 3). However, the G1X is a much more recent model (by 5 years and 3 months) than the Digilux 3, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.

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 Leica Digilux 3 are 15.7 x 11.8 inches or 39.8 x 29.9 cm for good quality, 12.5 x 9.4 inches or 31.9 x 23.9 cm for very good quality, and 10.5 x 7.8 inches or 26.6 x 19.9 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 Leica Digilux 3 are ISO 100 to ISO 1600 (no boost).

G1X versus Digilux 3 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 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
1.
 
Canon G1 X 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.864460
2.
 
Leica Digilux 3 Four Thirds 7.4 3136 2352none21.010.612753
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 650D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262
7.
 
Canon SX50 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.217947
8.
 
Canon 1100D APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562
9.
 
Canon 500D APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363
10.
 
Canon 450D APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.869261
11.
 
Leica V-LUX 4 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.811.150143
12.
 
Leica V-LUX 3 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.711.043042
13.
 
Olympus E-330 Four Thirds 7.4 3136 2352none20.810.47352
14.
 
Olympus E-500 Four Thirds 8.0 3264 2448none20.710.34551
15.
 
Olympus E-300 Four Thirds 8.0 3264 2448none20.410.1-4048
16.
 
Panasonic L10 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.310.842955
17.
 
Panasonic L1 Four Thirds 7.4 3136 2352none20.810.48052
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. The G1X indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the Digilux 3 does not. The highest resolution format that the G1X can use is 1080/24p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The G1X and the Digilux 3 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 Leica Digilux 3 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar 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)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Canon G1 Xoptical n3.0 / 922 swivel n 1/4000s 1.9 Y Y
2.
 
Leica Digilux 3optical n2.5 / 207 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
3.
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIoptional n3.0 / 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 5.2 Y Y
4.
 
Canon G16optical n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.2 Y Y
5.
 
Canon S120none n3.0 / 922 fixed Y 1/2000s 12.1 Y Y
6.
 
Canon 650Doptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
7.
 
Canon SX50202 n3.0 / 461 swivel n 1/2000s 2.2 Y Y
8.
 
Canon 1100Doptical n2.7 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
9.
 
Canon 500Doptical n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4 Y n
10.
 
Canon 450Doptical n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
11.
 
Leica V-LUX 41312 n3.0 / 460 swivel n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
12.
 
Leica V-LUX 3202 n3.0 / 460 swivel n 1/2000s 12.0 Y Y
13.
 
Olympus E-330optical n2.5 / 215 tilting n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
14.
 
Olympus E-500optical n2.5 / 215 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
15.
 
Olympus E-300optical n1.8 / 134 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
16.
 
Panasonic L10optical n2.5 / 207 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
17.
 
Panasonic L1optical n2.5 / 207 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
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 Digilux 3 does not have a selfie-screen.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the G1X and the Digilux 3 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 Leica Digilux 3 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.
 
Leica Digilux 3Ystereo / mono---2.0---
3.
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIYstereo / mono--mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon G16Ystereo / mono--mini2.0Y--
5.
 
Canon S120-stereo / mono--mini2.0Y--
6.
 
Canon 650DYstereo / monoY-mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon SX50Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon 1100DYstereo / mono--mini2.0---
9.
 
Canon 500DYmono / mono--mini2.0---
10.
 
Canon 450DY- / ---mini2.0---
11.
 
Leica V-LUX 4Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0---
12.
 
Leica V-LUX 3Ystereo / ---mini2.0---
13.
 
Olympus E-330Y- / ----2.0---
14.
 
Olympus E-500Y- / ----2.0---
15.
 
Olympus E-300Y- / ----2.0---
16.
 
Panasonic L10Y- / ----2.0---
17.
 
Panasonic L1Y- / ----2.0---

Both the G1X and the Digilux 3 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The G1X was replaced by the Canon G1X Mark II, while the Digilux 3 does not have a direct successor. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Leica websites.

Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Canon G1 X or the Leica Digilux 3 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Reasons to prefer the Canon PowerShot G1 X:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (14.2 vs 7.4MP) with a 39% higher linear resolution.
  • Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/24p movies.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (922k vs 207k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • 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 Digilux 3 requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (117x81mm vs 146x87mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the Digilux 3).
  • 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 modern: Reflects 5 years and 3 months of technical progress since the Digilux 3 launch.

ilogo

Advantages of the Leica Digilux 3:

  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3 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 (750 versus 250) out of a single battery charge.
  • More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale value.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in September 2006).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the G1X is the clear winner of the match-up (12 : 5 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding 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 12:05 Digilux 3

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon G1 X and the Leica Digilux 3 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 says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the G1X and the Digilux 3 in practical situations. 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 expert reviews are important. 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.
 
Leica Digilux 3............ Sep 2006 1,499i
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 650D4/5+ +..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849i
7.
 
Canon SX503/5+ +..72/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 429i
8.
 
Canon 1100D..80/100..69/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449i
9.
 
Canon 500D..+ +..74/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799i
10.
 
Canon 450D..+ +..+ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799i
11.
 
Leica V-LUX 4............ Sep 2012 949i
12.
 
Leica V-LUX 3............ Dec 2011 949i
13.
 
Olympus E-330......+o.. Jan 2006 999i
14.
 
Olympus E-500..76/100..+ +.... Sep 2005 599i
15.
 
Olympus E-300......+o4.5/5 Sep 2004 799i
16.
 
Panasonic L10..85/100..+3.5/54/5 Aug 2007 599i
17.
 
Panasonic L1..85/100..+..3.5/5 Feb 2006 999i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, 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 rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Canon G1 X:
Check Ebay offers
Leica Digilux 3:
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 your choice using the following search menu. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

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    Specifications: Canon G1 X vs Leica Digilux 3

    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 Leica Digilux 3
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens 28-112mm f/2.8-5.8 Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date January 2012 September 2006
    Launch Price USD 799 USD 1,499
    Sensor Specs Canon G1 X Leica Digilux 3
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format 1.5" Sensor Four Thirds Sensor
    Sensor Size 18.7 x 14.0 mm 17.3 x 13.0 mm
    Sensor Area 261.8 mm2 224.9 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 23.4 mm 21.6 mm
    Crop Factor 1.85x 2.0x
    Sensor Resolution 14.2 Megapixels 7.4 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4352 x 3264 pixels 3136 x 2352 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.30 μm 5.51 μm
    Pixel Density 5.43 MP/cm2 3.28 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/24p Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 12,800 ISO 100 - 1,600 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 Leica Digilux 3
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 74% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.47x
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 2.5inch
    LCD Resolution 922k dots 207k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon G1 X Leica Digilux 3
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 1.9 shutter flaps/s 3 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 Leica Digilux 3
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon G1 X Leica Digilux 3
    Battery Type NB-10L BP-DC3
    Battery Life (CIPA)250 shots per charge750 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 117 x 81 x 65 mm
    (4.6 x 3.2 x 2.6 in)
    146 x 87 x 77 mm
    (5.7 x 3.4 x 3.0 in)
    Camera Weight 534 g (18.8 oz) 606 g (21.4 oz)

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