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Canon G1 X vs Leica V-LUX 3

The Canon PowerShot G1 X and the Leica V-LUX 3 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in January 2012 and December 2011. Both the G1X and the V-LUX 3 are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on an 1.5-inch (G1X) and a 1/2.3-inch (V-LUX 3) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 14.2 megapixels, whereas the Leica 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
Leica V-LUX 3
Canon G1 X   Leica V-LUX 3
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
28-112mm f/2.8-5.8 25-600mm f/2.8-5.2
14.2 MP – 1.5" sensor 12 MP – 1/2.3" sensor
1080/24p Video 1080/60p Video
ISO 100-12,800 ISO 100-3,200 (100 - 6,400)
Optical viewfinder Electronic viewfinder (202k dots)
3.0" LCD – 922k dots 3.0" LCD – 460k dots
Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive) Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive)
1.9 shutter flaps per second 12 shutter flaps per second
250 shots per battery charge410 shots per battery charge
117 x 81 x 65 mm, 534 g 124 x 81 x 95 mm, 540 g
Canon G1 X:
Check Ebay offers
Leica V-LUX 3:
Check Ebay offers

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot G1 X and the Leica V-LUX 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

The physical size and weight of the Canon G1 X and the Leica V-LUX 3 are illustrated 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 dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon G1 X vs Leica V-LUX 3
Compare G1X versus V-LUX 3 top
Comparison G1X or V-LUX 3 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Leica V-LUX 3 is notably larger (6 percent) than the Canon G1 X. Moreover, the V-LUX 3 is slightly heavier (1 percent) than the G1X. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G1X nor the V-LUX 3 are weather-sealed.

Concerning battery life, the G1X gets 250 shots out of its NB-10L battery, while the V-LUX 3 can take 410 images on a single charge of its BP-DC9 power pack.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. 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.
 
Leica V-LUX 3 124 mm 81 mm 95 mm 540 g 410 n Dec 2011 949i
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 T1i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 n Mar 2009 799i
10.
 
Canon XSi 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 2 124 mm 80 mm 95 mm 520 g 410 n Sep 2010 849i
13.
 
Panasonic FZ200 125 mm 87 mm 110 mm 588 g 540 n Jul 2012 599i
14.
 
Panasonic FZ100 124 mm 82 mm 92 mm 540 g 410 n Jul 2010 499i
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 manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The G1X was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 16 percent) than the V-LUX 3, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. 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.

Sensor comparison

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the 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 Leica V-LUX 3 a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The sensor area in the V-LUX 3 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.

Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors.

Canon G1 X and Leica V-LUX 3 sensor measures

With 14.2MP, the G1X offers a higher resolution than the V-LUX 3 (12MP), but the G1X nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.30μm versus 1.53μm for the V-LUX 3) due to its larger sensor. It is noteworthy in this context that the two cameras were released in close succession, so that their sensors are from the same technological generation. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the V-LUX 3 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 Leica V-LUX 3 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 Leica V-LUX 3 are ISO 100 to ISO 3200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-6400.

G1X versus V-LUX 3 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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 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.
 
Leica V-LUX 3 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.711.043042
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 T1i APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363
10.
 
Canon XSi 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 2 1/2.3 14.0 4320 32401080/60i19.410.732139
13.
 
Panasonic FZ200 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.110.811437
14.
 
Panasonic FZ100 1/2.3 14.0 4320 32401080/60i19.410.730639
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 are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the V-LUX 3 provides a faster frame rate than the G1X. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the Canon is limited to 1080/24p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the V-LUX 3 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 Leica V-LUX 3, 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.
 
Leica V-LUX 3202 n3.0 / 460 swivel n 1/2000s 12.0/s Y Y
3.
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIoptional n3.0 / 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 5.2/s Y Y
4.
 
Canon G16optical n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.2/s Y Y
5.
 
Canon S120none n3.0 / 922 fixed Y 1/2000s 12.1/s Y Y
6.
 
Canon SX50202 n3.0 / 461 swivel n 1/2000s 2.2/s Y Y
7.
 
Canon T4ioptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
8.
 
Canon T3optical n2.7 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
9.
 
Canon T1ioptical n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4/s Y n
10.
 
Canon XSioptical n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5/s Y n
11.
 
Leica V-LUX 41312 n3.0 / 460 swivel n 1/4000s 12.0/s Y Y
12.
 
Leica V-LUX 2202 n3.0 / 460 swivel n 1/2000s 11.0/s Y Y
13.
 
Panasonic FZ2001312 n3.0 / 460 swivel n 1/4000s 12.0/s Y Y
14.
 
Panasonic FZ100202 n3.0 / 460 swivel n 1/2000s 11.0/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.

Both the G1X and the V-LUX 3 have zoom lenses built in. The G1X has a 28-112mm f/2.8-5.8 optic and the V-LUX 3 offers a 25-600mm f/2.8-5.2 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Leica provides a wider angle of view at the short end, as well as more tele-photo reach at the long end than the Canon. Both cameras offer the same maximum aperture.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the G1X and the V-LUX 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 V-LUX 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 V-LUX 3Ystereo / ---mini2.0---
3.
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIYstereo / mono--mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon G16Ystereo / mono--mini2.0Y--
5.
 
Canon S120-stereo / mono--mini2.0Y--
6.
 
Canon SX50Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon T4iYstereo / monoY-mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon T3Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
9.
 
Canon T1iYmono / mono--mini2.0---
10.
 
Canon XSiY- / ---mini2.0---
11.
 
Leica V-LUX 4Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0---
12.
 
Leica V-LUX 2Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
13.
 
Panasonic FZ200Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0---
14.
 
Panasonic FZ100Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---

Both the G1X and the V-LUX 3 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The V-LUX 3 was replaced by the Leica V-LUX 4, 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 and Leica websites.

Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon G1 X and the Leica V-LUX 3? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Reasons to prefer 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.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (922k vs 460k dots).
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (16 percent cheaper at launch).

ilogo

Arguments in favor of the Leica V-LUX 3:

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/24p).
  • More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (12 vs 1.9 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • 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 (410 versus 250) out of a single battery charge.
  • More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale value.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the G1X emerges as the winner of the contest (10 : 8 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 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 10:08 V-LUX 3

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon G1 X and the Leica V-LUX 3 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 specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the G1X and the V-LUX 3 in practical situations. 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], 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 V-LUX 3............ Dec 2011 949i
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..80/100..69/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449i
9.
 
Canon T1i..+ +..74/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799i
10.
 
Canon XSi..+ +..+ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799i
11.
 
Leica V-LUX 4............ Sep 2012 949i
12.
 
Leica V-LUX 2............ Sep 2010 849i
13.
 
Panasonic FZ2003/5+ +..80/1004.5/54.5/5 Jul 2012 599i
14.
 
Panasonic FZ100..+....4.5/54.5/5 Jul 2010 499i
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 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
Leica V-LUX 3:
Check Ebay offers

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.

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    Specifications: Canon G1 X vs Leica V-LUX 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 V-LUX 3
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 28-112mm f/2.8-5.8 25-600mm f/2.8-5.2
    Launch Date January 2012 December 2011
    Launch Price USD 799 USD 949
    Sensor Specs Canon G1 X Leica V-LUX 3
    Sensor Technology CMOS 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 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 12,800 ISO 100 - 3,200 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 100 - 6,400 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 V-LUX 3
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 74% 100%
    Viewfinder Resolution 202k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 922k dots 460k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen Swivel screen
    Shooting Specs Canon G1 X Leica V-LUX 3
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 1.9 shutter flaps/s 12 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 V-LUX 3
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon G1 X Leica V-LUX 3
    Battery Type NB-10L BP-DC9
    Battery Life (CIPA)250 shots per charge410 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 117 x 81 x 65 mm
    (4.6 x 3.2 x 2.6 in)
    124 x 81 x 95 mm
    (4.9 x 3.2 x 3.7 in)
    Camera Weight 534 g (18.8 oz) 540 g (19.0 oz)
    Canon G1 X:
    Check Ebay offers
    Leica V-LUX 3:
    Check Ebay offers

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