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Canon G1 X vs Olympus E-300

The Canon PowerShot G1 X and the Olympus Evolt E-300 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in January 2012 and September 2004. The G1X is a fixed lens compact, while the E-300 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on an 1.5-inch (G1X) and a Four Thirds (E-300) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 14.2 megapixels, whereas the Olympus provides 8 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
Olympus E-300
Canon G1 X   Olympus E-300
Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
28-112mm f/2.8-5.8 Four Thirds lenses
14.2 MP, 1.5" Sensor 8 MP, Four Thirds Sensor
1080/24p Video no Video
ISO 100-12,800 ISO 100-400 (100 - 1,600)
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.0 LCD, 922k dots 1.8 LCD, 134k dots
Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
1.9 shutter flaps per second 2.5 shutter flaps per second
250 shots per battery charge750 shots per battery charge
117 x 81 x 65 mm, 534 g 147 x 85 x 64 mm, 624 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot G1 X and the Olympus Evolt E-300? 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 Olympus E-300 is provided 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 dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon G1 X vs Olympus E-300
Compare G1X versus E-300 top
Comparison G1X or E-300 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus E-300 is notably larger (32 percent) than the Canon G1 X. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G1X nor the E-300 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 E-300 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 E-300 and their specifications in the Four Thirds Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the G1X gets 250 shots out of its NB-10L battery, while the E-300 can take 750 images on a single charge of its BLM-1 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.
 
Olympus E-300 147 mm 85 mm 64 mm 624 g 750 n Sep 2004 799i
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 3 124 mm 81 mm 95 mm 540 g 410 n Dec 2011 949i
13.
 
Leica Digilux 3 146 mm 87 mm 77 mm 606 g 750 n Sep 2006 1,499i
14.
 
Olympus E-330 140 mm 87 mm 72 mm 637 g 750 n Jan 2006 999i
15.
 
Olympus E-400 130 mm 91 mm 53 mm 435 g 500 n Sep 2006 699i
16.
 
Olympus E-500 130 mm 95 mm 66 mm 479 g 750 n Sep 2005 599i
17.
 
Olympus E-1 141 mm 104 mm 81 mm 738 g 750 Y Jun 2003 1,699i
Notes: 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 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. 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.

Sensor comparison

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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 Olympus E-300 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the E-300 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 Olympus E-300 sensor measures

With 14.2MP, the G1X offers a higher resolution than the E-300 (8MP), but the G1X has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.30μm versus 5.30μm for the E-300). However, the G1X is a much more recent model (by 7 years and 3 months) than the E-300, 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 Olympus E-300 are 16.3 x 12.2 inches or 41.5 x 31.1 cm for good quality, 13.1 x 9.8 inches or 33.2 x 24.9 cm for very good quality, and 10.9 x 8.2 inches or 27.6 x 20.7 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 Olympus Evolt E-300 are ISO 100 to ISO 400, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-1600.

G1X versus E-300 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.
 
Olympus E-300 Four Thirds 8.0 3264 2448none20.410.1-4048
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 3 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.711.043042
13.
 
Leica Digilux 3 Four Thirds 7.4 3136 2352none21.010.612753
14.
 
Olympus E-330 Four Thirds 7.4 3136 2352none20.810.47352
15.
 
Olympus E-400 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.010.612753
16.
 
Olympus E-500 Four Thirds 8.0 3264 2448none20.710.34551
17.
 
Olympus E-1 Four Thirds 4.9 2560 1920none20.09.7-14544
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The G1X indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the E-300 does not. The highest resolution format that the G1X can use is 1080/24p.

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The G1X and the E-300 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 Olympus E-300, 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)
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.
 
Olympus E-300optical n1.8 / 134 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 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 SX50202 n3.0 / 461 swivel n 1/2000s 2.2 Y Y
7.
 
Canon T4ioptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
8.
 
Canon T3optical n2.7 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
9.
 
Canon T1ioptical n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4 Y n
10.
 
Canon XSioptical 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.
 
Leica Digilux 3optical n2.5 / 207 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
14.
 
Olympus E-330optical n2.5 / 215 tilting n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
15.
 
Olympus E-400optical n2.5 / 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
16.
 
Olympus E-500optical n2.5 / 215 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
17.
 
Olympus E-1optical Y1.8 / 134 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 n 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 E-300 does not have a selfie-screen.

The G1X writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the E-300 uses Compact Flash or xD Picture cards. The E-300 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the G1X only has one slot.

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 Olympus Evolt E-300 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.
 
Olympus E-300Y- / ----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 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 3Ystereo / ---mini2.0---
13.
 
Leica Digilux 3Ystereo / mono---2.0---
14.
 
Olympus E-330Y- / ----2.0---
15.
 
Olympus E-400Y- / ----2.0---
16.
 
Olympus E-500Y- / ----2.0---
17.
 
Olympus E-1Y- / ----2.0---

Both the G1X and the E-300 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The E-300 was replaced by the Olympus E-330, 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 Olympus websites.

Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Canon G1 X or the Olympus E-300 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot G1 X:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (14.2 vs 8MP) with a 33% 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 1.8") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (922k vs 134k 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 E-300 requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (117x81mm vs 147x85mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the E-300).
  • Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
  • More modern: Reflects 7 years and 3 months of technical progress since the E-300 launch.

ilogo

Reasons to prefer the Olympus Evolt E-300:

  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (2.5 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.
  • Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in September 2004).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the G1X is the clear winner of the match-up (11 : 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 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 11:05 E-300

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon G1 X and the Olympus E-300 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 technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the G1X and the E-300 in practical situations. 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 why expert reviews are important. 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.
 
Olympus E-300......+o4.5/5 Sep 2004 799i
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 3............ Dec 2011 949i
13.
 
Leica Digilux 3............ Sep 2006 1,499i
14.
 
Olympus E-330......+o.. Jan 2006 999i
15.
 
Olympus E-400..85/100....4/54/5 Sep 2006 699i
16.
 
Olympus E-500..76/100..+ +.... Sep 2005 599i
17.
 
Olympus E-1......+o.. Jun 2003 1,699i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, 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 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
Olympus E-300:
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. 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 Olympus E-300

    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 Olympus E-300
    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 2004
    Launch Price USD 799 USD 799
    Sensor Specs Canon G1 X Olympus E-300
    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 8 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4352 x 3264 pixels 3264 x 2448 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.30 μm 5.30 μm
    Pixel Density 5.43 MP/cm2 3.55 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/24p Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 12,800 ISO 100 - 400 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 100 - 1,600 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 5 TruePic
    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 Olympus E-300
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 74% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.5x
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 1.8inch
    LCD Resolution 922k dots 134k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon G1 X Olympus E-300
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 1.9 shutter flaps/s 2.5 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards CF or XD cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Dual card slots
    Connectivity Specs Canon G1 X Olympus E-300
    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 Olympus E-300
    Battery Type NB-10L BLM-1
    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)
    147 x 85 x 64 mm
    (5.8 x 3.3 x 2.5 in)
    Camera Weight 534 g (18.8 oz) 624 g (22.0 oz)

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