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Canon G1 X vs Panasonic G1

The Canon PowerShot G1 X and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in January 2012 and September 2008. The G1X is a fixed lens compact, while the G1 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on an 1.5-inch (G1X) and a Four Thirds (G1) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 14.2 megapixels, whereas the Panasonic 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
Panasonic G1
Canon G1 X   Panasonic G1
Fixed lens compact camera Mirrorless system camera
28-112mm f/2.8-5.8 Micro Four Thirds lenses
14.2 MP, 1.5" Sensor 12 MP, Four Thirds Sensor
1080/24p Video no Video
ISO 100-12,800 ISO 100-1,600 (100 - 3,200)
Optical viewfinder Electronic viewfinder (1440k 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 3 shutter flaps per second
250 shots per battery charge410 shots per battery charge
117 x 81 x 65 mm, 534 g 124 x 84 x 45 mm, 360 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot G1 X and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1? 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 Panasonic G1. 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 Panasonic G1
Compare G1X versus G1 top
Comparison G1X or G1 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic G1 is notably larger (10 percent) than the Canon G1 X. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G1X nor the G1 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 G1 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 G1 and their specifications in the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the G1X gets 250 shots out of its NB-10L battery, while the G1 can take 410 images on a single charge of its DMW-BLB13 power pack.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. 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.
 
Panasonic G1 124 mm 84 mm 45 mm 360 g 410 n Sep 2008 599i
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.
 
Panasonic G10 124 mm 84 mm 74 mm 388 g 380 n Mar 2010 499i
14.
 
Panasonic G2 124 mm 84 mm 74 mm 428 g 360 n Mar 2010 599i
15.
 
Panasonic GF2 113 mm 68 mm 33 mm 310 g 300 n Nov 2010 549i
16.
 
Panasonic GF1 119 mm 71 mm 36 mm 385 g 380 n Sep 2009 749i
17.
 
Panasonic GH1 124 mm 90 mm 45 mm 385 g 300 n Mar 2009 899i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. 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. 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 Panasonic G1 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the G1 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.

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

Canon G1 X and Panasonic G1 sensor measures

With 14.2MP, the G1X offers a higher resolution than the G1 (12MP), but the G1X has marginally smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.30μm versus 4.33μm for the G1). However, the G1X is a much more recent model (by 3 years and 3 months) than the G1, 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 Panasonic G1 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 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 are ISO 100 to ISO 1600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-3200.

G1X versus G1 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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 review, the G1X has a notably higher overall DXO score than the G1 (overall score 7 points higher), which gives it an advantage in terms of imaging quality. This advantage is based on 0.6 bits higher color depth, 0.5 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.5 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.
 
Panasonic G1 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000none21.110.346353
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 30001080/60p........
12.
 
Leica V-LUX 3 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p........
13.
 
Panasonic G10 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.141152
14.
 
Panasonic G2 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.349353
15.
 
Panasonic GF2 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i21.210.350654
16.
 
Panasonic GF1 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.351354
17.
 
Panasonic GH1 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/24p21.611.677264

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The G1X indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the G1 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. For example, the G1 has an electronic viewfinder (1440k 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 table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon G1 X and Panasonic G1 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.
 
Panasonic G11440 n3.0 / 460 swivel 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.
 
Panasonic G10202 n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 2.6 Y n
14.
 
Panasonic G21440 n3.0 / 460 swivel Y 1/4000s 2.6 Y n
15.
 
Panasonic GF2optional n3.0 / 460 fixed Y 1/4000s 2.6 Y n
16.
 
Panasonic GF1optional n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
17.
 
Panasonic GH11440 n3.0 / 460 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
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.

The G1X writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the G1 uses SDHC 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 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 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.
 
Panasonic G1Y- / ---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 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.
 
Panasonic G10Ymono / ---mini2.0---
14.
 
Panasonic G2Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
15.
 
Panasonic GF2Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
16.
 
Panasonic GF1Ymono / mono--mini2.0---
17.
 
Panasonic GH1Ystereo / -Y-mini2.0---

Both the G1X and the G1 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The G1 was replaced by the Panasonic G2, 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 Panasonic websites.

Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Canon G1 X better than the Panasonic G1 or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot G1 X:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (14.2 vs 12MP) with a 9% higher linear resolution.
  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (7 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (0.5 stops ISO advantage).
  • Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/24p movies.
  • Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (922k vs 460k dots).
  • Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the G1 requires a separate lens.
  • Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
  • More modern: Reflects 3 years and 3 months of technical progress since the G1 launch.

ilogo

Advantages of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1:

  • More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3 vs 1.9 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with specialty optics.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (410 versus 250) out of a single battery charge.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in September 2008).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the G1X is the clear winner of the match-up (9 : 5 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 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 09:05 G1

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon G1 X and the Panasonic G1 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Travel-Zoom Camera and Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens 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 G1. 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 why hands-on reviews by experts 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.
 
Panasonic G1..+ +..70/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2008 599i
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.
 
Panasonic G103/5....70/1004/54/5 Mar 2010 499i
14.
 
Panasonic G2......72/1004/54.5/5 Mar 2010 599i
15.
 
Panasonic GF23/582/100..70/1004.5/54.5/5 Nov 2010 549i
16.
 
Panasonic GF1..85/100..69/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2009 749i
17.
 
Panasonic GH1..+ +..72/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2009 899i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted 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. 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
Panasonic G1:
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. 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 Panasonic G1

    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 Panasonic G1
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens 28-112mm f/2.8-5.8 Micro Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date January 2012 September 2008
    Launch Price USD 799 USD 599
    Sensor Specs Canon G1 X Panasonic G1
    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 12 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4352 x 3264 pixels 4000 x 3000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.30 μm 4.33 μm
    Pixel Density 5.43 MP/cm2 5.34 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
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 100 - 3,200 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 5 Venus HD
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 60 53
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.7 21.1
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 10.8 10.3
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 644 463
    Screen Specs Canon G1 X Panasonic G1
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 74% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.70x
    Viewfinder Resolution 1440k 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 Panasonic G1
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-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 SDHC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Canon G1 X Panasonic G1
    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 Panasonic G1
    Battery Type NB-10L DMW-BLB13
    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 84 x 45 mm
    (4.9 x 3.3 x 1.8 in)
    Camera Weight 534 g (18.8 oz) 360 g (12.7 oz)

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