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Canon G1 X vs Panasonic L1

The Canon PowerShot G1 X and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in January 2012 and February 2006. The G1X is a fixed lens compact, while the L1 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on an 1.5-inch (G1X) and a Four Thirds (L1) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 14.2 megapixels, whereas the Panasonic 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 Panasonic L1
Canon G1 X Panasonic L1
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
no rear screen 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 64 mm, 606 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-L1? 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 Panasonic L1 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 Panasonic L1
Compare G1X versus L1 top
Comparison G1X or L1 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic L1 is notably larger (34 percent) than the Canon G1 X. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G1X nor the L1 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 L1 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 L1 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, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon G1 X 4.6 in 3.2 in 2.6 in 18.8 oz 250 n Jan 2012 799i
 
Panasonic L1 5.7 in 3.4 in 2.5 in 21.4 oz 750 n Feb 2006 999i
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 4.6 in 2.9 in 2.6 in 19.5 oz 240 n Feb 2014 799i
 
Canon G16 4.3 in 3.0 in 1.6 in 12.6 oz 360 n Aug 2013 549 i
 
Canon S120 3.9 in 2.3 in 1.1 in 7.7 oz 230 n Aug 2013 449i
 
Canon SX50 4.8 in 3.4 in 4.2 in 21.0 oz 315 n Sep 2012 429i
 
Canon T4i 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.3 oz 440 n Jun 2012 849i
 
Canon T3 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 17.5 oz 700 n Feb 2011 449i
 
Canon T1i 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.3 oz 400 n Mar 2009 799i
 
Canon XSi 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.5 oz 500 n Jan 2008 799i
 
Canon XT 5.0 in 3.7 in 2.5 in 19.0 oz 400 n Feb 2005 899i
 
Leica V-LUX 4 4.9 in 3.4 in 4.3 in 20.7 oz 540 n Sep 2012 949i
 
Leica V-LUX 3 4.9 in 3.2 in 3.7 in 19.0 oz 410 n Dec 2011 949i
 
Leica Digilux 3 5.7 in 3.4 in 3.0 in 21.4 oz 750 n Sep 2006 1,499i
 
Olympus E-330 5.5 in 3.4 in 2.8 in 22.5 oz 750 n Jan 2006 999i
 
Olympus E-300 5.8 in 3.3 in 2.5 in 22.0 oz 750 n Sep 2004 799i
 
Panasonic L10 5.3 in 3.8 in 3.1 in 19.6 oz 450 n Aug 2007 599i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.

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 L1, 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 Panasonic L1 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the L1 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 Panasonic L1 sensor measures

With 14.2MP, the G1X offers a higher resolution than the L1 (7.4MP), but the G1X has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.30μm versus 5.51μm for the L1). However, the G1X is a much more recent model (by 5 years and 10 months) than the L1, 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 L1 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 Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1 are ISO 100 to ISO 1600 (no boost).

G1X versus L1 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
 
Canon G1 X 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.864460
 
Panasonic L1 Four Thirds 7.4 3136 2352none........
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 31201080/30p21.510.858158
 
Canon G16 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054
 
Canon S120 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.311.924656
 
Canon SX50 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.217947
 
Canon T4i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262
 
Canon T3 APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562
 
Canon T1i APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363
 
Canon XSi APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.869261
 
Canon XT APS-C 8.0 3456 2304none21.810.863760
 
Leica V-LUX 4 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p........
 
Leica V-LUX 3 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p........
 
Leica Digilux 3 Four Thirds 7.4 3136 2352none........
 
Olympus E-330 Four Thirds 7.4 3136 2352none........
 
Olympus E-300 Four Thirds 8.0 3264 2448none........
 
Panasonic L10 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.310.842955

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 L1 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 L1 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 Panasonic L1 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
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
(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
 
Canon G1 Xoptical n 3.0 922 Swivel n 1/4000s 1.9 Y Y
 
Panasonic L1optical n 2.5 207 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIoptional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 5.2 Y Y
 
Canon G16optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.2 Y Y
 
Canon S120none n 3.0 922 fixed Y 1/2000s 12.1 Y Y
 
Canon SX50202 n 3.0 461 swivel n 1/2000s 2.2 Y Y
 
Canon T4ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon T3optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Canon T1ioptical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4 Y n
 
Canon XSioptical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
 
Canon XToptical n 1.8 115 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Leica V-LUX 41312 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
 
Leica V-LUX 3202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 12.0 Y Y
 
Leica Digilux 3optical n 2.5 207 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Olympus E-330optical n 2.5 215 tilting n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Olympus E-300optical n 1.8 134 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
 
Panasonic L10optical n 2.5 207 swivel 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 L1 does not have a selfie-screen.

The G1X writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the L1 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-L1 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
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
 
Canon G1 XYstereomono--mini2.0---
 
Panasonic L1Y-----2.0---
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIYstereomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Canon G16Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--
 
Canon S120-stereomono--mini2.0Y--
 
Canon SX50Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon T4iYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Canon T3Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon T1iYmonomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon XSiY----mini2.0---
 
Canon XTY-----2.0---
 
Leica V-LUX 4YstereomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Leica V-LUX 3Ystereo---mini2.0---
 
Leica Digilux 3Ystereomono---2.0---
 
Olympus E-330Y-----2.0---
 
Olympus E-300Y-----2.0---
 
Panasonic L10Y-----2.0---

Both the G1X and the L1 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The L1 was replaced by the Panasonic L10, 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 is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Canon G1 X or the Panasonic L1 – 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 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 L1 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 L1).
  • 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 10 months of technical progress since the L1 launch.

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Advantages of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1:

  • 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 heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in February 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 (11 : 4 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 11:04 L1

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon G1 X and the Panasonic L1 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 L1 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 (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). 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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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon G1 X+76/1004/54/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799i
 
Panasonic L185/100+..o3.5/5 Feb 2006 999i
 
Canon G1 X Mark II+77/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 799i
 
Canon G16+..4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i
 
Canon S120+ +..4.5/5o4.5/5 Aug 2013 449i
 
Canon SX50+ +72/1004.5/5..4.5/5 Sep 2012 429i
 
Canon T4i+ +77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849i
 
Canon T380/10069/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449i
 
Canon T1i+ +74/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799i
 
Canon XSi+ ++ +4/55/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799i
 
Canon XT80/100+ +oo.. Feb 2005 899i
 
Leica V-LUX 4.......... Sep 2012 949i
 
Leica V-LUX 3.......... Dec 2011 949i
 
Leica Digilux 3.......... Sep 2006 1,499i
 
Olympus E-330..+o3.5/5.. Jan 2006 999i
 
Olympus E-300..+oo4.5/5 Sep 2004 799i
 
Panasonic L1085/100+3.5/5o4/5 Aug 2007 599i
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
Panasonic L1:
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 Panasonic L1

    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 L1
    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 February 2006
    Launch Price USD 799 USD 999
    Sensor Specs Canon G1 X Panasonic L1
    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
    Image Processor DIGIC 5 Venus
    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 Panasonic L1
    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 Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon G1 X Panasonic L1
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 1.9 shutter flaps/s 3 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-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 L1
    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 Panasonic L1
    Battery Type NB-10L CGR-S602
    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 64 mm
    (5.7 x 3.4 x 2.5 in)
    Camera Weight 534 g (18.8 oz) 606 g (21.4 oz)

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