Canon G1 X vs Pentax 645D
The Canon PowerShot G1 X and the Pentax 645D are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in January 2012 and March 2010. The G1X is a fixed lens compact, while the 645D is a DSLR. The cameras are based on an 1.5-inch (G1X) and a medium format (645D) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 14.2 megapixels, whereas the Pentax provides 39.5 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Canon G1 X||Pentax 645D|
|Fixed lens compact camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|28-112mm f/2.8-5.8||Pentax 645 mount lenses|
|14.2 MP, 1.5" Sensor||39.5 MP, Medium Format Sensor|
|1080/24p Video||no Video|
|ISO 100-12800||ISO 100-1600|
|Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|3.0" LCD, 922k dots||3.0" LCD, 921k dots|
|Swivel touchscreen||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|1.9 shutter flaps per second||1.1 shutter flaps per second|
|Not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|250 shots per battery charge||800 shots per battery charge|
|117 x 81 x 65 mm, 534 g||156 x 117 x 119 mm, 1480 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot G1 X and the Pentax 645D? 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.
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon G1 X and the Pentax 645D. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Pentax 645D is considerably larger (93 percent) than the Canon G1 X. It is noteworthy in this context that the 645D is splash and dust-proof, while the G1X does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the G1X has a lens built in, whereas the 645D is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup.
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|Canon G1 X»||4.6 in||3.2 in||2.6 in||18.8 oz||250||n||Jan 2012||799||Canon G1 X|
|Pentax 645D«||6.1 in||4.6 in||4.7 in||52.2 oz||800||Y||Mar 2010||9,995||Pentax 645D|
|Canon G1 X Mark II« »||4.6 in||2.9 in||2.6 in||19.5 oz||240||n||Feb 2014||799||Canon G1 X Mark II|
|Canon G16« »||4.3 in||3.0 in||1.6 in||12.6 oz||360||n||Aug 2013||549||Canon G16|
|Canon S120« »||3.9 in||2.3 in||1.1 in||7.7 oz||230||n||Aug 2013||449||Canon S120|
|Canon SX50« »||4.8 in||3.4 in||4.2 in||21.0 oz||315||n||Sep 2012||429||Canon SX50|
|Canon T4i« »||5.2 in||3.9 in||3.1 in||20.3 oz||440||n||Jun 2012||849||Canon T4i|
|Canon 1D X« »||6.2 in||6.6 in||3.3 in||54.7 oz||1120||Y||Oct 2011||6,799||Canon 1D X|
|Canon T3« »||5.1 in||3.9 in||3.1 in||17.5 oz||700||n||Feb 2011||449||Canon T3|
|Canon 1D Mark IV« »||6.1 in||6.2 in||3.1 in||43.4 oz||1500||Y||Oct 2009||4,999||Canon 1D Mark IV|
|Canon T1i« »||5.1 in||3.9 in||2.4 in||18.3 oz||400||n||Mar 2009||799||Canon T1i|
|Canon XSi« »||5.1 in||3.9 in||2.4 in||18.5 oz||500||n||Jan 2008||799||Canon XSi|
|Leica S Typ 006« »||6.3 in||4.7 in||3.1 in||44.4 oz||..||Y||Sep 2012||21,950||Leica S Typ 006|
|Leica V-LUX 4« »||4.9 in||3.4 in||4.3 in||20.7 oz||540||n||Sep 2012||949||Leica V-LUX 4|
|Leica V-LUX 3« »||4.9 in||3.2 in||3.7 in||19.0 oz||410||n||Dec 2011||949||Leica V-LUX 3|
|Nikon D3S« »||6.3 in||6.2 in||3.5 in||43.7 oz||4200||Y||Oct 2009||5,199||Nikon D3S|
|Pentax 645Z« »||6.1 in||4.6 in||4.8 in||54.7 oz||650||Y||Apr 2014||8,499||Pentax 645Z|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as 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. The G1X was launched at a lower price than the 645D, 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
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 Pentax 645D a medium format sensor. The sensor area in the 645D is 454 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.85 and 0.79. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.
With 39.5MP, the 645D offers a higher resolution than the G1X (14.2MP), but the 645D nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 6.06μm versus 4.30μm for the G1X) due to its larger sensor. However, the G1X is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 10 months) than the 645D, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the 645D has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Pentax 645D implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the 645D for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 36.3 x 27.2 inch or 92.3 x 69.1 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 29.1 x 21.8 inch or 73.8 x 55.3 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 24.2 x 18.1 inch or 61.5 x 46.1 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon G1 X are 21.8 x 16.3 inch or 55.3 x 41.5 cm for good quality, 17.4 x 13.1 inch or 44.2 x 33.2 cm for very good quality, and 14.5 x 10.9 inch or 36.8 x 27.6 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 Pentax 645D are ISO 100 to ISO 1600 (no boost).
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"). Of the two cameras under consideration, the 645D offers substantially better image quality than the G1X (overall score 22 points higher). The advantage is based on 2.9 bits higher color depth, 1.8 EV in additional dynamic range, and 1 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|Canon G1 X||1.5-inch||14.2||4352||3264||1080/24p||21.7||10.8||644||60||Canon G1 X|
|Pentax 645D||Medium Format||39.5||7264||5440||none||24.6||12.6||1262||82||Pentax 645D|
|Canon G1 X Mark II||1.5-inch||13.0||4160||3120||1080/30p||21.5||10.8||581||58||Canon G1 X Mark II|
|Canon G16||1/1.7||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||21.0||11.7||230||54||Canon G16|
|Canon S120||1/1.7||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||21.3||11.9||246||56||Canon S120|
|Canon SX50||1/2.3||12.0||4000||3000||1080/24p||20.3||11.2||179||47||Canon SX50|
|Canon T4i||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.7||11.2||722||62||Canon T4i|
|Canon 1D X||Full Frame||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||23.8||11.8||2786||82||Canon 1D X|
|Canon T3||APS-C||12.2||4272||2848||720/30p||21.9||11.0||755||62||Canon T3|
|Canon 1D Mark IV||APS-H||16.0||4896||3264||1080/30p||22.8||12.0||1320||74||Canon 1D Mark IV|
|Canon T1i||APS-C||15.1||4752||3168||1080/20p||21.7||11.5||663||63||Canon T1i|
|Canon XSi||APS-C||12.2||4272||2848||none||21.9||10.8||692||61||Canon XSi|
|Leica S Typ 006||Medium Format||37.5||7500||5000||none||23.9||12.2||824||76||Leica S Typ 006|
|Leica V-LUX 4||1/2.3||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||..||..||..||..||Leica V-LUX 4|
|Leica V-LUX 3||1/2.3||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||..||..||..||..||Leica V-LUX 3|
|Nikon D3S||Full Frame||12.1||4256||2832||720/24p||23.5||12.0||3253||82||Nikon D3S|
|Pentax 645Z||Medium Format||51.1||8256||6192||1080/60i||26.0||14.7||4505||101||Pentax 645Z|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The G1X indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the 645D does not. The highest resolution format that the G1X can use is 1080/24p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The G1X and the 645D 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 Pentax 645D in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|Canon G1 X||optical||n||3.0||922||Swivel||n||1/4000s||1.9||Y||Y||Canon G1 X|
|Pentax 645D||optical||Y||3.0||921||fixed||n||1/4000s||1.1||n||n||Pentax 645D|
|Canon G1 X Mark II||optional||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||5.2||Y||Y||Canon G1 X Mark II|
|Canon G16||optical||n||3.0||922||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.2||Y||Y||Canon G16|
|Canon S120||none||n||3.0||922||fixed||Y||1/2000s||12.1||Y||Y||Canon S120|
|Canon SX50||202||n||3.0||461||swivel||n||1/2000s||2.2||Y||Y||Canon SX50|
|Canon T4i||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Canon T4i|
|Canon 1D X||optical||Y||3.2||1040||fixed||n||1/8000s||14.0||n||n||Canon 1D X|
|Canon T3||optical||n||2.7||230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n||Canon T3|
|Canon 1D Mark IV||optical||Y||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/8000s||10.0||n||n||Canon 1D Mark IV|
|Canon T1i||optical||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.4||Y||n||Canon T1i|
|Canon XSi||optical||n||3.0||230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.5||Y||n||Canon XSi|
|Leica S Typ 006||optical||Y||3.0||922||fixed||n||1/4000s||1.5||n||n||Leica S Typ 006|
|Leica V-LUX 4||1312||n||3.0||460||swivel||n||1/4000s||12.0||Y||Y||Leica V-LUX 4|
|Leica V-LUX 3||202||n||3.0||460||swivel||n||1/2000s||12.0||Y||Y||Leica V-LUX 3|
|Nikon D3S||optical||Y||3.0||921||fixed||n||1/8000s||11.0||n||n||Nikon D3S|
|Pentax 645Z||optical||Y||3.2||1037||tilting||n||1/4000s||3.0||n||n||Pentax 645Z|
One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The G1X has one, while the 645D does not. While the built-in flash of the G1X is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.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 645D does not have a selfie-screen.
The Pentax 645D has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the G1X and the 645D write their files to SDXC cards. The 645D features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the G1X only has one slot.
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 Pentax 645D and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Canon G1 X||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon G1 X|
|Pentax 645D||Y||stereo||none||-||-||none||2.0||-||-||-||Pentax 645D|
|Canon G1 X Mark II||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon G1 X Mark II|
|Canon G16||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Canon G16|
|Canon S120||-||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Canon S120|
|Canon SX50||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon SX50|
|Canon T4i||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon T4i|
|Canon 1D X||Y||mono||none||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 1D X|
|Canon T3||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon T3|
|Canon 1D Mark IV||Y||stereo||none||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 1D Mark IV|
|Canon T1i||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon T1i|
|Canon XSi||Y||none||none||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon XSi|
|Leica S Typ 006||Y||none||none||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Leica S Typ 006|
|Leica V-LUX 4||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Leica V-LUX 4|
|Leica V-LUX 3||Y||stereo||none||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Leica V-LUX 3|
|Nikon D3S||Y||stereo||none||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D3S|
|Pentax 645Z||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||3.0||-||-||-||Pentax 645Z|
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Pentax 645D (unlike the G1X) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
Both the G1X and the 645D have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 645D was replaced by the Pentax 645Z, 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 Pentax websites.
So how do things add up? Is the Canon G1 X better than the Pentax 645D or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Advantages of the Canon PowerShot G1 X:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/24p movies.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (1.9 vs 1.1 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Ready to shoot: Comes with a built-in lens, while the 645D requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (117x81mm vs 156x117mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the 645D).
- Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
- Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 10 months after the 645D).
Reasons to prefer the Pentax 645D:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (39.5 vs 14.2MP), which boosts linear resolution by 67%.
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (22 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (2.9 bits more color depth).
- More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (1.8 EV of extra DR).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (1 stops ISO advantage).
- Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- More flexible: Makes it possible to change lenses and thus to use specialty optics.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (800 versus 250) out of a single battery charge.
- Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
- Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
- Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in March 2010).
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the 645D emerges as the winner of the match-up (14 : 11 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.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon G1 X and the Pentax 645D 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 remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the G1X or the 645D. 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.
This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular 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.
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
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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- Canon G1 X Mark III vs Leica M9
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Specifications: Canon G1 X vs Pentax 645D
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 Model||Canon G1 X||Pentax 645D|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||28-112mm f/2.8-5.8||Pentax 645 mount lenses|
|Launch Date||January 2012||March 2010|
|Launch Price||USD 799||USD 9995|
|Sensor Specs||Canon G1 X||Pentax 645D|
|Sensor Format||1.5" Sensor||Medium Format Sensor|
|Sensor Size||18.7 x 14.0 mm||44.0 x 33.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||261.8 mm2||1452 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||23.4 mm||55 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||14.2 Megapixels||39.5 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4352 x 3264 pixels||7264 x 5440 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.30 μm||6.06 μm|
|Pixel Density||5.43 MP/cm2||2.72 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/24p Video||no Video|
|ISO Setting||100-12800 ISO||100-1600 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 5||PRIME II|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||60||82|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||21.7||24.6|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||10.8||12.6|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||644||1262|
|Screen Specs||Canon G1 X||Pentax 645D|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||74%||98%|
|Top-Level Screen||no Top Display||Control Panel|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||922k dots||921k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon G1 X||Pentax 645D|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||1.9 shutter flaps/s||1.1 shutter flaps/s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer||Intervalometer built-in|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Dual card slots|
|UHS card support||no||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon G1 X||Pentax 645D|
|Studio Flash||no PC Sync||PC Sync socket|
|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||Pentax 645D|
|Environmental Sealing||Not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||250 shots per charge||800 shots per charge|
117 x 81 x 65 mm
(4.6 x 3.2 x 2.6 in)
156 x 117 x 119 mm
(6.1 x 4.6 x 4.7 in)
|Camera Weight||534 g (18.8 oz)||1480 g (52.2 oz)|
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