Canon G1 X vs Pentax Q
The Canon PowerShot G1 X and the Pentax Q are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in January 2012 and June 2011. The G1X is a fixed lens compact, while the Pentax Q is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on an 1.5-inch (G1X) and a 1/2.3-inch (Pentax Q) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 14.2 megapixels, whereas the Pentax provides 12 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Canon G1 X||Pentax Q|
|Fixed lens compact camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|28-112mm f/2.8-5.8||Pentax Q mount lenses|
|14.2 MP, 1.5" Sensor||12 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor|
|1080/24p Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO 100-12,800||ISO 125-6,400|
|Optical viewfinder||Viewfinder optional|
|3.0 LCD, 922k dots||3.0 LCD, 460k dots|
|no rear screen||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|1.9 shutter flaps per second||1.5 shutter flaps per second|
|Lens-based stabilization||In-body stabilization|
|250 shots per battery charge||230 shots per battery charge|
|117 x 81 x 65 mm, 534 g||98 x 57 x 31 mm, 180 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot G1 X and the Pentax Q? 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 Q. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The Pentax Q can be obtained in two different colors (black, white), while the G1X is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Pentax Q is considerably smaller (41 percent) than the Canon G1 X. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G1X nor the Pentax Q 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 Pentax Q is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup.
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.
|Canon G1 X||4.6 in||3.2 in||2.6 in||18.8 oz||250||n||Jan 2012||799|
|Pentax Q||3.9 in||2.2 in||1.2 in||6.3 oz||230||n||Jun 2011||649|
|Canon G1 X Mark II||4.6 in||2.9 in||2.6 in||19.5 oz||240||n||Feb 2014||799|
|Canon G16||4.3 in||3.0 in||1.6 in||12.6 oz||360||n||Aug 2013||549|
|Canon S120||3.9 in||2.3 in||1.1 in||7.7 oz||230||n||Aug 2013||449|
|Canon SX50||4.8 in||3.4 in||4.2 in||21.0 oz||315||n||Sep 2012||429|
|Canon T4i||5.2 in||3.9 in||3.1 in||20.3 oz||440||n||Jun 2012||849|
|Canon T3||5.1 in||3.9 in||3.1 in||17.5 oz||700||n||Feb 2011||449|
|Canon T1i||5.1 in||3.9 in||2.4 in||18.3 oz||400||n||Mar 2009||799|
|Canon XSi||5.1 in||3.9 in||2.4 in||18.5 oz||500||n||Jan 2008||799|
|Leica V-LUX 4||4.9 in||3.4 in||4.3 in||20.7 oz||540||n||Sep 2012||949|
|Leica V-LUX 3||4.9 in||3.2 in||3.7 in||19.0 oz||410||n||Dec 2011||949|
|Olympus XZ-2||4.4 in||2.6 in||1.9 in||12.2 oz||340||n||Sep 2012||599|
|Olympus E-PL2||4.5 in||2.8 in||1.7 in||12.8 oz||280||n||Jan 2011||599|
|Olympus E-PL3||4.3 in||2.5 in||1.5 in||11.0 oz||300||n||Jun 2011||599|
|Olympus E-PL1||4.5 in||2.8 in||1.7 in||11.8 oz||290||n||Feb 2010||599|
|Olympus E-620||5.1 in||3.7 in||2.4 in||18.4 oz||500||n||Feb 2009||699|
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.
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. 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.
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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 Pentax Q a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The sensor area in the Pentax Q 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.
In terms of underlying technology, both cameras are build around CMOS sensors.
With 14.2MP, the G1X offers a higher resolution than the Pentax Q (12MP), but the G1X nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.30μm versus 1.53μm for the Pentax Q) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the G1X is a somewhat more recent model (by 6 months) than the Pentax Q, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further 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 Pentax Q 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 Pentax Q are ISO 125 to ISO 6400 (no boost).
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). Of the two cameras under review, the G1X provides substantially higher image quality than the Pentax Q, with an overall score that is 13 points higher. This advantage is based on 1.5 bits higher color depth, 0.3 EV of lower dynamic range, and 1.8 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|Canon G1 X||1.5-inch||14.2||4352||3264||1080/24p||21.7||10.8||644||60|
|Canon G1 X Mark II||1.5-inch||13.0||4160||3120||1080/30p||21.5||10.8||581||58|
|Leica V-LUX 4||1/2.3||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||..||..||..||..|
|Leica V-LUX 3||1/2.3||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||..||..||..||..|
|Olympus E-PL2||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||720/30p||21.4||10.2||573||55|
|Olympus E-PL3||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||1080/60i||20.9||10.3||499||52|
|Olympus E-PL1||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||720/30p||21.5||10.1||487||54|
|Olympus E-620||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||none||21.3||10.3||536||55|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the Pentax Q provides a faster frame rate than the G1X. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/30p, while the Canon is limited to 1080/24p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the G1X has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the Pentax Q relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the Pentax Q can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the O-VF1. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon G1 X and Pentax Q along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|Canon G1 X||optical||n||3.0||922||Swivel||n||1/4000s||1.9||Y||Y|
|Canon G1 X Mark II||optional||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||5.2||Y||Y|
|Leica V-LUX 4||1312||n||3.0||460||swivel||n||1/4000s||12.0||Y||Y|
|Leica V-LUX 3||202||n||3.0||460||swivel||n||1/2000s||12.0||Y||Y|
The Pentax Q 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 Pentax Q write their files to SDXC cards.
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 Q and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
|Canon G1 X||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|Canon G1 X Mark II||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|Leica V-LUX 4||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|Leica V-LUX 3||Y||stereo||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
Both the G1X and the Pentax Q have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The Pentax Q was replaced by the Pentax Q10, 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 what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon G1 X and the Pentax Q? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
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 substantially higher (13 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
- Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (1.5 bits more color depth).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (1.8 stops ISO advantage).
- Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (922k vs 460k dots).
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (1.9 vs 1.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the Pentax Q requires a separate lens.
- More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 6 months after the Pentax Q).
Advantages of the Pentax Q:
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/30p versus 1080/24p).
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with specialty optics.
- More compact: Is smaller (98x57mm vs 117x81mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in June 2011).
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the G1X is the clear winner of the match-up (11 : 5 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision 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.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon G1 X and the Pentax Q 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 technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the G1X or the Pentax Q perform in practice. 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.
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 (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.
|Canon G1 X||+||76/100||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2012||799|
|Pentax Q||..||..||4/5||3.5/5||3.5/5||Jun 2011||649|
|Canon G1 X Mark II||+||77/100||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||799|
|Canon G16||+||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||549|
|Canon S120||+ +||..||4.5/5||o||4.5/5||Aug 2013||449|
|Canon SX50||+ +||72/100||4.5/5||..||4.5/5||Sep 2012||429|
|Canon T4i||+ +||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2012||849|
|Canon T3||80/100||69/100||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2011||449|
|Canon T1i||+ +||74/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2009||799|
|Canon XSi||+ +||+ +||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2008||799|
|Leica V-LUX 4||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2012||949|
|Leica V-LUX 3||..||..||..||..||..||Dec 2011||949|
|Olympus XZ-2||+||..||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||599|
|Olympus E-PL2||83/100||71/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2011||599|
|Olympus E-PL3||+ +||72/100||4.5/5||..||4/5||Jun 2011||599|
|Olympus E-PL1||86/100||69/100||4/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2010||599|
|Olympus E-620||88/100||72/100||4.5/5||o||5/5||Feb 2009||699|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, 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 comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date 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? 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.
- Canon G1 X Mark II vs Hasselblad X1D II
- Canon G1 X Mark II vs Olympus E-500
- Canon G1 X Mark II vs Panasonic GH1
- Canon G1 X Mark II vs Sony NEX-7
- Canon G1 X Mark III vs Pentax K-70
- Canon G1 X vs Canon G7 X Mark II
- Olympus E-M10 III vs Pentax Q
- Panasonic GF5 vs Pentax Q
- Pentax Q vs Sony A7R II
- Pentax Q vs Sony A99
- Pentax Q vs Sony HX99
- Pentax Q vs Zeiss ZX1
Specifications: Canon G1 X vs Pentax Q
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 Q|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||28-112mm f/2.8-5.8||Pentax Q mount lenses|
|Launch Date||January 2012||June 2011|
|Launch Price||USD 799||USD 649|
|Sensor Specs||Canon G1 X||Pentax Q|
|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|
|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||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/24p Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 12,800 ISO||125 - 6,400 ISO|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||60||47|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||21.7||20.2|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||10.8||11.1|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||644||189|
|Screen Specs||Canon G1 X||Pentax Q|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Viewfinder optional|
|Viewfinder Field of View||74%|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||922k dots||460k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon G1 X||Pentax Q|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||1.9 shutter flaps/s||1.5 shutter flaps/s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer||Intervalometer built-in|
|Image Stabilization||Lens-based stabilization||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-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||Pentax Q|
|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||Pentax Q|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||250 shots per charge||230 shots per charge|
117 x 81 x 65 mm
(4.6 x 3.2 x 2.6 in)
98 x 57 x 31 mm
(3.9 x 2.2 x 1.2 in)
|Camera Weight||534 g (18.8 oz)||180 g (6.3 oz)|
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