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Canon G1 X versus Sony A7R III

The Canon PowerShot G1 X and the Sony Alpha A7R III are two enthusiast cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in January 2012 and October 2017. The G1X is a fixed lens compact, while the A7R III is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on an 1.5-inch (G1X) and a full frame (A7R III) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 14.2 megapixel, whereas the Sony provides 42.2 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Canon G1 X vs Sony A7R III

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon G1 X and the Sony A7R III. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. If you prefer, you can also use the toggle button to switch to a comparison in percentage terms (in this case, the camera on the left side – the G1X – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Canon G1 X vs Sony A7R III
G1X versus A7R III top view
G1X and A7R III rear side

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony A7R III is notably larger (29 percent) than the Canon G1 X. It is noteworthy in this context that the A7R III 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 build in, whereas the A7R III is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can find an overview of optics for the A7R III and their specifications in the Sony FE Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the G1X gets 250 shots out of its NB-10L battery, while the A7R III can take 650 images on a single charge of its NP-FZ100 power pack.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. 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.

Camera Body Specifications
Camera Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(y/n)
Camera
Launch
(year)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(amazon)
Used
Price
(ebay)
Canon G1 X (⇒ rgt) 4.6 in 3.2 in 2.6 in 18.8 oz 250 no 2012 799discont. check
Sony A7R III (⇒ lft) 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.9 in 22.9 oz 650 YES 2017 3,199 latest check
Canon T6i (⇒ lft | rgt) 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.6 oz 440 no 2015 749discont. check
Canon G1 X Mark II (⇒ lft | rgt) 4.6 in 2.9 in 2.6 in 19.5 oz 240 no 2014 799 latest check
Canon G16 (⇒ lft | rgt) 4.3 in 3.0 in 1.6 in 12.6 oz 360 no 2013 549 latest check
Canon T4i (⇒ lft | rgt) 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.3 oz 440 no 2012 849discont. check
Canon SX50 (⇒ lft | rgt) 4.8 in 3.4 in 4.2 in 21.0 oz 315 no 2012 429discont. check
Canon T3 (⇒ lft | rgt) 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 17.5 oz 700 no 2011 449discont. check
Canon T1i (⇒ lft | rgt) 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.3 oz 400 no 2009 799discont. check
Canon XSi (⇒ lft | rgt) 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.5 oz 500 no 2008 799discont. check
Leica V-LUX 4 (⇒ lft | rgt) 4.9 in 3.4 in 4.3 in 20.7 oz 540 no 2012 949discont. check
Leica V-LUX 3 (⇒ lft | rgt) 4.9 in 3.2 in 3.7 in 19.0 oz 410 no 2011 949discont. check
Sony A7 III (⇒ lft | rgt) 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.9 in 22.9 oz 610 YES 2018 1,999 latest check
Sony A99 II (⇒ lft | rgt) 5.6 in 4.1 in 3.0 in 29.9 oz 490 YES 2016 3,199 latest check
Sony A7R II (⇒ lft | rgt) 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.4 in 22.0 oz 290 YES 2015 3,199discont. check
Sony A7 II (⇒ lft | rgt) 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.4 in 21.1 oz 350 YES 2014 1,999discont. check
Sony A7R (⇒ lft | rgt) 5.0 in 3.7 in 1.9 in 16.4 oz 340 YES 2013 2,299discont. check

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. 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 A7R III, despite having a lens build in. 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: Canon G1 X vs Sony A7R III

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. 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 Sony A7R III a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the A7R III is 229 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.85 and 1.0. The sensor in the G1X has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the A7R III offers a 3:2 aspect.

Canon G1 X and Sony A7R III sensor measures

With 42.2MP, the A7R III offers a higher resolution than the G1X (14.2MP), but the A7R III nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.52μm versus 4.30μm for the G1X) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the A7R III is a much more recent model (by 5 years and 9 months) than the G1X, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the A7R III has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

Unlike the G1X, the A7R III has the capacity to capture high quality composite images by combining multiple shots after shifting its sensor by miniscule distances. This multi-shot, pixel-shift mode is most suitable for photography of stationary objects (landscapes, studio scenes).

G1X versus A7R III MP

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 A7R III offers substantially better image quality than the G1X (overall score 40 points higher). The advantage is based on 4.3 bits higher color depth, 3.9 EV in additional dynamic range, and 2.5 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.

Sensor Characteristics
Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(Megapixel)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Canon G1 X (⇒ rgt) 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 3264 1080/24p 21.7 10.8 644 60
Sony A7R III (⇒ lft) Full Frame 42.2 7952 5304 4K/30p 26.0 14.7 3523 100
Canon T6i (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 24.0 6000 4000 1080/60p 22.7 12.0 919 71
Canon G1 X Mark II (⇒ lft | rgt) 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 3120 1080/30p 21.5 10.8 581 58
Canon G16 (⇒ lft | rgt) 1/1.7 12.0 4000 3000 1080/60p 21.0 11.7 230 54
Canon T4i (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 17.9 5184 3456 1080/30p 21.7 11.2 722 62
Canon SX50 (⇒ lft | rgt) 1/2.3 12.0 4000 3000 1080/24p 20.3 11.2 179 47
Canon T3 (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 12.2 4272 2848 720/30p 21.9 11.0 755 62
Canon T1i (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 15.1 4752 3168 1080/20p 21.7 11.5 663 63
Canon XSi (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 12.2 4272 2848 no 21.9 10.8 692 61
Leica V-LUX 4 (⇒ lft | rgt) 1/2.3 12.0 4000 3000 1080/60p - - - -
Leica V-LUX 3 (⇒ lft | rgt) 1/2.3 12.0 4000 3000 1080/60p - - - -
Sony A7 III (⇒ lft | rgt) Full Frame 24.0 6000 4000 4K/30p 25.0 14.7 3730 96
Sony A99 II (⇒ lft | rgt) Full Frame 42.2 7952 5304 4K/30p 25.4 13.4 2317 92
Sony A7R II (⇒ lft | rgt) Full Frame 42.2 7952 5304 4K/30p 26.0 13.9 3434 98
Sony A7 II (⇒ lft | rgt) Full Frame 24.0 6000 4000 1080/60p 24.9 13.6 2449 90
Sony A7R (⇒ lft | rgt) Full Frame 36.2 7360 4912 1080/60p 25.6 14.1 2746 95

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the A7R III provides a better video resolution than the G1X. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Canon is limited to 1080/24p.

Feature comparison: Canon G1 X vs Sony A7R III

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the A7R III has an electronic viewfinder (3686k 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 following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon G1 X, the Sony A7R III, and comparable cameras. If needed, the dpreview camera hub, for example, contains further detail on the cameras' specs.

Core Features
Camera Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(Y/n)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(Y/n)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(GN)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Canon G1 X (⇒ rgt) optical no 3.0 922 Swivel no 4000 1.9 7 YES
Sony A7R III (⇒ lft) 3686 no 3.0 1440 tilting YES 8000 10.0 no YES
Canon T6i (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3.0 1040 swivel YES 4000 5.0 12 no
Canon G1 X Mark II (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 1040 tilting YES 4000 5.2 6.8 YES
Canon G16 (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3.0 922 fixed no 4000 2.2 7 YES
Canon T4i (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3.0 1040 swivel YES 4000 5.0 13 no
Canon SX50 (⇒ lft | rgt) 202 no 3.0 461 swivel no 2000 2.2 5.5 YES
Canon T3 (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 2.7 230 fixed no 4000 3.0 9.2 no
Canon T1i (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3.0 920 fixed no 4000 3.4 13 no
Canon XSi (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3.0 230 fixed no 4000 3.5 13 no
Leica V-LUX 4 (⇒ lft | rgt) 1312 no 3.0 460 swivel no 4000 12.0 13.5 YES
Leica V-LUX 3 (⇒ lft | rgt) 202 no 3.0 460 swivel no 2000 12.0 9.5 YES
Sony A7 III (⇒ lft | rgt) 2359 no 3.0 922 tilting YES 8000 10 no YES
Sony A99 II (⇒ lft | rgt) 2400 YES 3.0 1229 full-flex no 8000 12.0 no YES
Sony A7R II (⇒ lft | rgt) 2400 no 3.0 1229 tilting no 8000 5.0 no YES
Sony A7 II (⇒ lft | rgt) 2400 no 3.0 1230 tilting no 8000 5.0 no YES
Sony A7R (⇒ lft | rgt) 2400 no 3.0 1230 tilting no 8000 4.0 no no

The A7R III is a current model that online retailers, such as amazon, will have in stock. In contrast, the G1X has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the G1X was succeeded by the Canon G1X Mark II.

Review summary: Canon G1 X vs Sony A7R III

So how do things add up? Is the Canon G1 X better than the Sony A7R III 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:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
  • Ready to shoot: Has a lens build-in, whereas the A7R III requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (117x81mm vs 127x96mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a build-in lens (unlike the A7R III).
  • 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 build-in lens.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in January 2012).

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Reasons to prefer the Sony Alpha A7R III:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (42.2 vs 14.2MP), which boosts linear resolution by 76%.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • High quality composites: Can combine several shots after pixel-shifting its sensor.
  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (40 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (4.3 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (3.9 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (2.5 stops ISO advantage).
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/24p).
  • More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1440k vs 922k dots).
  • Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (8000/sec vs 4000/sec) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 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 (650 versus 250) out of a single battery charge.
  • Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
  • More modern: Reflects 5 years and 9 months of technical progress since the G1X launch.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the A7R III is the clear winner of the contest (17 : 8 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.

G1X 08:17 A7R III

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 handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the G1X or the A7R III. 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 table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The full reviews are available by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review scores
Camera cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(year)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(amazon)
Used
Price
(ebay)
Canon G1 X (⇒ rgt) 79/100 Rec 76/100 Silver 4/5 4/5 4.5/5 2012 799discont. check
Sony A7R III (⇒ lft) HiRec 90/100 Gold 4.5/5 5/5 5/5 2017 3,199 latest check
Canon T6i (⇒ lft | rgt) - 75/100 4.5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2015 749discont. check
Canon G1 X Mark II (⇒ lft | rgt) Rec 77/100 Silver 4/5 4/5 4.5/5 2014 799 latest check
Canon G16 (⇒ lft | rgt) Rec - 4.5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2013 549 latest check
Canon T4i (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 77/100 Silver 4.5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2012 849discont. check
Canon SX50 (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 72/100 4.5/5 - 4.5/5 2012 429discont. check
Canon T3 (⇒ lft | rgt) 80/100 69/100 4/5 4/5 4.5/5 2011 449discont. check
Canon T1i (⇒ lft | rgt) 88/100 HiRec 74/100 HiRec 4.5/5 5/5 4.5/5 2009 799discont. check
Canon XSi (⇒ lft | rgt) 88/100 HiRec HiRec 4/5 5/5 4.5/5 2008 799discont. check
Leica V-LUX 4 (⇒ lft | rgt) - - - - - 2012 949discont. check
Leica V-LUX 3 (⇒ lft | rgt) - - - - - 2011 949discont. check
Sony A7 III (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 89/100 Gold 5/5 .. 5/5 2018 1,999 latest check
Sony A99 II (⇒ lft | rgt) - 85/100 Silver 4.5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2016 3,199 latest check
Sony A7R II (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 90/100 Gold 5/5 4.5/5 5/5 2015 3,199discont. check
Sony A7 II (⇒ lft | rgt) Rec 82/100 Silver 4.5/5 5/5 5/5 2014 1,999discont. check
Sony A7R (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 82/100 Gold 4.5/5 5/5 5/5 2013 2,299discont. check

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when refering 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 rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. 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. If you cannot find the camera you are interested in, kindly get in touch, and I will try to locate and add the respective data to the application.

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