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Canon G16 versus Canon G9 X

The Canon PowerShot G16 and the Canon PowerShot G9 X are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in August 2013 and October 2015. Both the G16 and the G9X are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on a 1/1.7-inch (G16) and an one-inch sensor. The G16 has a resolution of 12 megapixel, whereas the G9X provides 20 MP.

Body comparison

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon G16 and the Canon G9 X. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are presented. All size 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 G16 – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).

Canon G16 vs Canon G9 X front
G16 versus G9X top view
G16 and G9X rear side
Body view (G16 on the left)

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon G9 X is considerably smaller (31 percent) than the Canon G16. Moreover, the G9X is substantially lighter (41 percent) than the G16. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G16 nor the G9X are weather-sealed.

Concerning battery life, the G16 gets 360 shots out of its NB-10L battery, while the G9X can take 220 images on a single charge of its NB-13L 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 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 G16 (⇒ rgt) 109 mm 76 mm 40 mm 356 g 360 no 2013 549 latest check
Canon G9 X (⇒ lft) 98 mm 58 mm 31 mm 209 g 220 no 2015 529discont. check
Canon G9 X Mark II (⇒ lft | rgt) 98 mm 58 mm 31 mm 206 g 235 no 2017 529 latest check
Canon M10 (⇒ lft | rgt) 108 mm 67 mm 35 mm 301 g 255 no 2015 499discont. check
Canon 1200D (⇒ lft | rgt) 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 480 g 500 no 2014 449discont. check
Canon SX60 (⇒ lft | rgt) 128 mm 93 mm 114 mm 650 g 340 no 2014 549 latest check
Canon G1 X Mark II (⇒ lft | rgt) 116 mm 74 mm 66 mm 553 g 240 no 2014 799 latest check
Canon G7 X (⇒ lft | rgt) 103 mm 60 mm 40 mm 304 g 210 no 2014 699discont. check
Canon 100D (⇒ lft | rgt) 117 mm 91 mm 69 mm 407 g 380 no 2013 549discont. check
Canon G1 X (⇒ lft | rgt) 117 mm 81 mm 65 mm 534 g 250 no 2012 799discont. check
Canon M (⇒ lft | rgt) 109 mm 66 mm 32 mm 298 g 230 no 2012 599discont. check
Canon SX50 (⇒ lft | rgt) 123 mm 87 mm 106 mm 595 g 315 no 2012 429discont. check
Fujifilm X30 (⇒ lft | rgt) 119 mm 72 mm 60 mm 423 g 470 no 2014 599 latest check
Fujifilm X20 (⇒ lft | rgt) 117 mm 70 mm 57 mm 353 g 270 no 2013 599discont. check
Fujifilm X10 (⇒ lft | rgt) 117 mm 70 mm 57 mm 350 g 270 no 2011 599discont. check
Sony RX100 IV (⇒ lft | rgt) 102 mm 58 mm 41 mm 298 g 280 no 2015 999discont. check

The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The G9X was somewhat cheaper (by 4 percent) than the G16 at launch, but both cameras fall into the same price category. 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

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color depth than smaller pixel-units 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 G16 features a 1/1.7-inch sensor and the Canon G9 X an one-inch sensor. The sensor area in the G9X is 176 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 4.65 and 2.7. The sensor in the G16 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the G9X offers a 3:2 aspect.

Canon G16 and Canon G9 X sensor measures
Sensor size

With 20MP, the G9X offers a higher resolution than the G16 (12MP), but the G9X nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 2.41μm versus 1.87μm for the G16) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the G9X is a much more recent model (by 2 years and 1 month) than the G16, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.

G16 versus G9X MP
Sensor resolution

For most cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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 G9X has a markedly higher DXO score than the G16 (overall score 9 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 0.5 bits higher color depth, 0.6 EV in additional dynamic range, and 1.1 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.

Sensor Characteristics
Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(Megapixel)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Canon G16 (⇒ rgt) 1/1.7 12.0 4000 3000 1080/60p 21.0 11.7 230 54
Canon G9 X (⇒ lft) 1-inch 20.0 5472 3648 1080/60p 21.5 12.3 495 63
Canon G9 X Mark II (⇒ lft | rgt) 1-inch 20.0 5472 3648 1080/60p 21.9 12.5 522 65
Canon M10 (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 17.9 5184 3456 1080/30p 22.2 11.4 753 65
Canon 1200D (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 17.9 5184 3456 1080/30p 21.9 11.3 724 63
Canon SX60 (⇒ lft | rgt) 1/2.3 14.2 4608 3072 1080/60p 19.2 10.8 127 39
Canon G1 X Mark II (⇒ lft | rgt) 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 3120 1080/30p 21.5 10.8 581 58
Canon G7 X (⇒ lft | rgt) 1-inch 20.0 5472 3648 1080/60p 23.0 12.7 556 71
Canon 100D (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 17.9 5184 3456 1080/30p 21.8 11.3 843 63
Canon G1 X (⇒ lft | rgt) 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 3264 1080/24p 21.7 10.8 644 60
Canon M (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 17.9 5184 3456 1080/30p 22.1 11.2 827 65
Canon SX50 (⇒ lft | rgt) 1/2.3 12.0 4000 3000 1080/24p 20.3 11.2 179 47
Fujifilm X30 (⇒ lft | rgt) 2/3 12.0 4000 3000 1080/60p - - - -
Fujifilm X20 (⇒ lft | rgt) 2/3 12.0 4000 3000 1080/60p - - - -
Fujifilm X10 (⇒ lft | rgt) 2/3 12.0 4000 3000 1080/30p 20.5 11.3 245 50
Sony RX100 IV (⇒ lft | rgt) 1-inch 20.0 5472 3648 4K/30p 22.8 12.6 591 70

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/60p).

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the G16 has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the G9X relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon G16 and Canon G9 X along with similar information for a selection of comparators. The full specs-sheets can be found in the camera manual or, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.

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 G16 (⇒ rgt) optical no 3.0 922 fixed no 4000 2.2 7 YES
Canon G9 X (⇒ lft) no no 3.0 1040 fixed YES 2000 6.0 6 YES
Canon G9 X Mark II (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 1040 fixed YES 2000 8.2 6 YES
Canon M10 (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 1040 tilting YES 4000 4.6 5 no
Canon 1200D (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3.0 460 fixed no 4000 3.0 9.2 no
Canon SX60 (⇒ lft | rgt) 922 no 3.0 922 swivel no 2000 6.4 5.5 YES
Canon G1 X Mark II (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 1040 tilting YES 4000 5.2 6.8 YES
Canon G7 X (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 1040 tilting YES 2000 6.5 7 YES
Canon 100D (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3.0 1040 fixed YES 4000 4.9 9.4 no
Canon G1 X (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3.0 922 Swivel no 4000 1.9 7 YES
Canon M (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 1040 fixed YES 4000 4.3 no no
Canon SX50 (⇒ lft | rgt) 202 no 3.0 461 swivel no 2000 2.2 5.5 YES
Fujifilm X30 (⇒ lft | rgt) 2360 no 3.0 920 tilting no 4000 12.0 7 YES
Fujifilm X20 (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 2.8 460 fixed no 4000 12.0 7 YES
Fujifilm X10 (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 2.8 460 fixed no 4000 10.0 9 YES
Sony RX100 IV (⇒ lft | rgt) 2359 no 3.0 1228 tilting no 2000 16.0 10.2 YES

Both the G16 and the G9X have zoom lenses build in. The G16 has a 28-140mm f/1.8-2.8 optic and the G9X offers a 28-84mm f/2.0-4.9 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the G16 and G9X provide the same view at the wide-angle end, but the G9X has less tele-photo reach at the long end. The G16 offers the faster maximum aperture.

The G16 is a current model that online retailers, such as amazon, will have in stock. In contrast, the G9X has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on ebay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the G9X was succeeded by the Canon G9 X Mark II.

Summary

So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon G16 and the Canon G16? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.


Advantages of the Canon PowerShot G16:

  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image framing and settings control.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (4000/sec vs 2000/sec) to freeze action.
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/1.8 vs f/2.0).
  • More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (360 versus 220) on a single battery charge.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in August 2013).

Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot G9 X:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (20 vs 12MP), which boosts linear resolution by 32%.
  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (9 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (0.6 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (1.1 stops ISO advantage).
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 922k dots).
  • Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (6 vs 2.2 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More compact: Is smaller (98x58mm vs 109x76mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 147g or 41 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years and 1 month of technical progress since the G16 launch.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the G9X is the clear winner of the contest (10 : 6 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.

G16 06:10 G9X

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 G16 or the G9X. 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 summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites. You can find the full text of the reviews, respectively, at cameralabs.com, dpreview.com, ephotozine.com, imaging-resource.com, and photographyblog.com.

Review scores
Camera camera
labs
dp
review
ephoto
zine
imaging
resource
photography
blog
Camera
Launch
(year)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(amazon)
Used
Price
(ebay)
Canon G16 (⇒ rgt) Rec - 4.5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2013 549 latest check
Canon G9 X (⇒ lft) HiRec - 4.5/5 4/5 4.5/5 2015 529discont. check
Canon G9 X Mark II (⇒ lft | rgt) .. 75/100 4.5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2017 529 latest check
Canon M10 (⇒ lft | rgt) - - - reviewed 4/5 2015 499discont. check
Canon 1200D (⇒ lft | rgt) 4/5 - 4/5 4/5 4.5/5 2014 449discont. check
Canon SX60 (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 75/100 4/5 - 4.5/5 2014 549 latest check
Canon G1 X Mark II (⇒ lft | rgt) Rec 77/100 Silver 4/5 4/5 4.5/5 2014 799 latest check
Canon G7 X (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 77/100 Silver 4.5/5 3.5/5 4.5/5 2014 699discont. check
Canon 100D (⇒ lft | rgt) Rec 78/100 Gold 4/5 4/5 4/5 2013 549discont. check
Canon G1 X (⇒ lft | rgt) 79/100 Rec 76/100 Silver 4/5 4/5 4.5/5 2012 799discont. check
Canon M (⇒ lft | rgt) Rec - 4/5 3.5/5 4/5 2012 599discont. check
Canon SX50 (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 72/100 4.5/5 - 4.5/5 2012 429discont. check
Fujifilm X30 (⇒ lft | rgt) - 76/100 4.5/5 4/5 4.5/5 2014 599 latest check
Fujifilm X20 (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 77/100 Silver 4.5/5 - 5/5 2013 599discont. check
Fujifilm X10 (⇒ lft | rgt) - 76/100 Silver 4/5 3.5/5 4.5/5 2011 599discont. check
Sony RX100 IV (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 85/100 Gold 4/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2015 999discont. 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. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Other comparisons

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. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored. If the camera you are interested in is not available, please contact me, and I will try to add information on that model to the database.

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