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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 revealed to the public, 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 (G9X) sensor. The G16 has a resolution of 12 megapixel, whereas the G9X provides 20 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 G16 vs Canon G9 X

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon G16 and the Canon G9 X. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. 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 – the G16 – represents 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Canon G16 vs Canon G9 X
Compare G16 versus G9X top
Compare G16 and G9X rear

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 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.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Canon G16» 4.3 in 3.0 in 1.6 in 12.6 oz 360 n Aug 2013 549 i i Canon G16
Canon G9 X« 3.9 in 2.3 in 1.2 in 7.4 oz 220 n Oct 2015 529- i Canon G9 X
Canon G9 X Mark II« » 3.9 in 2.3 in 1.2 in 7.3 oz 235 n Jan 2017 529 i i Canon G9 X Mark II
Canon M10« » 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.4 in 10.6 oz 255 n Oct 2015 499- i Canon M10
Canon G1 X Mark II« » 4.6 in 2.9 in 2.6 in 19.5 oz 240 n Feb 2014 799 i i Canon G1 X Mark II
Canon G7 X« » 4.1 in 2.4 in 1.6 in 10.7 oz 210 n Sep 2014 699- i Canon G7 X
Canon SX60« » 5.0 in 3.7 in 4.5 in 22.9 oz 340 n Sep 2014 549- i Canon SX60
Canon SL1« » 4.6 in 3.6 in 2.7 in 14.4 oz 380 n Mar 2013 549- i Canon SL1
Canon G1 X« » 4.6 in 3.2 in 2.6 in 18.8 oz 250 n Jan 2012 799- i Canon G1 X
Canon G15« » 4.2 in 3.0 in 1.6 in 12.4 oz 350 n Sep 2012 499- i Canon G15
Canon M« » 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.3 in 10.5 oz 230 n Jul 2012 599- i Canon M
Canon G12« » 4.4 in 3.0 in 1.9 in 14.1 oz 370 n Sep 2010 499- i Canon G12
Fujifilm X30« » 4.7 in 2.8 in 2.4 in 14.9 oz 470 n Aug 2014 599 i i Fujifilm X30
Fujifilm X20« » 4.6 in 2.8 in 2.2 in 12.5 oz 270 n Jan 2013 599- i Fujifilm X20
Panasonic FZ1000« » 5.4 in 3.9 in 5.2 in 29.3 oz 360 n Jun 2014 899- i Panasonic FZ1000
Panasonic LX7« » 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.8 in 10.5 oz 330 n Jul 2012 499- i Panasonic LX7
Sony RX100 IV« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 280 n Jun 2015 999- i Sony RX100 IV

Any camera purchase will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. 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 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: Canon G16 vs Canon G9 X

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. 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to 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

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

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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 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
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
Canon G16» 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054Canon G16
Canon G9 X« 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.512.349563Canon G9 X
Canon G9 X Mark II« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.912.552265Canon G9 X Mark II
Canon M10« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.475365Canon M10
Canon G1 X Mark II« » 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 31201080/30p21.510.858158Canon G1 X Mark II
Canon G7 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p23.012.755671Canon G7 X
Canon SX60« » 1/2.3 14.2 4608 30721080/60p19.210.812739Canon SX60
Canon SL1« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.811.384363Canon SL1
Canon G1 X« » 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.864460Canon G1 X
Canon G15« » 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/24p19.911.516546Canon G15
Canon M« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.282765Canon M
Canon G12« » 1/1.7 10.0 3648 2736720/24p20.411.216147Canon G12
Fujifilm X30« » 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p----Fujifilm X30
Fujifilm X20« » 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p----Fujifilm X20
Panasonic FZ1000« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.111.751764Panasonic FZ1000
Panasonic LX7« » 1/1.7 10.0 3648 27361080/60p20.711.714750Panasonic LX7
Sony RX100 IV« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.659170Sony RX100 IV

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. 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: Canon G16 vs Canon G9 X

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety 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. If you need more detail on the specs, you can find comprehensive listings, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.

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)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec)
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
Canon G16»optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 4000 2.2 Y Y Canon G16
Canon G9 X«- n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 2000 6.0 Y Y Canon G9 X
Canon G9 X Mark II« »- n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 2000 8.2 Y Y Canon G9 X Mark II
Canon M10« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 4.6 Y n Canon M10
Canon G1 X Mark II« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 5.2 Y Y Canon G1 X Mark II
Canon G7 X« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 2000 6.5 Y Y Canon G7 X
Canon SX60« »922 n 3.0 922 swivel n 2000 6.4 Y Y Canon SX60
Canon SL1« »optical n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 4000 4.9 Y n Canon SL1
Canon G1 X« »optical n 3.0 922 Swivel n 4000 1.9 Y Y Canon G1 X
Canon G15« »optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 4000 2.1 Y Y Canon G15
Canon M« »- n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 4000 4.3 n n Canon M
Canon G12« »optical n 2.8 461 swivel n 4000 1.1 Y Y Canon G12
Fujifilm X30« »2360 n 3.0 920 tilting n 4000 12.0 Y Y Fujifilm X30
Fujifilm X20« »optical n 2.8 460 fixed n 4000 12.0 Y Y Fujifilm X20
Panasonic FZ1000« »2359 n 3.0 921 swivel n 4000 12.0 Y Y Panasonic FZ1000
Panasonic LX7« »- n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 11.0 Y Y Panasonic LX7
Sony RX100 IV« »2359 n 3.0 1228 tilting n 2000 16.0 Y Y Sony RX100 IV

One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The G9X has a touchscreen, while the G16 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.

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.

Both the G16 and the G9X write their imaging data to SDXC cards.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
Canon G16»Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--Canon G16
Canon G9 X«-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Canon G9 X
Canon G9 X Mark II« »-stereomono--micro2.0YYYCanon G9 X Mark II
Canon M10« »-stereomono--mini2.0YY-Canon M10
Canon G1 X Mark II« »Ystereomono--mini2.0YY-Canon G1 X Mark II
Canon G7 X« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Canon G7 X
Canon SX60« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon SX60
Canon SL1« »YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Canon SL1
Canon G1 X« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Canon G1 X
Canon G15« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Canon G15
Canon M« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Canon M
Canon G12« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Canon G12
Fujifilm X30« »Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--Fujifilm X30
Fujifilm X20« »Ystereomono--micro2.0---Fujifilm X20
Panasonic FZ1000« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0YY-Panasonic FZ1000
Panasonic LX7« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Panasonic LX7
Sony RX100 IV« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony RX100 IV

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.

Review summary: Canon G16 vs Canon G9 X

So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Canon G16 or the Canon G9 X – has the upper hand? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.


Arguments in favor 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.
  • Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in August 2013).


Advantages 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.
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • 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 (11 : 7 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.

G16 07:11 G9X

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 G16 or the G9X handle or 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 where reviews by experts come in. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). You can find the full text of the reviews by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Canon G16»Rec-4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i i Canon G16
Canon G9 X«HiRec-4.5/54/54.5/5 Oct 2015 529- i Canon G9 X
Canon G9 X Mark II« »-75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2017 529 i i Canon G9 X Mark II
Canon M10« »---rev4/5 Oct 2015 499- i Canon M10
Canon G1 X Mark II« »Rec77/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 799 i i Canon G1 X Mark II
Canon G7 X« »HiRec77/1004.5/53.5/54.5/5 Sep 2014 699- i Canon G7 X
Canon SX60« »HiRec75/1004/5-4.5/5 Sep 2014 549- i Canon SX60
Canon SL1« »Rec78/1004/54/54/5 Mar 2013 549- i Canon SL1
Canon G1 X« »Rec76/1004/54/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799- i Canon G1 X
Canon G15« »Rec76/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 499- i Canon G15
Canon M« »Rec-4/53.5/54/5 Jul 2012 599- i Canon M
Canon G12« »Rec73/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2010 499- i Canon G12
Fujifilm X30« »-76/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Aug 2014 599 i i Fujifilm X30
Fujifilm X20« »HiRec77/1004.5/5-5/5 Jan 2013 599- i Fujifilm X20
Panasonic FZ1000« »HiRec82/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2014 899- i Panasonic FZ1000
Panasonic LX7« »HiRec75/1004/55/54.5/5 Jul 2012 499- i Panasonic LX7
Sony RX100 IV« »HiRec85/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 999- i Sony RX100 IV

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

 

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. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting. If the camera you are interested in is not available, kindly get in touch, and I will try to add information on that model to the database.

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