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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 (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. 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).

Snapsort 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 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
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)
Canon G16» 4.3 in 3.0 in 1.6 in 12.6 oz 360 n Aug 2013 549 i i
Canon G9 X« 3.9 in 2.3 in 1.2 in 7.4 oz 220 n Oct 2015 529- i
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 M10« » 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.4 in 10.6 oz 255 n Oct 2015 499- i
Canon M3« » 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.7 in 12.9 oz 250 n Feb 2015 679- i
Canon T5« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 16.9 oz 500 n Feb 2014 449- i
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 G7 X« » 4.1 in 2.4 in 1.6 in 10.7 oz 210 n Sep 2014 699- i
Canon SL1« » 4.6 in 3.6 in 2.7 in 14.4 oz 380 n Mar 2013 549- i
Canon G15« » 4.2 in 3.0 in 1.6 in 12.4 oz 350 n Sep 2012 499- i
Canon G1 X« » 4.6 in 3.2 in 2.6 in 18.8 oz 250 n Jan 2012 799- i
Canon M« » 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.3 in 10.5 oz 230 n Jul 2012 599- i
Canon G12« » 4.4 in 3.0 in 1.9 in 14.1 oz 370 n Sep 2010 499- i
Fujifilm X30« » 4.7 in 2.8 in 2.4 in 14.9 oz 470 n Aug 2014 599 i i
Fujifilm X20« » 4.6 in 2.8 in 2.2 in 12.5 oz 270 n Jan 2013 599- i
Fujifilm X10« » 4.6 in 2.8 in 2.2 in 12.3 oz 270 n Sep 2011 599- i
Panasonic LX7« » 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.8 in 10.5 oz 330 n Jul 2012 499- i

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 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 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

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 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
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Canon G16» 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054
Canon G9 X« 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.512.349563
Canon G9 X Mark II« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.912.552265
Canon M10« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.475365
Canon M3« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.811.8116972
Canon T5« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463
Canon G1 X Mark II« » 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 31201080/30p21.510.858158
Canon G7 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p23.012.755671
Canon SL1« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.811.384363
Canon G15« » 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/24p19.911.516546
Canon G1 X« » 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.864460
Canon M« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.282765
Canon G12« » 1/1.7 10.0 3648 2736720/24p20.411.216147
Fujifilm X30« » 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p----
Fujifilm X20« » 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p----
Fujifilm X10« » 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/30p20.511.324550
Panasonic LX7« » 1/1.7 10.0 3648 27361080/60p20.711.714750

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: Canon G16 vs Canon G9 X

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
(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
Canon G16»optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 4000 2.2 Y Y
Canon G9 X«- n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 2000 6.0 Y Y
Canon G9 X Mark II« »- n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 2000 8.2 Y Y
Canon M10« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 4.6 Y n
Canon M3« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 4.2 Y n
Canon T5« »optical n 3.0 460 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n
Canon G1 X Mark II« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 5.2 Y Y
Canon G7 X« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 2000 6.5 Y Y
Canon SL1« »optical n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 4000 4.9 Y n
Canon G15« »optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 4000 2.1 Y Y
Canon G1 X« »optical n 3.0 922 Swivel n 4000 1.9 Y Y
Canon M« »- n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 4000 4.3 n n
Canon G12« »optical n 2.8 461 swivel n 4000 1.1 Y Y
Fujifilm X30« »2360 n 3.0 920 tilting n 4000 12.0 Y Y
Fujifilm X20« »optical n 2.8 460 fixed n 4000 12.0 Y Y
Fujifilm X10« »optical n 2.8 460 fixed n 4000 10.0 Y Y
Panasonic LX7« »- n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 11.0 Y Y

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.

Review summary: Canon G16 vs Canon G9 X

So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon G16 and the Canon G9 X? 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 before making a camera decision.

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 (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 cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Canon G16»Rec-4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i i
Canon G9 X«HiRec-4.5/54/54.5/5 Oct 2015 529- i
Canon G9 X Mark II« »-75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2017 529 i i
Canon M10« »---rev4/5 Oct 2015 499- i
Canon M3« »rev75/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Feb 2015 679- i
Canon T5« »Rec-4/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449- i
Canon G1 X Mark II« »Rec77/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 799 i i
Canon G7 X« »HiRec77/1004.5/53.5/54.5/5 Sep 2014 699- i
Canon SL1« »Rec78/1004/54/54/5 Mar 2013 549- i
Canon G15« »Rec76/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 499- i
Canon G1 X« »Rec76/1004/54/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799- i
Canon M« »Rec-4/53.5/54/5 Jul 2012 599- i
Canon G12« »Rec73/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2010 499- i
Fujifilm X30« »-76/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Aug 2014 599 i i
Fujifilm X20« »HiRec77/1004.5/5-5/5 Jan 2013 599- i
Fujifilm X10« »-76/1004/53.5/54.5/5 Sep 2011 599- i
Panasonic LX7« »HiRec75/1004/55/54.5/5 Jul 2012 499- i

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 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. 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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