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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 views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also toggle the display to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the G16 – represents the basis or 100 percent 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 notably smaller (31 percent) than the Canon G16. Moreover, the G9X is substantially lighter (41 percent) than the G16. Cameras that are intended for semi-professional or professional use are sometimes a bit bulkier in order to provide them with the necessary ruggedness. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G16 nor the G9X are weather-sealed.

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) 4.3 in 3.0 in 1.6 in 12.6 oz 360 no 2013 549 latest check
Canon G9 X (⇒ lft) 3.9 in 2.3 in 1.2 in 7.4 oz 220 no 2015 529discont. check
Canon G9 X Mark II (⇒ lft | rgt) 3.9 in 2.3 in 1.2 in 7.3 oz 235 no 2017 529 latest check
Canon T6 (⇒ lft | rgt) 5.1 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 17.1 oz 500 no 2016 449 latest check
Canon M10 (⇒ lft | rgt) 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.4 in 10.6 oz 255 no 2015 499discont. check
Canon M3 (⇒ lft | rgt) 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.7 in 12.9 oz 250 no 2015 679discont. 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 G7 X (⇒ lft | rgt) 4.1 in 2.4 in 1.6 in 10.7 oz 210 no 2014 699discont. check
Canon T5i (⇒ lft | rgt) 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.5 oz 440 no 2013 649discont. check
Canon SL1 (⇒ lft | rgt) 4.6 in 3.6 in 2.7 in 14.4 oz 380 no 2013 549discont. check
Canon G1 X (⇒ lft | rgt) 4.6 in 3.2 in 2.6 in 18.8 oz 250 no 2012 799discont. check
Fujifilm X30 (⇒ lft | rgt) 4.7 in 2.8 in 2.4 in 14.9 oz 470 no 2014 599 latest check
Fujifilm X20 (⇒ lft | rgt) 4.6 in 2.8 in 2.2 in 12.5 oz 270 no 2013 599discont. check
Fujifilm X10 (⇒ lft | rgt) 4.6 in 2.8 in 2.2 in 12.3 oz 270 no 2011 599discont. check
Olympus E-420 (⇒ lft | rgt) 5.1 in 3.6 in 2.1 in 15.5 oz 500 no 2008 599discont. 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. 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. 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 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 1.86μm 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

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for most cameras. 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 following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

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 T6 (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 17.9 5184 3456 1080/30p - - - -
Canon M10 (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 17.9 5184 3456 1080/30p 22.2 11.4 753 65
Canon M3 (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 24.0 6000 4000 1080/30p 22.8 11.8 1169 72
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 T5i (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 17.9 5184 3456 1080/30p 21.7 11.2 681 61
Canon SL1 (⇒ 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
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
Olympus E-420 (⇒ lft | rgt) Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736 no 21.5 10.4 527 56

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/60p).

Feature comparison

Beyond 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 table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon G16 and Canon G9 X in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar 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 G16 (⇒ rgt) optical no 3.0 922 fixed no 4000 2.2 7 no
Canon G9 X (⇒ lft) no no 3.0 1040 fixed YES 2000 6.0 6 no
Canon G9 X Mark II (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 1040 fixed YES 2000 8.2 6 no
Canon T6 (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3.0 920 fixed no 4000 3.0 9.2 no
Canon M10 (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 1040 tilting YES 4000 4.6 5 no
Canon M3 (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 1040 tilting YES 4000 4.2 5 no
Canon G1 X Mark II (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 1040 tilting YES 4000 5.2 6.8 no
Canon G7 X (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 1040 tilting YES 2000 6.5 7 no
Canon T5i (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3.0 1040 swivel YES 4000 5.0 13 no
Canon SL1 (⇒ 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 no
Fujifilm X30 (⇒ lft | rgt) 2360 no 3.0 920 tilting no 4000 12.0 7 no
Fujifilm X20 (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 2.8 460 fixed no 4000 12.0 7 no
Fujifilm X10 (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 2.8 460 fixed no 4000 10.0 9 no
Olympus E-420 (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 2.7 215 fixed no 4000 3.5 12 no

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 what is the bottom line? Is the Canon G16 better than the Canon G9 X or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Advantages of the Canon PowerShot G16:

  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image framing and settings control.
  • Faster shutter: Has a 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).
  • 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 number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the G9X is the clear winner of the contest (10 : 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.

G16 05:10 G9X

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, 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 why expert reviews are important. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites. The full reviews are available, 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) .. .. 4.5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2017 529 latest check
Canon T6 (⇒ lft | rgt) reviewed 73/100 4/5 3.5/5 4/5 2016 449 latest check
Canon M10 (⇒ lft | rgt) - - - reviewed 4/5 2015 499discont. check
Canon M3 (⇒ lft | rgt) reviewed 75/100 4.5/5 4.5/5 4/5 2015 679discont. 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 T5i (⇒ lft | rgt) - 76/100 Silver 4.5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2013 649discont. check
Canon SL1 (⇒ 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
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
Olympus E-420 (⇒ lft | rgt) 85/100 HiRec 4/5 reviewed 4.5/5 2008 599discont. check

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Other comparisons

In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool. If you do not see the camera that you are looking for, please send me an email, and I will try to add information on that model to the database.

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