Canon G16 vs M5
The Canon PowerShot G16 and the Canon EOS M5 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in August 2013 and September 2016. The G16 is a fixed lens compact, while the M5 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on a 1/1.7-inch (G16) and an APS-C (M5) sensor. The G16 has a resolution of 12 megapixels, whereas the M5 provides 24 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot G16 and the Canon EOS M5? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon G16 and the Canon M5. 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 the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon M5 is notably larger (25 percent) than the Canon G16. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G16 nor the M5 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the G16 has a lens built in, whereas the M5 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|1.||Canon G16||109 mm||76 mm||40 mm||356 g||360||n||Aug 2013||549|
|2.||Canon M5||116 mm||89 mm||61 mm||427 g||295||n||Sep 2016||979|
|3.||Canon 77D||131 mm||100 mm||76 mm||540 g||600||n||Feb 2017||899|
|4.||Canon M6||112 mm||68 mm||45 mm||390 g||295||n||Feb 2017||779|
|5.||Canon M100||108 mm||67 mm||35 mm||302 g||295||n||Aug 2017||499|
|6.||Canon M3||111 mm||68 mm||44 mm||366 g||250||n||Feb 2015||679|
|7.||Canon G1 X Mark II||116 mm||74 mm||66 mm||553 g||240||n||Feb 2014||799|
|8.||Canon 100D||117 mm||91 mm||69 mm||407 g||380||n||Mar 2013||549|
|9.||Canon G1 X||117 mm||81 mm||65 mm||534 g||250||n||Jan 2012||799|
|10.||Canon G15||107 mm||76 mm||40 mm||352 g||350||n||Sep 2012||499|
|11.||Canon M||109 mm||66 mm||32 mm||298 g||230||n||Jul 2012||599|
|12.||Canon G12||112 mm||76 mm||48 mm||401 g||370||n||Sep 2010||499|
|13.||Fujifilm X30||119 mm||72 mm||60 mm||423 g||470||n||Aug 2014||599|
|14.||Fujifilm X20||117 mm||70 mm||57 mm||353 g||270||n||Jan 2013||599|
|15.||Nikon D5500||124 mm||97 mm||70 mm||420 g||820||n||Jan 2015||899|
|16.||Nikon P7800||119 mm||78 mm||50 mm||399 g||350||n||Sep 2013||549|
|17.||Panasonic LX7||111 mm||68 mm||46 mm||298 g||330||n||Jul 2012||499|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The G16 was launched at a lower price than the M5, despite having a lens built 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.
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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. 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 M5 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the M5 is 690 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 4.65 and 1.6. The sensor in the G16 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the M5 offers a 3:2 aspect.
Technology-wise, the M5 uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 7) than the G16 (DIGIC 6), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.
With 24MP, the M5 offers a higher resolution than the G16 (12MP), but the M5 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.72μm versus 1.87μm for the G16) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the M5 is a much more recent model (by 3 years) 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.
The resolution advantage of the Canon M5 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the M5 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 30 x 20 inches or 76.2 x 50.8 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 24 x 16 inches or 61 x 40.6 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20 x 13.3 inches or 50.8 x 33.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon G16 are 20 x 15 inches or 50.8 x 38.1 cm for good quality, 16 x 12 inches or 40.6 x 30.5 cm for very good quality, and 13.3 x 10 inches or 33.9 x 25.4 cm for excellent quality prints.
The M5 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.
The Canon PowerShot G16 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon EOS M5 are ISO 100 to ISO 25600 (no boost).
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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 M5 offers substantially better image quality than the G16 (overall score 23 points higher). The advantage is based on 2.4 bits higher color depth, 0.7 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.
| DXO |
|7.||Canon G1 X Mark II||1.5-inch||13.0||4160||3120||1080/30p||21.5||10.8||581||58|
|9.||Canon G1 X||1.5-inch||14.2||4352||3264||1080/24p||21.7||10.8||644||60|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/60p).
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the M5 has an electronic viewfinder (2360k dots), while the G16 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 G16, the Canon M5, and comparable cameras.
|7.||Canon G1 X Mark II||optional||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||5.2||Y||Y|
|9.||Canon G1 X||optical||n||3.0||922||Swivel||n||1/4000s||1.9||Y||Y|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The M5 has a touchscreen, while the G16 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.The M5 has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the G16 does not have a selfie-screen.
The Canon G16 has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the G16 and the M5 write their files to SDXC cards. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Canon PowerShot G16 and Canon EOS M5 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|7.||Canon G1 X Mark II||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|9.||Canon G1 X||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
It is notable that the M5 has a microphone port, which can help to improve the quality of audio recordings by attaching an external microphone. The G16 does not feature such a mic input.
Both the G16 and the M5 are recent models that are part of the current product line-up. The G16 replaced the earlier Canon G15, while the M5 does not have a direct predecessor. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon website.
So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon G16 and the Canon M5? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Reasons to prefer the Canon PowerShot G16:
- Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the M5 requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (109x76mm vs 116x89mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the M5).
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (360 versus 295) on a single battery charge.
- Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in August 2013).
Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS M5:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 12MP), which boosts linear resolution by 44%.
- Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (23 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (2.4 bits more color depth).
- More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (0.7 EV of extra DR).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (2.5 stops ISO advantage).
- Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 7 vs DIGIC 6).
- Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1620k vs 922k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (9 vs 2.2 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with specialty optics.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- More modern: Reflects 3 years of technical progress since the G16 launch.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the M5 is the clear winner of the contest (19 : 9 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. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon G16 and the Canon M5 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Travel-Zoom Camera and Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
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 M5 perform in practice. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.
This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|1.||Canon G16||4/5||+||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||549|
|2.||Canon M5||4/5||+||82/100||4/5||4/5||Sep 2016||979|
|3.||Canon 77D||4.5/5||..||82/100||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2017||899|
|4.||Canon M6||..||..||80/100||4/5||4/5||Feb 2017||779|
|5.||Canon M100||3/5||+||..||4/5||3.5/5||Aug 2017||499|
|6.||Canon M3||4/5||o||75/100||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2015||679|
|7.||Canon G1 X Mark II||3/5||+||77/100||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||799|
|8.||Canon 100D||4/5||+||78/100||4/5||4/5||Mar 2013||549|
|9.||Canon G1 X||5/5||+||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2012||799|
|10.||Canon G15||4/5||+||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||499|
|11.||Canon M||3/5||+||..||4/5||4/5||Jul 2012||599|
|12.||Canon G12||4/5||+||73/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2010||499|
|13.||Fujifilm X30||4/5||..||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2014||599|
|14.||Fujifilm X20||4/5||+ +||77/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jan 2013||599|
|15.||Nikon D5500||5/5||+||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2015||899|
|16.||Nikon P7800||3/5||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2013||549|
|17.||Panasonic LX7||3/5||+ +||75/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jul 2012||499|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
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. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. 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 are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make your choice using the following search menu. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
Specifications: Canon G16 vs Canon M5
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Canon G16||Canon M5|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||28-140mm f/1.8-2.8||Canon EF-M mount lenses|
|Launch Date||August 2013||September 2016|
|Launch Price||USD 549||USD 979|
|Sensor Specs||Canon G16||Canon M5|
|Sensor Format||1/1.7" Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||7.44 x 5.58 mm||22.3 x 14.9 mm|
|Sensor Area||41.5152 mm2||332.27 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||9.3 mm||26.8 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||12 Megapixels||24 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4000 x 3000 pixels||6000 x 4000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.87 μm||3.72 μm|
|Pixel Density||28.91 MP/cm2||7.22 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||80 - 12,800 ISO||100 - 25,600 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 6||DIGIC 7|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||54||77|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||21.0||23.4|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.7||12.4|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||230||1262|
|Screen Specs||Canon G16||Canon M5|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||80%||100%|
|Viewfinder Magnification||.. x|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2360k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.2inch|
|LCD Resolution||922k dots||1620k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Tilting screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon G16||Canon M5|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||On-Sensor Phase-detect|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/4000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||2.2 shutter flaps/s||9 shutter flaps/s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||no Intervalometer|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon G16||Canon M5|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||no MIC socket||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||no NFC||NFC built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||no Bluetooth||Bluetooth built-in|
|Body Specs||Canon G16||Canon M5|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||360 shots per charge||295 shots per charge|
109 x 76 x 40 mm
(4.3 x 3.0 x 1.6 in)
116 x 89 x 61 mm
(4.6 x 3.5 x 2.4 in)
|Camera Weight||356 g (12.6 oz)||427 g (15.1 oz)|
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