Canon G16 vs SX1
The Canon PowerShot G16 and the Canon PowerShot SX1 IS are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in August 2013 and September 2008. Both the G16 and the SX1 are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on a 1/1.7-inch (G16) and a 1/2.3-inch (SX1) sensor. The G16 has a resolution of 12 megapixels, whereas the SX1 provides 10 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 PowerShot SX1 IS? 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 SX1. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. 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 SX1 is notably larger (36 percent) than the Canon G16. Moreover, the SX1 is substantially heavier (73 percent) than the G16. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G16 nor the SX1 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 camera comparisons there.
|Canon G16||4.3 in||3.0 in||1.6 in||12.6 oz||360||n||Aug 2013||549|
|Canon SX1||5.0 in||3.5 in||3.5 in||21.7 oz||..||n||Sep 2008||599|
|Canon G1 X Mark II||4.6 in||2.9 in||2.6 in||19.5 oz||240||n||Feb 2014||799|
|Canon SX60||5.0 in||3.7 in||4.5 in||22.9 oz||340||n||Sep 2014||549|
|Canon SL1||4.6 in||3.6 in||2.7 in||14.4 oz||380||n||Mar 2013||549|
|Canon G1 X||4.6 in||3.2 in||2.6 in||18.8 oz||250||n||Jan 2012||799|
|Canon G15||4.2 in||3.0 in||1.6 in||12.4 oz||350||n||Sep 2012||499|
|Canon M||4.3 in||2.6 in||1.3 in||10.5 oz||230||n||Jul 2012||599|
|Canon SX50||4.8 in||3.4 in||4.2 in||21.0 oz||315||n||Sep 2012||429|
|Canon G12||4.4 in||3.0 in||1.9 in||14.1 oz||370||n||Sep 2010||499|
|Canon SX20||4.8 in||3.5 in||3.4 in||21.2 oz||..||n||Aug 2009||399|
|Canon SX10||4.8 in||3.5 in||3.4 in||21.2 oz||..||n||Sep 2008||399|
|Fujifilm X30||4.7 in||2.8 in||2.4 in||14.9 oz||470||n||Aug 2014||599|
|Fujifilm X20||4.6 in||2.8 in||2.2 in||12.5 oz||270||n||Jan 2013||599|
|Nikon P7800||4.7 in||3.1 in||2.0 in||14.1 oz||350||n||Sep 2013||549|
|Panasonic FZ200||4.9 in||3.4 in||4.3 in||20.7 oz||540||n||Jul 2012||599|
|Panasonic LX7||4.4 in||2.7 in||1.8 in||10.5 oz||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.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.
Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. 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 G16 was somewhat cheaper (by 8 percent) than the SX1 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.
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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 SX1 a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The sensor area in the SX1 is 33 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 4.65 and 5.6. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.
With 12MP, the G16 offers a higher resolution than the SX1 (10MP), but the G16 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 1.87μm versus 1.67μm for the SX1) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the G16 is a much more recent model (by 4 years and 11 months) than the SX1, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the SX1 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Canon G16 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the G16 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 20 x 15 inches or 50.8 x 38.1 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 16 x 12 inches or 40.6 x 30.5 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 13.3 x 10 inches or 33.9 x 25.4 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon SX1 are 18.2 x 13.7 inches or 46.3 x 34.7 cm for good quality, 14.6 x 10.9 inches or 37.1 x 27.8 cm for very good quality, and 12.2 x 9.1 inches or 30.9 x 23.2 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Canon PowerShot G16 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon PowerShot SX1 IS are ISO 100 to ISO 1600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-3200.
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|Canon G1 X Mark II||1.5-inch||13.0||4160||3120||1080/30p||21.5||10.8||581||58|
|Canon G1 X||1.5-inch||14.2||4352||3264||1080/24p||21.7||10.8||644||60|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the G16 provides a higher frame rate than the SX1. It can shoot video footage at 1080/60p, while the SX1 is limited to 1080/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the SX1 has an electronic viewfinder (202k 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 adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon G16 and Canon SX1 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|Canon G1 X Mark II||optional||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||5.2||Y||Y|
|Canon G1 X||optical||n||3.0||922||Swivel||n||1/4000s||1.9||Y||Y|
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.
Both the G16 and the SX1 have zoom lenses built in. The G16 has a 28-140mm f/1.8-2.8 optic and the SX1 offers a 28-560mm f/2.8-5.7 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the G16 and SX1 provide the same view at the wide-angle end, but the SX1 has more tele-photo reach at the long end. The G16 offers the faster maximum aperture.
The G16 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the SX1 uses SDHC cards. The G16 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the SX1 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.
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 PowerShot SX1 IS and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
|Canon G1 X Mark II||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|Canon G1 X||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
It is notable that the G16 offers wifi support, while the SX1 does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.
The G16 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Canon. In contrast, the SX1 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). There has not been a direct replacement model for the SX1 from Canon. 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 conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon G16 and the Canon SX1? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Advantages of the Canon PowerShot G16:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (12 vs 10MP) with a 10% higher linear resolution.
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Better image quality: Features a larger and more technologically advanced imaging sensor.
- Richer colors: The sensor size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger sensor captures a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger sensor produces good images even in poorly lit environments.
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/30p).
- Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.8") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (922k vs 230k dots).
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/3200s) to freeze action.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/1.8 vs f/2.8).
- More compact: Is smaller (109x76mm vs 128x88mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 259g or 42 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
- More modern: Reflects 4 years and 11 months of technical progress since the SX1 launch.
Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot SX1 IS:
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
- More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (4 vs 2.2 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in September 2008).
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the G16 is the clear winner of the match-up (18 : 6 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 SX1 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Travel-Zoom Camera and Best Superzoom Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the G16 or the SX1. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.
This is where reviews by experts come in. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). 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.
|Canon G16||+||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||549|
|Canon SX1||+ +||+||..||o||3.5/5||Sep 2008||599|
|Canon G1 X Mark II||+||77/100||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||799|
|Canon SX60||+ +||75/100||4/5||..||4.5/5||Sep 2014||549|
|Canon SL1||+||78/100||4/5||4/5||4/5||Mar 2013||549|
|Canon G1 X||+||76/100||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2012||799|
|Canon G15||+||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||499|
|Canon M||+||..||4/5||3.5/5||4/5||Jul 2012||599|
|Canon SX50||+ +||72/100||4.5/5||..||4.5/5||Sep 2012||429|
|Canon G12||+||73/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2010||499|
|Canon SX20||+ +||73/100||..||4/5||4/5||Aug 2009||399|
|Canon SX10||+ +||..||..||4.5/5||4/5||Sep 2008||399|
|Fujifilm X30||..||76/100||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2014||599|
|Fujifilm X20||+ +||77/100||4.5/5||..||5/5||Jan 2013||599|
|Nikon P7800||..||..||4/5||3.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2013||549|
|Panasonic FZ200||+ +||80/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2012||599|
|Panasonic LX7||+ +||75/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2012||499|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, 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 rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. 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 SX1
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 SX1|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||28-140mm f/1.8-2.8||28-560mm f/2.8-5.7|
|Launch Date||August 2013||September 2008|
|Launch Price||USD 549||USD 599|
|Sensor Specs||Canon G16||Canon SX1|
|Sensor Format||1/1.7" Sensor||1/2.3" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||7.44 x 5.58 mm||6.17 x 4.55 mm|
|Sensor Area||41.5152 mm2||28.0735 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||9.3 mm||7.7 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||12 Megapixels||10 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4000 x 3000 pixels||3648 x 2736 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.87 μm||1.67 μm|
|Pixel Density||28.91 MP/cm2||35.55 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60p Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||80 - 12,800 ISO||100 - 1,600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||100 - 3,200 ISO|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||54||..|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||21.0||..|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.7||..|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||230||..|
|Screen Specs||Canon G16||Canon SX1|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||80%||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||202k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||2.8inch|
|LCD Resolution||922k dots||230k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Swivel screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon G16||Canon SX1|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||no Peaking Feature|
|Continuous Shooting||2.2 shutter flaps/s||4 shutter flaps/s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||no Intervalometer|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDHC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon G16||Canon SX1|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||YES HDMI|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Canon G16||Canon SX1|
109 x 76 x 40 mm
(4.3 x 3.0 x 1.6 in)
128 x 88 x 88 mm
(5.0 x 3.5 x 3.5 in)
|Camera Weight||356 g (12.6 oz)||615 g (21.7 oz)|
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