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Canon G16 versus Fujifilm X20

The Canon PowerShot G16 and the Fujifilm X20 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in August 2013 and January 2013. Both the G16 and the X20 are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on a 1/1.7-inch (G16) and a 2/3 (X20) sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 12 megapixel. 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 Fujifilm X20

The physical size and weight of the Canon G16 and the Fujifilm X20 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are presented. All width, height and depth 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).

Snapsort Canon G16 vs Fujifilm X20
Compare G16 versus X20 top
Compare G16 and X20 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Fujifilm X20 is somewhat smaller (1 percent) than the Canon G16. Moreover, the X20 is slightly lighter (1 percent) than the G16. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G16 nor the X20 are weather-sealed.

Concerning battery life, the G16 gets 360 shots out of its NB-10L battery, while the X20 can take 270 images on a single charge of its NP-50 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
Fujifilm X20« 4.6 in 2.8 in 2.2 in 12.5 oz 270 n Jan 2013 599- 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 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 X10« » 4.6 in 2.8 in 2.2 in 12.3 oz 270 n Sep 2011 599- i
Leica D-LUX 6« » 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.8 in 10.5 oz 330 n Sep 2012 699- 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 G16 was somewhat cheaper (by 8 percent) than the X20 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 Fujifilm X20

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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. 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 associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon G16 features a 1/1.7-inch sensor and the Fujifilm X20 a 2/3 sensor. The sensor area in the X20 is 38 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 4.65 and 3.9. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.

Canon G16 and Fujifilm X20 sensor measures

Even though the X20 has a larger sensor, both cameras offer the same resolution of 12 megapixel. This implies that the X20 has a lower pixel density and larger individual pixels (with a pixel pitch of 2.20μm versus 1.87μm for the G16), which gives it a potential advantage in terms of light gathering capacity. It should, however, be noted that the G16 is a somewhat more recent model (by 7 months) than the X20, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that at least partly compensate for the smaller pixel size. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the X20 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

G16 versus X20 MP

For most 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 adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-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
Fujifilm X20« 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p----
Canon G1 X Mark II« » 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 31201080/30p21.510.858158
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 X10« » 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/30p20.511.324550
Leica D-LUX 6« » 1/1.7 10.0 3648 27361080/60p----
Panasonic LX7« » 1/1.7 10.0 3648 27361080/60p20.711.714750

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 Fujifilm X20

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The G16 and the X20 are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon G16, the Fujifilm X20, and comparable cameras. If you need more detail on the specs, you can find comprehensive listings, 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
Fujifilm X20«optical n 2.8 460 fixed n 4000 12.0 Y Y
Canon G1 X Mark II« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 5.2 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 X10« »optical n 2.8 460 fixed n 4000 10.0 Y Y
Leica D-LUX 6« »- n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 11.0 Y Y
Panasonic LX7« »- n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 11.0 Y Y

Both the G16 and the X20 have zoom lenses build in. The G16 has a 28-140mm f/1.8-2.8 optic and the X20 offers a 28-112mm f/2.0-2.8 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Canon and Fujifilm provide the same view at the wide-angle end, but the Fujifilm 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 X20 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the X20 was succeeded by the Fujifilm X30.

Review summary: Canon G16 vs Fujifilm X20

So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Canon G16 or the Fujifilm X20 – has the upper hand? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot G16:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • 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 460k dots).
  • 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 270) on a single battery charge.
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 7 months after the X20).

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Reasons to prefer the Fujifilm X20:

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Better low-light imaging: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for better high-ISO images.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (12 vs 2.2 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in January 2013).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the G16 emerges as the winner of the contest (7 : 4 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera.

G16 07:04 X20

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the G16 and the X20 in practical situations. 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 expert reviews 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
Fujifilm X20«HiRec77/1004.5/5-5/5 Jan 2013 599- i
Canon G1 X Mark II« »Rec77/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 799 i 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 X10« »-76/1004/53.5/54.5/5 Sep 2011 599- i
Leica D-LUX 6« »--4/5-4/5 Sep 2012 699- i
Panasonic LX7« »HiRec75/1004/55/54.5/5 Jul 2012 499- i

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 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? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. 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, please send me an email, and I will try to locate and add the respective data to the application.

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