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Canon G16 vs Leica X1

The Canon PowerShot G16 and the Leica X1 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in August 2013 and September 2009. Both the G16 and the X1 are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on a 1/1.7-inch (G16) and an APS-C (X1) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 12 megapixels, whereas the Leica provides 12.2 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Canon G16 versus Leica X1
Canon G16 Leica X1
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
28-140mm f/1.8-2.8 36mm f/2.8
12 MP, 1/1.7" Sensor 12.2 MP, APS-C Sensor
1080/60p Video no Video
ISO 80-12,800 ISO 100-3,200
Optical viewfinder No viewfinder, LCD framing
3.0 LCD, 922k dots 2.7 LCD, 230k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
2.2 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
360 shots per battery charge260 shots per battery charge
109 x 76 x 40 mm, 356 g 124 x 60 x 32 mm, 306 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot G16 and the Leica X1? 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.

Body comparison

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon G16 and the Leica X1 is provided in the side-by-side display below. 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.

The X1 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the G16 is only available in black.

Size Canon G16 vs Leica X1
Compare G16 versus X1 top
Comparison G16 or X1 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Leica X1 is notably smaller (10 percent) than the Canon G16. Moreover, the X1 is markedly lighter (14 percent) than the G16. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G16 nor the X1 are weather-sealed.

Concerning battery life, the G16 gets 360 shots out of its NB-10L battery, while the X1 can take 260 images on a single charge of its BP-DC8 power pack.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. 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.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon G16 109 mm 76 mm 40 mm 356 g 360 n Aug 2013 549 i
 
Leica X1 124 mm 60 mm 32 mm 306 g 260 n Sep 2009 1,995i
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 116 mm 74 mm 66 mm 553 g 240 n Feb 2014 799i
 
Canon 100D 117 mm 91 mm 69 mm 407 g 380 n Mar 2013 549i
 
Canon G1 X 117 mm 81 mm 65 mm 534 g 250 n Jan 2012 799i
 
Canon G15 107 mm 76 mm 40 mm 352 g 350 n Sep 2012 499i
 
Canon M 109 mm 66 mm 32 mm 298 g 230 n Jul 2012 599i
 
Canon G12 112 mm 76 mm 48 mm 401 g 370 n Sep 2010 499i
 
Fujifilm X30 119 mm 72 mm 60 mm 423 g 470 n Aug 2014 599 i
 
Fujifilm X20 117 mm 70 mm 57 mm 353 g 270 n Jan 2013 599i
 
Leica D-LUX 6 111 mm 68 mm 46 mm 298 g 330 n Sep 2012 699i
 
Leica X2 124 mm 69 mm 52 mm 345 g 450 n May 2012 1,995i
 
Leica D-LUX 5 110 mm 65 mm 43 mm 271 g 400 n Sep 2010 699i
 
Leica V-LUX 2 124 mm 80 mm 95 mm 520 g 410 n Sep 2010 849i
 
Nikon P7800 119 mm 78 mm 50 mm 399 g 350 n Sep 2013 549i
 
Panasonic LX7 111 mm 68 mm 46 mm 298 g 330 n Jul 2012 499i
 
Panasonic LX5 110 mm 65 mm 43 mm 271 g 400 n Jul 2010 499i
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 naturally be influenced heavily by the price. 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 markedly lower price (by 72 percent) than the X1, which puts it into a different market segment. 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 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. 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 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 Leica X1 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the X1 is 781 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 4.65 and 1.5. The sensor in the G16 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the X1 offers a 3:2 aspect.

Canon G16 and Leica X1 sensor measures

With 12.2MP, the X1 offers a higher resolution than the G16 (12MP), but the X1 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.51μm versus 1.87μm for the G16) due to its larger sensor. However, the G16 is a much more recent model (by 3 years and 11 months) than the X1, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.

The Canon PowerShot G16 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Leica X1 are ISO 100 to ISO 3200 (no boost).

G16 versus X1 MP

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

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Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
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
 
Leica X1 APS-C 12.2 4272 2856none........
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 31201080/30p21.510.858158
 
Canon 100D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.811.384363
 
Canon G1 X 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.864460
 
Canon G15 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/24p19.911.516546
 
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........
 
Leica D-LUX 6 1/1.7 10.0 3648 27361080/60p........
 
Leica X2 APS-C 16.1 4928 3264none........
 
Leica D-LUX 5 1/1.7 10.0 3648 2736720/60p........
 
Leica V-LUX 2 1/2.3 14.0 4320 32401080/60i........
 
Nikon P7800 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/30p21.211.720054
 
Panasonic LX7 1/1.7 10.0 3648 27361080/60p20.711.714750
 
Panasonic LX5 1/1.7 10.0 3648 2736720/60p19.610.813241

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The G16 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the X1 does not. The highest resolution format that the G16 can use is 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 X1 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon G16, the Leica X1, and comparable cameras.

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Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
(000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
 
Canon G16optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.2 Y Y
 
Leica X1none n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/2000s 3.0 Y n
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIoptional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 5.2 Y Y
 
Canon 100Doptical n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.9 Y n
 
Canon G1 Xoptical n 3.0 922 Swivel n 1/4000s 1.9 Y Y
 
Canon G15optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.1 Y Y
 
Canon Mnone n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.3 n n
 
Canon G12optical n 2.8 461 swivel n 1/4000s 1.1 Y Y
 
Fujifilm X302360 n 3.0 920 tilting n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
 
Fujifilm X20optical n 2.8 460 fixed n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
 
Leica D-LUX 6optional n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 11.0 Y Y
 
Leica X2optional n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n
 
Leica D-LUX 5optional n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y Y
 
Leica V-LUX 2202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 11.0 Y Y
 
Nikon P7800921 n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 8.0 Y Y
 
Panasonic LX7optional n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 11.0 Y Y
 
Panasonic LX5optional n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 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.

The G16 is equipped with a zoom lens, while the X1 comes with a built-in prime. The G16 has a 28-140mm f/1.8-2.8 optic and the X1 offers a 36mm f/2.8 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Canon provides a wider angle of view at the short end, as well as more tele-photo reach at the long end than the Leica. The G16 offers the faster maximum aperture.

The G16 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the X1 uses SDHC cards. The G16 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the X1 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.

Connectivity comparison

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 Leica X1 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
 
Canon G16Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--
 
Leica X1Y----mini2.0---
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIYstereomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Canon 100DYmonomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Canon G1 XYstereomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon G15Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon MYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Canon G12Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Fujifilm X30Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Fujifilm X20Ystereomono--micro2.0---
 
Leica D-LUX 6Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Leica X2Y----mini2.0---
 
Leica D-LUX 5Ymonomono--mini2.0---
 
Leica V-LUX 2Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Nikon P7800YstereomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Panasonic LX7Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Panasonic LX5Ymonomono--mini2.0---

It is notable that the G16 offers wifi support, while the X1 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 X1 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the X1 was succeeded by the Leica X2. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Leica websites.

Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Canon G16 or the Leica X1 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Reasons to prefer the Canon PowerShot G16:

  • Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/60p movies.
  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.7") 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 1/2000s) 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).
  • Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (360 versus 260) on a single battery charge.
  • Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
  • 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 affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (72 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 3 years and 11 months of technical progress since the X1 launch.

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Arguments in favor of the Leica X1:

  • Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
  • Richer colors: The pixel size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
  • More dynamic range: Larger pixels capture a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Larger pixels means good image quality even under poor lighting.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3 vs 2.2 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 50g or 14 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale value.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in September 2009).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the G16 is the clear winner of the match-up (14 : 8 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.

G16 14:08 X1

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon G16 and the Leica X1 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Travel-Zoom Camera and Best Prime Lens Compact 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 says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the G16 and the X1 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.

Expert reviews

This is where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major 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.

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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon G16+..4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i
 
Leica X1..+....4/5 Sep 2009 1,995i
 
Canon G1 X Mark II+77/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 799i
 
Canon 100D+78/1004/54/54/5 Mar 2013 549i
 
Canon G1 X+76/1004/54/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799i
 
Canon G15+76/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 499i
 
Canon M+..4/53.5/54/5 Jul 2012 599i
 
Canon G12+73/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2010 499i
 
Fujifilm X30..76/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Aug 2014 599 i
 
Fujifilm X20+ +77/1004.5/5..5/5 Jan 2013 599i
 
Leica D-LUX 6....4/5..4/5 Sep 2012 699i
 
Leica X2....3/5..4/5 May 2012 1,995i
 
Leica D-LUX 5....4.5/5..4/5 Sep 2010 699i
 
Leica V-LUX 2.......... Sep 2010 849i
 
Nikon P7800....4/53.5/54.5/5 Sep 2013 549i
 
Panasonic LX7+ +75/1004/55/54.5/5 Jul 2012 499i
 
Panasonic LX5+73/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jul 2010 499i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

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. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time 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.

Canon G16:
Check Amazon price
Leica X1:
Check Ebay offers

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 make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

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    Specifications: Canon G16 vs Leica X1

    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 Specifications
    Camera Model Canon G16 Leica X1
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 28-140mm f/1.8-2.8 36mm f/2.8
    Launch Date August 2013 September 2009
    Launch Price USD 549 USD 1,995
    Sensor Specs Canon G16 Leica X1
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format 1/1.7" Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 7.44 x 5.58 mm 23.7 x 15.6 mm
    Sensor Area 41.5152 mm2 369.72 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 9.3 mm 28.4 mm
    Crop Factor 4.65x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 12 Megapixels 12.2 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4000 x 3000 pixels 4272 x 2856 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.87 μm 5.51 μm
    Pixel Density 28.91 MP/cm2 3.30 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60p Video no Video
    ISO Setting 80 - 12,800 ISO 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 Leica X1
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder no viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 80%
    Viewfinder Magnification
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 2.7inch
    LCD Resolution 922k dots 230k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon G16 Leica X1
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus Peakingno Peaking Feature
    Continuous Shooting 2.2 shutter flaps/s 3 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer built-inno 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 Leica X1
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon G16 Leica X1
    Battery Type NB-10L BP-DC8
    Battery Life (CIPA)360 shots per charge260 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 109 x 76 x 40 mm
    (4.3 x 3.0 x 1.6 in)
    124 x 60 x 32 mm
    (4.9 x 2.4 x 1.3 in)
    Camera Weight 356 g (12.6 oz) 306 g (10.8 oz)

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