Canon G16 vs Nikon D300
The Canon PowerShot G16 and the Nikon D300 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in August 2013 and August 2007. The G16 is a fixed lens compact, while the D300 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a 1/1.7-inch (G16) and an APS-C (D300) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 12 megapixels, whereas the Nikon provides 12.2 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 Nikon D300? 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 Nikon D300. 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 Nikon D300 is considerably larger (102 percent) than the Canon G16. It is noteworthy in this context that the D300 is splash and dust-proof, while the G16 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the G16 has a lens built in, whereas the D300 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the D300 and their specifications in the Nikon Lens Catalog.
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.
|1.||Canon G16||4.3 in||3.0 in||1.6 in||12.6 oz||360||n||Aug 2013||549|
|2.||Nikon D300||5.8 in||4.5 in||2.9 in||32.6 oz||1000||Y||Aug 2007||1,799|
|3.||Canon G1 X Mark II||4.6 in||2.9 in||2.6 in||19.5 oz||240||n||Feb 2014||799|
|4.||Canon SL1||4.6 in||3.6 in||2.7 in||14.4 oz||380||n||Mar 2013||549|
|5.||Canon G1 X||4.6 in||3.2 in||2.6 in||18.8 oz||250||n||Jan 2012||799|
|6.||Canon G15||4.2 in||3.0 in||1.6 in||12.4 oz||350||n||Sep 2012||499|
|7.||Canon M||4.3 in||2.6 in||1.3 in||10.5 oz||230||n||Jul 2012||599|
|8.||Canon G12||4.4 in||3.0 in||1.9 in||14.1 oz||370||n||Sep 2010||499|
|9.||Fujifilm X30||4.7 in||2.8 in||2.4 in||14.9 oz||470||n||Aug 2014||599|
|10.||Fujifilm X20||4.6 in||2.8 in||2.2 in||12.5 oz||270||n||Jan 2013||599|
|11.||Nikon P7800||4.7 in||3.1 in||2.0 in||14.1 oz||350||n||Sep 2013||549|
|12.||Nikon D7000||5.2 in||4.1 in||3.0 in||27.5 oz||1050||Y||Sep 2010||1,499|
|13.||Nikon D300S||5.8 in||4.5 in||3.2 in||33.1 oz||950||Y||Jul 2009||1,799|
|14.||Nikon D700||5.8 in||4.8 in||3.0 in||37.9 oz||1000||Y||Jul 2008||2,999|
|15.||Nikon D2Xs||6.2 in||5.9 in||3.4 in||44.2 oz||3800||Y||Jun 2006||4,699|
|16.||Nikon D200||5.8 in||4.4 in||2.9 in||32.5 oz||400||Y||Nov 2005||1,699|
|17.||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.|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The G16 was launched at a lower price than the D300, 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. 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 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 Nikon D300 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the D300 is 788 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 D300 offers a 3:2 aspect.
With 12.2MP, the D300 offers a higher resolution than the G16 (12MP), but the D300 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.53μm versus 1.87μm for the G16) due to its larger sensor. However, the G16 is a much more recent model (by 6 years) than the D300, 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 Nikon D300 are ISO 200 to ISO 3200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-6400.
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 D300 offers substantially better image quality than the G16 (overall score 13 points higher). The advantage is based on 1.1 bits higher color depth, 0.3 EV in additional dynamic range, and 1.6 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
| DXO |
|3.||Canon G1 X Mark II||1.5-inch||13.0||4160||3120||1080/30p||21.5||10.8||581||58|
|5.||Canon G1 X||1.5-inch||14.2||4352||3264||1080/24p||21.7||10.8||644||60|
|14.||Nikon D700||Full Frame||12.1||4256||2832||none||23.5||12.2||2303||80|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The G16 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the D300 does not. The highest resolution format that the G16 can use is 1080/60p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The G16 and the D300 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 adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon G16 and Nikon D300 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|3.||Canon G1 X Mark II||optional||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||5.2||Y||Y|
|5.||Canon G1 X||optical||n||3.0||922||Swivel||n||1/4000s||1.9||Y||Y|
One feature that is present on the D300, but is missing on the G16 is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.
The Canon G16 and the Nikon D300 both have 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 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the D300 uses Compact Flash 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 Nikon D300 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|3.||Canon G1 X Mark II||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|5.||Canon G1 X||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
It is notable that the G16 offers wifi support, while the D300 does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Nikon D300 (unlike the G16) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
The G16 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Canon. In contrast, the D300 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the D300 was succeeded by the Nikon D300S. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Nikon websites.
So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon G16 and the Nikon D300? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Advantages of the Canon PowerShot G16:
- Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/60p movies.
- Ready to shoot: Comes with a built-in lens, while the D300 requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (109x76mm vs 147x114mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the D300).
- 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.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More modern: Reflects 6 years of technical progress since the D300 launch.
Arguments in favor of the Nikon D300:
- Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (13 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (1.1 bits more color depth).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (1.6 stops ISO advantage).
- Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (6 vs 2.2 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More flexible: Makes it possible to change lenses and thus to use specialty optics.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (1000 versus 360) out of a single battery charge.
- Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
- Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in August 2007).
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the D300 emerges as the winner of the match-up (11 : 8 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. 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 Nikon D300 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Travel-Zoom Camera and Best DSLR Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the G16 and the D300 in practical situations. 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 hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular 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.||Nikon D300||..||+ +||+ +||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2007||1,799|
|3.||Canon G1 X Mark II||3/5||+||77/100||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||799|
|4.||Canon SL1||4/5||+||78/100||4/5||4/5||Mar 2013||549|
|5.||Canon G1 X||5/5||+||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2012||799|
|6.||Canon G15||4/5||+||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||499|
|7.||Canon M||3/5||+||..||4/5||4/5||Jul 2012||599|
|8.||Canon G12||4/5||+||73/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2010||499|
|9.||Fujifilm X30||4/5||..||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2014||599|
|10.||Fujifilm X20||4/5||+ +||77/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jan 2013||599|
|11.||Nikon P7800||3/5||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2013||549|
|12.||Nikon D7000||4/5||..||80/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2010||1,499|
|13.||Nikon D300S||5/5||+ +||82/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jul 2009||1,799|
|14.||Nikon D700||..||89/100||+ +||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2008||2,999|
|15.||Nikon D2Xs||..||..||..||..||..||Jun 2006||4,699|
|16.||Nikon D200||..||+ +||+ +||o||..||Nov 2005||1,699|
|17.||Panasonic LX7||3/5||+ +||75/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jul 2012||499|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The above review scores should be interpreted 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, 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 a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
Specifications: Canon G16 vs Nikon D300
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||Nikon D300|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||28-140mm f/1.8-2.8||Nikon F mount lenses|
|Launch Date||August 2013||August 2007|
|Launch Price||USD 549||USD 1,799|
|Sensor Specs||Canon G16||Nikon D300|
|Sensor Format||1/1.7" Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||7.44 x 5.58 mm||23.6 x 15.8 mm|
|Sensor Area||41.5152 mm2||372.88 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||9.3 mm||28.4 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||12 Megapixels||12.2 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4000 x 3000 pixels||4288 x 2848 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.87 μm||5.53 μm|
|Pixel Density||28.91 MP/cm2||3.28 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60p Video||no Video|
|ISO Setting||80 - 12,800 ISO||200 - 3,200 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||100 - 6,400 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 6||EXPEED|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||54||67|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||21.0||22.1|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.7||12.0|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||230||679|
|Screen Specs||Canon G16||Nikon D300|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||80%||100%|
|Top-Level Screen||no Top Display||Control Panel|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||922k dots||922k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon G16||Nikon D300|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||no Peaking Feature|
|Continuous Shooting||2.2 shutter flaps/s||6 shutter flaps/s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||Intervalometer built-in|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||CF cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon G16||Nikon D300|
|Studio Flash||no PC Sync||PC Sync socket|
|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||Nikon D300|
|Environmental Sealing||not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||360 shots per charge||1000 shots per charge|
109 x 76 x 40 mm
(4.3 x 3.0 x 1.6 in)
147 x 114 x 74 mm
(5.8 x 4.5 x 2.9 in)
|Camera Weight||356 g (12.6 oz)||925 g (32.6 oz)|
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