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Canon G16 versus Nikon D700

The Canon PowerShot G16 and the Nikon D700 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in August 2013 and July 2008. The G16 is a fixed lens compact, while the D700 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a 1/1.7-inch (G16) and a full frame (D700) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 12 megapixel, whereas the Nikon provides 12.1 MP. 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 Nikon D700

The physical size and weight of the Canon G16 and the Nikon D700 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also use the toggle button 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 Nikon D700
Compare G16 versus D700 top
Compare G16 and D700 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D700 is considerably larger (118 percent) than the Canon G16. It is noteworthy in this context that the D700 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 build in, whereas the D700 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can find an overview of optics for the D700 and their specifications in the Nikon Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the G16 gets 360 shots out of its NB-10L battery, while the D700 can take 1000 images on a single charge of its EN-EL3e 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
Nikon D700« 5.8 in 4.8 in 3.0 in 37.9 oz 1000 Y Jul 2008 2,999- 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 X20« » 4.6 in 2.8 in 2.2 in 12.5 oz 270 n Jan 2013 599- i
Fujifilm X10« » 4.6 in 2.8 in 2.2 in 12.3 oz 270 n Sep 2011 599- i
Nikon D850« » 5.7 in 4.9 in 3.1 in 35.5 oz 1840 Y Jul 2017 3,299 i i
Nikon D810« » 5.7 in 4.8 in 3.2 in 34.6 oz 1200 Y Jun 2014 3,299- i
Nikon D800« » 5.7 in 4.8 in 3.2 in 35.3 oz 900 Y Feb 2012 2,999- i
Nikon D3S« » 6.3 in 6.2 in 3.5 in 43.7 oz 4200 Y Oct 2009 5,199- i
Nikon D3« » 6.3 in 6.2 in 3.5 in 45.9 oz 4300 Y Aug 2007 4,999- 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 launched at a lower price than the D700, despite having a lens build 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.

 

Sensor comparison: Canon G16 vs Nikon D700

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 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 D700 a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the D700 is 1948 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 D700 offers a 3:2 aspect.

Canon G16 and Nikon D700 sensor measures

With 12.1MP, the D700 offers a higher resolution than the G16 (12MP), but the D700 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 8.43μm versus 1.87μm for the G16) due to its larger sensor. However, the G16 is a much more recent model (by 5 years and 1 month) than the D700, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.

G16 versus D700 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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. Of the two cameras under consideration, the D700 offers substantially better image quality than the G16 (overall score 26 points higher). The advantage is based on 2.5 bits higher color depth, 0.5 EV in additional dynamic range, and 3.3 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.

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
Nikon D700« Full Frame 12.1 4256 2832-23.512.2230380
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 X20« » 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p----
Fujifilm X10« » 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/30p20.511.324550
Nikon D850« » Full Frame 45.4 8256 55044K/30p26.414.82660100
Nikon D810« » Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/60p25.714.8285397
Nikon D800« » Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/30p25.314.4285395
Nikon D3S« » Full Frame 12.1 4256 2832720/24p23.512.0325382
Nikon D3« » Full Frame 12.1 4256 2832-23.512.2229081
Panasonic LX7« » 1/1.7 10.0 3648 27361080/60p20.711.714750

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 D700 does not. The highest resolution format that the G16 can use is 1080/60p.

 

Feature comparison: Canon G16 vs Nikon D700

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The G16 and the D700 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 table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon G16 and Nikon D700 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras. If needed, the dpreview camera hub, for example, contains further detail on the cameras' specs.

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
Nikon D700«optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 8000 8.0 Y n
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 X20« »optical n 2.8 460 fixed n 4000 12.0 Y Y
Fujifilm X10« »optical n 2.8 460 fixed n 4000 10.0 Y Y
Nikon D850« »optical Y 3.2 2359 tilting Y 8000 9.0 n n
Nikon D810« »optical Y 3.2 1229 fixed n 4000 5.0 Y n
Nikon D800« »optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 8000 4.0 Y n
Nikon D3S« »optical Y 3.0 921 fixed n 8000 11.0 n n
Nikon D3« »optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 8000 11.0 n n
Panasonic LX7« »- n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 11.0 Y Y

The G16 is a current model that online retailers, such as amazon, will have in stock. In contrast, the D700 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the D700 was succeeded by the Nikon D800.

Review summary: Canon G16 vs Nikon D700

So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon G16 and the Nikon D700? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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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 build-in lens, while the D700 requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (109x76mm vs 147x123mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a build-in lens (unlike the D700).
  • Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization build-in.
  • More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a build-in lens.
  • More modern: Reflects 5 years and 1 month of technical progress since the D700 launch.

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Reasons to prefer the Nikon D700:

  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (26 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (2.5 bits more color depth).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (3.3 stops ISO advantage).
  • Easier setting verification: Has a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (8000/sec vs 4000/sec) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (8 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.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in July 2008).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the D700 emerges as the winner of the match-up (10 : 7 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 07:10 D700

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 D700 in practical situations. 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 following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The detailed reviews can be accessed 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
Nikon D700«89/100HiRec4.5/55/54.5/5 Jul 2008 2,999- 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 X20« »HiRec77/1004.5/5-5/5 Jan 2013 599- i
Fujifilm X10« »-76/1004/53.5/54.5/5 Sep 2011 599- i
Nikon D850« »HiRec89/1004.5/55/55/5 Jul 2017 3,299 i i
Nikon D810« »-86/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2014 3,299- i
Nikon D800« »HiRec82/1005/55/55/5 Feb 2012 2,999- i
Nikon D3S« »-89/1004.5/55/55/5 Oct 2009 5,199- i
Nikon D3« »-HiRec5/5rev4.5/5 Aug 2007 4,999- 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. 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.

 

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored. If the camera you are interested in is not available, please contact me, and I will try to add information on that model to the database.

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