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Canon G16 vs Nikon D70s

The Canon PowerShot G16 and the Nikon D70s are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in August 2013 and April 2005. The G16 is a fixed lens compact, while the D70s is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a 1/1.7-inch (G16) and an APS-C (D70s) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 12 megapixels, whereas the Nikon provides 6 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 Nikon D70s
Canon G16 Nikon D70s
Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
28-140mm f/1.8-2.8 Nikon F mount lenses
12 MP, 1/1.7" Sensor 6 MP, APS-C Sensor
1080/60p Video no Video
ISO 80-12,800 ISO 200-1,600
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.0 LCD, 922k dots 2.0 LCD, 130k 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 charge500 shots per battery charge
109 x 76 x 40 mm, 356 g 140 x 111 x 78 mm, 679 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot G16 and the Nikon D70s? 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 Nikon D70s is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon G16 vs Nikon D70s
Compare G16 versus D70s top
Comparison G16 or D70s rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D70s is considerably larger (88 percent) than the Canon G16. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G16 nor the D70s are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the G16 has a lens built in, whereas the D70s 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 D70s and their specifications in the Nikon Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the G16 gets 360 shots out of its NB-10L battery, while the D70s can take 500 images on a single charge of its EN-EL3a power pack.

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, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.

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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 4.3 in 3.0 in 1.6 in 12.6 oz 360 n Aug 2013 549 i
 
Nikon D70s 5.5 in 4.4 in 3.1 in 24.0 oz 500 n Apr 2005 899i
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 4.6 in 2.9 in 2.6 in 19.5 oz 240 n Feb 2014 799i
 
Canon SL1 4.6 in 3.6 in 2.7 in 14.4 oz 380 n Mar 2013 549i
 
Canon G1 X 4.6 in 3.2 in 2.6 in 18.8 oz 250 n Jan 2012 799i
 
Canon G15 4.2 in 3.0 in 1.6 in 12.4 oz 350 n Sep 2012 499i
 
Canon M 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.3 in 10.5 oz 230 n Jul 2012 599i
 
Canon G12 4.4 in 3.0 in 1.9 in 14.1 oz 370 n Sep 2010 499i
 
Fujifilm X30 4.7 in 2.8 in 2.4 in 14.9 oz 470 n Aug 2014 599 i
 
Fujifilm X20 4.6 in 2.8 in 2.2 in 12.5 oz 270 n Jan 2013 599i
 
Nikon P7800 4.7 in 3.1 in 2.0 in 14.1 oz 350 n Sep 2013 549i
 
Nikon D5300 4.9 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 16.9 oz 600 n Oct 2013 799i
 
Nikon D40 4.9 in 3.7 in 2.5 in 18.4 oz 470 n Nov 2006 499i
 
Nikon D80 5.2 in 4.1 in 3.0 in 23.6 oz 600 n Aug 2006 999i
 
Nikon D50 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.0 in 21.9 oz 400 n Apr 2005 749i
 
Nikon D70 5.5 in 4.4 in 3.1 in 24.0 oz 400 n Jan 2004 999i
 
Panasonic LX7 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.8 in 10.5 oz 330 n Jul 2012 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 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 D70s, despite having a lens built in. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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.

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Sensor comparison

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. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the 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 Nikon D70s an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the D70s 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 D70s offers a 3:2 aspect.

Canon G16 and Nikon D70s sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon G16 offers a higher resolution of 12 megapixels, compared with 6 MP of the Nikon D70s. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 1.87μm versus 7.85μm for the D70s). However, it should be noted that the G16 is much more recent (by 8 years and 4 months) than the D70s, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.

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 Nikon D70s are 15 x 10 inches or 38.2 x 25.4 cm for good quality, 12 x 8 inches or 30.6 x 20.3 cm for very good quality, and 10 x 6.7 inches or 25.5 x 16.9 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 Nikon D70s are ISO 200 to ISO 1600 (no boost).

G16 versus D70s MP

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 review, the G16 has a notably higher overall DXO score than the D70s (overall score 4 points higher), which gives it an advantage in terms of imaging quality. This advantage is based on 0.6 bits higher color depth, 1.4 EV in additional dynamic range, and 1.2 stops of reduced low light sensitivity. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

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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
 
Nikon D70s APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.410.352950
 
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 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........
 
Nikon P7800 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/30p21.211.720054
 
Nikon D5300 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.013.9133883
 
Nikon D40 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none21.011.056156
 
Nikon D80 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.111.252461
 
Nikon D50 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.910.856055
 
Nikon D70 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.410.352950
 
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 D70s does not. The highest resolution format that the G16 can use is 1080/60p.

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The G16 and the D70s 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 D70s in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar 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
 
Nikon D70soptical n 2.0 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0 Y n
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIoptional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 5.2 Y Y
 
Canon SL1optical 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
 
Nikon P7800921 n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 8.0 Y Y
 
Nikon D5300optical n 3.2 1037 swivel n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Nikon D40optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
 
Nikon D80optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Nikon D50optical n 2.0 130 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
 
Nikon D70optical n 1.8 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0 Y n
 
Panasonic LX7optional n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 11.0 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 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the D70s uses Compact Flash cards.

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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 Nikon D70s 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--
 
Nikon D70sY-----2.0---
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIYstereomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Canon SL1YmonomonoY-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---
 
Nikon P7800YstereomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Nikon D5300YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y--
 
Nikon D40Y-----2.0---
 
Nikon D80Y-----2.0---
 
Nikon D50Y-----2.0---
 
Nikon D70Y-----1.0---
 
Panasonic LX7Ystereomono--mini2.0---

It is notable that the G16 offers wifi support, while the D70s 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 D70s has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the D70s was succeeded by the Nikon D80. 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.

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Review summary

So how do things add up? Is the Canon G16 better than the Nikon D70s or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Advantages of the Canon PowerShot G16:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (12 vs 6MP) with a 38% higher linear resolution.
  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (4 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (1.4 EV of extra DR).
  • Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/60p movies.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.0") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (922k vs 130k dots).
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with a built-in lens, while the D70s requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (109x76mm vs 140x111mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the D70s).
  • 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 8 years and 4 months of technical progress since the D70s launch.

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Reasons to prefer the Nikon D70s:

  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (1.2 stops ISO advantage).
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3 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 (500 versus 360) out of a single battery charge.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in April 2005).

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 : 6 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.

G16 14:06 D70s

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon G16 and the Nikon D70s 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 specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the G16 and the D70s 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.

Expert reviews

This is why expert reviews are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear 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
 
Nikon D70s......o5/5 Apr 2005 899i
 
Canon G1 X Mark II+77/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 799i
 
Canon SL1+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
 
Nikon P7800....4/53.5/54.5/5 Sep 2013 549i
 
Nikon D5300+ +79/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 799i
 
Nikon D4081/100+ +o5/54.5/5 Nov 2006 499i
 
Nikon D80++ +o4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2006 999i
 
Nikon D5078/100+ +4/5o4.5/5 Apr 2005 749i
 
Nikon D70..+ +..o.. Jan 2004 999i
 
Panasonic LX7+ +75/1004/55/54.5/5 Jul 2012 499i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Canon G16:
Check Amazon price
Nikon D70s:
Check Ebay offers

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.

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    Specifications: Canon G16 vs Nikon D70s

    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 Nikon D70s
    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 April 2005
    Launch Price USD 549 USD 899
    Sensor Specs Canon G16 Nikon D70s
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS CCD
    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 6 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4000 x 3000 pixels 3008 x 2000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.87 μm 7.85 μm
    Pixel Density 28.91 MP/cm2 1.63 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60p Video no Video
    ISO Setting 80 - 12,800 ISO 200 - 1,600 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 54 50
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.0 20.4
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.7 10.3
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 230 529
    Screen Specs Canon G16 Nikon D70s
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 80% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.50x
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 2.0inch
    LCD Resolution 922k dots 130k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon G16 Nikon D70s
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Phase-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 CF cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Canon G16 Nikon D70s
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon G16 Nikon D70s
    Battery Type NB-10L EN-EL3a
    Battery Life (CIPA)360 shots per charge500 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 109 x 76 x 40 mm
    (4.3 x 3.0 x 1.6 in)
    140 x 111 x 78 mm
    (5.5 x 4.4 x 3.1 in)
    Camera Weight 356 g (12.6 oz) 679 g (24.0 oz)

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