Canon G16 versus Olympus E-420
The Canon PowerShot G16 and the Olympus E-420 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in August 2013 and March 2008. The G16 is a fixed lens compact, while the E-420 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a 1/1.7-inch (G16) and a Four Thirds sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 12 megapixel, whereas the Olympus provides 10 MP.
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon G16 and the Olympus E-420. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are presented. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter. If you prefer, you can also use the toggle button to switch to a comparison in percentage terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the G16 – represents 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus E-420 is considerably larger (43 percent) than the Canon G16. Cameras intended for semi-professional or professional use tend to be a bit bulkier in order to give them the necessary ruggedness. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G16 nor the E-420 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the G16 has a lens build in, whereas the E-420 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 E-420 and their specifications in the Four Thirds Lens Catalog.
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 comparisons there.
|Camera Body Specifications
|Canon G16 (⇒ rgt)||4.3 in||3.0 in||1.6 in||12.6 oz||360||no||2013||549||latest||check|
|Olympus E-420 (⇒ lft)||5.1 in||3.6 in||2.1 in||15.5 oz||500||no||2008||599||discont.||check|
|Canon G9 X Mark II (⇒ lft | rgt)||3.9 in||2.3 in||1.2 in||7.3 oz||235||no||2017||529||latest||check|
|Canon G9 X (⇒ lft | rgt)||3.9 in||2.3 in||1.2 in||7.4 oz||220||no||2015||529||discont.||check|
|Canon G1 X Mark II (⇒ lft | rgt)||4.6 in||2.9 in||2.6 in||19.5 oz||240||no||2014||799||latest||check|
|Canon T5i (⇒ lft | rgt)||5.2 in||3.9 in||3.1 in||20.5 oz||440||no||2013||649||discont.||check|
|Canon SL1 (⇒ lft | rgt)||4.6 in||3.6 in||2.7 in||14.4 oz||380||no||2013||549||discont.||check|
|Canon G1 X (⇒ lft | rgt)||4.6 in||3.2 in||2.6 in||18.8 oz||250||no||2012||799||discont.||check|
|Fujifilm X30 (⇒ lft | rgt)||4.7 in||2.8 in||2.4 in||14.9 oz||470||no||2014||599||latest||check|
|Fujifilm X20 (⇒ lft | rgt)||4.6 in||2.8 in||2.2 in||12.5 oz||270||no||2013||599||discont.||check|
|Fujifilm X10 (⇒ lft | rgt)||4.6 in||2.8 in||2.2 in||12.3 oz||270||no||2011||599||discont.||check|
|Olympus E-450 (⇒ lft | rgt)||5.1 in||3.6 in||2.1 in||15.5 oz||500||no||2009||499||discont.||check|
|Olympus E-520 (⇒ lft | rgt)||5.4 in||3.6 in||2.7 in||18.9 oz||750||no||2008||699||discont.||check|
|Olympus E-410 (⇒ lft | rgt)||5.1 in||3.6 in||2.1 in||15.3 oz||500||no||2007||699||discont.||check|
|Olympus E-400 (⇒ lft | rgt)||5.1 in||3.6 in||2.1 in||15.3 oz||500||no||2006||699||discont.||check|
|Panasonic L10 (⇒ lft | rgt)||5.3 in||3.8 in||3.1 in||19.6 oz||450||no||2007||599||discont.||check|
The listed 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 E-420, 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.
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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 more expensive and 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 Olympus E-420 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the E-420 is 436 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 4.65 and 2.0. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon G16 offers a higher resolution of 12 megapixel, compared with 10 MP of the Olympus E-420. This megapixel advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 1.86μm versus 4.74μm for the E-420). However, it should be noted that the G16 is much more recent (by 5 years and 5 months) than the E-420, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for most cameras. 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 Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar image quality. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|Canon G16 (⇒ rgt)||1/1.7||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||21.0||11.7||230||54|
|Olympus E-420 (⇒ lft)||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||no||21.5||10.4||527||56|
|Canon G9 X Mark II (⇒ lft | rgt)||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.9||12.5||522||65|
|Canon G9 X (⇒ lft | rgt)||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.5||12.3||495||63|
|Canon G1 X Mark II (⇒ lft | rgt)||1.5-inch||13.0||4160||3120||1080/30p||21.5||10.8||581||58|
|Canon T5i (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.7||11.2||681||61|
|Canon SL1 (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.8||11.3||843||63|
|Canon G1 X (⇒ lft | rgt)||1.5-inch||14.2||4352||3264||1080/24p||21.7||10.8||644||60|
|Fujifilm X30 (⇒ lft | rgt)||2/3||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||-||-||-||-|
|Fujifilm X20 (⇒ lft | rgt)||2/3||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||-||-||-||-|
|Fujifilm X10 (⇒ lft | rgt)||2/3||12.0||4000||3000||1080/30p||20.5||11.3||245||50|
|Olympus E-450 (⇒ lft | rgt)||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||no||21.5||10.5||512||56|
|Olympus E-520 (⇒ lft | rgt)||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||no||21.4||10.4||548||55|
|Olympus E-410 (⇒ lft | rgt)||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||no||21.1||10.0||494||51|
|Olympus E-400 (⇒ lft | rgt)||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||no||-||-||-||-|
|Panasonic L10 (⇒ lft | rgt)||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||no||21.3||10.8||429||55|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The G16 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the E-420 does not. The highest resolution format that the G16 can use is 1080/60p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The G16 and the E-420 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 Olympus E-420, and comparable cameras. If needed, the dpreview camera hub, for example, contains further detail on the cameras' specs.
|Canon G16 (⇒ rgt)||optical||no||3.0||922||fixed||no||4000||2.2||7||no|
|Olympus E-420 (⇒ lft)||optical||no||2.7||215||fixed||no||4000||3.5||12||no|
|Canon G9 X Mark II (⇒ lft | rgt)||no||no||3.0||1040||fixed||YES||2000||8.2||6||no|
|Canon G9 X (⇒ lft | rgt)||no||no||3.0||1040||fixed||YES||2000||6.0||6||no|
|Canon G1 X Mark II (⇒ lft | rgt)||no||no||3.0||1040||tilting||YES||4000||5.2||6.8||no|
|Canon T5i (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||3.0||1040||swivel||YES||4000||5.0||13||no|
|Canon SL1 (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||3.0||1040||fixed||YES||4000||4.9||9.4||no|
|Canon G1 X (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||3.0||922||Swivel||no||4000||1.9||7||no|
|Fujifilm X30 (⇒ lft | rgt)||2360||no||3.0||920||tilting||no||4000||12.0||7||no|
|Fujifilm X20 (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||2.8||460||fixed||no||4000||12.0||7||no|
|Fujifilm X10 (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||2.8||460||fixed||no||4000||10.0||9||no|
|Olympus E-450 (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||2.7||215||fixed||no||4000||3.5||12||no|
|Olympus E-520 (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||2.7||215||fixed||no||4000||3.5||12||YES|
|Olympus E-410 (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||2.5||215||fixed||no||4000||3.0||10||no|
|Olympus E-400 (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||2.5||215||fixed||no||4000||3.0||10||no|
|Panasonic L10 (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||2.5||207||swivel||no||4000||3.0||11||no|
The G16 is a current model that online retailers, such as amazon, will have in stock. In contrast, the E-420 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on ebay). There has not been a direct replacement model for the E-420 from Olympus.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon G16 and the Canon G16? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Advantages of the Canon PowerShot G16:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (12 vs 10MP) with a 10% higher linear resolution.
- More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (1.3 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 2.7") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (922k vs 215k dots).
- Ready to shoot: Comes with a build-in lens, while the E-420 requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (109x76mm vs 130x91mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a build-in lens (unlike the E-420).
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a build-in lens.
- More modern: Reflects 5 years and 5 months of technical progress since the E-420 launch.
Reasons to prefer the Olympus E-420:
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (1.2 stops ISO advantage).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3.5 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 March 2008).
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the G16 is the clear winner of the match-up (10 : 5 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs.
In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the G16 or the E-420 handle or perform in practice. 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 why expert reviews are important. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites. The detailed reviews can be accessed, respectively, on the websites of cameralabs.com, dpreview.com, ephotozine.com, imaging-resource.com, and photographyblog.com.
|Canon G16 (⇒ rgt)||Rec||-||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||2013||549||latest||check|
|Olympus E-420 (⇒ lft)||85/100||HiRec||4/5||reviewed||4.5/5||2008||599||discont.||check|
|Canon G9 X Mark II (⇒ lft | rgt)||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||2017||529||latest||check|
|Canon G9 X (⇒ lft | rgt)||HiRec||-||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||2015||529||discont.||check|
|Canon G1 X Mark II (⇒ lft | rgt)||Rec||77/100 Silver||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||2014||799||latest||check|
|Canon T5i (⇒ lft | rgt)||-||76/100 Silver||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||2013||649||discont.||check|
|Canon SL1 (⇒ lft | rgt)||Rec||78/100 Gold||4/5||4/5||4/5||2013||549||discont.||check|
|Canon G1 X (⇒ lft | rgt)||79/100 Rec||76/100 Silver||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||2012||799||discont.||check|
|Fujifilm X30 (⇒ lft | rgt)||-||76/100||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||2014||599||latest||check|
|Fujifilm X20 (⇒ lft | rgt)||HiRec||77/100 Silver||4.5/5||-||5/5||2013||599||discont.||check|
|Fujifilm X10 (⇒ lft | rgt)||-||76/100 Silver||4/5||3.5/5||4.5/5||2011||599||discont.||check|
|Olympus E-450 (⇒ lft | rgt)||-||-||4/5||-||4/5||2009||499||discont.||check|
|Olympus E-520 (⇒ lft | rgt)||87/100||HiRec||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||2008||699||discont.||check|
|Olympus E-410 (⇒ lft | rgt)||86/100||HiRec||4/5||reviewed||4.5/5||2007||699||discont.||check|
|Olympus E-400 (⇒ lft | rgt)||85/100||-||4/5||-||4/5||2006||699||discont.||check|
|Panasonic L10 (⇒ lft | rgt)||85/100||Rec||3.5/5||reviewed||4/5||2007||599||discont.||check|
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. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
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. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool. If you cannot find the camera you are interested in, please contact me, and I will try to update the database with the necessary infos.
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