Canon G16 vs Sony RX100 III
The Canon PowerShot G16 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in August 2013 and May 2014. Both the G16 and the RX100 III are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on a 1/1.7-inch (G16) and an one-inch (RX100 III) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 12 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 20 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 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III? 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 Sony RX100 III. 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 Sony RX100 III is notably smaller (29 percent) than the Canon G16. Moreover, the RX100 III is markedly lighter (19 percent) than the G16. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G16 nor the RX100 III are weather-sealed.
Concerning battery life, the G16 gets 360 shots out of its NB-10L battery, while the RX100 III can take 320 images on a single charge of its NP-BX1 power pack. The power pack in the RX100 III can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras there.
|1.||Canon G16||109 mm||76 mm||40 mm||356 g||360||n||Aug 2013||549|
|2.||Sony RX100 III||102 mm||58 mm||41 mm||290 g||320||n||May 2014||799|
|3.||Canon G1 X Mark II||116 mm||74 mm||66 mm||553 g||240||n||Feb 2014||799|
|4.||Canon G7 X||103 mm||60 mm||40 mm||304 g||210||n||Sep 2014||699|
|5.||Canon SL1||117 mm||91 mm||69 mm||407 g||380||n||Mar 2013||549|
|6.||Canon G1 X||117 mm||81 mm||65 mm||534 g||250||n||Jan 2012||799|
|7.||Canon G15||107 mm||76 mm||40 mm||352 g||350||n||Sep 2012||499|
|8.||Canon M||109 mm||66 mm||32 mm||298 g||230||n||Jul 2012||599|
|9.||Canon G12||112 mm||76 mm||48 mm||401 g||370||n||Sep 2010||499|
|10.||Fujifilm X30||119 mm||72 mm||60 mm||423 g||470||n||Aug 2014||599|
|11.||Fujifilm X20||117 mm||70 mm||57 mm||353 g||270||n||Jan 2013||599|
|12.||Nikon P7800||119 mm||78 mm||50 mm||399 g||350||n||Sep 2013||549|
|13.||Panasonic LX7||111 mm||68 mm||46 mm||298 g||330||n||Jul 2012||499|
|14.||Sony RX100 VII||102 mm||58 mm||43 mm||302 g||260||n||Jul 2019||1,199|
|15.||Sony RX100 IV||102 mm||58 mm||41 mm||298 g||280||n||Jun 2015||999|
|16.||Sony RX100 II||102 mm||58 mm||38 mm||281 g||350||n||Jun 2013||749|
|17.||Sony RX100||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||240 g||330||n||Jun 2012||649|
|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 retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The G16 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 31 percent) than the RX100 III, 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.
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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. 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 Sony RX100 III an one-inch sensor. The sensor area in the RX100 III is 176 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 4.65 and 2.7. The sensor in the G16 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the RX100 III offers a 3:2 aspect.
Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with BSI-CMOS (Backside Illuminated Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors.
With 20MP, the RX100 III offers a higher resolution than the G16 (12MP), but the RX100 III nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 2.41μm versus 1.87μm for the G16) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the RX100 III is a somewhat more recent model (by 8 months) than the G16, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.
The resolution advantage of the Sony RX100 III implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the RX100 III for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 27.4 x 18.2 inches or 69.5 x 46.3 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 21.9 x 14.6 inches or 55.6 x 37.1 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 18.2 x 12.2 inches or 46.3 x 30.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon G16 are 20 x 15 inches or 50.8 x 38.1 cm for good quality, 16 x 12 inches or 40.6 x 30.5 cm for very good quality, and 13.3 x 10 inches or 33.9 x 25.4 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 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III are ISO 100 to ISO 12800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 80-25600.
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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 RX100 III offers substantially better image quality than the G16 (overall score 13 points higher). The advantage is based on 1.4 bits higher color depth, 0.6 EV in additional dynamic range, and 1.1 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
| DXO |
|2.||Sony RX100 III||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.4||12.3||495||67|
|3.||Canon G1 X Mark II||1.5-inch||13.0||4160||3120||1080/30p||21.5||10.8||581||58|
|4.||Canon G7 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||23.0||12.7||556||71|
|6.||Canon G1 X||1.5-inch||14.2||4352||3264||1080/24p||21.7||10.8||644||60|
|14.||Sony RX100 VII||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||21.8||12.4||418||63|
|15.||Sony RX100 IV||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.6||591||70|
|16.||Sony RX100 II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.5||12.4||483||67|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/60p).
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the RX100 III has an electronic viewfinder (1440k dots), while the G16 has an optical one. Both systems have their advantages, with the electronic viewfinder making it possible to project supplementary shooting information into the framing view, whereas the optical viewfinder offers lag-free viewing and a very clear framing image. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon G16 and Sony RX100 III along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|2.||Sony RX100 III||1440||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y|
|3.||Canon G1 X Mark II||optional||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||5.2||Y||Y|
|4.||Canon G7 X||none||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||6.5||Y||Y|
|6.||Canon G1 X||optical||n||3.0||922||Swivel||n||1/4000s||1.9||Y||Y|
|14.||Sony RX100 VII||2359||n||3.0||921||tilting||Y||1/2000s||90.0||Y||Y|
|15.||Sony RX100 IV||2359||n||3.0||1228||tilting||n||1/2000s||16.0||Y||Y|
|16.||Sony RX100 II||optional||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0||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.
Both the G16 and the RX100 III have zoom lenses built in. The G16 has a 28-140mm f/1.8-2.8 optic and the RX100 III offers a 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Sony provides a wider angle of view at the short end than the Canon, but less tele-photo reach at the long end. Both cameras offer the same maximum aperture.
The G16 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the RX100 III uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.
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 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|2.||Sony RX100 III||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|3.||Canon G1 X Mark II||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|4.||Canon G7 X||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|6.||Canon G1 X||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|14.||Sony RX100 VII||-||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|15.||Sony RX100 IV||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|16.||Sony RX100 II||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
It is notable that the G16 has a hotshoe, while the RX100 III does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.
The G16 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Canon. In contrast, the RX100 III has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the RX100 III was succeeded by the Sony RX100 IV. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Sony websites.
So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Canon G16 or the Sony RX100 III – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot G16:
- Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
- 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.
- More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (360 versus 320) on a single battery charge.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (31 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in August 2013).
Advantages of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (20 vs 12MP), which boosts linear resolution by 32%.
- Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (13 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (1.4 bits more color depth).
- More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (0.6 EV of extra DR).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (1.1 stops ISO advantage).
- More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1229k vs 922k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 2.2 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
- More compact: Is smaller (102x58mm vs 109x76mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 66g or 19 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- More modern: Was introduced somewhat (8 months) more recently.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the RX100 III is the clear winner of the contest (16 : 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.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon G16 and the Sony RX100 III place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Travel-Zoom Camera listing 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 remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the G16 or the RX100 III perform in practice. 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 where reviews by experts come in. 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.||Sony RX100 III||5/5||+ +||82/100||4.5/5||5/5||May 2014||799|
|3.||Canon G1 X Mark II||3/5||+||77/100||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||799|
|4.||Canon G7 X||4/5||+ +||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||699|
|5.||Canon SL1||4/5||+||78/100||4/5||4/5||Mar 2013||549|
|6.||Canon G1 X||5/5||+||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2012||799|
|7.||Canon G15||4/5||+||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||499|
|8.||Canon M||3/5||+||..||4/5||4/5||Jul 2012||599|
|9.||Canon G12||4/5||+||73/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2010||499|
|10.||Fujifilm X30||4/5||..||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2014||599|
|11.||Fujifilm X20||4/5||+ +||77/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jan 2013||599|
|12.||Nikon P7800||3/5||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2013||549|
|13.||Panasonic LX7||3/5||+ +||75/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jul 2012||499|
|14.||Sony RX100 VII||4.5/5||..||..||4/5||5/5||Jul 2019||1,199|
|15.||Sony RX100 IV||4.5/5||+ +||85/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||999|
|16.||Sony RX100 II||5/5||+ +||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2013||749|
|17.||Sony RX100||5/5||+ +||78/100||4/5||5/5||Jun 2012||649|
|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. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
Other camera comparisons
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Specifications: Canon G16 vs Sony RX100 III
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||Sony RX100 III|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||28-140mm f/1.8-2.8||24-70mm f/1.8-2.8|
|Launch Date||August 2013||May 2014|
|Launch Price||USD 549||USD 799|
|Sensor Specs||Canon G16||Sony RX100 III|
|Sensor Format||1/1.7" Sensor||1" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||7.44 x 5.58 mm||13.2 x 8.8 mm|
|Sensor Area||41.5152 mm2||116.16 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||9.3 mm||15.9 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||12 Megapixels||20 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4000 x 3000 pixels||5472 x 3648 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.87 μm||2.41 μm|
|Pixel Density||28.91 MP/cm2||17.18 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||80 - 12,800 ISO||100 - 12,800 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||80 - 25,600 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 6||BIONZ X|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||54||67|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||21.0||22.4|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.7||12.3|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||230||495|
|Screen Specs||Canon G16||Sony RX100 III|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||80%||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||1440k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||922k dots||1229k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Tilting screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon G16||Sony RX100 III|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/4000s||1/2000s|
|Continuous Shooting||2.2 shutter flaps/s||10 shutter flaps/s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||no Intervalometer|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||MS or SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon G16||Sony RX100 III|
|External Flash||Hotshoe||no Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||no NFC||NFC built-in|
|Body Specs||Canon G16||Sony RX100 III|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||360 shots per charge||320 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||no USB charging||USB charging|
109 x 76 x 40 mm
(4.3 x 3.0 x 1.6 in)
102 x 58 x 41 mm
(4.0 x 2.3 x 1.6 in)
|Camera Weight||356 g (12.6 oz)||290 g (10.2 oz)|
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