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Canon G3 X versus Canon G1 X Mark II

The Canon PowerShot G3 X and the Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in June 2015 and February 2014. Both the G3X and the G1X Mark II are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on an one-inch (G3X) and an 1.5-inch (G1X Mark II) sensor. The G3X has a resolution of 20 megapixel, whereas the G1X Mark II provides 13 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 G3 X vs Canon G1 X Mark II

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon G3 X and the Canon G1 X Mark II is provided in the side-by-side display below. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions 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 side – the G3X – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Canon G3 X vs Canon G1 X Mark II
Compare G3X versus G1X Mark II top
Compare G3X and G1X Mark II rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon G1 X Mark II is notably smaller (9 percent) than the Canon G3 X. Moreover, the G1X Mark II is markedly lighter (25 percent) than the G3X. It is worth mentioning in this context that the G3X is splash and dust resistant, while the G1X Mark II does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.

Concerning battery life, the G3X gets 300 shots out of its NB-10L battery, while the G1X Mark II can take 240 images on a single charge of its NB-12L 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)
Camera
Model
Canon G3 X» 4.8 in 3.0 in 4.1 in 25.9 oz 300 Y Jun 2015 999 i i Canon G3 X
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 G1 X Mark II
Canon 80D« » 5.5 in 4.1 in 3.1 in 25.8 oz 960 Y Feb 2016 1,199 i i Canon 80D
Canon G9 X« » 3.9 in 2.3 in 1.2 in 7.4 oz 220 n Oct 2015 529- i Canon G9 X
Canon T6s« » 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.9 oz 440 n Feb 2015 849- i Canon T6s
Canon 7D II« » 5.9 in 4.4 in 3.1 in 32.1 oz 670 Y Sep 2014 1,799 i i Canon 7D II
Canon G7 X« » 4.1 in 2.4 in 1.6 in 10.7 oz 210 n Sep 2014 699- i Canon G7 X
Canon 70D« » 5.5 in 4.1 in 3.1 in 26.6 oz 920 Y Jul 2013 1,199- i Canon 70D
Canon G16« » 4.3 in 3.0 in 1.6 in 12.6 oz 360 n Aug 2013 549 i i Canon G16
Canon G1 X« » 4.6 in 3.2 in 2.6 in 18.8 oz 250 n Jan 2012 799- i Canon G1 X
Canon T1i« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.3 oz 400 n Mar 2009 799- i Canon T1i
Canon XSi« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.5 oz 500 n Jan 2008 799- i Canon XSi
Panasonic FZ1000« » 5.4 in 3.9 in 5.2 in 29.3 oz 360 n Jun 2014 899- i Panasonic FZ1000
Panasonic LX100« » 4.5 in 2.6 in 2.2 in 13.9 oz 300 n Sep 2014 899 i i Panasonic LX100
Sony RX10 III« » 5.2 in 3.7 in 5.0 in 37.1 oz 420 Y Mar 2016 1,499- i Sony RX10 III
Sony RX10 II« » 5.1 in 3.5 in 4.0 in 28.7 oz 400 Y Jun 2015 1,299- i Sony RX10 II
Sony RX100 IV« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 280 n Jun 2015 999- i Sony RX100 IV

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 G1X Mark II was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 20 percent) than the G3X, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. 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 G3 X vs Canon G1 X Mark II

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 G3 X features an one-inch sensor and the Canon G1 X Mark II an 1.5-inch sensor. The sensor area in the G1X Mark II is 126 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.7 and 1.85. The sensor in the G3X has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the G1X Mark II offers a 4:3 aspect.

Canon G3 X and Canon G1 X Mark II sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon G3 X offers a higher resolution of 20 megapixel, compared with 13 MP of the Canon G1 X Mark II. 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 2.41μm versus 4.49μm for the G1X Mark II). However, it should be noted that the G3X is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 4 months) than the G1X Mark II, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that partly offset its pixel-size disadvantage.

G3X versus G1X Mark II MP

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 review, the G3X has a notably higher overall DXO score than the G1X Mark II (overall score 5 points higher), which gives it an advantage in terms of imaging quality. This advantage is based on 0.1 bits lower color depth, 1.5 EV in additional dynamic range, 0.2 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.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
Canon G3 X» 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.412.352163Canon G3 X
Canon G1 X Mark II« 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 31201080/30p21.510.858158Canon G1 X Mark II
Canon 80D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.2113579Canon 80D
Canon G9 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.512.349563Canon G9 X
Canon T6s« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570Canon T6s
Canon 7D II« » APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.411.8108270Canon 7D II
Canon G7 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p23.012.755671Canon G7 X
Canon 70D« » APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/30p22.511.692668Canon 70D
Canon G16« » 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054Canon G16
Canon G1 X« » 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.864460Canon G1 X
Canon T1i« » APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363Canon T1i
Canon XSi« » APS-C 12.2 4272 2848-21.910.869261Canon XSi
Panasonic FZ1000« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.111.751764Panasonic FZ1000
Panasonic LX100« » Four Thirds 12.7 4112 30884K/30p22.312.555367Panasonic LX100
Sony RX10 III« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p23.112.647270Sony RX10 III
Sony RX10 II« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p23.012.653170Sony RX10 II
Sony RX100 IV« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.659170Sony RX100 IV

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the G3X provides a higher frame rate than the G1X Mark II. It can shoot video footage at 1080/60p, while the G1X Mark II is limited to 1080/30p.

 

Feature comparison: Canon G3 X vs Canon G1 X Mark II

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The G3X and the G1X Mark II are similar in the sense that neither of the two has a viewfinder. The images are, thus, framed using live view on the rear LCD. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon G3 X and Canon G1 X Mark II along with similar information for a selection of comparators. If needed, the dpreview camera hub, for example, contains further detail on the cameras' specs.

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)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
Canon G3 X»- n 3.2 1620 tilting Y 2000 5.9 Y Y Canon G3 X
Canon G1 X Mark II«- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 5.2 Y Y Canon G1 X Mark II
Canon 80D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 8000 7.0 Y n Canon 80D
Canon G9 X« »- n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 2000 6.0 Y Y Canon G9 X
Canon T6s« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon T6s
Canon 7D II« »optical Y 3.0 1040 fixed n 8000 10.0 Y n Canon 7D II
Canon G7 X« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 2000 6.5 Y Y Canon G7 X
Canon 70D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 8000 7.0 Y n Canon 70D
Canon G16« »optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 4000 2.2 Y Y Canon G16
Canon G1 X« »optical n 3.0 922 Swivel n 4000 1.9 Y Y Canon G1 X
Canon T1i« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 3.4 Y n Canon T1i
Canon XSi« »optical n 3.0 230 fixed n 4000 3.5 Y n Canon XSi
Panasonic FZ1000« »2359 n 3.0 921 swivel n 4000 12.0 Y Y Panasonic FZ1000
Panasonic LX100« »2764 n 3.0 921 fixed n 4000 11.0 n Y Panasonic LX100
Sony RX10 III« »2359 Y 3.0 1229 tilting n 2000 14.0 Y Y Sony RX10 III
Sony RX10 II« »2359 Y 3.0 1229 tilting n 3200 14.0 Y Y Sony RX10 II
Sony RX100 IV« »2359 n 3.0 1228 tilting n 2000 16.0 Y Y Sony RX100 IV

Both the G3X and the G1X Mark II have zoom lenses build in. The G3X has a 24-600mm f/2.8-5.6 optic and the G1X Mark II offers a 24-120mm f/2.0-3.9 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the G3X and G1X Mark II provide the same view at the wide-angle end, but the G1X Mark II has less tele-photo reach at the long end. The G1X Mark II offers the faster maximum aperture.

Both the G3X and the G1X Mark II are current models that good online retailers will have in stock. You can check the latest prices, for example, at amazon. The G1X Mark II replaced the earlier Canon G1 X, while the G3X does not have a direct predecessor.

Review summary: Canon G3 X vs Canon G1 X Mark II

So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon G3 X and the Canon G1 X Mark II? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.


Advantages of the Canon PowerShot G3 X:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (20 vs 13MP) with a 26% higher linear resolution.
  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (5 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (1.5 EV of extra DR).
  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/30p).
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1620k vs 1040k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5.9 vs 5.2 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (300 versus 240) on a single battery charge.
  • Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 4 months after the G1X Mark II).


Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II:

  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (4000/sec vs 2000/sec) to freeze action.
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/2.0 vs f/2.8).
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 180g or 25 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • More affordable: Was released into a lower priced segment (20 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in February 2014).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the G3X is the clear winner of the match-up (11 : 5 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.

G3X 11:05 G1X Mark II

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the G3X and the G1X Mark II in practical situations. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased. This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. 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). You can find the full text of the reviews by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Canon G3 X»Rec-4.5/53.5/54/5 Jun 2015 999 i i Canon G3 X
Canon G1 X Mark II«Rec77/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 799 i i Canon G1 X Mark II
Canon 80D« »HiRec84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2016 1,199 i i Canon 80D
Canon G9 X« »HiRec-4.5/54/54.5/5 Oct 2015 529- i Canon G9 X
Canon T6s« »Rec77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 849- i Canon T6s
Canon 7D II« »Rec84/1004/55/54.5/5 Sep 2014 1,799 i i Canon 7D II
Canon G7 X« »HiRec77/1004.5/53.5/54.5/5 Sep 2014 699- i Canon G7 X
Canon 70D« »HiRec83/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Jul 2013 1,199- i Canon 70D
Canon G16« »Rec-4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i i Canon G16
Canon G1 X« »Rec76/1004/54/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799- i Canon G1 X
Canon T1i« »HiRec74/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799- i Canon T1i
Canon XSi« »HiRecHiRec4/55/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799- i Canon XSi
Panasonic FZ1000« »HiRec82/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2014 899- i Panasonic FZ1000
Panasonic LX100« »HiRec85/1005/54/55/5 Sep 2014 899 i i Panasonic LX100
Sony RX10 III« »Rec84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Mar 2016 1,499- i Sony RX10 III
Sony RX10 II« »HiRec82/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Jun 2015 1,299- i Sony RX10 II
Sony RX100 IV« »HiRec85/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 999- i Sony RX100 IV

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when refering to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. 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. If you do not see the camera that you are looking for, kindly get in touch, and I will try to locate and add the respective data to the application.

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