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Canon G3 X vs G5X

The Canon PowerShot G3 X and the Canon PowerShot G5 X are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in June 2015 and October 2015. Both the G3X and the G5X are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with an one-inch sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 20 megapixels.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Canon G3 X versus Canon G5 X
Canon G3 X Canon G5 X
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
24-600mm f/2.8-5.6 24-100mm f/1.8-2.8
20 MP, 1" Sensor 20 MP, 1" Sensor
1080/60p Video 1080/60p Video
ISO 125-12,800 (125 - 25,600) ISO 125-12,800 (125 - 25,600)
Viewfinder optional Electronic viewfinder (2360k dots)
3.2 LCD, 1620k dots 3.0 LCD, 1040k dots
Tilting touchscreen Swivel touchscreen
5.9 shutter flaps per second 5.9 shutter flaps per second
Weathersealed bodynot weather sealed
300 shots per battery charge210 shots per battery charge
123 x 77 x 105 mm, 733 g 112 x 76 x 44 mm, 353 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot G3 X and the Canon PowerShot G5 X? 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

The physical size and weight of the Canon G3 X and the Canon G5 X are illustrated 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 G3 X vs Canon G5 X
Compare G3X versus G5X top
Comparison G3X or G5X rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon G5 X is notably smaller (10 percent) than the Canon G3 X. Moreover, the G5X is substantially lighter (52 percent) than the G3X. It is worth mentioning in this context that the G3X is splash and dust resistant, while the G5X does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.

Concerning battery life, the G3X gets 300 shots out of its NB-10L battery, while the G5X can take 210 images on a single charge of its NB-13L power pack. The power pack in the G5X can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. 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 G3 X 4.8 in 3.0 in 4.1 in 25.9 oz 300 Y Jun 2015 999 i
 
Canon G5 X 4.4 in 3.0 in 1.7 in 12.5 oz 210 n Oct 2015 799i
 
Canon G5 X Mark II 4.4 in 2.4 in 1.8 in 12.0 oz 230 n Jul 2019 899 i
 
Canon G7 X Mark III 4.1 in 2.4 in 1.6 in 10.7 oz 235 n Jul 2019 749 i
 
Canon 80D 5.5 in 4.1 in 3.1 in 25.8 oz 960 Y Feb 2016 1,199i
 
Canon G7 X Mark II 4.2 in 2.4 in 1.7 in 11.3 oz 265 n Feb 2016 699i
 
Canon G9 X 3.9 in 2.3 in 1.2 in 7.4 oz 220 n Oct 2015 529i
 
Canon G7 X 4.1 in 2.4 in 1.6 in 10.7 oz 210 n Sep 2014 699i
 
Canon 70D 5.5 in 4.1 in 3.1 in 26.6 oz 920 Y Jul 2013 1,199i
 
Panasonic FZ1000 5.4 in 3.9 in 5.2 in 29.3 oz 360 n Jun 2014 899i
 
Sony RX10 III 5.2 in 3.7 in 5.0 in 37.1 oz 420 Y Mar 2016 1,499 i
 
Sony RX100 V 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 220 n Oct 2016 999 i
 
Sony RX10 II 5.1 in 3.5 in 4.0 in 28.7 oz 400 Y Jun 2015 1,299i
 
Sony RX100 IV 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 280 n Jun 2015 999i
 
Sony RX10 5.1 in 3.5 in 4.0 in 28.7 oz 420 Y Oct 2013 1,299i
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 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 G5X 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.

Sensor comparison

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to 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.

Both cameras under consideration feature an one-inch sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 2.7. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon G3 X and Canon G5 X sensor measures

The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 20 megapixels. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the G3X and the G5X have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the G5X is a somewhat more recent model (by 3 months) than the G3X, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time.

The Canon PowerShot G3 X has a native sensitivity range from ISO 125 to ISO 12800, which can be extended to ISO 125-25600. The Canon PowerShot G5 X offers exactly the same ISO settings.

G3X versus G5X MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-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 G3 X 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.412.352163
 
Canon G5 X 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p........
 
Canon G5 X Mark II 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p........
 
Canon G7 X Mark III 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p........
 
Canon 80D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.2113579
 
Canon G7 X Mark II 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p........
 
Canon G9 X 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.512.349563
 
Canon G7 X 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p23.012.755671
 
Canon 70D APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/30p22.511.692668
 
Panasonic FZ1000 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.111.751764
 
Sony RX10 III 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p23.112.647270
 
Sony RX100 V 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.458670
 
Sony RX10 II 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p23.012.653170
 
Sony RX100 IV 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.659170
 
Sony RX10 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.912.647469

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).

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the G5X has an electronic viewfinder (2360k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the G3X relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the G3X can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the EVF-DC1. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon G3 X and Canon G5 X along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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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 G3 Xoptional n 3.2 1620 tilting Y 1/2000s 5.9 Y Y
 
Canon G5 X2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/2000s 5.9 Y Y
 
Canon G5 X Mark II2360 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 30 Y Y
 
Canon G7 X Mark IIInone n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 30 Y Y
 
Canon 80Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/8000s 7.0 Y n
 
Canon G7 X Mark IInone n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 8.0 Y Y
 
Canon G9 Xnone n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 6.0 Y Y
 
Canon G7 Xnone n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 6.5 Y Y
 
Canon 70Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/8000s 7.0 Y n
 
Panasonic FZ10002359 n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
 
Sony RX10 III2359 Y 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/2000s 14.0 Y Y
 
Sony RX100 V2359 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/2000s 24.0 Y Y
 
Sony RX10 II2359 Y 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/3200s 14.0 Y Y
 
Sony RX100 IV2359 n 3.0 1228 tilting n 1/2000s 16.0 Y Y
 
Sony RX101440 Y 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/3200s 10.0 Y Y
Both cameras have an articulated rear screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This feature will be particularly appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies.

The Canon G5 X 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 G3X and the G5X have zoom lenses built in. The G3X has a 24-600mm f/2.8-5.6 optic and the G5X offers a 24-100mm f/1.8-2.8 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the G3X and G5X provide the same view at the wide-angle end, but the G5X has less tele-photo reach at the long end. The G5X offers the faster maximum aperture.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the G3X and the G5X write their files to SDXC cards. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.

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 G3 X and Canon PowerShot G5 X 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 G3 XYstereomonoYYmini2.0YY-
 
Canon G5 XYstereomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Canon G5 X Mark II-stereomono--micro3.1Y-Y
 
Canon G7 X Mark III-stereomonoY-micro3.1Y-Y
 
Canon 80DYstereomonoYYmini2.0YY-
 
Canon G7 X Mark II-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Canon G9 X-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Canon G7 X-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Canon 70DYstereomonoY-mini2.0Y--
 
Panasonic FZ1000YstereomonoY-micro2.0YY-
 
Sony RX10 IIIYstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-
 
Sony RX100 V-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony RX10 IIYstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-
 
Sony RX100 IV-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony RX10YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-

It is notable that the G3X has a microphone port, which is missing on the G5X. Such an external microphone input can help to substantially improve the quality of audio recordings when a good external microphone is used.

The G3X is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Canon. In contrast, the G5X has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the G5X was succeeded by the Canon G5 X Mark II. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon website.

Review summary

So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Canon G3 X or the Canon G5 X – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.


Advantages of the Canon PowerShot G3 X:

  • Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
  • Better sound control: Has a headphone port that enables audio monitoring while recording.
  • 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).
  • More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (300 versus 210) on a single battery charge.
  • Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in June 2015).


Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot G5 X:

  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/1.8 vs f/2.8).
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 380g or 52 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
  • More affordable: Was released into a lower priced segment (20 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (3 months) more recently.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the G3X comes out slightly ahead of the G5X (8 : 7 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 sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

G3X 08:07 G5X

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon G3 X and the Canon G5 X place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom Camera and Best Travel-Zoom Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the G3X or the G5X 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.

Expert reviews

This is where reviews by experts come in. 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 G3 X+..4.5/53.5/54/5 Jun 2015 999 i
 
Canon G5 X+ +78/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Oct 2015 799i
 
Canon G5 X Mark II+82/100....4/5 Jul 2019 899 i
 
Canon G7 X Mark III+ +81/1004/5.... Jul 2019 749 i
 
Canon 80D+ +84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2016 1,199i
 
Canon G7 X Mark II+ +81/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Feb 2016 699i
 
Canon G9 X+ +..4.5/54/54.5/5 Oct 2015 529i
 
Canon G7 X+ +77/1004.5/53.5/54.5/5 Sep 2014 699i
 
Canon 70D+ +83/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Jul 2013 1,199i
 
Panasonic FZ1000+ +82/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2014 899i
 
Sony RX10 III+84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Mar 2016 1,499 i
 
Sony RX100 V+ +83/1004/55/54.5/5 Oct 2016 999 i
 
Sony RX10 II+ +82/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Jun 2015 1,299i
 
Sony RX100 IV+ +85/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 999i
 
Sony RX10+80/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 1,299i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, 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 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.

Canon G3 X:
Check Amazon price
Canon G5 X:
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 a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications: Canon G3 X vs Canon G5 X

    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 G3 X Canon G5 X
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 24-600mm f/2.8-5.6 24-100mm f/1.8-2.8
    Launch Date June 2015 October 2015
    Launch Price USD 999 USD 799
    Sensor Specs Canon G3 X Canon G5 X
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS BSI-CMOS
    Sensor Format 1" Sensor 1" Sensor
    Sensor Size 13.2 x 8.8 mm 13.2 x 8.8 mm
    Sensor Area 116.16 mm2 116.16 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 15.9 mm 15.9 mm
    Crop Factor 2.7x 2.7x
    Sensor Resolution 20 Megapixels 20 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5472 x 3648 pixels 5472 x 3648 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 2.41 μm 2.41 μm
    Pixel Density 17.18 MP/cm2 17.18 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60p Video 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 125 - 12,800 ISO 125 - 12,800 ISO
    ISO Boost 125 - 25,600 ISO 125 - 25,600 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 6 DIGIC 6
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 63 ..
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.4 ..
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 12.3 ..
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 521 ..
    Screen Specs Canon G3 X Canon G5 X
    Viewfinder Type Viewfinder optional Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification
    Viewfinder Resolution 2360k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.2inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 1620k dots 1040k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen Swivel screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Canon G3 X Canon G5 X
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus PeakingFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/2000s 1/2000s
    Continuous Shooting 5.9 shutter flaps/s 5.9 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse Photographyno IntervalometerIntervalometer built-in
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Canon G3 X Canon G5 X
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port no MIC socket
    Headphone Socket Headphone port no Headphone port
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in NFC built-in
    Body Specs Canon G3 X Canon G5 X
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodynot weather sealed
    Battery Type NB-10L NB-13L
    Battery Life (CIPA)300 shots per charge210 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging no USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 123 x 77 x 105 mm
    (4.8 x 3.0 x 4.1 in)
    112 x 76 x 44 mm
    (4.4 x 3.0 x 1.7 in)
    Camera Weight 733 g (25.9 oz) 353 g (12.5 oz)

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