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Canon G5 X versus Olympus E-M10 II

The Canon PowerShot G5 X and the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in October 2015 and August 2015. The G5X is a fixed lens compact, while the E-M10 II is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on an one-inch (G5X) and a Four Thirds (E-M10 II) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 20 megapixel, whereas the Olympus provides 15.9 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 G5 X vs Olympus E-M10 II

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon G5 X and the Olympus E-M10 II. 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 toggle the display 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 – the G5X – represents the basis or 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Canon G5 X vs Olympus E-M10 II
Compare G5X versus E-M10 II top
Compare G5X and E-M10 II rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus E-M10 II is notably larger (17 percent) than the Canon G5 X. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G5X nor the E-M10 II are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the G5X has a lens build in, whereas the E-M10 II 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-M10 II and their specifications in the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the G5X gets 210 shots out of its NB-13L battery, while the E-M10 II can take 320 images on a single charge of its BLS-50 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)
Canon G5 X» 112 mm 76 mm 44 mm 353 g 210 n Oct 2015 799 i i
Olympus E-M10 II« 120 mm 83 mm 47 mm 390 g 320 n Aug 2015 799- i
Canon M6« » 112 mm 68 mm 45 mm 390 g 295 n Feb 2017 779 i i
Canon G7 X Mark II« » 106 mm 61 mm 42 mm 319 g 265 n Feb 2016 699 i i
Canon G9 X« » 98 mm 58 mm 31 mm 209 g 220 n Oct 2015 529- i
Canon 750D« » 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 555 g 440 n Feb 2015 749- i
Canon 760D« » 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 565 g 440 n Feb 2015 849- i
Canon M3« » 111 mm 68 mm 44 mm 366 g 250 n Feb 2015 679- i
Canon G1 X Mark II« » 116 mm 74 mm 66 mm 553 g 240 n Feb 2014 799 i i
Canon G7 X« » 103 mm 60 mm 40 mm 304 g 210 n Sep 2014 699- i
Olympus E-M10 III« » 122 mm 84 mm 50 mm 410 g 330 n Aug 2017 649 i i
Olympus E-PL8« » 115 mm 67 mm 38 mm 357 g 350 n Sep 2016 549- i
Olympus E-PL7« » 115 mm 67 mm 38 mm 357 g 350 n Aug 2014 599- i
Olympus E-M10« » 119 mm 82 mm 46 mm 396 g 320 n Jan 2014 699- i
Panasonic GX80« » 122 mm 71 mm 44 mm 426 g 290 n Apr 2016 799 i i
Panasonic FZ1000« » 137 mm 99 mm 131 mm 831 g 360 n Jun 2014 899- i
Sony RX100 III« » 102 mm 58 mm 41 mm 290 g 320 n May 2014 799- i

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. 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 G5 X vs Olympus E-M10 II

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 G5 X features an one-inch sensor and the Olympus E-M10 II a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the E-M10 II is 94 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.7 and 2.0. The sensor in the G5X has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the E-M10 II offers a 4:3 aspect.

Canon G5 X and Olympus E-M10 II sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon G5 X offers a higher resolution of 20 megapixel, compared with 15.9 MP of the Olympus E-M10 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 3.76μm for the E-M10 II). It is noteworthy in this context that the two cameras were released in close succession, so that their sensors are from the same technological generation. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the E-M10 II has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

G5X versus E-M10 II 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"). The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Canon G5 X» 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p----
Olympus E-M10 II« Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p23.112.584273
Canon M6« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----
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 750D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p22.712.091971
Canon 760D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570
Canon M3« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.811.8116972
Canon G1 X Mark II« » 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 31201080/30p21.510.858158
Canon G7 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p23.012.755671
Olympus E-M10 III« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34564K/30p----
Olympus E-PL8« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p----
Olympus E-PL7« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.712.487372
Olympus E-M10« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.812.388472
Panasonic GX80« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34484K/30p22.912.666271
Panasonic FZ1000« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.111.751764
Sony RX100 III« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.412.349567

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/60p).

 

Feature comparison: Canon G5 X vs Olympus E-M10 II

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The G5X and the E-M10 II are similar in the sense that both feature an electronic viewfinder, which is helpful when framing images in bright sunlight. Moreover, their viewfinders offer an identical resolution of 2360k dots. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon G5 X and Olympus E-M10 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 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
Canon G5 X»2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 2000 5.9 Y Y
Olympus E-M10 II«2360 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 8.0 Y Y
Canon M6« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 9.0 Y n
Canon G7 X Mark II« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 2000 8.0 Y Y
Canon G9 X« »- n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 2000 6.0 Y Y
Canon 750D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n
Canon 760D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n
Canon M3« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 4.2 Y n
Canon G1 X Mark II« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 5.2 Y Y
Canon G7 X« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 2000 6.5 Y Y
Olympus E-M10 III« »2360 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 8.6 Y Y
Olympus E-PL8« »- n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 4000 8.0 n Y
Olympus E-PL7« »- n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 4000 8.0 n Y
Olympus E-M10« »1440 n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 4000 8.0 Y Y
Panasonic GX80« »2765 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 8.0 Y Y
Panasonic FZ1000« »2359 n 3.0 921 swivel n 4000 12.0 Y Y
Sony RX100 III« »1440 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 2000 10.0 Y Y

The G5X is a current model that online retailers, such as amazon, will have in stock. In contrast, the E-M10 II has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the E-M10 II was succeeded by the Olympus E-M10 III.

Review summary: Canon G5 X vs Olympus E-M10 II

So what is the bottom line? Is the Canon G5 X better than the Olympus E-M10 II or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Advantages of the Canon PowerShot G5 X:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (20 vs 15.9MP) with a 14% higher linear resolution.
  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • More flexible LCD: Has swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • Ready to shoot: Has a lens build-in, whereas the E-M10 II requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (112x76mm vs 120x83mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a build-in lens (unlike the E-M10 II).

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Arguments in favor of the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II:

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Better low-light imaging: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for better high-ISO images.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (4000/sec vs 2000/sec) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (8 vs 5.9 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with specialty optics.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (320 versus 210) out of a single battery charge.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the match-up finishes in a tie (6 points each). 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.

G5X 06:06 E-M10 II

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the G5X and the E-M10 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 expert reviews are important. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The detailed reviews can be accessed by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review scores
  Camera cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Canon G5 X»HiRec78/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Oct 2015 799 i i
Olympus E-M10 II«HiRec80/1005/55/55/5 Aug 2015 799- i
Canon M6« »-80/1004/54.5/54/5 Feb 2017 779 i i
Canon G7 X Mark II« »HiRec81/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Feb 2016 699 i i
Canon G9 X« »HiRec-4.5/54/54.5/5 Oct 2015 529- i
Canon 750D« »-75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749- i
Canon 760D« »Rec77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 849- i
Canon M3« »rev75/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Feb 2015 679- i
Canon G1 X Mark II« »Rec77/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 799 i i
Canon G7 X« »HiRec77/1004.5/53.5/54.5/5 Sep 2014 699- i
Olympus E-M10 III« »Rec80/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Aug 2017 649 i i
Olympus E-PL8« »--4.5/5-4/5 Sep 2016 549- i
Olympus E-PL7« »Rec-5/54.5/54/5 Aug 2014 599- i
Olympus E-M10« »-80/1005/54.5/55/5 Jan 2014 699- i
Panasonic GX80« »HiRec82/1005/54.5/55/5 Apr 2016 799 i i
Panasonic FZ1000« »HiRec82/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2014 899- i
Sony RX100 III« »HiRec82/1004.5/54.5/55/5 May 2014 799- i

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. 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, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

 

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored. If you do not see the camera that you are looking for, kindly get in touch, and I will try to add information on that model to the database.

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