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Canon G5 X versus Sony RX1

The Canon PowerShot G5 X and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in October 2015 and September 2012. Both the G5X and the RX1 are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on an one-inch (G5X) and a full frame (RX1) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 20 megapixel, whereas the Sony provides 24 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 Sony RX1

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon G5 X and the Sony RX1 is provided in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are presented. All width, height and depth 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 – the G5X – represents the basis or 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Canon G5 X vs Sony RX1
Compare G5X versus RX1 top
Compare G5X and RX1 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony RX1 is notably smaller (14 percent) than the Canon G5 X. However, the RX1 is substantially heavier (37 percent) than the G5X. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G5X nor the RX1 are weather-sealed.

Concerning battery life, the G5X gets 210 shots out of its NB-13L battery, while the RX1 can take 270 images on a single charge of its NP-BX1 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 G5 X» 4.4 in 3.0 in 1.7 in 12.5 oz 210 n Oct 2015 799 i i Canon G5 X
Sony RX1« 4.4 in 2.6 in 2.8 in 17.0 oz 270 n Sep 2012 2,799- i Sony RX1
Canon M6« » 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.8 in 13.8 oz 295 n Feb 2017 779 i i Canon M6
Canon G7 X Mark II« » 4.2 in 2.4 in 1.7 in 11.3 oz 265 n Feb 2016 699 i i Canon G7 X Mark II
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 M3« » 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.7 in 12.9 oz 250 n Feb 2015 679- i Canon M3
Canon T6i« » 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.6 oz 440 n Feb 2015 749- i Canon T6i
Canon T6s« » 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.9 oz 440 n Feb 2015 849- i Canon T6s
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 G7 X« » 4.1 in 2.4 in 1.6 in 10.7 oz 210 n Sep 2014 699- i Canon G7 X
Nikon D5300« » 4.9 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 16.9 oz 600 n Oct 2013 799- i Nikon D5300
Panasonic FZ1000« » 5.4 in 3.9 in 5.2 in 29.3 oz 360 n Jun 2014 899- i Panasonic FZ1000
Sony RX100 III« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.2 oz 320 n May 2014 799- i Sony RX100 III
Sony A3000« » 5.0 in 3.6 in 3.3 in 14.5 oz 470 n Aug 2013 329- i Sony A3000
Sony A7« » 5.0 in 3.7 in 1.9 in 16.7 oz 340 Y Oct 2013 1,699- i Sony A7
Sony RX1R« » 4.4 in 2.6 in 2.8 in 17.0 oz 270 n Jun 2013 2,799- i Sony RX1R
Sony NEX-7« » 4.7 in 2.6 in 1.7 in 14.1 oz 430 n Aug 2011 1,349- i Sony NEX-7

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 G5X was launched at a markedly lower price (by 71 percent) than the RX1, 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.

 

Sensor comparison: Canon G5 X vs Sony RX1

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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. 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 tend to be more expensive and 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 Sony RX1 a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the RX1 is 634 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.7 and 1.0. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon G5 X and Sony RX1 sensor measures

With 24MP, the RX1 offers a higher resolution than the G5X (20MP), but the RX1 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.96μm versus 2.41μm for the G5X) due to its larger sensor. However, the G5X is a much more recent model (by 3 years and 1 month) than the RX1, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.

G5X versus RX1 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
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
Canon G5 X» 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p----Canon G5 X
Sony RX1« Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p25.114.3253493Sony RX1
Canon M6« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----Canon M6
Canon G7 X Mark II« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p----Canon G7 X Mark II
Canon G9 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.512.349563Canon G9 X
Canon M3« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.811.8116972Canon M3
Canon T6i« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p22.712.091971Canon T6i
Canon T6s« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570Canon T6s
Canon G1 X Mark II« » 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 31201080/30p21.510.858158Canon G1 X Mark II
Canon G7 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p23.012.755671Canon G7 X
Nikon D5300« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.013.9133883Nikon D5300
Panasonic FZ1000« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.111.751764Panasonic FZ1000
Sony RX100 III« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.412.349567Sony RX100 III
Sony A3000« » APS-C 19.8 5456 36321080/60i23.712.8106878Sony A3000
Sony A7« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.814.2224890Sony A7
Sony RX1R« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p25.013.6253791Sony RX1R
Sony NEX-7« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60i24.113.4101681Sony NEX-7

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 Sony RX1

Apart from 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 RX1 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon G5 X and Sony RX1 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 G5 X»2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 2000 5.9 Y Y Canon G5 X
Sony RX1«- n 3.0 1229 fixed n 4000 5.0 Y n Sony RX1
Canon M6« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 9.0 Y n Canon M6
Canon G7 X Mark II« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 2000 8.0 Y Y Canon G7 X Mark II
Canon G9 X« »- n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 2000 6.0 Y Y Canon G9 X
Canon M3« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 4.2 Y n Canon M3
Canon T6i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon T6i
Canon T6s« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon T6s
Canon G1 X Mark II« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 5.2 Y Y Canon G1 X Mark II
Canon G7 X« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 2000 6.5 Y Y Canon G7 X
Nikon D5300« »optical n 3.2 1037 swivel n 4000 5.0 Y n Nikon D5300
Panasonic FZ1000« »2359 n 3.0 921 swivel n 4000 12.0 Y Y Panasonic FZ1000
Sony RX100 III« »1440 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 2000 10.0 Y Y Sony RX100 III
Sony A3000« »202 n 3.0 230 fixed n 4000 2.5 Y n Sony A3000
Sony A7« »2400 n 3.0 1230 tilting n 8000 5.0 n n Sony A7
Sony RX1R« »- n 3.0 1229 fixed n 4000 5.0 Y n Sony RX1R
Sony NEX-7« »2359 n 3.0 921 tilting n 4000 10.0 Y n Sony NEX-7

The G5X is equipped with a zoom lens, while the RX1 comes with a build-in prime. The G5X has a 24-100mm f/1.8-2.8 optic and the RX1 offers a 35mm f/2.0 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Canon provides a wider angle of view at the short end, as well as more tele-photo reach at the long end than the Sony. The G5X offers the faster maximum aperture.

The G5X is a current model that online retailers, such as amazon, will have in stock. In contrast, the RX1 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the RX1 was succeeded by the Sony RX1R.

Review summary: Canon G5 X vs Sony RX1

So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Canon G5 X or the Sony RX1 – has the upper hand? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Advantages of the Canon PowerShot G5 X:

  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image framing and settings control.
  • More flexible LCD: Has swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5.9 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/1.8 vs f/2.0).
  • Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 129g or 27 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization build-in.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (71 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 3 years and 1 month of technical progress since the RX1 launch.

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Arguments in favor of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 20MP), which boosts linear resolution by 10%.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1229k vs 1040k dots).
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (4000/sec vs 2000/sec) to freeze action.
  • More compact: Is smaller (113x65mm vs 112x76mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (270 versus 210) out of a single battery charge.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in September 2012).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the G5X is the clear winner of the match-up (10 : 6 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.

G5X 10:06 RX1

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the G5X or the RX1. 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 where reviews by experts come in. 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). The full reviews are available 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 G5 X»HiRec78/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Oct 2015 799 i i Canon G5 X
Sony RX1«-79/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 2,799- i Sony RX1
Canon M6« »-80/1004/54.5/54/5 Feb 2017 779 i i Canon M6
Canon G7 X Mark II« »HiRec81/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Feb 2016 699 i i Canon G7 X Mark II
Canon G9 X« »HiRec-4.5/54/54.5/5 Oct 2015 529- i Canon G9 X
Canon M3« »rev75/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Feb 2015 679- i Canon M3
Canon T6i« »-75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749- i Canon T6i
Canon T6s« »Rec77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 849- i Canon T6s
Canon G1 X Mark II« »Rec77/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 799 i i Canon G1 X Mark II
Canon G7 X« »HiRec77/1004.5/53.5/54.5/5 Sep 2014 699- i Canon G7 X
Nikon D5300« »HiRec79/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 799- i Nikon D5300
Panasonic FZ1000« »HiRec82/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2014 899- i Panasonic FZ1000
Sony RX100 III« »HiRec82/1004.5/54.5/55/5 May 2014 799- i Sony RX100 III
Sony A3000« »Rec-4/54.5/54/5 Aug 2013 329- i Sony A3000
Sony A7« »HiRec80/1005/54.5/55/5 Oct 2013 1,699- i Sony A7
Sony RX1R« »--4/5rev4.5/5 Jun 2013 2,799- i Sony RX1R
Sony NEX-7« »HiRec81/1004.5/55/55/5 Aug 2011 1,349- i Sony NEX-7

The above review scores should be interpreted 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 comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. 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. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting. If the camera you are interested in is not available, please contact me, and I will try to locate and add the respective data to the application.

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