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Canon G7 X Mark II versus Olympus PEN-F

The Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II and the Olympus PEN-F are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in February 2016 and January 2016. The G7X Mark II is a fixed lens compact, while the PEN-F is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on an one-inch (G7X Mark II) and a Four Thirds (PEN-F) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 20 megapixel, whereas the Olympus provides 20.2 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 G7 X Mark II vs Olympus PEN-F

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon G7 X Mark II and the Olympus PEN-F is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. 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 – the G7X Mark II – represents the basis or 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Canon G7 X Mark II vs Olympus PEN-F
Compare G7X Mark II versus PEN-F top
Compare G7X Mark II and PEN-F rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus PEN-F is notably larger (39 percent) than the Canon G7 X Mark II. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G7X Mark II nor the PEN-F are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the G7X Mark II has a lens build in, whereas the PEN-F 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 PEN-F and their specifications in the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the G7X Mark II gets 265 shots out of its NB-13L battery, while the PEN-F can take 330 images on a single charge of its BLN-1 power pack.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras 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 G7 X Mark II» 106 mm 61 mm 42 mm 319 g 265 n Feb 2016 699 i i Canon G7 X Mark II
Olympus PEN-F« 125 mm 72 mm 37 mm 427 g 330 n Jan 2016 1,199 i i Olympus PEN-F
Canon G9 X Mark II« » 98 mm 58 mm 31 mm 206 g 235 n Jan 2017 529 i i Canon G9 X Mark II
Canon SX730« » 110 mm 64 mm 40 mm 300 g 250 n Apr 2017 399- i Canon SX730
Canon M6« » 112 mm 68 mm 45 mm 390 g 295 n Feb 2017 779 i i Canon M6
Canon G9 X« » 98 mm 58 mm 31 mm 209 g 220 n Oct 2015 529- i Canon G9 X
Canon 750D« » 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 555 g 440 n Feb 2015 749- i Canon 750D
Canon 760D« » 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 565 g 440 n Feb 2015 849- i Canon 760D
Canon M3« » 111 mm 68 mm 44 mm 366 g 250 n Feb 2015 679- i Canon M3
Canon G5 X« » 112 mm 76 mm 44 mm 353 g 210 n Oct 2015 799 i i Canon G5 X
Canon G7 X« » 103 mm 60 mm 40 mm 304 g 210 n Sep 2014 699- i Canon G7 X
Fujifilm X70« » 113 mm 64 mm 44 mm 340 g 330 n Jan 2016 799- i Fujifilm X70
Olympus E-M1 II« » 134 mm 91 mm 67 mm 574 g 440 Y Sep 2016 1,999 i i Olympus E-M1 II
Olympus E-M10 II« » 120 mm 83 mm 47 mm 390 g 320 n Aug 2015 799- i Olympus E-M10 II
Olympus E-M5 II« » 124 mm 85 mm 45 mm 469 g 310 Y Feb 2015 1,099 i i Olympus E-M5 II
Olympus E-M10« » 119 mm 82 mm 46 mm 396 g 320 n Jan 2014 699- i Olympus E-M10
Olympus E-M1« » 130 mm 94 mm 63 mm 497 g 350 Y Sep 2013 1,399- i Olympus E-M1

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. 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 G7X Mark II was launched at a lower price than the PEN-F, despite having a lens build in. 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 G7 X Mark II vs Olympus PEN-F

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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. 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.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon G7 X Mark II features an one-inch sensor and the Olympus PEN-F a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the PEN-F 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 G7X Mark II has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the PEN-F offers a 4:3 aspect.

Canon G7 X Mark II and Olympus PEN-F sensor measures

With 20.2MP, the PEN-F offers a higher resolution than the G7X Mark II (20MP), but the PEN-F nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.34μm versus 2.41μm for the G7X Mark II) due to its larger sensor. 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 PEN-F has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

Unlike the G7X Mark II, the PEN-F has the capacity to capture high quality composite images (40MP) by combining multiple shots after shifting its sensor by miniscule distances. This multi-shot, pixel-shift mode is most suitable for photography of stationary objects (landscapes, studio scenes).

G7X Mark II versus PEN-F MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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 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 G7 X Mark II» 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p----Canon G7 X Mark II
Olympus PEN-F« Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38881080/60p23.112.489474Olympus PEN-F
Canon G9 X Mark II« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.912.552265Canon G9 X Mark II
Canon SX730« » 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p----Canon SX730
Canon M6« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----Canon M6
Canon G9 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.512.349563Canon G9 X
Canon 750D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p22.712.091971Canon 750D
Canon 760D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570Canon 760D
Canon M3« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.811.8116972Canon M3
Canon G5 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p----Canon G5 X
Canon G7 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p23.012.755671Canon G7 X
Fujifilm X70« » APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p----Fujifilm X70
Olympus E-M1 II« » Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/30p23.712.8131280Olympus E-M1 II
Olympus E-M10 II« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p23.112.584273Olympus E-M10 II
Olympus E-M5 II« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p23.012.584273Olympus E-M5 II
Olympus E-M10« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.812.388472Olympus E-M10
Olympus E-M1« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p23.012.775773Olympus E-M1

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. 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: Canon G7 X Mark II vs Olympus PEN-F

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the PEN-F has an electronic viewfinder (2360k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the G7X Mark II relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon G7 X Mark II and Olympus PEN-F in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras. 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 G7 X Mark II»- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 2000 8.0 Y Y Canon G7 X Mark II
Olympus PEN-F«2360 n 3.0 1037 swivel Y 8000 10.0 n Y Olympus PEN-F
Canon G9 X Mark II« »- n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 2000 8.2 Y Y Canon G9 X Mark II
Canon SX730« »- n 3.0 922 tilting n 3200 5.9 Y Y Canon SX730
Canon M6« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 9.0 Y n Canon M6
Canon G9 X« »- n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 2000 6.0 Y Y Canon G9 X
Canon 750D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon 750D
Canon 760D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon 760D
Canon M3« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 4.2 Y n Canon M3
Canon G5 X« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 2000 5.9 Y Y Canon G5 X
Canon G7 X« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 2000 6.5 Y Y Canon G7 X
Fujifilm X70« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 8.0 Y n Fujifilm X70
Olympus E-M1 II« »2360 n 3.0 1037 swivel Y 8000 18.0 n Y Olympus E-M1 II
Olympus E-M10 II« »2360 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 8.0 Y Y Olympus E-M10 II
Olympus E-M5 II« »2360 n 3.0 1037 swivel Y 8000 10.0 n Y Olympus E-M5 II
Olympus E-M10« »1440 n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 4000 8.0 Y Y Olympus E-M10
Olympus E-M1« »2360 n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 8000 10.0 n Y Olympus E-M1

The reported shutter speed and shutter burst refer to the use of the mechanical shutter. In addition, the PEN-F features an electronic shutter, which makes silent shooting and higher burst speeds possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (flickering).

Both the G7X Mark II and the PEN-F are current models that good online retailers will have in stock. You can check the latest prices, for example, at amazon. The G7X Mark II replaced the earlier Canon G7 X, while the PEN-F does not have a direct predecessor.

Review summary: Canon G7 X Mark II vs Olympus PEN-F

So how do things add up? Is the Canon G7 X Mark II better than the Olympus PEN-F or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Advantages of the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Ready to shoot: Has a lens build-in, whereas the PEN-F requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (106x61mm vs 125x72mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a build-in lens (unlike the PEN-F).
  • Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
  • More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a build-in lens.

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Reasons to prefer the Olympus PEN-F:

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • High quality composites: Can combine several shots after pixel-shifting its sensor.
  • Better low-light imaging: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for better high-ISO images.
  • 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.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (8000/sec vs 2000/sec) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 8 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
  • More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with specialty optics.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (330 versus 265) out of a single battery charge.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the PEN-F is the clear winner of the contest (10 : 6 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision.

G7X Mark II 06:10 PEN-F

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 G7X Mark II or the PEN-F. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate. This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular 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 G7 X Mark II»HiRec81/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Feb 2016 699 i i Canon G7 X Mark II
Olympus PEN-F«-82/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Jan 2016 1,199 i i Olympus PEN-F
Canon G9 X Mark II« »-75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2017 529 i i Canon G9 X Mark II
Canon SX730« »Rec-4/5-4/5 Apr 2017 399- i Canon SX730
Canon M6« »-80/1004/54.5/54/5 Feb 2017 779 i i Canon M6
Canon G9 X« »HiRec-4.5/54/54.5/5 Oct 2015 529- i Canon G9 X
Canon 750D« »-75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749- i Canon 750D
Canon 760D« »Rec77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 849- i Canon 760D
Canon M3« »rev75/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Feb 2015 679- i Canon M3
Canon G5 X« »HiRec78/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Oct 2015 799 i i Canon G5 X
Canon G7 X« »HiRec77/1004.5/53.5/54.5/5 Sep 2014 699- i Canon G7 X
Fujifilm X70« »-76/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Jan 2016 799- i Fujifilm X70
Olympus E-M1 II« »HiRec85/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2016 1,999 i i Olympus E-M1 II
Olympus E-M10 II« »HiRec80/1005/55/55/5 Aug 2015 799- i Olympus E-M10 II
Olympus E-M5 II« »HiRec81/1005/54.5/55/5 Feb 2015 1,099 i i Olympus E-M5 II
Olympus E-M10« »-80/1005/54.5/55/5 Jan 2014 699- i Olympus E-M10
Olympus E-M1« »HiRec84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2013 1,399- i Olympus E-M1

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, 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 comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. 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 would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting. If you cannot find the camera you are interested in, kindly get in touch, and I will try to locate and add the respective data to the application.

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