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Canon G7 X vs Sony A5000

The Canon PowerShot G7 X and the Sony Alpha A5000 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2014 and January 2014. The G7X is a fixed lens compact, while the A5000 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on an one-inch (G7X) and an APS-C (A5000) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 20 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 19.8 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Canon G7 X
versus
Sony A5000
Canon G7 X   Sony A5000
Fixed lens compact camera Mirrorless system camera
24-100mm f/1.8-2.8 Sony E mount lenses
20 MP – 1" sensor 19.8 MP – APS-C sensor
1080/60p Video 1080/60i Video
ISO 125-12,800 ISO 100-16,000
No viewfinder, LCD framing No viewfinder, LCD framing
3.0" LCD – 1040k dots 3.0" LCD – 461k dots
Tilting touchscreen Tilting screen (no touchscreen)
6.5 shutter flaps per second 3.5 shutter flaps per second
210 shots per battery charge420 shots per battery charge
103 x 60 x 40 mm, 304 g 110 x 63 x 36 mm, 269 g
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Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot G7 X and the Sony Alpha A5000? 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

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon G7 X and the Sony A5000 is provided 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 width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The A5000 can be obtained in three different colors (black, silver, white), while the G7X is only available in black.

Size Canon G7 X vs Sony A5000
Compare G7X versus A5000 top
Comparison G7X or A5000 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony A5000 is notably larger (12 percent) than the Canon G7 X. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G7X nor the A5000 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the G7X has a lens built in, whereas the A5000 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the A5000 and their specifications in the Sony E-Mount Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the G7X gets 210 shots out of its NB-13L battery, while the A5000 can take 420 images on a single charge of its NP-FW50 power pack. The power pack in the A5000 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. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras there.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon G7 X 103 mm 60 mm 40 mm 304 g 210 n Sep 2014 699ebay.com
2.
 
Sony A5000 110 mm 63 mm 36 mm 269 g 420 n Jan 2014 449ebay.com
3.
 
Canon G7 X Mark II 106 mm 61 mm 42 mm 319 g 265 n Feb 2016 699ebay.com
4.
 
Canon 750D 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 555 g 440 n Feb 2015 749ebay.com
5.
 
Canon G5 X 112 mm 76 mm 44 mm 353 g 210 n Oct 2015 799ebay.com
6.
 
Canon G9 X 98 mm 58 mm 31 mm 209 g 220 n Oct 2015 529ebay.com
7.
 
Canon M3 111 mm 68 mm 44 mm 366 g 250 n Feb 2015 679ebay.com
8.
 
Canon M10 108 mm 67 mm 35 mm 301 g 255 n Oct 2015 499ebay.com
9.
 
Sony RX100 IV 102 mm 58 mm 41 mm 298 g 280 n Jun 2015 999ebay.com
10.
 
Sony A5100 110 mm 63 mm 36 mm 283 g 400 n Aug 2014 549ebay.com
11.
 
Sony A6000 120 mm 67 mm 45 mm 344 g 360 n Feb 2014 599ebay.com
12.
 
Sony RX100 III 102 mm 58 mm 41 mm 290 g 320 n May 2014 799ebay.com
13.
 
Sony NEX-3N 110 mm 62 mm 35 mm 269 g 480 n Feb 2013 499ebay.com
14.
 
Sony RX100 II 102 mm 58 mm 38 mm 281 g 350 n Jun 2013 749ebay.com
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. 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

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its 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 features an one-inch sensor and the Sony A5000 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the A5000 is 208 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.7 and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon G7 X and Sony A5000 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon G7 X offers a higher resolution of 20 megapixels, compared with 19.8 MP of the Sony A5000. This megapixels 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 4.25μm for the A5000). However, it should be noted that the G7X is a somewhat more recent model (by 8 months) than the A5000, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that partly offset its pixel-size disadvantage.

The Canon PowerShot G7 X has a native sensitivity range from ISO 125 to ISO 12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Alpha A5000 are ISO 100 to ISO 16000 (no boost).

In terms of underlying technology, the G7X is build around a BSI-CMOS sensor, while the A5000 uses a CMOS imager. Both cameras use a Bayer filter for capturing RGB colors on a square grid of photosensors. This arrangement is found in most digital cameras.

G7X versus A5000 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"). Of the two cameras under consideration, the A5000 has a markedly higher DXO score than the G7X (overall score 8 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 0.8 bits higher color depth, 0.3 EV in additional dynamic range, and 1 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

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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
1.
 
Canon G7 X 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p23.012.755671
2.
 
Sony A5000 APS-C 19.8 5456 36321080/60i23.813.0108979
3.
 
Canon G7 X Mark II 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.811.926062
4.
 
Canon 750D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.712.091971
5.
 
Canon G5 X 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.811.922761
6.
 
Canon G9 X 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.512.349563
7.
 
Canon M3 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.811.8116972
8.
 
Canon M10 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.475365
9.
 
Sony RX100 IV 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.659170
10.
 
Sony A5100 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.812.7134780
11.
 
Sony A6000 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.113.1134782
12.
 
Sony RX100 III 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.412.349567
13.
 
Sony NEX-3N APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60i22.812.5106774
14.
 
Sony RX100 II 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.512.448367
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the G7X provides a higher frame rate than the A5000. It can shoot video footage at 1080/60p, while the Sony is limited to 1080/60i.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The G7X and the A5000 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 G7 X and Sony A5000 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
Specifications
(inch/000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Max
Shutter
Speed *
Max
Shutter
Flaps *
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Canon G7 Xnone n3.0 / 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 6.5/s Y Y
2.
 
Sony A5000none n3.0 / 461 tilting n 1/4000s 3.5/s Y n
3.
 
Canon G7 X Mark IInone n3.0 / 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 8.0/s Y Y
4.
 
Canon 750Doptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
5.
 
Canon G5 X2360 n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/2000s 5.9/s Y Y
6.
 
Canon G9 Xnone n3.0 / 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 6.0/s Y Y
7.
 
Canon M3optional n3.0 / 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 4.2/s Y n
8.
 
Canon M10none n3.0 / 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 4.6/s Y n
9.
 
Sony RX100 IV2359 n3.0 / 1228 tilting n 1/2000s 16.0/s Y Y
10.
 
Sony A5100none n3.0 / 922 tilting Y 1/4000s 6.0/s Y n
11.
 
Sony A60001440 n3.0 / 922 tilting n 1/4000s 11.0/s Y n
12.
 
Sony RX100 III1440 n3.0 / 1229 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0/s Y Y
13.
 
Sony NEX-3Noptional n3.0 / 460 tilting n 1/4000s 4.0/s Y n
14.
 
Sony RX100 IIoptional n3.0 / 1229 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0/s Y Y
Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.

One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The G7X has a touchscreen, while the A5000 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.

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 G7 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.

The G7X writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the A5000 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo 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 G7 X and Sony Alpha A5000 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
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Canon G7 X-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
2.
 
Sony A5000-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
3.
 
Canon G7 X Mark II-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon 750DYstereo / monoY-mini2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon G5 XYstereo / mono--mini2.0YY-
6.
 
Canon G9 X-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
7.
 
Canon M3Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0YY-
8.
 
Canon M10-stereo / mono--mini2.0YY-
9.
 
Sony RX100 IV-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
10.
 
Sony A5100-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
11.
 
Sony A6000Ystereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
12.
 
Sony RX100 III-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
13.
 
Sony NEX-3N-stereo / mono--micro2.0---
14.
 
Sony RX100 IIYstereo / mono--micro2.0YY-

Both the G7X and the A5000 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on ebay. The A5000 was replaced by the Sony A5100, while the G7X was followed by the Canon G7 X Mark II. Further information on the features and operation of the G7X and A5000 can be found, respectively, in the Canon G7 X Manual (free pdf) or the online Sony A5000 Manual.

Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Canon G7 X better than the Sony A5000 or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot G7 X:

  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/60i).
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 461k dots).
  • Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (6.5 vs 3.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the A5000 requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (103x60mm vs 110x63mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 8 months after the A5000).

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Advantages of the Sony Alpha A5000:

  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (8 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (1 stops ISO advantage).
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
  • More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with specialty optics.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (420 versus 210) out of a single battery charge.
  • Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in January 2014).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the G7X emerges as the winner of the contest (9 : 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.

G7X 09:07 A5000

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon G7 X and the Sony A5000 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Travel-Zoom Camera and Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the G7X and the A5000 in practical situations. 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.

Expert reviews

This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). 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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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon G7 X4/5+ +..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2014 699ebay.com
2.
 
Sony A50003/5+....4.5/54.5/5 Jan 2014 449ebay.com
3.
 
Canon G7 X Mark II4.5/5+ +..81/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2016 699ebay.com
4.
 
Canon 750D5/5....75/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749ebay.com
5.
 
Canon G5 X5/5+ +..78/1004.5/54.5/5 Oct 2015 799ebay.com
6.
 
Canon G9 X3.5/5+ +....4.5/54.5/5 Oct 2015 529ebay.com
7.
 
Canon M34/5o..75/1004.5/54/5 Feb 2015 679ebay.com
8.
 
Canon M10..........4/5 Oct 2015 499ebay.com
9.
 
Sony RX100 IV4.5/5+ +..85/1004/54.5/5 Jun 2015 999ebay.com
10.
 
Sony A51004.5/5+....4.5/55/5 Aug 2014 549ebay.com
11.
 
Sony A60005/5+4.5/580/1004.5/55/5 Feb 2014 599ebay.com
12.
 
Sony RX100 III5/5+ +..82/1004.5/55/5 May 2014 799ebay.com
13.
 
Sony NEX-3N3/5......4.5/54.5/5 Feb 2013 499ebay.com
14.
 
Sony RX100 II5/5+ +..79/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2013 749ebay.com
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, 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 comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

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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 make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Canon G7 X vs Sony A5000

    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 G7 X Sony A5000
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens 24-100mm f/1.8-2.8 Sony E mount lenses
    Launch Date September 2014 January 2014
    Launch Price USD 699 USD 449
    Sensor Specs Canon G7 X Sony A5000
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format 1" Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 13.2 x 8.8 mm 23.2 x 15.4 mm
    Sensor Area 116.16 mm2 357.28 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 15.9 mm 27.8 mm
    Crop Factor 2.7x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 20 Megapixels 19.8 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5472 x 3648 pixels 5456 x 3632 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 2.41 μm 4.25 μm
    Pixel Density 17.18 MP/cm2 5.55 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60p Video 1080/60i Video
    ISO Setting 125 - 12,800 ISO 100 - 16,000 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 6 BIONZ X
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 71 79
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 23.0 23.8
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 12.7 13.0
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 556 1089
    Screen Specs Canon G7 X Sony A5000
    Viewfinder Type no viewfinder no viewfinder
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 1040k dots 461k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen Tilting screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen no Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Canon G7 X Sony A5000
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus PeakingFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/2000s 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 6.5 shutter flaps/s 3.5 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer built-inno Intervalometer
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards MS or SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Canon G7 X Sony A5000
    External Flash no Hotshoe no Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI micro HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in NFC built-in
    Body Specs Canon G7 X Sony A5000
    Battery Type NB-13L NP-FW50
    Battery Life (CIPA)210 shots per charge420 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging no USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 103 x 60 x 40 mm
    (4.1 x 2.4 x 1.6 in)
    110 x 63 x 36 mm
    (4.3 x 2.5 x 1.4 in)
    Camera Weight 304 g (10.7 oz) 269 g (9.5 oz)
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    Check A5000 offers at
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