Canon G9 X Mark II vs Nikon 1 J5
The Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II and the Nikon 1 J5 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in January 2017 and April 2015. The G9X Mark II is a fixed lens compact, while the J5 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. Both cameras are equipped with an one-inch sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 20 megapixels, whereas the Nikon provides 20.7 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II and the Nikon 1 J5? 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.
The physical size and weight of the Canon G9 X Mark II and the Nikon 1 J5 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.
The G9X Mark II can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the J5 is available in three color-versions (black, silver, white).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon 1 J5 is somewhat larger (3 percent) than the Canon G9 X Mark II. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G9X Mark II nor the J5 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the G9X Mark II has a lens built in, whereas the J5 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup.
The power pack in the G9X Mark II can be charged via the USB port, so that it is not always necessary to take the battery charger along 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, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.
|1.||Canon G9 X Mark II||98 mm||58 mm||31 mm||206 g||235||n||Jan 2017||529|
|2.||Nikon 1 J5||98 mm||60 mm||32 mm||231 g||250||n||Apr 2015||399|
|3.||Canon 2000D||129 mm||101 mm||78 mm||475 g||500||n||Feb 2018||449|
|4.||Canon SX70||127 mm||91 mm||117 mm||608 g||325||n||Sep 2018||549|
|5.||Canon 77D||131 mm||100 mm||76 mm||540 g||600||n||Feb 2017||899|
|6.||Canon 200D||122 mm||93 mm||70 mm||453 g||650||n||Jun 2017||549|
|7.||Canon M100||108 mm||67 mm||35 mm||302 g||295||n||Aug 2017||499|
|8.||Canon SX620||97 mm||57 mm||28 mm||182 g||295||n||May 2016||279|
|9.||Canon G9 X||98 mm||58 mm||31 mm||209 g||220||n||Oct 2015||529|
|10.||Canon 1200D||130 mm||100 mm||78 mm||480 g||500||n||Feb 2014||449|
|11.||Canon S120||100 mm||59 mm||29 mm||217 g||230||n||Aug 2013||449|
|12.||Nikon 1 J4||100 mm||60 mm||29 mm||232 g||300||n||Apr 2014||549|
|13.||Sony HX99||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||242 g||370||n||Aug 2018||449|
|14.||Sony HX95||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||242 g||370||n||Aug 2018||429|
|15.||Sony A5000||110 mm||63 mm||36 mm||269 g||420||n||Jan 2014||449|
|16.||YI M1||114 mm||64 mm||34 mm||281 g||450||n||Sep 2016||349|
|Notes: 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 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. 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.
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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. 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 tend to be more expensive and 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.
In terms of underlying technology, both cameras are build around BSI-CMOS sensors.
While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the J5 offers a slightly higher resolution of 20.7 megapixels, compared with 20 MP of the G9X Mark II. This megapixels advantage translates into a 2 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the J5 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 2.37μm versus 2.41μm for the G9X Mark II). Moreover, it should be noted, that the G9X Mark II is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 9 months) than the J5, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of individual pixels. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the J5 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The J5 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.
The Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II has a native sensitivity range from ISO 125 to ISO 12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon 1 J5 are ISO 160 to ISO 12800 (no boost).
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
| DXO |
|1.||Canon G9 X Mark II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.9||12.5||522||65|
|2.||Nikon 1 J5||1-inch||20.7||5568||3712||4K/15p||21.1||12.0||479||65|
|9.||Canon G9 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.5||12.3||495||63|
|12.||Nikon 1 J4||1-inch||18.2||5232||3488||1080/60p||20.8||10.7||426||53|
|16.||YI M1||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the J5 provides a better video resolution than the G9X Mark II. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/15p, while the Canon is limited to 1080/60p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The G9X Mark II and the J5 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 table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon G9 X Mark II and Nikon 1 J5 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|1.||Canon G9 X Mark II||none||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||8.2||Y||Y|
|2.||Nikon 1 J5||none||n||3.0||1037||tilting||Y||1/4000s||60.0||Y||n|
|9.||Canon G9 X||none||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||6.0||Y||Y|
|12.||Nikon 1 J4||none||n||3.0||1037||Fixed||Y||1/4000s||60.0||Y||n|
The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, the J5 is one of those camera that have an additional electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).
The Canon G9 X Mark II and the Nikon 1 J5 both have 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.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the G9X Mark II and the J5 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.
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 G9 X Mark II and Nikon 1 J5 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|1.||Canon G9 X Mark II||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|2.||Nikon 1 J5||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|9.||Canon G9 X||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|12.||Nikon 1 J4||-||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
The G9X Mark II is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Canon. In contrast, the J5 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). There has not been a direct replacement model for the J5 from Nikon. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Nikon websites.
So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Canon G9 X Mark II or the Nikon 1 J5 – 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 G9 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 built-in, whereas the J5 requires a separate lens.
- Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the J5).
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 9 months after the J5).
Reasons to prefer the Nikon 1 J5:
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/15p vs 1080/60p).
- Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (60 vs 8.2 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.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in April 2015).
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the J5 emerges as the winner of the match-up (10 : 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.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon G9 X Mark II and the Nikon 1 J5 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 remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the G9X Mark II or the J5. 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 following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], 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.
|1.||Canon G9 X Mark II||4/5||..||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||529|
|2.||Nikon 1 J5||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2015||399|
|3.||Canon 2000D||..||o||..||3.5/5||3.5/5||Feb 2018||449|
|4.||Canon SX70||..||+ +||..||3.5/5||3.5/5||Sep 2018||549|
|5.||Canon 77D||4.5/5||..||82/100||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2017||899|
|6.||Canon 200D||4/5||+ +||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2017||549|
|7.||Canon M100||3/5||+||..||4/5||3.5/5||Aug 2017||499|
|8.||Canon SX620||..||..||..||..||4/5||May 2016||279|
|9.||Canon G9 X||3.5/5||+ +||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2015||529|
|10.||Canon 1200D||3/5||+||..||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||449|
|11.||Canon S120||..||+ +||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||449|
|12.||Nikon 1 J4||3/5||..||..||4.5/5||4/5||Apr 2014||549|
|13.||Sony HX99||..||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2018||449|
|14.||Sony HX95||..||..||..||..||..||Aug 2018||429|
|15.||Sony A5000||3/5||+||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2014||449|
|16.||YI M1||..||..||69/100||..||..||Sep 2016||349|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The above review scores should be interpreted 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. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods 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? 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.
Specifications: Canon G9 X Mark II vs Nikon 1 J5
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 Model||Canon G9 X Mark II||Nikon 1 J5|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||28-84mm f/2.0-4.9||Nikon 1 mount lenses|
|Launch Date||January 2017||April 2015|
|Launch Price||USD 529||USD 399|
|Sensor Specs||Canon G9 X Mark II||Nikon 1 J5|
|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|
|Sensor Resolution||20 Megapixels||20.7 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5472 x 3648 pixels||5568 x 3712 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||2.41 μm||2.37 μm|
|Pixel Density||17.18 MP/cm2||17.79 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60p Video||4K/15p Video|
|ISO Setting||125 - 12,800 ISO||160 - 12,800 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 7||EXPEED 5|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||65||65|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||21.9||21.1|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||12.5||12.0|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||522||479|
|Screen Specs||Canon G9 X Mark II||Nikon 1 J5|
|Viewfinder Type||no viewfinder||no viewfinder|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots||1037k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Tilting screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon G9 X Mark II||Nikon 1 J5|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||On-Sensor Phase-detect|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||no Peaking Feature|
|Continuous Shooting||8.2 shutter flaps/s||60 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||no E-Shutter||up to 1/16000s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||Intervalometer 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 G9 X Mark II||Nikon 1 J5|
|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|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in||no Bluetooth|
|Body Specs||Canon G9 X Mark II||Nikon 1 J5|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||235 shots per charge||250 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||no USB charging|
98 x 58 x 31 mm
(3.9 x 2.3 x 1.2 in)
98 x 60 x 32 mm
(3.9 x 2.4 x 1.3 in)
|Camera Weight||206 g (7.3 oz)||231 g (8.1 oz)|
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