Canon G9 X Mark II vs Sony NEX-5R
The Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II and the Sony Alpha NEX-5R are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in January 2017 and August 2012. The G9X Mark II is a fixed lens compact, while the NEX-5R is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on an one-inch (G9X Mark II) and an APS-C (NEX-5R) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 20 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 16 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 Sony Alpha NEX-5R? 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 side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon G9 X Mark II and the Sony NEX-5R. 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.
Both cameras are available in two different colors (black, silver).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony NEX-5R is notably larger (15 percent) than the Canon G9 X Mark II. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G9X Mark II nor the NEX-5R 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 NEX-5R 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 NEX-5R and their specifications in the Sony E-Mount Lens Catalog.
Concerning battery life, the G9X Mark II gets 235 shots out of its NB-13L battery, while the NEX-5R can take 330 images on a single charge of its NP-FW50 power pack. 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 following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|1.||Canon G9 X Mark II||98 mm||58 mm||31 mm||206 g||235||n||Jan 2017||529|
|2.||Sony NEX-5R||111 mm||59 mm||39 mm||276 g||330||n||Aug 2012||749|
|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 S120||100 mm||59 mm||29 mm||217 g||230||n||Aug 2013||449|
|11.||Sony HX99||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||242 g||370||n||Aug 2018||449|
|12.||Sony HX95||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||242 g||370||n||Aug 2018||429|
|13.||Sony NEX-3N||110 mm||62 mm||35 mm||269 g||480||n||Feb 2013||499|
|14.||Sony NEX-5T||111 mm||59 mm||39 mm||276 g||330||n||Aug 2013||699|
|15.||Sony NEX-F3||117 mm||67 mm||42 mm||314 g||470||n||May 2012||599|
|16.||Sony NEX-5N||111 mm||59 mm||38 mm||269 g||460||n||Aug 2011||699|
|17.||Sony NEX-5||111 mm||59 mm||38 mm||287 g||330||n||May 2010||699|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The G9X Mark II was launched at a lower price than the NEX-5R, despite having a lens built 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.
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. 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 tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon G9 X Mark II features an one-inch sensor and the Sony NEX-5R an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the NEX-5R is 215 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.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon G9 X Mark II offers a higher resolution of 20 megapixels, compared with 16 MP of the Sony NEX-5R. 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 4.78μm for the NEX-5R). However, it should be noted that the G9X Mark II is much more recent (by 4 years and 4 months) than the NEX-5R, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.
The resolution advantage of the Canon G9 X Mark II implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the G9X Mark II for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 27.4 x 18.2 inches or 69.5 x 46.3 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 21.9 x 14.6 inches or 55.6 x 37.1 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 18.2 x 12.2 inches or 46.3 x 30.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Sony NEX-5R are 24.6 x 16.3 inches or 62.4 x 41.5 cm for good quality, 19.6 x 13.1 inches or 49.9 x 33.2 cm for very good quality, and 16.4 x 10.9 inches or 41.6 x 27.6 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II has a native sensitivity range from ISO 125 to ISO 12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Alpha NEX-5R are ISO 100 to ISO 25600 (no boost).
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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 NEX-5R offers substantially better image quality than the G9X Mark II (overall score 13 points higher). The advantage is based on 1.8 bits higher color depth, 0.6 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.8 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.
| DXO |
|1.||Canon G9 X Mark II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.9||12.5||522||65|
|9.||Canon G9 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.5||12.3||495||63|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the G9X Mark II provides a higher frame rate than the NEX-5R. It can shoot video footage at 1080/60p, while the Sony is limited to 1080/60i.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The G9X Mark II and the NEX-5R 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. That said, the NEX-5R can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the FDA-EV1S. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon G9 X Mark II, the Sony NEX-5R, and comparable cameras.
|1.||Canon G9 X Mark II||none||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||8.2||Y||Y|
|9.||Canon G9 X||none||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||6.0||Y||Y|
One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The G9X Mark II has one, while the NEX-5R does not. While the built-in flash of the G9X Mark II is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.The NEX-5R has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the G9X Mark II does not have a selfie-screen.
The Canon G9 X Mark II 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 G9X Mark II writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the NEX-5R uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. The G9X Mark II supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the NEX-5R cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.
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 Sony Alpha NEX-5R 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|
|9.||Canon G9 X||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
It is notable that the NEX-5R has a hotshoe, which makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun. The G9X Mark II does not feature such an accessory-socket.
The G9X Mark II is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Canon. In contrast, the NEX-5R has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the NEX-5R was succeeded by the Sony NEX-5T. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Sony websites.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Canon G9 X Mark II or the Sony NEX-5R – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Reasons to prefer the Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (20 vs 16MP) with a 12% higher linear resolution.
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/60i).
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 920k dots).
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the NEX-5R requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (98x58mm vs 111x59mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the NEX-5R).
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
- Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More modern: Reflects 4 years and 4 months of technical progress since the NEX-5R launch.
Arguments in favor of the Sony Alpha NEX-5R:
- Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (13 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (1.8 bits more color depth).
- More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (0.6 EV of extra DR).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (0.8 stops ISO advantage).
- More framing options: Can be equipped with a hotshoe-mounted accessory-viewfinder.
- 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 (10 vs 8.2 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 (330 versus 235) out of a single battery charge.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in August 2012).
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the G9X Mark II emerges as the winner of the contest (15 : 13 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 wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports 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 Sony NEX-5R 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 G9X Mark II and the NEX-5R 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 where reviews by experts come in. 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.||Sony NEX-5R||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2012||749|
|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 S120||..||+ +||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||449|
|11.||Sony HX99||..||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2018||449|
|12.||Sony HX95||..||..||..||..||..||Aug 2018||429|
|13.||Sony NEX-3N||3/5||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2013||499|
|14.||Sony NEX-5T||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||699|
|15.||Sony NEX-F3||4/5||..||74/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||May 2012||599|
|16.||Sony NEX-5N||3/5||+ +||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2011||699|
|17.||Sony NEX-5||3/5||+ +||71/100||4.5/5||4/5||May 2010||699|
|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. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date 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? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
Specifications: Canon G9 X Mark II vs Sony NEX-5R
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||Sony NEX-5R|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||28-84mm f/2.0-4.9||Sony E mount lenses|
|Launch Date||January 2017||August 2012|
|Launch Price||USD 529||USD 749|
|Sensor Specs||Canon G9 X Mark II||Sony NEX-5R|
|Sensor Format||1" Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||13.2 x 8.8 mm||23.4 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||116.16 mm2||365.04 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||15.9 mm||28.1 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||20 Megapixels||16 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5472 x 3648 pixels||4912 x 3264 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||2.41 μm||4.78 μm|
|Pixel Density||17.18 MP/cm2||4.39 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 - 25,600 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 7||BIONZ|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||65||78|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||21.9||23.7|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||12.5||13.1|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||522||910|
|Screen Specs||Canon G9 X Mark II||Sony NEX-5R|
|Viewfinder Type||no viewfinder||Viewfinder optional|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots||920k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Tilting screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon G9 X Mark II||Sony NEX-5R|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||no Peaking Feature|
|Continuous Shooting||8.2 shutter flaps/s||10 shutter flaps/s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||no Intervalometer|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||MS or SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon G9 X Mark II||Sony NEX-5R|
|External Flash||no Hotshoe||Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||NFC built-in||no NFC|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in||no Bluetooth|
|Body Specs||Canon G9 X Mark II||Sony NEX-5R|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||235 shots per charge||330 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)
111 x 59 x 39 mm
(4.4 x 2.3 x 1.5 in)
|Camera Weight||206 g (7.3 oz)||276 g (9.7 oz)|
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