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Canon G9 X versus Canon G3 X

The Canon PowerShot G9 X and the Canon PowerShot G3 X are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in October 2015 and June 2015. Both the G9X and the G3X are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with an one-inch sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 20 megapixel. 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 G9 X vs Canon G3 X

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon G9 X and the Canon G3 X. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. If you prefer, you can also use the toggle button to switch to a comparison in percentage terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the G9X – represents 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Canon G9 X vs Canon G3 X
Compare G9X versus G3X top
Compare G9X and G3X rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon G3 X is considerably larger (67 percent) than the Canon G9 X. Moreover, the G3X is substantially heavier (251 percent) than the G9X. It is noteworthy in this context that the G3X is splash and dust-proof, while the G9X does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.

Concerning battery life, the G9X gets 220 shots out of its NB-13L battery, while the G3X can take 300 images on a single charge of its NB-10L 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)
Canon G9 X» 3.9 in 2.3 in 1.2 in 7.4 oz 220 n Oct 2015 529- i
Canon G3 X« 4.8 in 3.0 in 4.1 in 25.9 oz 300 Y Jun 2015 999 i i
Canon G9 X Mark II« » 3.9 in 2.3 in 1.2 in 7.3 oz 235 n Jan 2017 529 i i
Canon 80D« » 5.5 in 4.1 in 3.1 in 25.8 oz 960 Y Feb 2016 1,199 i i
Canon T6« » 5.1 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 17.1 oz 500 n Mar 2016 449- i
Canon M10« » 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.4 in 10.6 oz 255 n Oct 2015 499- i
Canon M3« » 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.7 in 12.9 oz 250 n Feb 2015 679- i
Canon T6i« » 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.6 oz 440 n Feb 2015 749- i
Canon T6s« » 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.9 oz 440 n Feb 2015 849- i
Canon G5 X« » 4.4 in 3.0 in 1.7 in 12.5 oz 210 n Oct 2015 799 i i
Canon T5« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 16.9 oz 500 n Feb 2014 449- i
Canon 7D II« » 5.9 in 4.4 in 3.1 in 32.1 oz 670 Y Sep 2014 1,799 i i
Canon G7 X« » 4.1 in 2.4 in 1.6 in 10.7 oz 210 n Sep 2014 699- i
Canon 70D« » 5.5 in 4.1 in 3.1 in 26.6 oz 920 Y Jul 2013 1,199- i
Panasonic FZ1000« » 5.4 in 3.9 in 5.2 in 29.3 oz 360 n Jun 2014 899- i
Sony RX100 IV« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 280 n Jun 2015 999- i

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 G9X was launched at a markedly lower price (by 47 percent) than the G3X, 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 G9 X vs Canon G3 X

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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.

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.

Canon G9 X and Canon G3 X sensor measures

The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 20 megapixel. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the G9X and the G3X have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the G9X is a somewhat more recent model (by 3 months) than the G3X, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time.

G9X versus G3X 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 Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar image quality. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Canon G9 X» 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.512.349563
Canon G3 X« 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.412.352163
Canon G9 X Mark II« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.912.552265
Canon 80D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.2113579
Canon T6« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p----
Canon M10« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.475365
Canon M3« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.811.8116972
Canon T6i« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p22.712.091971
Canon T6s« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570
Canon G5 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p----
Canon T5« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463
Canon 7D II« » APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.411.8108270
Canon G7 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p23.012.755671
Canon 70D« » APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/30p22.511.692668
Panasonic FZ1000« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.111.751764
Sony RX100 IV« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.659170

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, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/60p).

 

Feature comparison: Canon G9 X vs Canon G3 X

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The G9X and the G3X 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 G9 X and Canon G3 X along with similar information for a selection of comparators. The full specs-sheets can be found in the camera manual or, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.

Core Features
  Camera 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
Canon G9 X»- n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 2000 6.0 Y Y
Canon G3 X«- n 3.2 1620 tilting Y 2000 5.9 Y Y
Canon G9 X Mark II« »- n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 2000 8.2 Y Y
Canon 80D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 8000 7.0 Y n
Canon T6« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n
Canon M10« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 4.6 Y n
Canon M3« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 4.2 Y n
Canon T6i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n
Canon T6s« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n
Canon G5 X« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 2000 5.9 Y Y
Canon T5« »optical n 3.0 460 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n
Canon 7D II« »optical Y 3.0 1040 fixed n 8000 10.0 Y n
Canon G7 X« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 2000 6.5 Y Y
Canon 70D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 8000 7.0 Y n
Panasonic FZ1000« »2359 n 3.0 921 swivel n 4000 12.0 Y Y
Sony RX100 IV« »2359 n 3.0 1228 tilting n 2000 16.0 Y Y

Both the G9X and the G3X have zoom lenses build in. The G9X has a 28-84mm f/2.0-4.9 optic and the G3X offers a 24-600mm f/2.8-5.6 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the G3X provides a wider angle of view at the short end, as well as more tele-photo reach at the long end than the G9X. The G9X offers the faster maximum aperture.

The G3X is a current model that online retailers, such as amazon, will have in stock. In contrast, the G9X has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the G9X was succeeded by the Canon G9 X Mark II.

Review summary: Canon G9 X vs Canon G3 X

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon G9 X and the Canon G3 X? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.


Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot G9 X:

  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/2.0 vs f/2.8).
  • More compact: Is smaller (98x58mm vs 123x77mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 524g or 71 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (47 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 3 months after the G3X).


Advantages of the Canon PowerShot G3 X:

  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1620k vs 1040k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
  • More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (300 versus 220) out of a single battery charge.
  • Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in June 2015).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the G3X emerges as the winner of the match-up (8 : 5 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.

G9X 05:08 G3X

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the G9X or the G3X handle or perform in practice. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable. This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The detailed reviews can be accessed by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review scores
  Camera cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Canon G9 X»HiRec-4.5/54/54.5/5 Oct 2015 529- i
Canon G3 X«Rec-4.5/53.5/54/5 Jun 2015 999 i i
Canon G9 X Mark II« »-75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2017 529 i i
Canon 80D« »HiRec84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2016 1,199 i i
Canon T6« »rev73/1004/53.5/54/5 Mar 2016 449- i
Canon M10« »---rev4/5 Oct 2015 499- i
Canon M3« »rev75/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Feb 2015 679- i
Canon T6i« »-75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749- i
Canon T6s« »Rec77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 849- i
Canon G5 X« »HiRec78/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Oct 2015 799 i i
Canon T5« »Rec-4/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449- i
Canon 7D II« »Rec84/1004/55/54.5/5 Sep 2014 1,799 i i
Canon G7 X« »HiRec77/1004.5/53.5/54.5/5 Sep 2014 699- i
Canon 70D« »HiRec83/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Jul 2013 1,199- i
Panasonic FZ1000« »HiRec82/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2014 899- i
Sony RX100 IV« »HiRec85/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 999- i

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings are only valid when refering to cameras in the same category and of the same age. 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, 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 use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored. If the camera you are interested in is not available, please send me an email, and I will try to update the database with the necessary infos.

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