Canon G9 X vs Nikon 1 V3
The Canon PowerShot G9 X and the Nikon 1 V3 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in October 2015 and March 2014. The G9X is a fixed lens compact, while the V3 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 18.2 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 and the Nikon 1 V3? 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 and the Nikon 1 V3. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The G9X can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the V3 is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon 1 V3 is notably larger (27 percent) than the Canon G9 X. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G9X nor the V3 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the G9X has a lens built in, whereas the V3 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup.
Concerning battery life, the G9X gets 220 shots out of its NB-13L battery, while the V3 can take 310 images on a single charge of its EN-EL20a power pack. The power pack in the G9X 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. 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.
|1.||Canon G9 X||98 mm||58 mm||31 mm||209 g||220||n||Oct 2015||529|
|2.||Nikon 1 V3||111 mm||65 mm||33 mm||381 g||310||n||Mar 2014||799|
|3.||Canon G9 X Mark II||98 mm||58 mm||31 mm||206 g||235||n||Jan 2017||529|
|4.||Canon SX620||97 mm||57 mm||28 mm||182 g||295||n||May 2016||279|
|5.||Canon G3 X||123 mm||77 mm||105 mm||733 g||300||Y||Jun 2015||999|
|6.||Canon G5 X||112 mm||76 mm||44 mm||353 g||210||n||Oct 2015||799|
|7.||Canon M10||108 mm||67 mm||35 mm||301 g||255||n||Oct 2015||499|
|8.||Canon SX610||105 mm||61 mm||27 mm||191 g||270||n||Jan 2015||249|
|9.||Canon 1200D||130 mm||100 mm||78 mm||480 g||500||n||Feb 2014||449|
|10.||Canon G7 X||103 mm||60 mm||40 mm||304 g||210||n||Sep 2014||699|
|11.||Canon S120||100 mm||59 mm||29 mm||217 g||230||n||Aug 2013||449|
|12.||Fujifilm X-M1||117 mm||67 mm||39 mm||330 g||350||n||Jun 2013||699|
|13.||Nikon 1 J4||100 mm||60 mm||29 mm||232 g||300||n||Apr 2014||549|
|14.||Nikon 1 V2||109 mm||82 mm||46 mm||278 g||310||n||Oct 2012||799|
|15.||Nikon 1 V1||113 mm||76 mm||44 mm||383 g||350||n||Sep 2011||799|
|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 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 lower price than the V3, 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.
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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.
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.
While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the G9X offers a higher resolution of 20 megapixels, compared with 18.2 MP of the V3. This megapixels advantage translates into a 5 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the G9X has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 2.41μm versus 2.52μm for the V3). In this context, it should be noted, however, that the G9X is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 7 months) than the V3, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that at least partly compensate for the smaller pixel size. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the V3 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Canon G9 X implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the G9X 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 Nikon 1 V3 are 26.2 x 17.4 inches or 66.4 x 44.3 cm for good quality, 20.9 x 14 inches or 53.2 x 35.4 cm for very good quality, and 17.4 x 11.6 inches or 44.3 x 29.5 cm for excellent quality prints.
The V3 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.
The Canon PowerShot G9 X has a native sensitivity range from ISO 125 to ISO 12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon 1 V3 are ISO 160 to ISO 12800 (no boost).
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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"). Of the two cameras under review, the G9X provides substantially higher image quality than the V3, with an overall score that is 11 points higher. This advantage is based on 0.7 bits higher color depth, 1.6 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.4 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|1.||Canon G9 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.5||12.3||495||63|
|2.||Nikon 1 V3||1-inch||18.2||5232||3488||1080/60p||20.8||10.7||384||52|
|3.||Canon G9 X Mark II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.9||12.5||522||65|
|5.||Canon G3 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.4||12.3||521||63|
|6.||Canon G5 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.8||11.9||227||61|
|10.||Canon G7 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||23.0||12.7||556||71|
|13.||Nikon 1 J4||1-inch||18.2||5232||3488||1080/60p||20.8||10.7||426||53|
|14.||Nikon 1 V2||1-inch||14.2||4608||3072||1080/60p||20.2||10.8||403||50|
|15.||Nikon 1 V1||1-inch||10.0||3872||2592||1080/60i||21.3||11.0||346||54|
|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, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/60p).
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The G9X and the V3 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 V3 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the DF-N1000. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon G9 X and Nikon 1 V3 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|1.||Canon G9 X||none||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||6.0/s||Y||Y|
|2.||Nikon 1 V3||optional||n||3.0 / 1037||tilting||Y||1/4000s||60.0/s||Y||n|
|3.||Canon G9 X Mark II||none||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||8.2/s||Y||Y|
|4.||Canon SX620||none||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/2000s||2.5/s||Y||Y|
|5.||Canon G3 X||optional||n||3.2 / 1620||tilting||Y||1/2000s||5.9/s||Y||Y|
|6.||Canon G5 X||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/2000s||5.9/s||Y||Y|
|7.||Canon M10||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||4.6/s||Y||n|
|8.||Canon SX610||none||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/2000s||2.5/s||Y||Y|
|9.||Canon 1200D||optical||n||3.0 / 460||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0/s||Y||n|
|10.||Canon G7 X||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||6.5/s||Y||Y|
|11.||Canon S120||none||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||Y||1/2000s||12.1/s||Y||Y|
|12.||Fujifilm X-M1||none||n||3.0 / 920||tilting||n||1/4000s||5.6/s||Y||n|
|13.||Nikon 1 J4||none||n||3.0 / 1037||Fixed||Y||1/4000s||60.0/s||Y||n|
|14.||Nikon 1 V2||1440||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/4000s||15.0/s||Y||n|
|15.||Nikon 1 V1||1440||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/4000s||10.0/s||n||n|
|Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.|
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 V3 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 and the Nikon 1 V3 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.
The G9X writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the V3 uses micro 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 and Nikon 1 V3 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Canon G9 X||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|2.||Nikon 1 V3||-||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|3.||Canon G9 X Mark II||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|4.||Canon SX620||-||mono / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|5.||Canon G3 X||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|6.||Canon G5 X||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|7.||Canon M10||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|8.||Canon SX610||-||- / -||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|9.||Canon 1200D||Y||mono / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|10.||Canon G7 X||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|11.||Canon S120||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|12.||Fujifilm X-M1||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|13.||Nikon 1 J4||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|14.||Nikon 1 V2||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|15.||Nikon 1 V1||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
It is notable that the V3 has a microphone port, which can help to improve the quality of audio recordings by attaching an external microphone. The G9X does not feature such a mic input.
Both the G9X and the V3 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The G9X was replaced by the Canon G9 X Mark II, while the V3 does not have a direct successor. 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 conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Canon G9 X or the Nikon 1 V3 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Advantages of the Canon PowerShot G9 X:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (20 vs 18.2MP) with a 5% higher linear resolution.
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (11 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
- More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (1.6 EV of extra DR).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (0.4 stops ISO advantage).
- Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the V3 requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (98x58mm vs 111x65mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the V3).
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 7 months after the V3).
Reasons to prefer the Nikon 1 V3:
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- 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.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (60 vs 6 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 (310 versus 220) out of a single battery charge.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in March 2014).
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the G9X emerges as the winner of the contest (13 : 11 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. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro 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 and the Nikon 1 V3 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 the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the G9X and the V3 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.
This is where reviews by experts come in. 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.
|1.||Canon G9 X||3.5/5||+ +||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2015||529|
|2.||Nikon 1 V3||3/5||..||..||76/100||4.5/5||4/5||Mar 2014||799|
|3.||Canon G9 X Mark II||4/5||..||4/5||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||529|
|4.||Canon SX620||..||..||..||..||..||4/5||May 2016||279|
|5.||Canon G3 X||3.5/5||+||..||..||4.5/5||4/5||Jun 2015||999|
|6.||Canon G5 X||5/5||+ +||..||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2015||799|
|7.||Canon M10||..||..||..||..||..||4/5||Oct 2015||499|
|8.||Canon SX610||..||..||..||..||4/5||4/5||Jan 2015||249|
|9.||Canon 1200D||3/5||+||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||449|
|10.||Canon G7 X||4/5||+ +||..||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||699|
|11.||Canon S120||..||+ +||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||449|
|12.||Fujifilm X-M1||3/5||+||..||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2013||699|
|13.||Nikon 1 J4||3/5||..||..||..||4.5/5||4/5||Apr 2014||549|
|14.||Nikon 1 V2||3/5||..||..||..||4.5/5||4/5||Oct 2012||799|
|15.||Nikon 1 V1||..||+||..||69/100||4.5/5||4/5||Sep 2011||799|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time 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
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Specifications: Canon G9 X vs Nikon 1 V3
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||Nikon 1 V3|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||28-84mm f/2.0-4.9||Nikon 1 mount lenses|
|Launch Date||October 2015||March 2014|
|Launch Price||USD 529||USD 799|
|Sensor Specs||Canon G9 X||Nikon 1 V3|
|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||18.2 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5472 x 3648 pixels||5232 x 3488 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||2.41 μm||2.52 μm|
|Pixel Density||17.18 MP/cm2||15.71 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||125 - 12,800 ISO||160 - 12,800 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 6||EXPEED 4|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||63||52|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||21.5||20.8|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||12.3||10.7|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||495||384|
|Screen Specs||Canon G9 X||Nikon 1 V3|
|Viewfinder Type||no viewfinder||Viewfinder optional|
|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||Nikon 1 V3|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||On-Sensor Phase-detect|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||no Peaking Feature|
|Continuous Shooting||6 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||Built-in Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||micro or SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon G9 X||Nikon 1 V3|
|External Flash||no Hotshoe||no Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||no MIC socket||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||NFC built-in||no NFC|
|Body Specs||Canon G9 X||Nikon 1 V3|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||220 shots per charge||310 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 65 x 33 mm
(4.4 x 2.6 x 1.3 in)
|Camera Weight||209 g (7.4 oz)||381 g (13.4 oz)|
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