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Canon G9 X versus Olympus TG-5

The Canon PowerShot G9 X and the Olympus Tough TG-5 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in October 2015 and May 2017. Both the G9X and the TG-5 are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on an one-inch (G9X) and a 1/2.3-inch (TG-5) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 20 megapixel, whereas the Olympus provides 12 MP. 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 Olympus TG-5

The physical size and weight of the Canon G9 X and the Olympus TG-5 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also toggle the display to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the G9X – represents 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Canon G9 X vs Olympus TG-5
Compare G9X versus TG-5 top
Compare G9X and TG-5 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus TG-5 is notably larger (31 percent) than the Canon G9 X. Moreover, the TG-5 is markedly heavier (20 percent) than the G9X. It is noteworthy in this context that the TG-5 is splash and dust-proof, while the G9X does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing. More than that, the TG-5 is water-proof up to 15m and can, thus, be used for underwater photography.

Concerning battery life, the G9X gets 220 shots out of its NB-13L battery, while the TG-5 can take 340 images on a single charge of its LI-92B power pack.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.

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)
Camera
Model
Canon G9 X» 3.9 in 2.3 in 1.2 in 7.4 oz 220 n Oct 2015 529- i Canon G9 X
Olympus TG-5« 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.3 in 8.8 oz 340 Y May 2017 449 i i Olympus TG-5
Canon SX740« » 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 265 n Jul 2018 399 i i Canon SX740
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 G9 X Mark II
Canon M3« » 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.7 in 12.9 oz 250 n Feb 2015 679- i Canon M3
Canon M10« » 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.4 in 10.6 oz 255 n Oct 2015 499- i Canon M10
Canon G7 X« » 4.1 in 2.4 in 1.6 in 10.7 oz 210 n Sep 2014 699- i Canon G7 X
Canon T5« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 16.9 oz 500 n Feb 2014 449- i Canon T5
Nikon W300« » 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.1 in 8.1 oz 280 Y May 2017 389 i i Nikon W300
Olympus E-PM1« » 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.3 in 9.3 oz 330 n Jun 2011 499- i Olympus E-PM1
Panasonic FZ1000« » 5.4 in 3.9 in 5.2 in 29.3 oz 360 n Jun 2014 899- i Panasonic FZ1000
Sony HX99« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.4 in 8.5 oz 370 n Aug 2018 449 i i Sony HX99
Sony HX95« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.4 in 8.5 oz 370 n Aug 2018 429 i i Sony HX95
Sony RX100 V« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 220 n Oct 2016 999 i i Sony RX100 V
Sony RX100 IV« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 280 n Jun 2015 999- i Sony RX100 IV
Sony RX100 III« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.2 oz 320 n May 2014 799- i Sony RX100 III
Sony RX100« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.4 in 8.5 oz 330 n Jun 2012 649- i Sony RX100

The camera’s price is obviously a critical decision-making factor. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The TG-5 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 15 percent) than the G9X, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. 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.

 

Sensor comparison: Canon G9 X vs Olympus TG-5

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 tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units 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 G9 X features an one-inch sensor and the Olympus TG-5 a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The sensor area in the TG-5 is 76 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.7 and 5.6. The sensor in the G9X has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the TG-5 offers a 4:3 aspect.

Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with BSI-CMOS (Backside Illuminated Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors.

Canon G9 X and Olympus TG-5 sensor measures

With 20MP, the G9X offers a higher resolution than the TG-5 (12MP), but the G9X nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 2.41μm versus 1.53μm for the TG-5) due to its larger sensor. However, the TG-5 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 7 months) than the G9X, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.

G9X versus TG-5 MP

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 adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
Canon G9 X» 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.512.349563Canon G9 X
Olympus TG-5« 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30004K/30p----Olympus TG-5
Canon SX740« » 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p----Canon SX740
Canon G9 X Mark II« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.912.552265Canon G9 X Mark II
Canon M3« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.811.8116972Canon M3
Canon M10« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.475365Canon M10
Canon G7 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p23.012.755671Canon G7 X
Canon T5« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463Canon T5
Nikon W300« » 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34564K/30p----Nikon W300
Olympus E-PM1« » Four Thirds 12.2 4032 30241080/60i21.010.349952Olympus E-PM1
Panasonic FZ1000« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.111.751764Panasonic FZ1000
Sony HX99« » 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36724K/30p----Sony HX99
Sony HX95« » 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36724K/30p----Sony HX95
Sony RX100 V« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.458670Sony RX100 V
Sony RX100 IV« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.659170Sony RX100 IV
Sony RX100 III« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.412.349567Sony RX100 III
Sony RX100« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.612.439066Sony RX100

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 TG-5 provides a better video resolution than the G9X. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Canon is limited to 1080/60p.

 

Feature comparison: Canon G9 X vs Olympus TG-5

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The G9X and the TG-5 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 following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon G9 X, the Olympus TG-5, and comparable cameras. If you need more detail on the specs, you can find comprehensive listings, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
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
Camera
Model
Canon G9 X»- n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 2000 6.0 Y Y Canon G9 X
Olympus TG-5«- n 3.0 460 fixed n 2000 20.0 Y Y Olympus TG-5
Canon SX740« »- n 3.0 922 tilting n 3200 10.0 Y Y Canon SX740
Canon G9 X Mark II« »- n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 2000 8.2 Y Y Canon G9 X Mark II
Canon M3« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 4.2 Y n Canon M3
Canon M10« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 4.6 Y n Canon M10
Canon G7 X« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 2000 6.5 Y Y Canon G7 X
Canon T5« »optical n 3.0 460 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon T5
Nikon W300« »- n 3.0 921 fixed n 4000 7.0 Y Y Nikon W300
Olympus E-PM1« »- n 3.0 460 fixed n 4000 5.5 n Y Olympus E-PM1
Panasonic FZ1000« »2359 n 3.0 921 swivel n 4000 12.0 Y Y Panasonic FZ1000
Sony HX99« »638 n 3.0 922 tilting Y 2000 10.0 Y Y Sony HX99
Sony HX95« »638 n 3.0 922 tilting n 2000 10.0 Y Y Sony HX95
Sony RX100 V« »2359 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 2000 24.0 Y Y Sony RX100 V
Sony RX100 IV« »2359 n 3.0 1228 tilting n 2000 16.0 Y Y Sony RX100 IV
Sony RX100 III« »1440 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 2000 10.0 Y Y Sony RX100 III
Sony RX100« »- n 3.0 1229 fixed n 2000 10.0 Y Y Sony RX100

One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The G9X has a touchscreen, while the TG-5 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.

Both the G9X and the TG-5 have zoom lenses build in. The G9X has a 28-84mm f/2.0-4.9 optic and the TG-5 offers a 25-100mm f/2.0-4.9 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Olympus provides a wider angle of view at the short end, as well as more tele-photo reach at the long end than the Canon. Both cameras offer the same maximum aperture.

Both the G9X and the TG-5 write their imaging data to SDXC cards.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
Canon G9 X»-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Canon G9 X
Olympus TG-5«-stereomono--micro2.0Y--Olympus TG-5
Canon SX740« »-stereomono--micro2.0YYYCanon SX740
Canon G9 X Mark II« »-stereomono--micro2.0YYYCanon G9 X Mark II
Canon M3« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon M3
Canon M10« »-stereomono--mini2.0YY-Canon M10
Canon G7 X« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Canon G7 X
Canon T5« »Ymonomono--mini2.0---Canon T5
Nikon W300« »-stereomono--micro2.0Y-YNikon W300
Olympus E-PM1« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Olympus E-PM1
Panasonic FZ1000« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0YY-Panasonic FZ1000
Sony HX99« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony HX99
Sony HX95« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony HX95
Sony RX100 V« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony RX100 V
Sony RX100 IV« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony RX100 IV
Sony RX100 III« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony RX100 III
Sony RX100« »-stereomono--micro2.0---Sony RX100

The TG-5 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 Olympus TG-5

So how do things add up? Is the Canon G9 X better than the Olympus TG-5 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 G9 X:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (20 vs 12MP) with a 32% higher linear resolution.
  • Better low-light imaging: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for better high-ISO images.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 460k dots).
  • Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
  • More compact: Is smaller (98x58mm vs 113x66mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 41g or 16 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in October 2015).

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Reasons to prefer the Olympus Tough TG-5:

  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60p).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (20 vs 6 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • 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 (340 versus 220) out of a single battery charge.
  • Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
  • Water-proof: Can be used in the rain and for underwater photography (up to 15m).
  • More affordable: Was released into a lower priced segment (15 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 7 months) more recently.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the TG-5 comes out slightly ahead of the G9X (9 : 8 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 08:09 TG-5

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the G9X and the TG-5 in practical situations. 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). You can find the full text of the reviews by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Canon G9 X»HiRec-4.5/54/54.5/5 Oct 2015 529- i Canon G9 X
Olympus TG-5«HiRec-4/5rev4/5 May 2017 449 i i Olympus TG-5
Canon SX740« »Rec-4/5-4/5 Jul 2018 399 i i Canon SX740
Canon G9 X Mark II« »-75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2017 529 i i Canon G9 X Mark II
Canon M3« »rev75/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Feb 2015 679- i Canon M3
Canon M10« »---rev4/5 Oct 2015 499- i Canon M10
Canon G7 X« »HiRec77/1004.5/53.5/54.5/5 Sep 2014 699- i Canon G7 X
Canon T5« »Rec-4/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449- i Canon T5
Nikon W300« »Rec-4/5-4/5 May 2017 389 i i Nikon W300
Olympus E-PM1« »86/10071/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Jun 2011 499- i Olympus E-PM1
Panasonic FZ1000« »HiRec82/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2014 899- i Panasonic FZ1000
Sony HX99« »----- Aug 2018 449 i i Sony HX99
Sony HX95« »----- Aug 2018 429 i i Sony HX95
Sony RX100 V« »HiRec83/1004/55/54.5/5 Oct 2016 999 i i Sony RX100 V
Sony RX100 IV« »HiRec85/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 999- i Sony RX100 IV
Sony RX100 III« »HiRec82/1004.5/54.5/55/5 May 2014 799- i Sony RX100 III
Sony RX100« »HiRec78/1004/55/55/5 Jun 2012 649- i Sony RX100

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 rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

 

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored. If you cannot find the camera you are interested in, kindly get in touch, and I will try to update the database with the necessary infos.

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