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Canon G9 X vs Sony A5000

The Canon PowerShot G9 X and the Sony Alpha A5000 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in October 2015 and January 2014. The G9X is a fixed lens compact, while the A5000 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on an one-inch (G9X) and an APS-C (A5000) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 20 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 19.8 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Canon G9 X versus Sony A5000
Canon G9 X Sony A5000
Fixed lens compact camera Mirrorless system camera
28-84mm f/2.0-4.9 Sony E mount lenses
20 MP, 1" Sensor 19.8 MP, APS-C Sensor
1080/60p Video 1080/60i Video
ISO 125-12,800 ISO 100-16,000
No viewfinder, LCD framing No viewfinder, LCD framing
3.0 LCD, 1040k dots 3.0 LCD, 461k dots
Fixed touchscreen Tilting screen (not touch-sensitive)
6 shutter flaps per second 3.5 shutter flaps per second
220 shots per battery charge420 shots per battery charge
98 x 58 x 31 mm, 209 g 110 x 63 x 36 mm, 269 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot G9 X and the Sony Alpha A5000? 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.

Body comparison

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon G9 X and the Sony A5000 is provided 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 size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The G9X can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the A5000 is available in three color-versions (black, silver, white).

Size Canon G9 X vs Sony A5000
Compare G9X versus A5000 top
Comparison G9X or A5000 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony A5000 is notably larger (22 percent) than the Canon G9 X. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G9X nor the A5000 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 A5000 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 A5000 and their specifications in the Sony E-Mount Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the G9X gets 220 shots out of its NB-13L battery, while the A5000 can take 420 images on a single charge of its NP-FW50 power pack. The battery packs of both cameras can be charged via USB, which can be very convenient when travelling.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. 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.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon G9 X 98 mm 58 mm 31 mm 209 g 220 n Oct 2015 529i
2.
 
Sony A5000 110 mm 63 mm 36 mm 269 g 420 n Jan 2014 449i
3.
 
Canon G9 X Mark II 98 mm 58 mm 31 mm 206 g 235 n Jan 2017 529 i
4.
 
Canon G7 X Mark II 106 mm 61 mm 42 mm 319 g 265 n Feb 2016 699i
5.
 
Canon M10 108 mm 67 mm 35 mm 301 g 255 n Oct 2015 499i
6.
 
Canon G7 X 103 mm 60 mm 40 mm 304 g 210 n Sep 2014 699i
7.
 
Nikon 1 J4 100 mm 60 mm 29 mm 232 g 300 n Apr 2014 549i
8.
 
Nikon D3300 124 mm 98 mm 76 mm 430 g 700 n Jan 2014 499i
9.
 
Panasonic FZ1000 137 mm 99 mm 131 mm 831 g 360 n Jun 2014 899i
10.
 
Sony RX100 V 102 mm 58 mm 41 mm 299 g 220 n Oct 2016 999 i
11.
 
Sony RX100 IV 102 mm 58 mm 41 mm 298 g 280 n Jun 2015 999i
12.
 
Sony A5100 110 mm 63 mm 36 mm 283 g 400 n Aug 2014 549 i
13.
 
Sony RX100 III 102 mm 58 mm 41 mm 290 g 320 n May 2014 799i
14.
 
Sony NEX-3N 110 mm 62 mm 35 mm 269 g 480 n Feb 2013 499i
15.
 
Sony RX100 102 mm 58 mm 36 mm 240 g 330 n Jun 2012 649i
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 listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. 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.

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Sensor comparison

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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. 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.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon G9 X features an one-inch sensor and the Sony A5000 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the A5000 is 208 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.

Canon G9 X and Sony A5000 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon G9 X offers a higher resolution of 20 megapixels, compared with 19.8 MP of the Sony A5000. 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 4.25μm for the A5000). However, it should be noted that the G9X is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 9 months) than the A5000, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that partly offset its pixel-size disadvantage.

The Canon PowerShot G9 X has a native sensitivity range from ISO 125 to ISO 12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Alpha A5000 are ISO 100 to ISO 16000 (no boost).

G9X versus A5000 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"). Of the two cameras under consideration, the A5000 offers substantially better image quality than the G9X (overall score 16 points higher). The advantage is based on 2.3 bits higher color depth, 0.7 EV in additional dynamic range, and 1.1 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

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Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Canon G9 X 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.512.349563
2.
 
Sony A5000 APS-C 19.8 5456 36321080/60i23.813.0108979
3.
 
Canon G9 X Mark II 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.912.552265
4.
 
Canon G7 X Mark II 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p........
5.
 
Canon M10 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.475365
6.
 
Canon G7 X 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p23.012.755671
7.
 
Nikon 1 J4 1-inch 18.2 5232 34881080/60p20.810.742653
8.
 
Nikon D3300 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.8138582
9.
 
Panasonic FZ1000 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.111.751764
10.
 
Sony RX100 V 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.458670
11.
 
Sony RX100 IV 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.659170
12.
 
Sony A5100 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.812.7134780
13.
 
Sony RX100 III 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.412.349567
14.
 
Sony NEX-3N APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60i22.812.5106774
15.
 
Sony RX100 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.612.439066

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 G9X provides a higher frame rate than the A5000. It can shoot video footage at 1080/60p, while the Sony is limited to 1080/60i.

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The G9X and the A5000 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 and Sony A5000 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

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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)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Canon G9 Xnone n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 6.0 Y Y
2.
 
Sony A5000none n 3.0 461 tilting n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
3.
 
Canon G9 X Mark IInone n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 8.2 Y Y
4.
 
Canon G7 X Mark IInone n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 8.0 Y Y
5.
 
Canon M10none n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 4.6 Y n
6.
 
Canon G7 Xnone n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 6.5 Y Y
7.
 
Nikon 1 J4none n 3.0 1037 Fixed Y 1/4000s 60.0 Y n
8.
 
Nikon D3300optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
9.
 
Panasonic FZ10002359 n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
10.
 
Sony RX100 V2359 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/2000s 24.0 Y Y
11.
 
Sony RX100 IV2359 n 3.0 1228 tilting n 1/2000s 16.0 Y Y
12.
 
Sony A5100none n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
13.
 
Sony RX100 III1440 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
14.
 
Sony NEX-3Noptional n 3.0 460 tilting n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
15.
 
Sony RX100none n 3.0 1229 fixed n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y

One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The G9X has a touchscreen, while the A5000 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.

The A5000 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 does not have a selfie-screen.

The Canon G9 X 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 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the A5000 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.

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Connectivity comparison

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 Sony Alpha A5000 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
    Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Canon G9 X-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
2.
 
Sony A5000-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
3.
 
Canon G9 X Mark II-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
4.
 
Canon G7 X Mark II-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon M10-stereomono--mini2.0YY-
6.
 
Canon G7 X-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
7.
 
Nikon 1 J4-stereomono--mini2.0Y--
8.
 
Nikon D3300YmonomonoY-mini2.0---
9.
 
Panasonic FZ1000YstereomonoY-micro2.0YY-
10.
 
Sony RX100 V-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
11.
 
Sony RX100 IV-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
12.
 
Sony A5100-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
13.
 
Sony RX100 III-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
14.
 
Sony NEX-3N-stereomono--micro2.0---
15.
 
Sony RX100-stereomono--micro2.0---

Both the G9X and the A5000 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The A5000 was replaced by the Sony A5100, while the G9X was followed by the Canon G9 X Mark II. 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.

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Review summary

So how do things add up? Is the Canon G9 X better than the Sony A5000 or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Advantages of the Canon PowerShot G9 X:

  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/60i).
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 461k dots).
  • Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (6 vs 3.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the A5000 requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (98x58mm vs 110x63mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the A5000).
  • Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 9 months after the A5000).

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Reasons to prefer the Sony Alpha A5000:

  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (16 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (2.3 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (0.7 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (1.1 stops ISO advantage).
  • 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.
  • More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with specialty optics.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (420 versus 220) out of a single battery charge.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in January 2014).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the match-up finishes in a tie (10 points each). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding 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.

G9X 10:10 A5000

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon G9 X and the Sony A5000 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 specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the G9X and the A5000 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.

Expert reviews

This is why expert reviews are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear 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.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon G9 X3.5/5+ +..4.5/54.5/5 Oct 2015 529i
2.
 
Sony A50003/5+..4.5/54.5/5 Jan 2014 449i
3.
 
Canon G9 X Mark II4/5..75/1004.5/54.5/5 Jan 2017 529 i
4.
 
Canon G7 X Mark II4.5/5+ +81/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2016 699i
5.
 
Canon M10........4/5 Oct 2015 499i
6.
 
Canon G7 X4/5+ +77/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2014 699i
7.
 
Nikon 1 J43/5....4.5/54/5 Apr 2014 549i
8.
 
Nikon D33003/5+77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jan 2014 499i
9.
 
Panasonic FZ10004/5+ +82/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2014 899i
10.
 
Sony RX100 V4.5/5+ +83/1004/54.5/5 Oct 2016 999 i
11.
 
Sony RX100 IV4.5/5+ +85/1004/54.5/5 Jun 2015 999i
12.
 
Sony A51004.5/5+..4.5/55/5 Aug 2014 549 i
13.
 
Sony RX100 III5/5+ +82/1004.5/55/5 May 2014 799i
14.
 
Sony NEX-3N3/5....4.5/54.5/5 Feb 2013 499i
15.
 
Sony RX1005/5+ +78/1004/55/5 Jun 2012 649i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. 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. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Canon G9 X:
Check Ebay offers
Sony A5000:
Check Ebay offers

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 your choice using the following search menu. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

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    Specifications: Canon G9 X vs Sony A5000

    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 Specifications
    Camera Model Canon G9 X Sony A5000
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens 28-84mm f/2.0-4.9 Sony E mount lenses
    Launch Date October 2015 January 2014
    Launch Price USD 529 USD 449
    Sensor Specs Canon G9 X Sony A5000
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format 1" Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 13.2 x 8.8 mm 23.2 x 15.4 mm
    Sensor Area 116.16 mm2 357.28 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 15.9 mm 27.8 mm
    Crop Factor 2.7x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 20 Megapixels 19.8 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5472 x 3648 pixels 5456 x 3632 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 2.41 μm 4.25 μm
    Pixel Density 17.18 MP/cm2 5.55 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 - 16,000 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 6 BIONZ X
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 63 79
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.5 23.8
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 12.3 13.0
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 495 1089
    Screen Specs Canon G9 X Sony A5000
    Viewfinder Type no viewfinder no viewfinder
    Viewfinder Magnification
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 1040k dots 461k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Tilting screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen no Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Canon G9 X Sony A5000
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus PeakingFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/2000s 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 6 shutter flaps/s 3.5 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer built-inno Intervalometer
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards MS or SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Canon G9 X Sony A5000
    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
    Body Specs Canon G9 X Sony A5000
    Battery Type NB-13L NP-FW50
    Battery Life (CIPA)220 shots per charge420 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 98 x 58 x 31 mm
    (3.9 x 2.3 x 1.2 in)
    110 x 63 x 36 mm
    (4.3 x 2.5 x 1.4 in)
    Camera Weight 209 g (7.4 oz) 269 g (9.5 oz)

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