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Canon G9 X vs YI M1

The Canon PowerShot G9 X and the YI M1 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in October 2015 and September 2016. The G9X is a fixed lens compact, while the M1 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on an one-inch (G9X) and a Four Thirds (M1) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 20 megapixels, whereas the YI provides 20.2 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
YI M1
Canon G9 X   YI M1
Fixed lens compact camera Mirrorless system camera
28-84mm f/2.0-4.9 Micro Four Thirds lenses
20 MP, 1" Sensor 20.2 MP, Four Thirds Sensor
1080/60p Video 4K/30p Video
ISO 125-12,800 ISO 100-25,600
No viewfinder, LCD framing No viewfinder, LCD framing
3.0 LCD, 1040k dots 3.0 LCD, 1040k dots
Fixed touchscreen Fixed touchscreen
6 shutter flaps per second 5 shutter flaps per second
220 shots per battery charge450 shots per battery charge
98 x 58 x 31 mm, 209 g 114 x 64 x 34 mm, 281 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot G9 X and the YI M1? 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 YI M1 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Both cameras are available in two different colors (black, silver).

Size Canon G9 X vs YI M1
Compare G9X versus M1 top
Comparison G9X or M1 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the YI M1 is notably larger (28 percent) than the Canon G9 X. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G9X nor the M1 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 M1 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 M1 and their specifications in the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog.

The battery packs of both cameras can be charged via USB, which can be very convenient when travelling.

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, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.

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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.
 
YI M1 114 mm 64 mm 34 mm 281 g 450 n Sep 2016 349 i
3.
 
Canon G9 X Mark II 98 mm 58 mm 31 mm 206 g 235 n Jan 2017 529 i
4.
 
Canon SX730 110 mm 64 mm 40 mm 300 g 250 n Apr 2017 399i
5.
 
Canon SX420 104 mm 69 mm 85 mm 325 g 195 n Jan 2016 299i
6.
 
Canon SX620 97 mm 57 mm 28 mm 182 g 295 n May 2016 279 i
7.
 
Canon G3 X 123 mm 77 mm 105 mm 733 g 300 Y Jun 2015 999 i
8.
 
Canon G5 X 112 mm 76 mm 44 mm 353 g 210 n Oct 2015 799i
9.
 
Canon M10 108 mm 67 mm 35 mm 301 g 255 n Oct 2015 499i
10.
 
Canon SX610 105 mm 61 mm 27 mm 191 g 270 n Jan 2015 249i
11.
 
Canon SX710 113 mm 66 mm 35 mm 269 g 230 n Jan 2015 349i
12.
 
Canon 1200D 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 480 g 500 n Feb 2014 449i
13.
 
Canon G7 X 103 mm 60 mm 40 mm 304 g 210 n Sep 2014 699i
14.
 
Canon S120 100 mm 59 mm 29 mm 217 g 230 n Aug 2013 449i
15.
 
Fujifilm X-A3 117 mm 67 mm 40 mm 339 g 410 n Aug 2016 399i
16.
 
Nikon 1 J5 98 mm 60 mm 32 mm 231 g 250 n Apr 2015 399i
17.
 
Nikon 1 J4 100 mm 60 mm 29 mm 232 g 300 n Apr 2014 549i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. 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

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon G9 X features an one-inch sensor and the YI M1 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the M1 is 94 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.7 and 2.0. The sensor in the G9X has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the M1 offers a 4:3 aspect.

Canon G9 X and YI M1 sensor measures

With 20.2MP, the M1 offers a higher resolution than the G9X (20MP), but the M1 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.34μm versus 2.41μm for the G9X) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the M1 is a somewhat more recent model (by 11 months) than the G9X, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.

The Canon PowerShot G9 X has a native sensitivity range from ISO 125 to ISO 12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the YI M1 are ISO 100 to ISO 25600 (no boost).

G9X versus M1 MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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"). The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-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.
 
YI M1 Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/30p23.012.6103073
3.
 
Canon G9 X Mark II 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.912.552265
4.
 
Canon SX730 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p20.511.992450
5.
 
Canon SX420 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/25p20.311.780648
6.
 
Canon SX620 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/30p20.411.883849
7.
 
Canon G3 X 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.412.352163
8.
 
Canon G5 X 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.811.922761
9.
 
Canon M10 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.475365
10.
 
Canon SX610 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/30p20.211.671247
11.
 
Canon SX710 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p20.211.671247
12.
 
Canon 1200D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463
13.
 
Canon G7 X 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p23.012.755671
14.
 
Canon S120 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.311.924656
15.
 
Fujifilm X-A3 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.813.1166381
16.
 
Nikon 1 J5 1-inch 20.7 5568 37124K/15p21.112.047965
17.
 
Nikon 1 J4 1-inch 18.2 5232 34881080/60p20.810.742653
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the M1 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

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The G9X and the M1 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 YI M1, and comparable cameras.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Specifications
(inch/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 n3.0 / 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 6.0 Y Y
2.
 
YI M1none n3.0 / 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 5.0 n n
3.
 
Canon G9 X Mark IInone n3.0 / 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 8.2 Y Y
4.
 
Canon SX730none n3.0 / 922 tilting n 1/3200s 5.9 Y Y
5.
 
Canon SX420none n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5 Y Y
6.
 
Canon SX620none n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/2000s 2.5 Y Y
7.
 
Canon G3 Xoptional n3.2 / 1620 tilting Y 1/2000s 5.9 Y Y
8.
 
Canon G5 X2360 n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/2000s 5.9 Y Y
9.
 
Canon M10none n3.0 / 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 4.6 Y n
10.
 
Canon SX610none n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/2000s 2.5 Y Y
11.
 
Canon SX710none n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/3200s 6.0 Y Y
12.
 
Canon 1200Doptical n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
13.
 
Canon G7 Xnone n3.0 / 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 6.5 Y Y
14.
 
Canon S120none n3.0 / 922 fixed Y 1/2000s 12.1 Y Y
15.
 
Fujifilm X-A3none n3.0 / 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
16.
 
Nikon 1 J5none n3.0 / 1037 tilting Y 1/4000s 60.0 Y n
17.
 
Nikon 1 J4none n3.0 / 1037 Fixed Y 1/4000s 60.0 Y n

One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The G9X has one, while the M1 does not. While the built-in flash of the G9X is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.

The Canon G9 X and the YI M1 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.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the G9X and the M1 write their files to SDXC cards. The G9X supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the M1 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.

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 YI M1 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
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Canon G9 X-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
2.
 
YI M1Ystereo / mono--micro2.0Y-Y
3.
 
Canon G9 X Mark II-stereo / mono--micro2.0YYY
4.
 
Canon SX730-stereo / mono--micro2.0YYY
5.
 
Canon SX420-mono / mono---2.0YY-
6.
 
Canon SX620-mono / mono--micro2.0YY-
7.
 
Canon G3 XYstereo / monoYYmini2.0YY-
8.
 
Canon G5 XYstereo / mono--mini2.0YY-
9.
 
Canon M10-stereo / mono--mini2.0YY-
10.
 
Canon SX610-- / ---micro2.0YY-
11.
 
Canon SX710-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
12.
 
Canon 1200DYmono / mono--mini2.0---
13.
 
Canon G7 X-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
14.
 
Canon S120-stereo / mono--mini2.0Y--
15.
 
Fujifilm X-A3Ystereo / mono--micro2.0Y--
16.
 
Nikon 1 J5-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
17.
 
Nikon 1 J4-stereo / mono--mini2.0Y--

It is notable that the M1 has a hotshoe, which makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun. The G9X does not feature such an accessory-socket.

The M1 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of YI. In contrast, the G9X has been discontinued (but 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. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and YI websites.

Review summary

So how do things add up? Is the Canon G9 X better than the YI M1 or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

ilogo

Reasons to prefer the Canon PowerShot G9 X:

  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (6 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the M1 requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (98x58mm vs 114x64mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the M1).
  • 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.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in October 2015).

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Arguments in favor of the YI M1:

  • Better image quality: Is equipped with a larger and more technologically advanced sensor.
  • Richer colors: The sensor size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
  • More dynamic range: Larger sensor captures a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Larger sensor produces good images even in poorly lit environments.
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60p).
  • 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 (450 versus 220) out of a single battery charge.
  • Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
  • Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (11 months) more recently.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the M1 emerges as the winner of the match-up (11 : 9 points). 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 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.

G9X 09:11 M1

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon G9 X and the YI M1 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 remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the G9X or the M1 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.

Expert reviews

This is why hands-on reviews by experts 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], 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.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DCW 
 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.
 
YI M1......69/100.... Sep 2016 349 i
3.
 
Canon G9 X Mark II4/5..4/575/1004.5/54.5/5 Jan 2017 529 i
4.
 
Canon SX730..+....4/54/5 Apr 2017 399i
5.
 
Canon SX420..........3/5 Jan 2016 299i
6.
 
Canon SX620..........4/5 May 2016 279 i
7.
 
Canon G3 X3.5/5+....4.5/54/5 Jun 2015 999 i
8.
 
Canon G5 X5/5+ +..78/1004.5/54.5/5 Oct 2015 799i
9.
 
Canon M10..........4/5 Oct 2015 499i
10.
 
Canon SX610........4/54/5 Jan 2015 249i
11.
 
Canon SX710..+....4/53.5/5 Jan 2015 349i
12.
 
Canon 1200D3/5+....4/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449i
13.
 
Canon G7 X4/5+ +..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2014 699i
14.
 
Canon S120..+ +....4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 449i
15.
 
Fujifilm X-A3......74/1004.5/54/5 Aug 2016 399i
16.
 
Nikon 1 J5........4.5/54.5/5 Apr 2015 399i
17.
 
Nikon 1 J43/5......4.5/54/5 Apr 2014 549i
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 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.

Canon G9 X:
Check Ebay offers
YI M1:
Check Amazon price

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. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Canon G9 X vs YI M1

    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 YI M1
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens 28-84mm f/2.0-4.9 Micro Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date October 2015 September 2016
    Launch Price USD 529 USD 349
    Sensor Specs Canon G9 X YI M1
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format 1" Sensor Four Thirds Sensor
    Sensor Size 13.2 x 8.8 mm 17.3 x 13.0 mm
    Sensor Area 116.16 mm2 224.9 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 15.9 mm 21.6 mm
    Crop Factor 2.7x 2.0x
    Sensor Resolution 20 Megapixels 20.2 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5472 x 3648 pixels 5184 x 3888 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 2.41 μm 3.34 μm
    Pixel Density 17.18 MP/cm2 8.96 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60p Video 4K/30p Video
    ISO Setting 125 - 12,800 ISO 100 - 25,600 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 63 ..
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.5 ..
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 12.3 ..
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 495 ..
    Screen Specs Canon G9 X YI M1
    Viewfinder Type no viewfinder no viewfinder
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 1040k dots 1040k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Canon G9 X YI M1
    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 5 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer built-inIntervalometer built-in
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I no
    Connectivity Specs Canon G9 X YI M1
    External Flash no Hotshoe 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 no NFC
    Bluetooth Support no Bluetooth Bluetooth built-in
    Body Specs Canon G9 X YI M1
    Battery Type NB-13L BXM-10
    Battery Life (CIPA)220 shots per charge450 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)
    114 x 64 x 34 mm
    (4.5 x 2.5 x 1.3 in)
    Camera Weight 209 g (7.4 oz) 281 g (9.9 oz)

    Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.

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