Canon M vs G5X
The Canon EOS M and the Canon PowerShot G5 X are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in July 2012 and October 2015. The Canon M is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the G5X is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (Canon M) and an one-inch (G5X) sensor. The Canon M has a resolution of 17.9 megapixels, whereas the G5X provides 20 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their sensors, their features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
|Canon M||Canon G5 X|
|Mirrorless system camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Canon EF-M mount lenses||24-100mm f/1.8-2.8|
|17.9 MP, APS-C Sensor||20 MP, 1" Sensor|
|1080/30p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO 100-12800 (100-25600)||ISO 125-12800 (125-25600)|
|No viewfinder, LCD framing||Electronic viewfinder (2360k dots)|
|3.0" LCD, 1040k dots||3.0" LCD, 1040k dots|
|Fixed touchscreen||Swivel touchscreen|
|4.3 shutter flaps per second||5.9 shutter flaps per second|
|230 shots per battery charge||210 shots per battery charge|
|109 x 66 x 32 mm, 298 g||112 x 76 x 44 mm, 353 g|
Body comparison: Canon M vs G5X
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon M and the Canon G5 X. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The Canon M can be obtained in two different colors (black, white), while the G5X 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 Canon G5 X is notably larger (18 percent) than the Canon M. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the Canon M nor the G5X are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the G5X has a lens built in, whereas the Canon M 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 Canon M gets 230 shots out of its LP-E12 battery, while the G5X can take 210 images on a single charge of its NB-13L power pack. The power pack in the G5X can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient 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, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.
|Canon M»||4.3 in||2.6 in||1.3 in||10.5 oz||230||n||Jul 2012||599||-||Canon M|
|Canon G5 X«||4.4 in||3.0 in||1.7 in||12.5 oz||210||n||Oct 2015||799||Canon G5 X|
|Canon M100« »||4.3 in||2.6 in||1.4 in||10.7 oz||295||n||Aug 2017||499||Canon M100|
|Canon G7 X Mark II« »||4.2 in||2.4 in||1.7 in||11.3 oz||265||n||Feb 2016||699||Canon G7 X Mark II|
|Canon G9 X« »||3.9 in||2.3 in||1.2 in||7.4 oz||220||n||Oct 2015||529||-||Canon G9 X|
|Canon M3« »||4.4 in||2.7 in||1.7 in||12.9 oz||250||n||Feb 2015||679||-||Canon M3|
|Canon M10« »||4.3 in||2.6 in||1.4 in||10.6 oz||255||n||Oct 2015||499||-||Canon M10|
|Canon G7 X« »||4.1 in||2.4 in||1.6 in||10.7 oz||210||n||Sep 2014||699||-||Canon G7 X|
|Canon G16« »||4.3 in||3.0 in||1.6 in||12.6 oz||360||n||Aug 2013||549||Canon G16|
|Canon SL1« »||4.6 in||3.6 in||2.7 in||14.4 oz||380||n||Mar 2013||549||-||Canon SL1|
|Canon T5i« »||5.2 in||3.9 in||3.1 in||20.5 oz||440||n||Mar 2013||649||-||Canon T5i|
|Canon T3i« »||5.2 in||3.9 in||3.1 in||20.1 oz||440||n||Feb 2011||599||-||Canon T3i|
|Panasonic GF6« »||4.4 in||2.6 in||1.5 in||11.4 oz||340||n||Apr 2013||499||-||Panasonic GF6|
|Panasonic G3« »||4.5 in||3.3 in||1.9 in||11.9 oz||270||n||May 2011||599||-||Panasonic G3|
|Sony RX100 IV« »||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.6 in||10.5 oz||280||n||Jun 2015||999||-||Sony RX100 IV|
|Sony NEX-3N« »||4.3 in||2.4 in||1.4 in||9.5 oz||480||n||Feb 2013||499||-||Sony NEX-3N|
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. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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 M vs G5X
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. 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 associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon M features an APS-C sensor and the Canon G5 X an one-inch sensor. The sensor area in the G5X is 65 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.6 and 2.7. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
Technology-wise, the G5X uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 6) than the Canon M (DIGIC V), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the G5X offers a higher resolution of 20 megapixels, compared with 17.9 MP of the Canon M. 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 4.31μm for the Canon M). However, it should be noted that the G5X is much more recent (by 3 years and 2 months) than the Canon M, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.
The Canon M has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during video recording.
The Canon EOS M has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12800, which can be extended to ISO 100-25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon PowerShot G5 X are ISO 125 to ISO 12800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 125-25600..
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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 following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|Canon M»||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||22.1||11.2||827||65||Canon M|
|Canon G5 X«||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||-||-||-||-||Canon G5 X|
|Canon M100« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.5||12.9||1272||78||Canon M100|
|Canon G7 X Mark II« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||-||-||-||-||Canon G7 X Mark II|
|Canon G9 X« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.5||12.3||495||63||Canon G9 X|
|Canon M3« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/30p||22.8||11.8||1169||72||Canon M3|
|Canon M10« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||22.2||11.4||753||65||Canon M10|
|Canon G7 X« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||23.0||12.7||556||71||Canon G7 X|
|Canon G16« »||1/1.7||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||21.0||11.7||230||54||Canon G16|
|Canon SL1« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.8||11.3||843||63||Canon SL1|
|Canon T5i« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.7||11.2||681||61||Canon T5i|
|Canon T3i« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||22.1||11.5||793||65||Canon T3i|
|Panasonic GF6« »||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60i||20.7||10.6||622||54||Panasonic GF6|
|Panasonic G3« »||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60i||21.0||10.6||667||56||Panasonic G3|
|Sony RX100 IV« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.6||591||70||Sony RX100 IV|
|Sony NEX-3N« »||APS-C||16.0||4912||3264||1080/60i||22.8||12.5||1067||74||Sony NEX-3N|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the G5X provides a faster frame rate than the Canon M. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the Canon M is limited to 1080/30p.
Feature comparison: Canon M vs G5X
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the G5X has an electronic viewfinder (2360k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the Canon M relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon M, the Canon G5 X, and comparable cameras.
|Canon M»||-||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||4000||4.3||n||n||Canon M|
|Canon G5 X«||2360||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||2000||5.9||Y||Y||Canon G5 X|
|Canon M100« »||-||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||4000||6.1||Y||n||Canon M100|
|Canon G7 X Mark II« »||-||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||2000||8.0||Y||Y||Canon G7 X Mark II|
|Canon G9 X« »||-||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||2000||6.0||Y||Y||Canon G9 X|
|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 G16« »||optical||n||3.0||922||fixed||n||4000||2.2||Y||Y||Canon G16|
|Canon SL1« »||optical||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||4000||4.9||Y||n||Canon SL1|
|Canon T5i« »||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||4000||5.0||Y||n||Canon T5i|
|Canon T3i« »||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||n||4000||3.7||Y||n||Canon T3i|
|Panasonic GF6« »||-||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||4000||4.2||Y||n||Panasonic GF6|
|Panasonic G3« »||1440||n||3.0||460||swivel||Y||4000||4.0||Y||n||Panasonic G3|
|Sony RX100 IV« »||2359||n||3.0||1228||tilting||n||2000||16.0||Y||Y||Sony RX100 IV|
|Sony NEX-3N« »||-||n||3.0||460||tilting||n||4000||4.0||Y||n||Sony NEX-3N|
One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The G5X has one, while the Canon M does not. While the built-in flash of the G5X is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.The G5X 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 Canon M does not have a selfie-screen.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the Canon M and the G5X write their files to SDXC cards. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.
Connectivity comparison: Canon M vs G5X
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 EOS M and Canon PowerShot G5 X and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Canon M»||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon M|
|Canon G5 X«||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon G5 X|
|Canon M100« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon M100|
|Canon G7 X Mark II« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon G7 X Mark II|
|Canon G9 X« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon G9 X|
|Canon M3« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon M3|
|Canon M10« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon M10|
|Canon G7 X« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon G7 X|
|Canon G16« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Canon G16|
|Canon SL1« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon SL1|
|Canon T5i« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon T5i|
|Canon T3i« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon T3i|
|Panasonic GF6« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Panasonic GF6|
|Panasonic G3« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Panasonic G3|
|Sony RX100 IV« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony RX100 IV|
|Sony NEX-3N« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-||Sony NEX-3N|
It is notable that the Canon M has a microphone port, which is missing on the G5X. Such an external microphone input can help to substantially improve the quality of audio recordings when a good external microphone is used.
The G5X is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Canon. In contrast, the Canon M has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the Canon M was succeeded by the Canon EOS M3. Further information on the two cameras, as well as related accessories, can be found on the Canon website.
Review summary: Canon M vs G5X
So what is the bottom line? Is the Canon M better than the Canon G5 X or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS M:
- Better video autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident movie autofocus.
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (4000/sec vs 2000/sec) to freeze action.
- More flexible: Accepts interchangeable lenses, so that lens characteristics can be altered.
- More compact: Is smaller (109x66mm vs 112x76mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in July 2012).
Reasons to prefer the Canon PowerShot G5 X:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (20 vs 17.9MP), which boosts linear resolution by 6%.
- Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 6 vs DIGIC V).
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/30p).
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image framing and settings control.
- More flexible LCD: Has swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5.9 vs 4.3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Ready to shoot: Has an integrated lens, whereas the Canon M necessitates an extra lens.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- More modern: Reflects 3 years and 2 months of technical progress since the Canon M launch.
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the G5X is the clear winner of the contest (13 : 6 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.
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 Canon M or the G5X 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: Canon M vs G5X
This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog).
|Canon M»||+||-||4/5||3.5/5||4/5||Jul 2012||599||-||Canon M|
|Canon G5 X«||++||78/100||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Oct 2015||799||Canon G5 X|
|Canon M100« »||+||-||4/5||-||3.5/5||Aug 2017||499||Canon M100|
|Canon G7 X Mark II« »||++||81/100||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||699||Canon G7 X Mark II|
|Canon G9 X« »||++||-||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Oct 2015||529||-||Canon G9 X|
|Canon M3« »||o||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2015||679||-||Canon M3|
|Canon M10« »||-||-||-||o||4/5||Oct 2015||499||-||Canon M10|
|Canon G7 X« »||++||77/100||4.5/5||3.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||699||-||Canon G7 X|
|Canon G16« »||+||-||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||549||Canon G16|
|Canon SL1« »||+||78/100||4/5||4/5||4/5||Mar 2013||549||-||Canon SL1|
|Canon T5i« »||-||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2013||649||-||Canon T5i|
|Canon T3i« »||o||77/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2011||599||-||Canon T3i|
|Panasonic GF6« »||++||-||4.5/5||-||4.5/5||Apr 2013||499||-||Panasonic GF6|
|Panasonic G3« »||++||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||May 2011||599||-||Panasonic G3|
|Sony RX100 IV« »||++||85/100||4/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||999||-||Sony RX100 IV|
|Sony NEX-3N« »||-||-||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2013||499||-||Sony NEX-3N|
|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. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, 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 a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
- Canon 1300D vs Olympus E-520
- Canon G7 X vs Fujifilm X-A1
- Canon M6 vs Canon 600D
- Canon S120 vs Sony RX100 II
- Fujifilm X-T100 vs Canon D60
- Fujifilm X-T2 vs Fujifilm X-T100
- Fujifilm X10 vs Sony A7R III
- Nikon D1 vs Nikon D750
- Nikon D5200 vs Nikon D3100
- Nikon D90 vs Panasonic LX100
- Nikon Z6 vs Fujifilm X-T30
- Panasonic FZ2500 vs Canon G7 X Mark II
Specifications: Canon M vs Canon G5 X
|Camera Model||Canon M||Canon G5 X|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF-M mount lenses||24-100mm f/1.8-2.8|
|Launch Date||July 2012||October 2015|
|Launch Price||USD 599||USD 799|
|Sensor Specs||Canon M||Canon G5 X|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||1" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||22.3 x 14.9 mm||13.2 x 14.9 mm|
|Sensor Area||332.27 mm2||116.16 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||26.8 mm||15.9 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||17.9 Megapixels||20 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5184 x 3456 pixels||5472 x 3648 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.31 μm||2.41 μm|
|Pixel Density||5.39 MP/cm2||17.18 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/30p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||100-12800 ISO||125-12800 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100-25600 ISO||125-25600 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC V||DIGIC 6|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||65||..|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||22.1||..|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.2||..|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||827||..|
|Screen Specs||Canon M||Canon G5 X|
|Viewfinder Type||No viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2360k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots||1040k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Swivel screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon M||Canon G5 X|
|Autofocus System||On-Sensor Phase-detect||Contrast-detect AF|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/4000s||1/2000s|
|Continuous Shooting||4.3 shutter flaps/s||5.9 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon M||Canon G5 X|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||no MIC socket|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||no NFC||NFC built-in|
|Body Specs||Canon M||Canon G5 X|
|Battery Type||LP-E12 power pack||NB-13L power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||230 shots per charge||210 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||no USB charging||USB charging|
109 x 66 x 32 mm
(4.3 x 2.6 x 1.3 in)
112 x 76 x 44 mm
(4.4 x 3.0 x 1.7 in)
|Camera Weight||298 g (10.5 oz)||353 g (12.5 oz)|
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