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Canon SL1 versus Canon G7 X

The Canon EOS Rebel SL1 (called Canon 100D in some regions) and the Canon PowerShot G7 X are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in March 2013 and September 2014. The SL1 is a DSLR, while the G7X is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (SL1) and an one-inch (G7X) sensor. The SL1 has a resolution of 17.9 megapixel, whereas the G7X provides 20 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 SL1 vs Canon G7 X

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon SL1 and the Canon G7 X. 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 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 side – the SL1 – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Canon SL1 vs Canon G7 X
Compare SL1 versus G7X top
Compare SL1 and G7X rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon G7 X is considerably smaller (42 percent) than the Canon SL1. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SL1 nor the G7X are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the G7X has a lens build in, whereas the SL1 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can find an overview of optics for the SL1 and their specifications in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the SL1 gets 380 shots out of its LP-E12 battery, while the G7X can take 210 images on a single charge of its NB-13L power pack.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

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 SL1» 4.6 in 3.6 in 2.7 in 14.4 oz 380 n Mar 2013 549- i Canon SL1
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 SL2« » 4.8 in 3.7 in 2.8 in 16.0 oz 650 n Jun 2017 549 i i Canon SL2
Canon G7 X Mark II« » 4.2 in 2.4 in 1.7 in 11.3 oz 265 n Feb 2016 699 i i Canon G7 X Mark II
Canon G5 X« » 4.4 in 3.0 in 1.7 in 12.5 oz 210 n Oct 2015 799 i i Canon G5 X
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 7D II« » 5.9 in 4.4 in 3.1 in 32.1 oz 670 Y Sep 2014 1,799 i i Canon 7D II
Canon T5« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 16.9 oz 500 n Feb 2014 449- i Canon T5
Canon G16« » 4.3 in 3.0 in 1.6 in 12.6 oz 360 n Aug 2013 549 i i Canon G16
Canon T5i« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.5 oz 440 n Mar 2013 649- i Canon T5i
Canon M« » 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.3 in 10.5 oz 230 n Jul 2012 599- i Canon M
Canon T4i« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.3 oz 440 n Jun 2012 849- i Canon T4i
Canon T3i« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.1 oz 440 n Feb 2011 599- i Canon T3i
Panasonic G6« » 4.8 in 3.3 in 2.8 in 13.8 oz 340 n Apr 2013 599- i Panasonic G6
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 II« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.5 in 9.9 oz 350 n Jun 2013 749- i Sony RX100 II

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

 

Sensor comparison: Canon SL1 vs Canon G7 X

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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 tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon SL1 features an APS-C sensor and the Canon G7 X an one-inch sensor. The sensor area in the G7X 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 G7X uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 6) than the SL1 (DIGIC 5), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.

Canon SL1 and Canon G7 X sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the G7X offers a higher resolution of 20 megapixel, compared with 17.9 MP of the SL1. This megapixel 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 SL1). However, it should be noted that the G7X is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 5 months) than the SL1, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that partly offset its pixel-size disadvantage.

SL1 versus G7X MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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 G7X has a markedly higher DXO score than the SL1 (overall score 8 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 1.2 bits higher color depth, 1.4 EV in additional dynamic range, 0.6 stops of reduced 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.

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 SL1» APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.811.384363Canon SL1
Canon G7 X« 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p23.012.755671Canon G7 X
Canon SL2« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.4104179Canon SL2
Canon G7 X Mark II« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p----Canon G7 X Mark II
Canon G5 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p----Canon G5 X
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 7D II« » APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.411.8108270Canon 7D II
Canon T5« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463Canon T5
Canon G16« » 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054Canon G16
Canon T5i« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.268161Canon T5i
Canon M« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.282765Canon M
Canon T4i« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262Canon T4i
Canon T3i« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.579365Canon T3i
Panasonic G6« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p21.311.563961Panasonic G6
Sony RX100 III« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.412.349567Sony RX100 III
Sony RX100 II« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.512.448367Sony RX100 II

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, but the G7X provides a faster frame rate than the SL1. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the SL1 is limited to 1080/30p.

 

Feature comparison: Canon SL1 vs Canon G7 X

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the SL1 has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the G7X 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 SL1, the Canon G7 X, and comparable cameras. If needed, the dpreview camera hub, for example, contains further detail on the cameras' specs.

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 SL1»optical n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 4000 4.9 Y n Canon SL1
Canon G7 X«- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 2000 6.5 Y Y Canon G7 X
Canon SL2« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon SL2
Canon G7 X Mark II« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 2000 8.0 Y Y Canon G7 X Mark II
Canon G5 X« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 2000 5.9 Y Y Canon G5 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 7D II« »optical Y 3.0 1040 fixed n 8000 10.0 Y n Canon 7D II
Canon T5« »optical n 3.0 460 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon T5
Canon G16« »optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 4000 2.2 Y Y Canon G16
Canon T5i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon T5i
Canon M« »- n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 4000 4.3 n n Canon M
Canon T4i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon T4i
Canon T3i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel n 4000 3.7 Y n Canon T3i
Panasonic G6« »1440 n 3.0 1036 swivel Y 4000 7.0 Y n Panasonic G6
Sony RX100 III« »1440 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 2000 10.0 Y Y Sony RX100 III
Sony RX100 II« »- n 3.0 1229 tilting n 2000 10.0 Y Y Sony RX100 II

Both the SL1 and the G7X have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The SL1 was replaced by the Canon SL2, while the G7X was followed by the Canon G7 X Mark II.

Review summary: Canon SL1 vs Canon G7 X

So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Canon SL1 or the Canon G7 X – has the upper hand? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.


Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS Rebel SL1:

  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (0.6 stops ISO advantage).
  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image framing and settings control.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (4000/sec vs 2000/sec) to freeze action.
  • More flexible: Can take a variety of interchangeable lenses, including specialty optics.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (380 versus 210) on a single battery charge.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in March 2013).


Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot G7 X:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (20 vs 17.9MP), which boosts linear resolution by 6%.
  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (8 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (1.2 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (1.4 EV of extra DR).
  • Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 6 vs DIGIC 5).
  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/30p).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (6.5 vs 4.9 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with an integrated lens, while the SL1 requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (103x60mm vs 117x91mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens build in (unlike the SL1).
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology build-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 5 months) more recently.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the G7X is the clear winner of the contest (13 : 6 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.

SL1 06:13 G7X

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the SL1 or the G7X handle or perform in practice. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased. This is where reviews by experts come in. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The detailed reviews can be accessed 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 SL1»Rec78/1004/54/54/5 Mar 2013 549- i Canon SL1
Canon G7 X«HiRec77/1004.5/53.5/54.5/5 Sep 2014 699- i Canon G7 X
Canon SL2« »HiRec78/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2017 549 i i Canon SL2
Canon G7 X Mark II« »HiRec81/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Feb 2016 699 i i Canon G7 X Mark II
Canon G5 X« »HiRec78/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Oct 2015 799 i i Canon G5 X
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 7D II« »Rec84/1004/55/54.5/5 Sep 2014 1,799 i i Canon 7D II
Canon T5« »Rec-4/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449- i Canon T5
Canon G16« »Rec-4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i i Canon G16
Canon T5i« »-76/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Mar 2013 649- i Canon T5i
Canon M« »Rec-4/53.5/54/5 Jul 2012 599- i Canon M
Canon T4i« »HiRec77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849- i Canon T4i
Canon T3i« »rev77/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2011 599- i Canon T3i
Panasonic G6« »HiRec-5/5-4.5/5 Apr 2013 599- i Panasonic G6
Sony RX100 III« »HiRec82/1004.5/54.5/55/5 May 2014 799- i Sony RX100 III
Sony RX100 II« »HiRec79/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jun 2013 749- i Sony RX100 II

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

 

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 a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. 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, please send me an email, and I will try to add information on that model to the database.

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