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Canon SL1 versus Canon G9 X Mark II

The Canon EOS Rebel SL1 (called Canon 100D in some regions) and the Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in March 2013 and January 2017. The SL1 is a DSLR, while the G9X Mark II is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (SL1) and an one-inch sensor. The SL1 has a resolution of 17.9 megapixel, whereas the G9X Mark II provides 20 MP.

Body comparison

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon SL1 and the Canon G9 X Mark II is provided in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size dimensions 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 SL1 – represents the basis or 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Canon SL1 vs Canon G9 X Mark II front
SL1 versus G9X Mark II top view
SL1 and G9X Mark II rear side
Body view (SL1 on the left)

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon G9 X Mark II is considerably smaller (47 percent) than the Canon SL1. Cameras that are aimed at professionals or semi-pros tend to be a bit bulkier in order to give them the necessary environmental and shock resistance.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the G9X Mark II 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.

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 comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
Camera Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(y/n)
Camera
Launch
(year)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(amazon)
Used
Price
(ebay)
Canon SL1 (⇒ rgt) 117 mm 91 mm 69 mm 407 g 380 no 2013 549discont. check
Canon G9 X Mark II (⇒ lft) 98 mm 58 mm 31 mm 206 g 235 no 2017 529 latest check
Canon 200D (⇒ lft | rgt) 122 mm 93 mm 70 mm 453 g 650 no 2017 549 latest check
Canon M100 (⇒ lft | rgt) 108 mm 67 mm 35 mm 302 g 295 no 2017 499 latest check
Canon M5 (⇒ lft | rgt) 116 mm 89 mm 61 mm 427 g 295 no 2016 979 latest check
Canon G9 X (⇒ lft | rgt) 98 mm 58 mm 31 mm 209 g 220 no 2015 529discont. check
Canon M10 (⇒ lft | rgt) 108 mm 67 mm 35 mm 301 g 255 no 2015 499discont. check

The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The G9X Mark II was launched at a lower price than the SL1, despite having a lens build in. 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 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. 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 more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon SL1 features an APS-C sensor and the Canon G9 X Mark II an one-inch sensor. The sensor area in the G9X Mark II 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.

Canon SL1 and Canon G9 X Mark II sensor measures
Sensor size

Despite having a smaller sensor, the G9X Mark II 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 4.30μm for the SL1). However, it should be noted that the G9X Mark II is much more recent (by 3 years and 9 months) than the SL1, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.

SL1 versus G9X Mark II MP
Sensor resolution

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for most 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 Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar image quality. 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 Sensor
Class
Resolution
(Megapixel)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Canon SL1 (⇒ rgt) APS-C 17.9 5184 3456 1080/30p 21.8 11.3 843 63
Canon G9 X Mark II (⇒ lft) 1-inch 20.0 5472 3648 1080/60p 21.9 12.5 522 65
Canon 200D (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 24.0 6000 4000 1080/60p 23.6 13.4 1041 79
Canon M100 (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 24.0 6000 4000 1080/60p .. .. .. ..
Canon M5 (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 24.0 6000 4000 1080/60p 23.4 12.4 1262 77
Canon G9 X (⇒ lft | rgt) 1-inch 20.0 5472 3648 1080/60p 21.5 12.3 495 63
Canon M10 (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 17.9 5184 3456 1080/30p 22.2 11.4 753 65

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 G9X Mark II 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

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the SL1 has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the G9X Mark II relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon SL1 and Canon G9 X Mark II in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras. The full specs-sheets can be found in the camera manual or, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.

Core Features
Camera Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(Y/n)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(Y/n)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(GN)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Canon SL1 (⇒ rgt) optical no 3.0 1040 fixed YES 4000 4.9 9.4 no
Canon G9 X Mark II (⇒ lft) no no 3.0 1040 fixed YES 2000 8.2 6 no
Canon 200D (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3.0 1040 swivel YES 4000 5.0 9.8 no
Canon M100 (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 1040 tilting YES 4000 6.1 5 no
Canon M5 (⇒ lft | rgt) 2360 no 3.2 1620 tilting YES 4000 9.0 5 no
Canon G9 X (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 1040 fixed YES 2000 6.0 6 no
Canon M10 (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 1040 tilting YES 4000 4.6 5 no

The G9X Mark II is a current model that online retailers, such as amazon, will have in stock. In contrast, the SL1 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on ebay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the SL1 was succeeded by the Canon SL2.

Summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Canon SL1 better than the Canon G9 X Mark II or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.


Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS Rebel SL1:

  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (0.7 stops ISO advantage).
  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image framing and settings control.
  • Faster shutter: Has a 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 235) on a single battery charge.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in March 2013).

Reasons to prefer the Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (20 vs 17.9MP), which boosts linear resolution by 6%.
  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (1.2 EV of extra DR).
  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/30p vs 1080/60p).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (8.2 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 (98x58mm 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).
  • More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a build-in lens.
  • More modern: Reflects 3 years and 9 months of technical progress since the SL1 launch.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the G9X Mark II emerges as the winner of the match-up (9 : 6 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.

SL1 06:09 G9X Mark II

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the SL1 or the G9X Mark II. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate. This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites. You can find the full text of the reviews, respectively, at cameralabs.com, dpreview.com, ephotozine.com, imaging-resource.com, and photographyblog.com.

Review scores
Camera camera
labs
dp
review
ephoto
zine
imaging
resource
photography
blog
Camera
Launch
(year)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(amazon)
Used
Price
(ebay)
Canon SL1 (⇒ rgt) Rec 78/100 Gold 4/5 4/5 4/5 2013 549discont. check
Canon G9 X Mark II (⇒ lft) .. .. 4.5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2017 529 latest check
Canon 200D (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 78/100 Silver 4.5/5 - 4.5/5 2017 549 latest check
Canon M100 (⇒ lft | rgt) .. .. 4/5 .. 3.5/5 2017 499 latest check
Canon M5 (⇒ lft | rgt) Rec 82/100 Silver 4/5 4.5/5 4/5 2016 979 latest check
Canon G9 X (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec - 4.5/5 4/5 4.5/5 2015 529discont. check
Canon M10 (⇒ lft | rgt) - - - reviewed 4/5 2015 499discont. check

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when refering to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price 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, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Other comparisons

In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored. If you do not see the camera that you are looking for, kindly get in touch, and I will try to locate and add the respective data to the application.

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