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Canon SX50 versus Canon G9 X

The Canon PowerShot SX50 HS and the Canon PowerShot G9 X are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in September 2012 and October 2015. Both the SX50 and the G9X are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on a 1/2.3-inch (SX50) and an one-inch (G9X) sensor. The SX50 has a resolution of 12 megapixel, whereas the G9X 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 SX50 vs Canon G9 X

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon SX50 and the Canon G9 X. 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. 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 SX50 – represents the basis or 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Canon SX50 vs Canon G9 X
Compare SX50 versus G9X top
Compare SX50 and G9X rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon G9 X is considerably smaller (47 percent) than the Canon SX50. Moreover, the G9X is substantially lighter (65 percent) than the SX50. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX50 nor the G9X are weather-sealed.

Concerning battery life, the SX50 gets 315 shots out of its NB-10L battery, while the G9X can take 220 images on a single charge of its NB-13L power pack.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.

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 SX50» 4.8 in 3.4 in 4.2 in 21.0 oz 315 n Sep 2012 429- i Canon SX50
Canon G9 X« 3.9 in 2.3 in 1.2 in 7.4 oz 220 n Oct 2015 529- i Canon G9 X
Canon G9 X Mark II« » 3.9 in 2.3 in 1.2 in 7.3 oz 235 n Jan 2017 529 i i Canon G9 X Mark II
Canon M10« » 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.4 in 10.6 oz 255 n Oct 2015 499- i Canon M10
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 SX60« » 5.0 in 3.7 in 4.5 in 22.9 oz 340 n Sep 2014 549- i Canon SX60
Canon G16« » 4.3 in 3.0 in 1.6 in 12.6 oz 360 n Aug 2013 549 i i Canon G16
Canon G1 X« » 4.6 in 3.2 in 2.6 in 18.8 oz 250 n Jan 2012 799- i Canon G1 X
Canon G15« » 4.2 in 3.0 in 1.6 in 12.4 oz 350 n Sep 2012 499- i Canon G15
Canon T3« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 17.5 oz 700 n Feb 2011 449- i Canon T3
Canon G12« » 4.4 in 3.0 in 1.9 in 14.1 oz 370 n Sep 2010 499- i Canon G12
Leica V-LUX 4« » 4.9 in 3.4 in 4.3 in 20.7 oz 540 n Sep 2012 949- i Leica V-LUX 4
Leica V-LUX 3« » 4.9 in 3.2 in 3.7 in 19.0 oz 410 n Dec 2011 949- i Leica V-LUX 3
Nikon 1 J4« » 3.9 in 2.4 in 1.1 in 8.2 oz 300 n Apr 2014 549- i Nikon 1 J4
Panasonic LX7« » 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.8 in 10.5 oz 330 n Jul 2012 499- i Panasonic LX7
Panasonic FZ150« » 4.9 in 3.2 in 3.6 in 18.6 oz 410 n Aug 2011 499- i Panasonic FZ150
Sony RX100 IV« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 280 n Jun 2015 999- i Sony RX100 IV

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The SX50 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 19 percent) than the G9X, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. 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.

 

Sensor comparison: Canon SX50 vs Canon G9 X

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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon SX50 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Canon G9 X an one-inch sensor. The sensor area in the G9X is 314 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 5.6 and 2.7. The sensor in the SX50 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the G9X offers a 3:2 aspect.

Technology-wise, the G9X uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 6) than the SX50 (DIGIC 5), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.

Canon SX50 and Canon G9 X sensor measures

With 20MP, the G9X offers a higher resolution than the SX50 (12MP), but the G9X nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 2.41μm versus 1.53μm for the SX50) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the G9X is a much more recent model (by 3 years) than the SX50, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.

SX50 versus G9X 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 G9X offers substantially better image quality than the SX50 (overall score 16 points higher). The advantage is based on 1.2 bits higher color depth, 1.1 EV in additional dynamic range, and 1.5 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.

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 SX50» 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.217947Canon SX50
Canon G9 X« 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.512.349563Canon G9 X
Canon G9 X Mark II« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.912.552265Canon G9 X Mark II
Canon M10« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.475365Canon M10
Canon G7 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p23.012.755671Canon G7 X
Canon SX60« » 1/2.3 14.2 4608 30721080/60p19.210.812739Canon SX60
Canon G16« » 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054Canon G16
Canon G1 X« » 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.864460Canon G1 X
Canon G15« » 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/24p19.911.516546Canon G15
Canon T3« » APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562Canon T3
Canon G12« » 1/1.7 10.0 3648 2736720/24p20.411.216147Canon G12
Leica V-LUX 4« » 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p----Leica V-LUX 4
Leica V-LUX 3« » 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p----Leica V-LUX 3
Nikon 1 J4« » 1-inch 18.2 5232 34881080/60p20.810.742653Nikon 1 J4
Panasonic LX7« » 1/1.7 10.0 3648 27361080/60p20.711.714750Panasonic LX7
Panasonic FZ150« » 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.410.913240Panasonic FZ150
Sony RX100 IV« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.659170Sony RX100 IV

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 provides a faster frame rate than the SX50. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the SX50 is limited to 1080/24p.

 

Feature comparison: Canon SX50 vs Canon G9 X

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the SX50 has an electronic viewfinder (202k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the G9X relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon SX50 and Canon G9 X along with similar information for a selection of comparators. 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 SX50»202 n 3.0 461 swivel n 2000 2.2 Y Y Canon SX50
Canon G9 X«- n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 2000 6.0 Y Y Canon G9 X
Canon G9 X Mark II« »- n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 2000 8.2 Y Y Canon G9 X Mark II
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 SX60« »922 n 3.0 922 swivel n 2000 6.4 Y Y Canon SX60
Canon G16« »optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 4000 2.2 Y Y Canon G16
Canon G1 X« »optical n 3.0 922 Swivel n 4000 1.9 Y Y Canon G1 X
Canon G15« »optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 4000 2.1 Y Y Canon G15
Canon T3« »optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon T3
Canon G12« »optical n 2.8 461 swivel n 4000 1.1 Y Y Canon G12
Leica V-LUX 4« »1312 n 3.0 460 swivel n 4000 12.0 Y Y Leica V-LUX 4
Leica V-LUX 3« »202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 2000 12.0 Y Y Leica V-LUX 3
Nikon 1 J4« »- n 3.0 1037 Fixed Y 4000 60.0 Y n Nikon 1 J4
Panasonic LX7« »- n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 11.0 Y Y Panasonic LX7
Panasonic FZ150« »202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 2000 12.0 Y Y Panasonic FZ150
Sony RX100 IV« »2359 n 3.0 1228 tilting n 2000 16.0 Y Y Sony RX100 IV

One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The G9X has a touchscreen, while the SX50 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.

Both the SX50 and the G9X have zoom lenses build in. The SX50 has a 24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5 optic and the G9X offers a 28-84mm f/2.0-4.9 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the SX50 provides a wider angle of view at the short end, as well as more tele-photo reach at the long end than the G9X. The G9X offers the faster maximum aperture.

Both the SX50 and the G9X write their imaging data to SDXC cards.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
Canon SX50»Ystereomono--mini2.0---Canon SX50
Canon G9 X«-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Canon G9 X
Canon G9 X Mark II« »-stereomono--micro2.0YYYCanon G9 X Mark II
Canon M10« »-stereomono--mini2.0YY-Canon M10
Canon G7 X« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Canon G7 X
Canon SX60« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon SX60
Canon G16« »Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--Canon G16
Canon G1 X« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Canon G1 X
Canon G15« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Canon G15
Canon T3« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Canon T3
Canon G12« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Canon G12
Leica V-LUX 4« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Leica V-LUX 4
Leica V-LUX 3« »Ystereo---mini2.0---Leica V-LUX 3
Nikon 1 J4« »-stereomono--mini2.0Y--Nikon 1 J4
Panasonic LX7« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Panasonic LX7
Panasonic FZ150« »Ystereo---mini2.0---Panasonic FZ150
Sony RX100 IV« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony RX100 IV

Both the SX50 and the G9X have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The SX50 was replaced by the Canon SX60, while the G9X was followed by the Canon G9 X Mark II.

Review summary: Canon SX50 vs Canon G9 X

So what is the bottom line? Is the Canon SX50 better than the Canon G9 X or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Advantages of the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS:

  • 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.
  • Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
  • More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (315 versus 220) on a single battery charge.
  • Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (19 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in September 2012).


Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot G9 X:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (20 vs 12MP), which boosts linear resolution by 32%.
  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (16 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 (1.1 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (1.5 stops ISO advantage).
  • Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 6 vs DIGIC 5).
  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/24p).
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 461k dots).
  • Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (6 vs 2.2 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/2.0 vs f/3.4).
  • More compact: Is smaller (98x58mm vs 123x87mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 386g or 65 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi build 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 of technical progress since the SX50 launch.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the G9X is the clear winner of the contest (16 : 8 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 before making a decision on a new camera.

SX50 08:16 G9X

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the SX50 and the G9X 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. This is why expert reviews are important. 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 SX50»HiRec72/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Sep 2012 429- i Canon SX50
Canon G9 X«HiRec-4.5/54/54.5/5 Oct 2015 529- i Canon G9 X
Canon G9 X Mark II« »-75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2017 529 i i Canon G9 X Mark II
Canon M10« »---rev4/5 Oct 2015 499- i Canon M10
Canon G7 X« »HiRec77/1004.5/53.5/54.5/5 Sep 2014 699- i Canon G7 X
Canon SX60« »HiRec75/1004/5-4.5/5 Sep 2014 549- i Canon SX60
Canon G16« »Rec-4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i i Canon G16
Canon G1 X« »Rec76/1004/54/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799- i Canon G1 X
Canon G15« »Rec76/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 499- i Canon G15
Canon T3« »80/10069/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449- i Canon T3
Canon G12« »Rec73/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2010 499- i Canon G12
Leica V-LUX 4« »----- Sep 2012 949- i Leica V-LUX 4
Leica V-LUX 3« »----- Dec 2011 949- i Leica V-LUX 3
Nikon 1 J4« »--4.5/5-4/5 Apr 2014 549- i Nikon 1 J4
Panasonic LX7« »HiRec75/1004/55/54.5/5 Jul 2012 499- i Panasonic LX7
Panasonic FZ150« »HiRec76/1004/55/54.5/5 Aug 2011 499- i Panasonic FZ150
Sony RX100 IV« »HiRec85/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 999- i Sony RX100 IV

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. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. 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? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, 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 add information on that model to the database.

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