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Canon SX70 versus Canon G3 X

The Canon PowerShot SX70 HS and the Canon PowerShot G3 X are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2018 and June 2015. Both the SX70 and the G3X are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on a 1/2.3-inch (SX70) and an one-inch (G3X) sensor. The SX70 has a resolution of 20.2 megapixel, whereas the G3X 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 SX70 vs Canon G3 X

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon SX70 and the Canon G3 X 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. You can also use the toggle button 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 SX70 – represents the basis or 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Canon SX70 vs Canon G3 X
Compare SX70 versus G3X top
Compare SX70 and G3X rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon G3 X is notably smaller (18 percent) than the Canon SX70. However, the G3X is markedly heavier (21 percent) than the SX70. It is noteworthy in this context that the G3X is splash and dust-proof, while the SX70 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.

Concerning battery life, the SX70 gets 325 shots out of its LP-E12 battery, while the G3X can take 300 images on a single charge of its NB-10L 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 SX70» 5.0 in 3.6 in 4.6 in 21.4 oz 325 n Sep 2018 549 i i Canon SX70
Canon G3 X« 4.8 in 3.0 in 4.1 in 25.9 oz 300 Y Jun 2015 999 i i Canon G3 X
Canon SX740« » 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 265 n Jul 2018 399 i i Canon SX740
Canon 77D« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 19.0 oz 600 n Feb 2017 899 i i Canon 77D
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 M100« » 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.4 in 10.7 oz 295 n Aug 2017 499 i i Canon M100
Canon SL2« » 4.8 in 3.7 in 2.8 in 16.0 oz 650 n Jun 2017 549 i i Canon SL2
Canon SX730« » 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.6 in 10.6 oz 250 n Apr 2017 399- i Canon SX730
Canon T7i« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 18.8 oz 600 n Feb 2017 749 i i Canon T7i
Canon 80D« » 5.5 in 4.1 in 3.1 in 25.8 oz 960 Y Feb 2016 1,199 i i Canon 80D
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 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 70D« » 5.5 in 4.1 in 3.1 in 26.6 oz 920 Y Jul 2013 1,199- i Canon 70D
Fujifilm XF10« » 4.4 in 2.5 in 1.6 in 9.8 oz 330 n Jul 2018 499 i i Fujifilm XF10
Panasonic FZ1000« » 5.4 in 3.9 in 5.2 in 29.3 oz 360 n Jun 2014 899- i Panasonic FZ1000
Sony HX400V« » 5.1 in 3.7 in 4.1 in 23.3 oz 300 n Feb 2014 499 i i Sony HX400V

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. The SX70 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 45 percent) than the G3X, which puts it into a different market segment. 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 SX70 vs Canon G3 X

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the 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 SX70 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Canon G3 X an one-inch sensor. The sensor area in the G3X 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 SX70 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the G3X offers a 3:2 aspect.

In terms of chip-set technology, the SX70 uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 8) than the G3X (DIGIC 6), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.

Canon SX70 and Canon G3 X sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon SX70 offers a higher resolution of 20.2 megapixel, compared with 20 MP of the Canon G3 X. 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 1.18μm versus 2.41μm for the G3X). However, it should be noted that the SX70 is much more recent (by 3 years and 3 months) than the G3X, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the SX70 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

SX70 versus G3X 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"). 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 SX70» 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p----Canon SX70
Canon G3 X« 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.412.352163Canon G3 X
Canon SX740« » 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p----Canon SX740
Canon 77D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.397178Canon 77D
Canon G9 X Mark II« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.912.552265Canon G9 X Mark II
Canon M100« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.512.9127278Canon M100
Canon SL2« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.4104179Canon SL2
Canon SX730« » 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p----Canon SX730
Canon T7i« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----Canon T7i
Canon 80D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.2113579Canon 80D
Canon G9 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.512.349563Canon G9 X
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 70D« » APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/30p22.511.692668Canon 70D
Fujifilm XF10« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/15p----Fujifilm XF10
Panasonic FZ1000« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.111.751764Panasonic FZ1000
Sony HX400V« » 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p----Sony HX400V

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 SX70 provides a higher video resolution than the G3X. It can shoot video footage at 4K/30p, while the G3X is limited to 1080/60p.

 

Feature comparison: Canon SX70 vs Canon G3 X

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the SX70 has an electronic viewfinder (2360k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the G3X relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the G3X can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the EVF-DC1. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon SX70 and Canon G3 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 SX70»2360 n 3.0 922 swivel n 2000 10.0 Y Y Canon SX70
Canon G3 X«- n 3.2 1620 tilting Y 2000 5.9 Y Y Canon G3 X
Canon SX740« »- n 3.0 922 tilting n 3200 10.0 Y Y Canon SX740
Canon 77D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 6.0 Y n Canon 77D
Canon G9 X Mark II« »- n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 2000 8.2 Y Y Canon G9 X Mark II
Canon M100« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 6.1 Y n Canon M100
Canon SL2« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon SL2
Canon SX730« »- n 3.0 922 tilting n 3200 5.9 Y Y Canon SX730
Canon T7i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 6.0 Y n Canon T7i
Canon 80D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 8000 7.0 Y n Canon 80D
Canon G9 X« »- n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 2000 6.0 Y Y Canon G9 X
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 70D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 8000 7.0 Y n Canon 70D
Fujifilm XF10« »- n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 4000 6.0 Y n Fujifilm XF10
Panasonic FZ1000« »2359 n 3.0 921 swivel n 4000 12.0 Y Y Panasonic FZ1000
Sony HX400V« »210 n 3.0 921 tilting n 4000 10.0 Y Y Sony HX400V

One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The G3X has a touchscreen, while the SX70 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.

Both the SX70 and the G3X have zoom lenses build in. The SX70 has a 21-1365mm f/3.4-6.5 optic and the G3X offers a 24-600mm f/2.8-5.6 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the SX70 provides a wider angle of view at the short end, as well as more tele-photo reach at the long end than the G3X. The G3X offers the faster maximum aperture.

Both the SX70 and the G3X 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 SX70»-stereomonoY-micro2.0Y-YCanon SX70
Canon G3 X«YstereomonoYYmini2.0YY-Canon G3 X
Canon SX740« »-stereomono--micro2.0YYYCanon SX740
Canon 77D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYCanon 77D
Canon G9 X Mark II« »-stereomono--micro2.0YYYCanon G9 X Mark II
Canon M100« »-stereomono--mini2.0YYYCanon M100
Canon SL2« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYCanon SL2
Canon SX730« »-stereomono--micro2.0YYYCanon SX730
Canon T7i« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYCanon T7i
Canon 80D« »YstereomonoYYmini2.0YY-Canon 80D
Canon G9 X« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Canon G9 X
Canon G7 X« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Canon G7 X
Canon SX60« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon SX60
Canon 70D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y--Canon 70D
Fujifilm XF10« »-stereomonoY-micro2.0Y-YFujifilm XF10
Panasonic FZ1000« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0YY-Panasonic FZ1000
Sony HX400V« »Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony HX400V

Both the SX70 and the G3X are recent models that feature in their makers' current product line-up. The SX70 replaced the earlier Canon SX60 , while the G3X does not have a direct predecessor.

Review summary: Canon SX70 vs Canon G3 X

So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Canon SX70 or the Canon G3 X – has the upper hand? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Advantages of the Canon PowerShot SX70 HS:

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 8 vs DIGIC 6).
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60p).
  • 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.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 5.9 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • 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.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 125g or 17 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (45 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 3 years and 3 months of technical progress since the G3X launch.


Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot G3 X:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Better sound control: Has a headphone port that enables audio monitoring while recording.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1620k vs 922k dots).
  • Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/2.8 vs f/3.4).
  • More compact: Is smaller (123x77mm vs 127x91mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
  • Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in June 2015).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the SX70 comes out slightly ahead of the G3X (12 : 11 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.

SX70 12:11 G3X

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the SX70 or the G3X. 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 following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The full reviews are available 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 SX70»----- Sep 2018 549 i i Canon SX70
Canon G3 X«Rec-4.5/53.5/54/5 Jun 2015 999 i i Canon G3 X
Canon SX740« »Rec-4/5-4/5 Jul 2018 399 i i Canon SX740
Canon 77D« »-82/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Feb 2017 899 i i Canon 77D
Canon G9 X Mark II« »-75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2017 529 i i Canon G9 X Mark II
Canon M100« »Rec-4/5-3.5/5 Aug 2017 499 i i Canon M100
Canon SL2« »HiRec78/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2017 549 i i Canon SL2
Canon SX730« »Rec-4/5-4/5 Apr 2017 399- i Canon SX730
Canon T7i« »-80/1004.5/54/54/5 Feb 2017 749 i i Canon T7i
Canon 80D« »HiRec84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2016 1,199 i i Canon 80D
Canon G9 X« »HiRec-4.5/54/54.5/5 Oct 2015 529- i Canon G9 X
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 70D« »HiRec83/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Jul 2013 1,199- i Canon 70D
Fujifilm XF10« »--4/5-4.5/5 Jul 2018 499 i i Fujifilm XF10
Panasonic FZ1000« »HiRec82/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2014 899- i Panasonic FZ1000
Sony HX400V« »HiRec-4/5-4/5 Feb 2014 499 i i Sony HX400V

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, 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 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. If the camera you are interested in is not available, please contact me, and I will try to locate and add the respective data to the application.

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