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Canon T1i vs Panasonic GX1

The Canon EOS Rebel T1i (called Canon 500D in some regions) and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in March 2009 and November 2011. The T1i is a DSLR, while the GX1 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on an APS-C (T1i) and a Four Thirds (GX1) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 15.1 megapixels, whereas the Panasonic provides 15.8 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Canon T1i
versus
Panasonic GX1
Canon T1i   Panasonic GX1
Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
Canon EF mount lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
15.1 MP, APS-C Sensor 15.8 MP, Four Thirds Sensor
1080/20p Video 1080/60p Video
ISO 100-6,400 (100 - 12,800) ISO 160-12,800
Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
3.0 LCD, 920k dots 3.0 LCD, 460k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed touchscreen
3.4 shutter flaps per second 4.2 shutter flaps per second
400 shots per battery charge320 shots per battery charge
129 x 98 x 62 mm, 520 g 116 x 68 x 39 mm, 318 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS Rebel T1i and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon T1i and the Panasonic GX1 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon T1i vs Panasonic GX1
Compare T1i versus GX1 top
Comparison T1i or GX1 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic GX1 is considerably smaller (38 percent) than the Canon T1i. Moreover, the GX1 is substantially lighter (39 percent) than the T1i. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the T1i nor the GX1 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. A larger imaging sensor will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, although exceptions exist. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Canon EF Lens Catalog (T1i) and the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog (GX1). Mirrorless cameras, such as the GX1, have moreover the advantage that they can use many lenses from other systems via adapters, as they have a relatively short flange to focal plane distance.

Concerning battery life, the T1i gets 400 shots out of its LP-E5 battery, while the GX1 can take 320 images on a single charge of its DMW-BLD10 power pack.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras there.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon T1i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 n Mar 2009 799i
2.
 
Panasonic GX1 116 mm 68 mm 39 mm 318 g 320 n Nov 2011 699i
3.
 
Canon T100 129 mm 102 mm 77 mm 436 g 500 n Feb 2018 399 i
4.
 
Canon T6i 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 555 g 440 n Feb 2015 749i
5.
 
Canon T5 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 480 g 500 n Feb 2014 449i
6.
 
Canon T5i 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 580 g 440 n Mar 2013 649i
7.
 
Canon T4i 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849i
8.
 
Canon T3i 133 mm 100 mm 80 mm 570 g 440 n Feb 2011 599i
9.
 
Canon T2i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 530 g 440 n Feb 2010 699i
10.
 
Canon XSi 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 n Jan 2008 799i
11.
 
Canon XTi 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 n Aug 2006 799i
12.
 
Canon XT 127 mm 94 mm 64 mm 540 g 400 n Feb 2005 899i
13.
 
Panasonic G6 122 mm 85 mm 71 mm 390 g 340 n Apr 2013 599i
14.
 
Panasonic GM1 99 mm 55 mm 30 mm 204 g 230 n Oct 2013 749i
15.
 
Panasonic G5 120 mm 83 mm 71 mm 396 g 320 n Jul 2012 599i
16.
 
Panasonic G3 115 mm 84 mm 47 mm 336 g 270 n May 2011 599i
17.
 
Panasonic GH2 124 mm 90 mm 76 mm 442 g 330 n Sep 2010 899i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

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. The GX1 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 13 percent) than the T1i, 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

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. 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 T1i features an APS-C sensor and the Panasonic GX1 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the GX1 is 32 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.6 and 2.0. The sensor in the T1i has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the GX1 offers a 4:3 aspect.

Canon T1i and Panasonic GX1 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the GX1 offers a slightly higher resolution of 15.8 megapixels, compared with 15.1 MP of the T1i. 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 3.77μm versus 4.69μm for the T1i). However, it should be noted that the GX1 is much more recent (by 2 years and 7 months) than the T1i, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.

The Canon EOS Rebel T1i has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 100-12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1 are ISO 160 to ISO 12800 (no boost).

T1i versus GX1 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. Of the two cameras under review, the T1i has a notably higher overall DXO score than the GX1 (overall score 8 points higher), which gives it an advantage in terms of imaging quality. This advantage is based on 0.9 bits higher color depth, 0.9 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.1 stops of reduced low light sensitivity. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

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Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Canon T1i APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363
2.
 
Panasonic GX1 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60p20.810.670355
3.
 
Canon T100 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.469563
4.
 
Canon T6i APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.712.091971
5.
 
Canon T5 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463
6.
 
Canon T5i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.268161
7.
 
Canon T4i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262
8.
 
Canon T3i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.579365
9.
 
Canon T2i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.578466
10.
 
Canon XSi APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.869261
11.
 
Canon XTi APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.066462
12.
 
Canon XT APS-C 8.0 3456 2304none21.810.863760
13.
 
Panasonic G6 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p21.311.563961
14.
 
Panasonic GM1 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i22.311.766066
15.
 
Panasonic G5 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p22.311.964366
16.
 
Panasonic G3 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i21.010.666756
17.
 
Panasonic GH2 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60i21.211.365560
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.

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 GX1 provides a faster frame rate than the T1i. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the Canon is limited to 1080/20p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the T1i has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the GX1 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the GX1 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the DMW-LVF2. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon T1i, the Panasonic GX1, and comparable cameras.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Specifications
(inch/000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Canon T1ioptical n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4 Y n
2.
 
Panasonic GX1optional n3.0 / 460 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.2 Y n
3.
 
Canon T100optical n2.7 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
4.
 
Canon T6ioptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
5.
 
Canon T5optical n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
6.
 
Canon T5ioptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
7.
 
Canon T4ioptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
8.
 
Canon T3ioptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n
9.
 
Canon T2ioptical n3.0 / 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n
10.
 
Canon XSioptical n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
11.
 
Canon XTioptical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
12.
 
Canon XToptical n1.8 / 115 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
13.
 
Panasonic G61440 n3.0 / 1036 swivel Y 1/4000s 7.0 Y n
14.
 
Panasonic GM1none n3.0 / 1036 fixed Y 1/500s 5.0 Y n
15.
 
Panasonic G51440 n3.0 / 920 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
16.
 
Panasonic G31440 n3.0 / 460 swivel Y 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
17.
 
Panasonic GH21534 n3.0 / 460 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n

One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The GX1 has a touchscreen, while the T1i has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.

The T1i writes its imaging data to SDHC cards, while the GX1 uses SDXC cards. The GX1 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the T1i cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.

Connectivity comparison

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 Rebel T1i and Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
    Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Canon T1iYmono / mono--mini2.0---
2.
 
Panasonic GX1Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
3.
 
Canon T100Ymono / mono--mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon T6iYstereo / monoY-mini2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon T5Ymono / mono--mini2.0---
6.
 
Canon T5iYstereo / monoY-mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon T4iYstereo / monoY-mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon T3iYmono / monoY-mini2.0---
9.
 
Canon T2iYstereo / -Y-mini2.0---
10.
 
Canon XSiY- / ---mini2.0---
11.
 
Canon XTiY- / ----2.0---
12.
 
Canon XTY- / ----2.0---
13.
 
Panasonic G6Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0YY-
14.
 
Panasonic GM1-stereo / mono--micro2.0Y--
15.
 
Panasonic G5Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
16.
 
Panasonic G3Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
17.
 
Panasonic GH2Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0---

Both the T1i and the GX1 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The T1i was replaced by the Canon T2i, while the GX1 was followed by the Panasonic GX7. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Panasonic websites.

Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon T1i and the Panasonic GX1? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS Rebel T1i:

  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (8 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (0.9 EV of extra DR).
  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (920k vs 460k dots).
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (400 versus 320) on a single battery charge.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in March 2009).

ilogo

Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1:

  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/20p).
  • Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (4.2 vs 3.4 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More compact: Is smaller (116x68mm vs 129x98mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 202g or 39 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • More legacy lens friendly: Can use many non-native lenses via adapters.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
  • More affordable: Was released into a lower priced segment (13 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years and 7 months of technical progress since the T1i launch.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the GX1 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 before making a decision on a new camera. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

T1i 06:09 GX1

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon T1i and the Panasonic GX1 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the T1i and the GX1 in practical situations. 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.

Expert reviews

This is where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon T1i..+ +..74/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799i
2.
 
Panasonic GX13/5+..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Nov 2011 699i
3.
 
Canon T100..o3/5..3.5/53.5/5 Feb 2018 399 i
4.
 
Canon T6i5/5....75/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749i
5.
 
Canon T53/5+....4/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449i
6.
 
Canon T5i......76/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2013 649i
7.
 
Canon T4i4/5+ +..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849i
8.
 
Canon T3i3/5o..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2011 599i
9.
 
Canon T2i..+ +..77/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699i
10.
 
Canon XSi..+ +..+ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799i
11.
 
Canon XTi..+ +..+ +o4/5 Aug 2006 799i
12.
 
Canon XT..80/100..+ +o.. Feb 2005 899i
13.
 
Panasonic G64/5+ +....5/54.5/5 Apr 2013 599i
14.
 
Panasonic GM13/5+..78/1005/54.5/5 Oct 2013 749i
15.
 
Panasonic G53/5+ +....4.5/54.5/5 Jul 2012 599i
16.
 
Panasonic G33/5+ +..75/1004.5/55/5 May 2011 599i
17.
 
Panasonic GH25/5+ +..79/1004.5/55/5 Sep 2010 899i
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. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, 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.

Canon T1i:
Check Ebay offers
Panasonic GX1:
Check Ebay offers

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 your choice using the following search menu. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Canon T1i vs Panasonic GX1

    Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Canon T1i Panasonic GX1
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date March 2009 November 2011
    Launch Price USD 799 USD 699
    Sensor Specs Canon T1i Panasonic GX1
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor Four Thirds Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.3 x 14.9 mm 17.3 x 13.0 mm
    Sensor Area 332.27 mm2 224.9 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.8 mm 21.6 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 2.0x
    Sensor Resolution 15.1 Megapixels 15.8 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4752 x 3168 pixels 4592 x 3448 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.69 μm 3.77 μm
    Pixel Density 4.53 MP/cm2 7.04 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/20p Video 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 6,400 ISO 160 - 12,800 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 12,800 ISO no Enhancement
    Image Processor DIGIC 4 Venus FHD
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 63 55
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.7 20.8
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.5 10.6
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 663 703
    Screen Specs Canon T1i Panasonic GX1
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
    Viewfinder Field of View 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.54x
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 920k dots 460k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Touch Input no Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Canon T1i Panasonic GX1
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing Aidno Peaking FeatureFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/4000s 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 3.4 shutter flaps/s 4.2 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDHC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Canon T1i Panasonic GX1
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon T1i Panasonic GX1
    Battery Type LP-E5 DMW-BLD10
    Battery Life (CIPA)400 shots per charge320 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 129 x 98 x 62 mm
    (5.1 x 3.9 x 2.4 in)
    116 x 68 x 39 mm
    (4.6 x 2.7 x 1.5 in)
    Camera Weight 520 g (18.3 oz) 318 g (11.2 oz)

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