Canon XC10 vs Panasonic GH2
The Canon XC10 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 are two enthusiast cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in April 2015 and September 2010. The XC10 is a fixed lens compact, while the GH2 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on an one-inch (XC10) and a Four Thirds (GH2) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 12 megapixels, whereas the Panasonic provides 15.9 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon XC10 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2? 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.
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon XC10 and the Panasonic GH2. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The GH2 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the XC10 is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic GH2 is notably smaller (12 percent) than the Canon XC10. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the XC10 nor the GH2 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the XC10 has a lens built in, whereas the GH2 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the GH2 and their specifications in the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog.
Concerning battery life, the XC10 gets 370 shots out of its LP-E6N battery, while the GH2 can take 330 images on a single charge of its DMW-BLC12 power pack. The power pack in the XC10 can be charged via the USB port, so that it is not always necessary to take the battery charger along when travelling.
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, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|1.||Canon XC10||125 mm||102 mm||122 mm||1040 g||370||n||Apr 2015||2,499|
|2.||Panasonic GH2||124 mm||90 mm||76 mm||442 g||330||n||Sep 2010||899|
|3.||Canon G7 X Mark II||106 mm||61 mm||42 mm||319 g||265||n||Feb 2016||699|
|4.||Canon G5 X||112 mm||76 mm||44 mm||353 g||210||n||Oct 2015||799|
|5.||Canon G9 X||98 mm||58 mm||31 mm||209 g||220||n||Oct 2015||529|
|6.||Canon G1 X Mark II||116 mm||74 mm||66 mm||553 g||240||n||Feb 2014||799|
|7.||Canon G7 X||103 mm||60 mm||40 mm||304 g||210||n||Sep 2014||699|
|8.||Canon SX60||128 mm||93 mm||114 mm||650 g||340||n||Sep 2014||549|
|9.||Fujifilm X30||119 mm||72 mm||60 mm||423 g||470||n||Aug 2014||599|
|10.||Nikon P900||140 mm||103 mm||137 mm||899 g||360||n||Mar 2015||599|
|11.||Panasonic FZ2000||138 mm||102 mm||135 mm||915 g||350||n||Sep 2016||1,199|
|12.||Panasonic GM5||99 mm||60 mm||36 mm||211 g||220||n||Sep 2014||749|
|13.||Panasonic LX100||115 mm||66 mm||55 mm||393 g||300||n||Sep 2014||899|
|14.||Panasonic G6||122 mm||85 mm||71 mm||390 g||340||n||Apr 2013||599|
|15.||Panasonic GH3||133 mm||93 mm||82 mm||550 g||540||Y||Sep 2012||1,299|
|16.||Panasonic GX1||116 mm||68 mm||39 mm||318 g||320||n||Nov 2011||699|
|17.||Panasonic GH1||124 mm||90 mm||45 mm||385 g||300||n||Mar 2009||899|
|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. 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.
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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 more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon XC10 features an one-inch sensor and the Panasonic GH2 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the GH2 is 83 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.75 and 2.0. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.
In terms of underlying technology, both cameras are build around CMOS sensors.
With 15.9MP, the GH2 offers a higher resolution than the XC10 (12MP), but the GH2 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.76μm versus 3.20μm for the XC10) due to its larger sensor. However, the XC10 is a much more recent model (by 4 years and 6 months) than the GH2, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.
The resolution advantage of the Panasonic GH2 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the GH2 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 23 x 17.3 inches or 58.5 x 43.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 18.4 x 13.8 inches or 46.8 x 35.1 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 15.4 x 11.5 inches or 39 x 29.3 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon XC10 are 20 x 15 inches or 50.8 x 38.1 cm for good quality, 16 x 12 inches or 40.6 x 30.5 cm for very good quality, and 13.3 x 10 inches or 33.9 x 25.4 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Canon XC10 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 160 to ISO 20000. The corresponding ISO settings for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 are ISO 160 to ISO 12800 (no boost).
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
| DXO |
|2.||Panasonic GH2||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60i||21.2||11.3||655||60|
|3.||Canon G7 X Mark II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||..||..||..||..|
|4.||Canon G5 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||..||..||..||..|
|5.||Canon G9 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.5||12.3||495||63|
|6.||Canon G1 X Mark II||1.5-inch||13.0||4160||3120||1080/30p||21.5||10.8||581||58|
|7.||Canon G7 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||23.0||12.7||556||71|
|12.||Panasonic GM5||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60p||22.1||11.7||721||66|
|13.||Panasonic LX100||Four Thirds||12.7||4112||3088||4K/30p||22.3||12.5||553||67|
|14.||Panasonic G6||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||21.3||11.5||639||61|
|15.||Panasonic GH3||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||22.7||12.4||812||71|
|16.||Panasonic GX1||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60p||20.8||10.6||703||55|
|17.||Panasonic GH1||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||1080/24p||21.6||11.6||772||64|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the XC10 provides a higher video resolution than the GH2. It can shoot video footage at 4K/30p, while the Panasonic is limited to 1080/60i.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the GH2 has an electronic viewfinder (1534k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the XC10 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon XC10 and Panasonic GH2 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|3.||Canon G7 X Mark II||none||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||8.0||Y||Y|
|4.||Canon G5 X||2360||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/2000s||5.9||Y||Y|
|5.||Canon G9 X||none||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||6.0||Y||Y|
|6.||Canon G1 X Mark II||optional||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||5.2||Y||Y|
|7.||Canon G7 X||none||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||6.5||Y||Y|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The XC10 has a touchscreen, while the GH2 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.The GH2 has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the XC10 does not have a selfie-screen.
The Canon XC10 has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
The XC10 writes its imaging data to CFast or SDXC cards, while the GH2 uses SDXC cards. The XC10 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the GH2 only has one slot. The XC10 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the GH2 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.
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 XC10 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|3.||Canon G7 X Mark II||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|4.||Canon G5 X||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|5.||Canon G9 X||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|6.||Canon G1 X Mark II||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|7.||Canon G7 X||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
It is notable that the XC10 offers wifi support, while the GH2 does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.
Both the XC10 and the GH2 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The GH2 was replaced by the Panasonic GH3, while the XC10 was followed by the Canon XC15. 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.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon XC10 and the Panasonic GH2? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Arguments in favor of the Canon XC10:
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60i).
- Better sound control: Has a headphone port that enables audio monitoring while recording.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1030k vs 460k dots).
- Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3.8 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the GH2 requires a separate lens.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (370 versus 330) on a single battery charge.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
- More modern: Reflects 4 years and 6 months of technical progress since the GH2 launch.
Advantages of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (15.9 vs 12MP), which boosts linear resolution by 15%.
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
- More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with specialty optics.
- More compact: Is smaller (124x90mm vs 125x102mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in September 2010).
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the XC10 is the clear winner of the match-up (15 : 9 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. 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.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon XC10 and the Panasonic GH2 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom 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 XC10 and the GH2 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.
This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], 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.
|1.||Canon XC10||..||..||80/100||..||..||Apr 2015||2,499|
|2.||Panasonic GH2||5/5||+ +||79/100||4.5/5||5/5||Sep 2010||899|
|3.||Canon G7 X Mark II||4.5/5||+ +||81/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||699|
|4.||Canon G5 X||5/5||+ +||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2015||799|
|5.||Canon G9 X||3.5/5||+ +||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2015||529|
|6.||Canon G1 X Mark II||3/5||+||77/100||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||799|
|7.||Canon G7 X||4/5||+ +||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||699|
|8.||Canon SX60||3/5||+ +||75/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||549|
|9.||Fujifilm X30||4/5||..||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2014||599|
|10.||Nikon P900||..||..||77/100||4/5||4/5||Mar 2015||599|
|11.||Panasonic FZ2000||..||+||82/100||4.5/5||5/5||Sep 2016||1,199|
|12.||Panasonic GM5||3.5/5||+||77/100||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||749|
|13.||Panasonic LX100||5/5||+ +||85/100||5/5||5/5||Sep 2014||899|
|14.||Panasonic G6||4/5||+ +||..||5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2013||599|
|15.||Panasonic GH3||5/5||+ +||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||1,299|
|16.||Panasonic GX1||3/5||+||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Nov 2011||699|
|17.||Panasonic GH1||..||+ +||72/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2009||899|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, 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 comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
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 use the search menu below. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
Specifications: Canon XC10 vs Panasonic GH2
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 Model||Canon XC10||Panasonic GH2|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||24-240mm f/2.8-5.6||Micro Four Thirds lenses|
|Launch Date||April 2015||September 2010|
|Launch Price||USD 2,499||USD 899|
|Sensor Specs||Canon XC10||Panasonic GH2|
|Sensor Format||1" Sensor||Four Thirds Sensor|
|Sensor Size||12.8 x 9.6 mm||17.3 x 13.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||122.88 mm2||224.9 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||16 mm||21.6 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||12 Megapixels||15.9 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4000 x 3000 pixels||4608 x 3456 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||3.20 μm||3.76 μm|
|Pixel Density||9.77 MP/cm2||7.08 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||4K/30p Video||1080/60i Video|
|ISO Setting||160 - 20,000 ISO||160 - 12,800 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC DV5||Venus FHD|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||60|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||21.2|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||11.3|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||655|
|Screen Specs||Canon XC10||Panasonic GH2|
|Viewfinder Type||no viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||1534k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||1030k dots||460k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Swivel screen|
|Touch Input||Touchscreen||no Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon XC10||Panasonic GH2|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||no Peaking Feature|
|Continuous Shooting||3.8 shutter flaps/s||3 shutter flaps/s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||no Intervalometer|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||CFAST or SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Dual card slots||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon XC10||Panasonic GH2|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||External MIC port|
|Headphone Socket||Headphone port||no Headphone port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||no Wifi|
|Near-Field Communication||NFC built-in||no NFC|
|Body Specs||Canon XC10||Panasonic GH2|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||370 shots per charge||330 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||no USB charging|
125 x 102 x 122 mm
(4.9 x 4.0 x 4.8 in)
124 x 90 x 76 mm
(4.9 x 3.5 x 3.0 in)
|Camera Weight||1040 g (36.7 oz)||442 g (15.6 oz)|
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