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Panasonic G10 versus Canon G16

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-G10 and the Canon PowerShot G16 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in March 2010 and August 2013. The G10 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the G16 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on a Four Thirds (G10) and a 1/1.7-inch (G16) sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 12 megapixel. 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: Panasonic G10 vs Canon G16

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Panasonic G10 and the Canon G16. 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. 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 side – the G10 – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Panasonic G10 vs Canon G16
Compare G10 versus G16 top
Compare G10 and G16 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon G16 is notably smaller (20 percent) than the Panasonic G10. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G10 nor the G16 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the G16 has a lens build in, whereas the G10 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 G10 and their specifications in the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the G10 gets 380 shots out of its DMW-BLB13 battery, while the G16 can take 360 images on a single charge of its NB-10L power pack.

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 camera comparisons there.

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)
Panasonic G10» 4.9 in 3.3 in 2.9 in 13.7 oz 380 n Mar 2010 499- i
Canon G16« 4.3 in 3.0 in 1.6 in 12.6 oz 360 n Aug 2013 549 i i
Canon G1 X Mark II« » 4.6 in 2.9 in 2.6 in 19.5 oz 240 n Feb 2014 799 i i
Canon SL1« » 4.6 in 3.6 in 2.7 in 14.4 oz 380 n Mar 2013 549- i
Canon G15« » 4.2 in 3.0 in 1.6 in 12.4 oz 350 n Sep 2012 499- i
Canon G12« » 4.4 in 3.0 in 1.9 in 14.1 oz 370 n Sep 2010 499- i
Fujifilm X10« » 4.6 in 2.8 in 2.2 in 12.3 oz 270 n Sep 2011 599- i
Panasonic GF6« » 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.5 in 11.4 oz 340 n Apr 2013 499- i
Panasonic GF5« » 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.5 in 9.4 oz 360 n Apr 2012 499- i
Panasonic LX7« » 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.8 in 10.5 oz 330 n Jul 2012 499- i
Panasonic GF3« » 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.3 in 9.3 oz 300 n Jun 2011 549- i
Panasonic G3« » 4.5 in 3.3 in 1.9 in 11.9 oz 270 n May 2011 599- i
Panasonic GF2« » 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.3 in 10.9 oz 300 n Nov 2010 549- i
Panasonic GH2« » 4.9 in 3.5 in 3.0 in 15.6 oz 330 n Sep 2010 1,499- i
Panasonic G2« » 4.9 in 3.3 in 2.9 in 15.1 oz 360 n Mar 2010 599- i
Panasonic GF1« » 4.7 in 2.8 in 1.4 in 13.6 oz 380 n Sep 2009 749- i
Panasonic G1« » 4.9 in 3.3 in 1.8 in 12.7 oz 410 n Sep 2008 599- i

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.

 

Sensor comparison: Panasonic G10 vs Canon G16

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color depth than smaller pixels 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Panasonic G10 features a Four Thirds sensor and the Canon G16 a 1/1.7-inch sensor. The sensor area in the G16 is 81 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.0 and 4.65. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.

Panasonic G10 and Canon G16 sensor measures

Even though the G10 has a larger sensor, both cameras offer the same resolution of 12 megapixel. This implies that the G10 has a lower pixel density and larger individual pixels (with a pixel pitch of 4.33μm versus 1.87μm for the G16), which gives it a potential advantage in terms of light gathering capacity. It should, however, be noted that the G16 is much more recent (by 3 years and 5 months) than the G10, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that at least partly compensate for the smaller pixel size.

G10 versus G16 MP

For most cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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 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
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Panasonic G10» Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.141152
Canon G16« 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054
Canon G1 X Mark II« » 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 31201080/30p21.510.858158
Canon SL1« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.811.384363
Canon G15« » 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/24p19.911.516546
Canon G12« » 1/1.7 10.0 3648 2736720/24p20.411.216147
Fujifilm X10« » 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/30p20.511.324550
Panasonic GF6« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i20.710.662254
Panasonic GF5« » Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i21.411.661861
Panasonic LX7« » 1/1.7 10.0 3648 27361080/60p20.711.714750
Panasonic GF3« » Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i20.610.045849
Panasonic G3« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i21.010.666756
Panasonic GF2« » Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i21.210.350654
Panasonic GH2« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60i21.211.365560
Panasonic G2« » Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.349353
Panasonic GF1« » Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.351354
Panasonic G1« » Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000-21.110.346353

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the G16 provides a better video resolution than the G10. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the Panasonic is limited to 720/30p.

 

Feature comparison: Panasonic G10 vs Canon G16

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the G10 has an electronic viewfinder (202k dots), while the G16 has an optical one. Both systems have their advantages, with the electronic viewfinder making it possible to project supplementary shooting information into the framing view, whereas the optical viewfinder offers lag-free viewing and a very clear framing image. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Panasonic G10, the Canon G16, and comparable 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
(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
Panasonic G10»202 n 3.0 460 fixed n 4000 2.6 Y n
Canon G16«optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 4000 2.2 Y Y
Canon G1 X Mark II« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 5.2 Y Y
Canon SL1« »optical n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 4000 4.9 Y n
Canon G15« »optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 4000 2.1 Y Y
Canon G12« »optical n 2.8 461 swivel n 4000 1.1 Y Y
Fujifilm X10« »optical n 2.8 460 fixed n 4000 10.0 Y Y
Panasonic GF6« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 4.2 Y n
Panasonic GF5« »- n 3.0 920 fixed Y 4000 4.0 Y n
Panasonic LX7« »- n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 11.0 Y Y
Panasonic GF3« »- n 3.0 460 fixed Y 4000 3.2 Y n
Panasonic G3« »1440 n 3.0 460 swivel Y 4000 4.0 Y n
Panasonic GF2« »- n 3.0 460 fixed Y 4000 2.6 Y n
Panasonic GH2« »1534 n 3.0 460 swivel n 4000 3.0 Y n
Panasonic G2« »1440 n 3.0 460 swivel Y 4000 2.6 Y n
Panasonic GF1« »- n 3.0 460 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n
Panasonic G1« »1440 n 3.0 460 swivel n 4001 3.0 Y n

The G16 is a current model that online retailers, such as amazon, will have in stock. In contrast, the G10 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the G10 was succeeded by the Panasonic G3.

Review summary: Panasonic G10 vs Canon G16

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Panasonic G10 and the Canon G16? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G10:

  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (0.8 stops ISO advantage).
  • More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (2.6 vs 2.2 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More flexible: Accepts interchangeable lenses, so that lens characteristics can be altered.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in March 2010).

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Reasons to prefer the Canon PowerShot G16:

  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (1.6 EV of extra DR).
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (1080/60p vs 720/30p).
  • Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (922k vs 460k dots).
  • Ready to shoot: Has an integrated lens, whereas the G10 necessitates an extra lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (109x76mm vs 124x84mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens build in (unlike the G10).
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology build-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • More modern: Reflects 3 years and 5 months of technical progress since the G10 launch.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the G16 is the clear winner of the contest (9 : 5 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision.

G10 05:09 G16

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 G10 or the G16. 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 detailed reviews can be accessed by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review scores
  Camera cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Panasonic G10»-70/1004/5-4/5 Mar 2010 499- i
Canon G16«Rec-4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i i
Canon G1 X Mark II« »Rec77/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 799 i i
Canon SL1« »Rec78/1004/54/54/5 Mar 2013 549- i
Canon G15« »Rec76/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 499- i
Canon G12« »Rec73/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2010 499- i
Fujifilm X10« »-76/1004/53.5/54.5/5 Sep 2011 599- i
Panasonic GF6« »HiRec-4.5/5-4.5/5 Apr 2013 499- i
Panasonic GF5« »--4.5/54/54.5/5 Apr 2012 499- i
Panasonic LX7« »HiRec75/1004/55/54.5/5 Jul 2012 499- i
Panasonic GF3« »82/10071/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Jun 2011 549- i
Panasonic G3« »HiRec75/1004.5/54.5/55/5 May 2011 599- i
Panasonic GF2« »82/10070/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Nov 2010 549- i
Panasonic GH2« »HiRec79/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Sep 2010 1,499- i
Panasonic G2« »-72/1004/54/54.5/5 Mar 2010 599- i
Panasonic GF1« »85/10069/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2009 749- i
Panasonic G1« »HiRec70/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2008 599- i

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings are only valid when refering to cameras in the same category and of the same age. 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 make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting. If you cannot find the camera you are interested in, kindly get in touch, and I will try to add information on that model to the database.

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