Panasonic GX850 versus Canon G9 X Mark II
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX850 (called Panasonic GX800 in some regions) and the Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II are two digital cameras that were officially introduced in January 2017. The GX850 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the G9X Mark II is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on a Four Thirds (GX850) and an one-inch (G9X Mark II) sensor. The Panasonic has a resolution of 15.8 megapixel, whereas the Canon 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: Panasonic GX850 vs Canon G9 X Mark II
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Panasonic GX850 and the Canon G9 X Mark II is provided in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size 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 side – the GX850 – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon G9 X Mark II is notably smaller (18 percent) than the Panasonic GX850. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the GX850 nor the G9X Mark II are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the G9X Mark II has a lens build in, whereas the GX850 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 GX850 and their specifications in the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog.
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|
|Panasonic GX850»||4.2 in||2.6 in||1.3 in||9.5 oz||210||n||Jan 2017||549|
|Canon G9 X Mark II«||3.9 in||2.3 in||1.2 in||7.3 oz||235||n||Jan 2017||529|
|Canon M100« »||4.3 in||2.6 in||1.4 in||10.7 oz||295||n||Aug 2017||499|
|Canon SL2« »||4.8 in||3.7 in||2.8 in||16.0 oz||650||n||Jun 2017||549|
|Canon M5« »||4.6 in||3.5 in||2.4 in||15.1 oz||295||n||Sep 2016||979|
|Canon G9 X« »||3.9 in||2.3 in||1.2 in||7.4 oz||220||n||Oct 2015||529||-|
|Canon M10« »||4.3 in||2.6 in||1.4 in||10.6 oz||255||n||Oct 2015||499||-|
|Panasonic G7« »||4.9 in||3.4 in||3.0 in||14.5 oz||350||n||May 2015||649||-|
|Panasonic GF7« »||4.2 in||2.6 in||1.3 in||9.4 oz||230||n||Jan 2015||499||-|
|Panasonic GF6« »||4.4 in||2.6 in||1.5 in||11.4 oz||340||n||Apr 2013||499||-|
|Panasonic G6« »||4.8 in||3.3 in||2.8 in||13.8 oz||340||n||Apr 2013||599||-|
|Panasonic GF5« »||4.3 in||2.6 in||1.5 in||9.4 oz||360||n||Apr 2012||499||-|
|Panasonic G5« »||4.7 in||3.3 in||2.8 in||14.0 oz||320||n||Jul 2012||599||-|
|Panasonic GF3« »||4.3 in||2.6 in||1.3 in||9.3 oz||300||n||Jun 2011||549||-|
|Panasonic G3« »||4.5 in||3.3 in||1.9 in||11.9 oz||270||n||May 2011||599||-|
|Panasonic GX1« »||4.6 in||2.7 in||1.5 in||11.2 oz||320||n||Nov 2011||949||-|
|Panasonic GF2« »||4.4 in||2.7 in||1.3 in||10.9 oz||300||n||Nov 2010||549||-|
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 G9X Mark II was launched at a lower price than the GX850, despite having a lens build in. 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 GX850 vs Canon G9 X Mark II
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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 tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Panasonic GX850 features a Four Thirds sensor and the Canon G9 X Mark II an one-inch sensor. The sensor area in the G9X Mark II is 48 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.0 and 2.7. The sensor in the GX850 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the G9X Mark II offers a 3:2 aspect.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the G9X Mark II offers a higher resolution of 20 megapixel, compared with 15.8 MP of the GX850. 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 2.41μm versus 3.77μm for the GX850). It is noteworthy in this context that the two cameras were released in close succession, so that their sensors are from the same technological generation. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the GX850 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for most cameras. 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"). Of the two cameras under review, the GX850 has a notably higher overall DXO score than the G9X Mark II (overall score 8 points higher), which gives it an advantage in terms of imaging quality. This advantage is based on 1.3 bits higher color depth, 0.8 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.2 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|Panasonic GX850»||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||4K/30p||23.2||13.3||586||73|
|Canon G9 X Mark II«||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.9||12.5||522||65|
|Canon M100« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.5||12.9||1272||78|
|Canon SL2« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.6||13.4||1041||79|
|Canon M5« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.4||12.4||1262||77|
|Canon G9 X« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.5||12.3||495||63|
|Canon M10« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||22.2||11.4||753||65|
|Panasonic G7« »||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||4K/30p||-||-||-||-|
|Panasonic GF7« »||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60p||-||-||-||-|
|Panasonic GF6« »||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60i||20.7||10.6||622||54|
|Panasonic G6« »||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||21.3||11.5||639||61|
|Panasonic GF5« »||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60i||21.4||11.6||618||61|
|Panasonic G5« »||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||-||-||-||-|
|Panasonic GF3« »||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60i||20.6||10.0||458||49|
|Panasonic G3« »||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60i||21.0||10.6||667||56|
|Panasonic GX1« »||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60p||20.8||10.6||703||55|
|Panasonic GF2« »||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60i||21.2||10.3||506||54|
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 GX850 provides a higher video resolution than the G9X Mark II. It can shoot video footage at 4K/30p, while the Canon is limited to 1080/60p.
Feature comparison: Panasonic GX850 vs Canon G9 X Mark II
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The GX850 and the G9X Mark II are similar in the sense that neither of the two has a viewfinder. The images are, thus, framed using live view on the rear LCD. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Panasonic GX850 and Canon G9 X Mark II in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras. The full specs-sheets can be found in the camera manual or, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.
|Canon G9 X Mark II«||-||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||2000||8.2||Y||Y|
|Canon M100« »||-||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||4000||6.1||Y||n|
|Canon SL2« »||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||4000||5.0||Y||n|
|Canon M5« »||2360||n||3.2||1620||tilting||Y||4000||9.0||Y||n|
|Canon G9 X« »||-||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||2000||6.0||Y||Y|
|Canon M10« »||-||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||4000||4.6||Y||n|
|Panasonic G7« »||2360||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||4000||7.0||Y||n|
|Panasonic GF7« »||-||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||500||5.8||Y||n|
|Panasonic GF6« »||-||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||4000||4.2||Y||n|
|Panasonic G6« »||1440||n||3.0||1036||swivel||Y||4000||7.0||Y||n|
|Panasonic GF5« »||-||n||3.0||920||fixed||Y||4000||4.0||Y||n|
|Panasonic G5« »||1440||n||3.0||920||swivel||Y||4000||6.0||Y||n|
|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 GX1« »||-||n||3.0||460||fixed||Y||4000||4.2||Y||n|
|Panasonic GF2« »||-||n||3.0||460||fixed||Y||4000||2.6||Y||n|
Both the GX850 and the G9X Mark II are current models that good online retailers will have in stock. You can check the latest prices, for example, at amazon. The GX850 replaced the earlier Panasonic GF7, while the G9X Mark II followed on from the Canon G9 X.
Review summary: Panasonic GX850 vs Canon G9 X Mark II
So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Panasonic GX850 and the Canon G9 X Mark II? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Advantages of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX850:
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (8 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
- Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (1.3 bits more color depth).
- More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (0.8 EV of extra DR).
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60p).
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 8.2 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More flexible: Accepts interchangeable lenses, so that lens characteristics can be altered.
Reasons to prefer the Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (20 vs 15.8MP), which boosts linear resolution by 15%.
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (2000/sec vs 500/sec) to freeze action.
- Ready to shoot: Has an integrated lens, whereas the GX850 necessitates an extra lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (98x58mm vs 107x65mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens build in (unlike the GX850).
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (235 versus 210) out of a single battery charge.
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology build-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a build-in lens.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the G9X Mark II comes out slightly ahead of the GX850 (9 : 8 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.
In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the GX850 or the G9X Mark II handle or perform in practice. 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 where reviews by experts come in. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular 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.
|Panasonic GX850»||Rec||76/100||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||549|
|Canon G9 X Mark II«||-||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||529|
|Canon M100« »||Rec||-||4/5||-||3.5/5||Aug 2017||499|
|Canon SL2« »||HiRec||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2017||549|
|Canon M5« »||Rec||82/100||4/5||4.5/5||4/5||Sep 2016||979|
|Canon G9 X« »||HiRec||-||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Oct 2015||529||-|
|Canon M10« »||-||-||-||rev||4/5||Oct 2015||499||-|
|Panasonic G7« »||HiRec||80/100||5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||May 2015||649||-|
|Panasonic GF7« »||Rec||-||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2015||499||-|
|Panasonic GF6« »||HiRec||-||4.5/5||-||4.5/5||Apr 2013||499||-|
|Panasonic G6« »||HiRec||-||5/5||-||4.5/5||Apr 2013||599||-|
|Panasonic GF5« »||-||-||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Apr 2012||499||-|
|Panasonic G5« »||HiRec||-||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2012||599||-|
|Panasonic GF3« »||82/100||71/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4/5||Jun 2011||549||-|
|Panasonic G3« »||HiRec||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||May 2011||599||-|
|Panasonic GX1« »||Rec||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Nov 2011||949||-|
|Panasonic GF2« »||82/100||70/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Nov 2010||549||-|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, 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 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.
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