PW

Pentax K-1 II versus Canon G1 X Mark II

The Pentax K-1 II and the Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II are two enthusiast cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in February 2018 and February 2014. The K-1 II is a DSLR, while the G1X Mark II is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on a full frame (K-1 II) and an 1.5-inch (G1X Mark II) sensor. The Pentax has a resolution of 36.2 megapixel, whereas the Canon provides 13 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: Pentax K-1 II vs Canon G1 X Mark II

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Pentax K-1 II and the Canon G1 X Mark II 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 toggle the display 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 K-1 II – represents the basis or 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Pentax K-1 II vs Canon G1 X Mark II
Compare K-1 II versus G1X Mark II top
Compare K-1 II and G1X Mark II rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon G1 X Mark II is considerably smaller (43 percent) than the Pentax K-1 II. It is worth mentioning in this context that the K-1 II is splash and dust resistant, while the G1X Mark II does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the G1X Mark II has a lens build in, whereas the K-1 II is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup.

Concerning battery life, the K-1 II gets 670 shots out of its D-LI90 battery, while the G1X Mark II can take 240 images on a single charge of its NB-12L 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
Pentax K-1 II» 5.4 in 4.3 in 3.4 in 35.6 oz 670 Y Feb 2018 1,999 i i Pentax K-1 II
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 G1 X Mark II
Canon R« » 5.5 in 3.9 in 3.3 in 23.3 oz 370 Y Sep 2018 2,299 i i Canon R
Canon T6s« » 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.9 oz 440 n Feb 2015 849- i Canon T6s
Canon G16« » 4.3 in 3.0 in 1.6 in 12.6 oz 360 n Aug 2013 549 i i Canon G16
Canon G1 X« » 4.6 in 3.2 in 2.6 in 18.8 oz 250 n Jan 2012 799- i Canon G1 X
Canon T1i« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.3 oz 400 n Mar 2009 799- i Canon T1i
Nikon Z6« » 5.3 in 4.0 in 2.6 in 23.8 oz 310 Y Aug 2018 1,999 i i Nikon Z6
Olympus E-5« » 5.6 in 4.6 in 3.0 in 30.8 oz 750 Y Sep 2010 1,699- i Olympus E-5
Panasonic GH5« » 5.5 in 3.9 in 3.4 in 25.6 oz 410 Y Jan 2017 1,999 i i Panasonic GH5
Panasonic LX100« » 4.5 in 2.6 in 2.2 in 13.9 oz 300 n Sep 2014 899 i i Panasonic LX100
Pentax K-1« » 5.4 in 4.3 in 3.4 in 35.6 oz 760 Y Feb 2016 1,799- i Pentax K-1
Sony A7 III« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.9 in 22.9 oz 610 Y Feb 2018 1,999 i i Sony A7 III
Sony A7R III« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.9 in 22.9 oz 650 Y Oct 2017 3,199 i i Sony A7R III
Sony RX10 IV« » 5.2 in 3.7 in 5.7 in 38.6 oz 400 Y Sep 2017 1,699 i i Sony RX10 IV
Sony A99 II« » 5.6 in 4.1 in 3.0 in 29.9 oz 490 Y Sep 2016 3,199 i i Sony A99 II
Sony A850« » 6.1 in 4.6 in 3.2 in 31.6 oz 880 Y Aug 2009 1,999- i Sony A850

The camera’s price is obviously a critical decision-making factor. 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 G1X Mark II was launched at a lower price than the K-1 II, 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: Pentax K-1 II vs Canon G1 X Mark II

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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 Pentax K-1 II features a full frame sensor and the Canon G1 X Mark II an 1.5-inch sensor. The sensor area in the G1X Mark II is 70 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.0 and 1.85. The sensor in the K-1 II has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the G1X Mark II offers a 4:3 aspect.

In terms of underlying technology, both cameras are build around CMOS sensors.

Pentax K-1 II and Canon G1 X Mark II sensor measures

With 36.2MP, the K-1 II offers a higher resolution than the G1X Mark II (13MP), but the K-1 II nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.88μm versus 4.49μm for the G1X Mark II) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the K-1 II is a somewhat more recent model (by 4 years) than the G1X Mark II, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the K-1 II has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

Unlike the G1X Mark II, the K-1 II has the capacity to capture high quality composite images by combining multiple shots after shifting its sensor by miniscule distances. This multi-shot, pixel-shift mode is most suitable for photography of stationary objects (landscapes, studio scenes).

K-1 II versus G1X Mark II 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
Pentax K-1 II» Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/60i----Pentax K-1 II
Canon G1 X Mark II« 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 31201080/30p21.510.858158Canon G1 X Mark II
Canon R« » Full Frame 30.1 6720 44804K/30p----Canon R
Canon T6s« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570Canon T6s
Canon G16« » 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054Canon G16
Canon G1 X« » 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.864460Canon G1 X
Canon T1i« » APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363Canon T1i
Nikon Z6« » Full Frame 24.3 6048 40244K/30p----Nikon Z6
Olympus E-5« » Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024720/30p21.610.551956Olympus E-5
Panasonic GH5« » Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/60p23.913.080777Panasonic GH5
Panasonic LX100« » Four Thirds 12.7 4112 30884K/30p22.312.555367Panasonic LX100
Pentax K-1« » Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/60i25.414.6328096Pentax K-1
Sony A7 III« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p25.014.7373096Sony A7 III
Sony A7R III« » Full Frame 42.2 7952 53044K/30p26.014.73523100Sony A7R III
Sony RX10 IV« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p----Sony RX10 IV
Sony A99 II« » Full Frame 42.2 7952 53044K/30p25.413.4231792Sony A99 II
Sony A850« » Full Frame 24.4 6048 4032-23.812.2141579Sony A850

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 K-1 II provides a higher frame rate than the G1X Mark II. It can shoot video footage at 1080/60i, while the Canon is limited to 1080/30p.

 

Feature comparison: Pentax K-1 II vs Canon G1 X Mark II

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the K-1 II has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the G1X Mark II relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the G1X Mark II can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the EVF-DC1. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Pentax K-1 II and Canon G1 X Mark II 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
Pentax K-1 II»optical Y 3.2 1037 full-flex n 8000 4.4 n Y Pentax K-1 II
Canon G1 X Mark II«- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 5.2 Y Y Canon G1 X Mark II
Canon R« »3690 n 3.2 2100 swivel Y 8000 8.0 n n Canon R
Canon T6s« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon T6s
Canon G16« »optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 4000 2.2 Y Y Canon G16
Canon G1 X« »optical n 3.0 922 Swivel n 4000 1.9 Y Y Canon G1 X
Canon T1i« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 3.4 Y n Canon T1i
Nikon Z6« »3690 Y 3.2 2100 tilting Y 8000 12.0 n Y Nikon Z6
Olympus E-5« »optical Y 3.0 920 swivel n 8000 5.0 Y Y Olympus E-5
Panasonic GH5« »3680 n 3.2 1620 swivel Y 8000 12.0 n Y Panasonic GH5
Panasonic LX100« »2764 n 3.0 921 fixed n 4000 11.0 n Y Panasonic LX100
Pentax K-1« »optical Y 3.2 1037 full-flex n 8000 4.4 n Y Pentax K-1
Sony A7 III« »2359 n 3.0 922 tilting Y 8000 10.0 n Y Sony A7 III
Sony A7R III« »3686 n 3.0 1440 tilting Y 8000 10.0 n Y Sony A7R III
Sony RX10 IV« »2359 Y 3.0 1440 tilting Y 2000 24.0 Y Y Sony RX10 IV
Sony A99 II« »2400 Y 3.0 1229 full-flex n 8000 12.0 n Y Sony A99 II
Sony A850« »optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 8000 3.0 n Y Sony A850

One feature that is present on the K-1 II, but is missing on the G1X Mark II is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.

Both the K-1 II and the G1X Mark II write their imaging data to SDXC cards. The K-1 II features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the G1X Mark II only has one slot.

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
Pentax K-1 II»YstereomonoYYmicro2.0Y--Pentax K-1 II
Canon G1 X Mark II«Ystereomono--mini2.0YY-Canon G1 X Mark II
Canon R« »YstereomonoY-mini3.1Y-YCanon R
Canon T6s« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon T6s
Canon G16« »Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--Canon G16
Canon G1 X« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Canon G1 X
Canon T1i« »Ymonomono--mini2.0---Canon T1i
Nikon Z6« »YstereomonoYYmicro3.1Y-YNikon Z6
Olympus E-5« »Ystereo---mini2.0---Olympus E-5
Panasonic GH5« »YstereomonoYYfull3.1Y-YPanasonic GH5
Panasonic LX100« »Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-Panasonic LX100
Pentax K-1« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0Y--Pentax K-1
Sony A7 III« »YstereomonoYYmicro3.1YYYSony A7 III
Sony A7R III« »YstereomonoYYmicro3.1YYYSony A7R III
Sony RX10 IV« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony RX10 IV
Sony A99 II« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YYYSony A99 II
Sony A850« »Y----mini2.0---Sony A850

Both the K-1 II and the G1X Mark II are current models that good online retailers will have in stock. You can check the latest prices, for example, at amazon. The G1X Mark II replaced the earlier Canon G1 X, while the K-1 II followed on from the Pentax K-1.

Review summary: Pentax K-1 II vs Canon G1 X Mark II

So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Pentax K-1 II or the Canon G1 X Mark II – has the upper hand? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

ilogo

Advantages of the Pentax K-1 II:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (36.2 vs 13MP) with a 70% higher linear resolution.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • High quality composites: Can combine several shots after pixel-shifting its sensor.
  • Better image quality: Features a larger and more technologically advanced imaging sensor.
  • Richer colors: Larger sensor generates images with better, more accurate colors.
  • More dynamic range: Capable of capturing a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can be used in poorly lit environments and still produce good images.
  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60i versus 1080/30p).
  • Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
  • Better sound control: Has a headphone port that enables audio monitoring while recording.
  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image framing and settings control.
  • Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
  • More flexible LCD: Has full-flex screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (8000/sec vs 4000/sec) to freeze action.
  • More flexible: Can take a variety of interchangeable lenses, including specialty optics.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (670 versus 240) on a single battery charge.
  • Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
  • Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
  • More modern: Reflects 4 years of technical progress since the G1X Mark II launch.

ilogo

Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5.2 vs 4.4 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with an integrated lens, while the K-1 II requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (116x74mm vs 137x110mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens build in (unlike the K-1 II).
  • Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a build-in lens.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in February 2014).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the K-1 II is the clear winner of the match-up (20 : 10 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.

K-1 II 20:10 G1X Mark II

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 K-1 II or the G1X Mark II. 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
Pentax K-1 II»-79/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Feb 2018 1,999 i i Pentax K-1 II
Canon G1 X Mark II«Rec77/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 799 i i Canon G1 X Mark II
Canon R« »rev-4.5/5-4/5 Sep 2018 2,299 i i Canon R
Canon T6s« »Rec77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 849- i Canon T6s
Canon G16« »Rec-4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i i Canon G16
Canon G1 X« »Rec76/1004/54/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799- i Canon G1 X
Canon T1i« »HiRec74/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799- i Canon T1i
Nikon Z6« »----- Aug 2018 1,999 i i Nikon Z6
Olympus E-5« »-75/1004/5-4.5/5 Sep 2010 1,699- i Olympus E-5
Panasonic GH5« »HiRec85/1004.5/55/55/5 Jan 2017 1,999 i i Panasonic GH5
Panasonic LX100« »HiRec85/1005/54/55/5 Sep 2014 899 i i Panasonic LX100
Pentax K-1« »-84/1005/54.5/55/5 Feb 2016 1,799- i Pentax K-1
Sony A7 III« »HiRec89/1005/55/55/5 Feb 2018 1,999 i i Sony A7 III
Sony A7R III« »HiRec90/1004.5/55/55/5 Oct 2017 3,199 i i Sony A7R III
Sony RX10 IV« »Rec84/1004.5/5-5/5 Sep 2017 1,699 i i Sony RX10 IV
Sony A99 II« »-85/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2016 3,199 i i Sony A99 II
Sony A850« »-75/100-4/54.5/5 Aug 2009 1,999- i Sony A850

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.

~

    You are here  »   »