Sony RX100 III versus Canon G9 X
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III and the Canon PowerShot G9 X are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in May 2014 and October 2015. Both the RX100 III and the G9X are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with an one-inch sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 20 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: Sony RX100 III vs Canon G9 X
The physical size and weight of the Sony RX100 III and the Canon G9 X are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. If you prefer, you can also use the toggle button to switch to a comparison in percentage terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the RX100 III – represents the basis or 100 percent 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 is somewhat smaller (4 percent) than the Sony RX100 III. Moreover, the G9X is markedly lighter (28 percent) than the RX100 III. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the RX100 III nor the G9X are weather-sealed.
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|
|Sony RX100 III»||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.6 in||10.2 oz||320||n||May 2014||799||-|
|Canon G9 X«||3.9 in||2.3 in||1.2 in||7.4 oz||220||n||Oct 2015||529||-|
|Canon G9 X Mark II« »||3.9 in||2.3 in||1.2 in||7.3 oz||235||n||Jan 2017||529|
|Canon M10« »||4.3 in||2.6 in||1.4 in||10.6 oz||255||n||Oct 2015||499||-|
|Canon M3« »||4.4 in||2.7 in||1.7 in||12.9 oz||250||n||Feb 2015||679||-|
|Canon G5 X« »||4.4 in||3.0 in||1.7 in||12.5 oz||210||n||Oct 2015||799|
|Canon T5« »||5.1 in||3.9 in||3.1 in||16.9 oz||500||n||Feb 2014||449||-|
|Canon G7 X« »||4.1 in||2.4 in||1.6 in||10.7 oz||210||n||Sep 2014||699||-|
|Panasonic FZ1000« »||5.4 in||3.9 in||5.2 in||29.3 oz||360||n||Jun 2014||899||-|
|Ricoh GR II« »||4.6 in||2.5 in||1.4 in||8.9 oz||320||n||Jun 2015||699||-|
|Ricoh GR« »||4.6 in||2.4 in||1.4 in||8.6 oz||290||n||Apr 2013||799||-|
|Sony RX100 V« »||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.6 in||10.5 oz||220||n||Oct 2016||999|
|Sony RX100 IV« »||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.6 in||10.5 oz||280||n||Jun 2015||999||-|
|Sony A5100« »||4.3 in||2.5 in||1.4 in||10.0 oz||400||n||Aug 2014||549|
|Sony RX100 II« »||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.5 in||9.9 oz||350||n||Jun 2013||749||-|
|Sony RX100« »||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.4 in||8.5 oz||330||n||Jun 2012||649||-|
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 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 34 percent) than the RX100 III, which puts it into a different market segment. 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: Sony RX100 III vs Canon G9 X
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. 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 tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Both cameras under consideration feature an one-inch sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 2.7. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 20 megapixel. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the RX100 III and the G9X have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the G9X is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 4 months) than the RX100 III, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time.
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"). Of the two cameras under review, the RX100 III has a notably higher overall DXO score than the G9X (overall score 4 points higher), which gives it an advantage in terms of imaging quality. This advantage is based on 0.9 bits higher color depth, The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|Sony RX100 III»||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.4||12.3||495||67|
|Canon G9 X«||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.5||12.3||495||63|
|Canon G9 X Mark II« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.9||12.5||522||65|
|Canon M10« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||22.2||11.4||753||65|
|Canon M3« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/30p||22.8||11.8||1169||72|
|Canon G5 X« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||-||-||-||-|
|Canon T5« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.9||11.3||724||63|
|Canon G7 X« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||23.0||12.7||556||71|
|Panasonic FZ1000« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.1||11.7||517||64|
|Ricoh GR II« »||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||23.6||13.7||1078||80|
|Ricoh GR« »||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||23.6||13.5||972||78|
|Sony RX100 V« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.4||586||70|
|Sony RX100 IV« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.6||591||70|
|Sony A5100« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.8||12.7||1347||80|
|Sony RX100 II« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.5||12.4||483||67|
|Sony RX100« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.6||12.4||390||66|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/60p).
Feature comparison: Sony RX100 III vs Canon G9 X
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the RX100 III has an electronic viewfinder (1440k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the G9X relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Sony RX100 III and Canon G9 X along with similar information for a selection of comparators. If you need more detail on the specs, you can find comprehensive listings, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.
|Sony RX100 III»||1440||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||2000||10.0||Y||Y|
|Canon G9 X«||-||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||2000||6.0||Y||Y|
|Canon G9 X Mark II« »||-||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||2000||8.2||Y||Y|
|Canon M10« »||-||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||4000||4.6||Y||n|
|Canon M3« »||-||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||4000||4.2||Y||n|
|Canon G5 X« »||2360||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||2000||5.9||Y||Y|
|Canon T5« »||optical||n||3.0||460||fixed||n||4000||3.0||Y||n|
|Canon G7 X« »||-||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||2000||6.5||Y||Y|
|Panasonic FZ1000« »||2359||n||3.0||921||swivel||n||4000||12.0||Y||Y|
|Ricoh GR II« »||-||n||3.0||1230||fixed||n||4000||4.0||Y||n|
|Ricoh GR« »||-||n||3.0||1230||fixed||n||4000||4.0||Y||n|
|Sony RX100 V« »||2359||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||2000||24.0||Y||Y|
|Sony RX100 IV« »||2359||n||3.0||1228||tilting||n||2000||16.0||Y||Y|
|Sony A5100« »||-||n||3.0||922||tilting||Y||4000||6.0||Y||n|
|Sony RX100 II« »||-||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||2000||10.0||Y||Y|
|Sony RX100« »||-||n||3.0||1229||fixed||n||2000||10.0||Y||Y|
Both the RX100 III and the G9X have zoom lenses build in. The RX100 III has a 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8 optic and the G9X offers a 28-84mm f/2.0-4.9 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Sony provides a wider angle of view at the short end than the Canon, but less tele-photo reach at the long end. The RX100 III offers the faster maximum aperture.
Both the RX100 III and the G9X have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The RX100 III was replaced by the Sony RX100 IV, while the G9X was followed by the Canon G9 X Mark II.
Review summary: Sony RX100 III vs Canon G9 X
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Sony RX100 III and the Canon G9 X? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Arguments in favor of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III:
- Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (4 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image framing and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1229k vs 1040k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 6 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/1.8 vs f/2.0).
- Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (320 versus 220) on a single battery charge.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in May 2014).
Advantages of the Canon PowerShot G9 X:
- Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
- More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 81g or 28 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (34 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 4 months) more recently.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the RX100 III is the clear winner of the match-up (9 : 5 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.
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 RX100 III or the G9X handle or perform in practice. 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 table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The full reviews are available by clicking on the site logo in the table header.
|Sony RX100 III»||HiRec||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||May 2014||799||-|
|Canon G9 X«||HiRec||-||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Oct 2015||529||-|
|Canon G9 X Mark II« »||-||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||529|
|Canon M10« »||-||-||-||rev||4/5||Oct 2015||499||-|
|Canon M3« »||rev||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2015||679||-|
|Canon G5 X« »||HiRec||78/100||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Oct 2015||799|
|Canon T5« »||Rec||-||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||449||-|
|Canon G7 X« »||HiRec||77/100||4.5/5||3.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||699||-|
|Panasonic FZ1000« »||HiRec||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2014||899||-|
|Ricoh GR II« »||-||-||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||699||-|
|Ricoh GR« »||-||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2013||799||-|
|Sony RX100 V« »||HiRec||83/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2016||999|
|Sony RX100 IV« »||HiRec||85/100||4/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||999||-|
|Sony A5100« »||Rec||-||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Aug 2014||549|
|Sony RX100 II« »||HiRec||79/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2013||749||-|
|Sony RX100« »||HiRec||78/100||4/5||5/5||5/5||Jun 2012||649||-|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. 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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