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Sony RX100 III versus Canon G9 X Mark II

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III and the Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in May 2014 and January 2017. Both the RX100 III and the G9X Mark II 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 Mark II

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Sony RX100 III 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 width, height and depth measures 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 RX100 III – represents the basis or 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Sony RX100 III vs Canon G9 X Mark II
Compare RX100 III versus G9X Mark II top
Compare RX100 III and G9X 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 G9 X Mark II is somewhat smaller (4 percent) than the Sony RX100 III. Moreover, the G9X Mark II is markedly lighter (29 percent) than the RX100 III. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the RX100 III nor the G9X Mark II are weather-sealed.

Concerning battery life, the RX100 III gets 320 shots out of its NP-BX1 battery, while the G9X Mark II can take 235 images on a single charge of its NB-13L 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)
Sony RX100 III» 102 mm 58 mm 41 mm 290 g 320 n May 2014 799- i
Canon G9 X Mark II« 98 mm 58 mm 31 mm 206 g 235 n Jan 2017 529 i i
Canon 2000D« » 129 mm 101 mm 78 mm 475 g 500 n Feb 2018 449 i i
Canon 200D« » 122 mm 93 mm 70 mm 453 g 650 n Jun 2017 549 i i
Canon M100« » 108 mm 67 mm 35 mm 302 g 295 n Aug 2017 499 i i
Canon G9 X« » 98 mm 58 mm 31 mm 209 g 220 n Oct 2015 529- i
Canon M10« » 108 mm 67 mm 35 mm 301 g 255 n Oct 2015 499- i
Canon G5 X« » 112 mm 76 mm 44 mm 353 g 210 n Oct 2015 799 i i
Canon G7 X« » 103 mm 60 mm 40 mm 304 g 210 n Sep 2014 699- i
Panasonic FZ1000« » 137 mm 99 mm 131 mm 831 g 360 n Jun 2014 899- i
Ricoh GR II« » 117 mm 63 mm 35 mm 251 g 320 n Jun 2015 699- i
Ricoh GR« » 117 mm 61 mm 35 mm 245 g 290 n Apr 2013 799- i
Sony RX100 V« » 102 mm 58 mm 41 mm 299 g 220 n Oct 2016 999 i i
Sony RX100 IV« » 102 mm 58 mm 41 mm 298 g 280 n Jun 2015 999- i
Sony A5100« » 110 mm 63 mm 36 mm 283 g 400 n Aug 2014 549 i i
Sony RX100 II« » 102 mm 58 mm 38 mm 281 g 350 n Jun 2013 749- i
Sony RX100« » 102 mm 58 mm 36 mm 240 g 330 n Jun 2012 649- 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. The G9X Mark II 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 Mark II

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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 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.

Sony RX100 III and Canon G9 X Mark II sensor measures

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 Mark II have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the G9X Mark II is much more recent (by 2 years and 7 months) than the RX100 III, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time.

RX100 III versus G9X 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 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
Sony RX100 III» 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.412.349567
Canon G9 X Mark II« 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.912.552265
Canon 2000D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.611.9100971
Canon 200D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.4104179
Canon M100« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.512.9127278
Canon G9 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.512.349563
Canon M10« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.475365
Canon G5 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p----
Canon G7 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p23.012.755671
Panasonic FZ1000« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.111.751764
Ricoh GR II« » APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.613.7107880
Ricoh GR« » APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.613.597278
Sony RX100 V« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.458670
Sony RX100 IV« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.659170
Sony A5100« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.812.7134780
Sony RX100 II« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.512.448367
Sony RX100« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.612.439066

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, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/60p).

 

Feature comparison: Sony RX100 III vs Canon G9 X Mark II

Apart from 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 Mark II relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Sony RX100 III and Canon G9 X Mark II in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras. If you need more detail on the specs, you can find comprehensive listings, 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
Sony RX100 III»1440 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 2000 10.0 Y Y
Canon G9 X Mark II«- n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 2000 8.2 Y Y
Canon 2000D« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n
Canon 200D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n
Canon M100« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 6.1 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
Canon G5 X« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 2000 5.9 Y Y
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 Mark II have zoom lenses build in. The RX100 III has a 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8 optic and the G9X Mark II 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.

The G9X Mark II is a current model that online retailers, such as amazon, will have in stock. In contrast, the RX100 III has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the RX100 III was succeeded by the Sony RX100 IV.

Review summary: Sony RX100 III vs Canon G9 X Mark II

So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Sony RX100 III or the Canon G9 X Mark II – has the upper hand? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Reasons to prefer the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III:

  • 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 8.2 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 235) on a single battery charge.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in May 2014).

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Advantages of the Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II:

  • 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 84g or 29 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (34 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years and 7 months of technical progress since the RX100 III launch.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the RX100 III emerges as the winner of the contest (8 : 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.

RX100 III 08:05 G9X Mark II

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the RX100 III or the G9X 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 table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known 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)
Sony RX100 III»HiRec82/1004.5/54.5/55/5 May 2014 799- i
Canon G9 X Mark II«-75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2017 529 i i
Canon 2000D« »rev-3.5/5-3.5/5 Feb 2018 449 i i
Canon 200D« »HiRec78/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2017 549 i i
Canon M100« »Rec-4/5-3.5/5 Aug 2017 499 i i
Canon G9 X« »HiRec-4.5/54/54.5/5 Oct 2015 529- i
Canon M10« »---rev4/5 Oct 2015 499- i
Canon G5 X« »HiRec78/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Oct 2015 799 i i
Canon G7 X« »HiRec77/1004.5/53.5/54.5/5 Sep 2014 699- i
Panasonic FZ1000« »HiRec82/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2014 899- i
Ricoh GR II« »--4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 699- i
Ricoh GR« »-79/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Apr 2013 799- i
Sony RX100 V« »HiRec83/1004/55/54.5/5 Oct 2016 999 i i
Sony RX100 IV« »HiRec85/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 999- i
Sony A5100« »Rec-4.5/54.5/55/5 Aug 2014 549 i i
Sony RX100 II« »HiRec79/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jun 2013 749- i
Sony RX100« »HiRec78/1004/55/55/5 Jun 2012 649- 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. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

 

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make your choice using the following search menu. 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, kindly get in touch, and I will try to add information on that model to the database.

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