Canon G1X vs. EOS M

Powershot G1X

The Canon Powershot G1X has been launched by Canon as a latest offering from the acclaimed G series of compact cameras. The G1X can boast a 14.3 megapixel CMOS sensor that is much bigger than a four-third at 1.5” and certainly bigger than Nikon’s 1” series. Read more on different sensor sizes here. At a size of around 20% less than most APS-C DSLR’s the camera should theoretically give a much a better result when shooting in lower ISO and more clarity in all lighting conditions. Compared with four-third systems and even 1/ 2.3” systems it is quite bigger. Canon is touting this as a system that should appeal to users who already own a DSLR and is used to bigger sensors, but don’t always fancy carrying a big chunky camera in hand. Speaking of chunky, this camera is quite chunky compared to a standard point and shoot. The built in tele-lens provides a focal length of 15.1 mm to 60.4 mm (in 35mm format equivalent that should be 28mm – 112mm). The G1X offers a lot of manual shooting options that a compact point and shoot does not offer. This is suitable for both a professional DSLR user who is simply using this for not to so serious shooting and for amateur photography enthusiasts who is looking to have a bit more control over his compositions. Maximum aperture is f/2.8 – f/5.8; however don’t expect to get a great bokeh with this piece of camera. Shutter speeds can be adjusted between 1-1/4000th of a second. The camera has a built in flash and an optical viewfinder but the viewfinder is nearly not as comfortable as a DSLR. It is quite small to be useful. The 922,000 dots LCD monitor however gives 100% coverage and is easier to compose shots with. The G1X is fantastic for video shooting. The built in Image Stabilization system is what makes the camera quite shake free even when hand holding your shots (which is likely to be the case with this camera).Read more on Powershot G1X here


Canon’s first foray into MILC is the EOS-M. Compared to the G1X this camera has a big APS-C sized 18 megapixel sensor and the features of this MILC (Mirrorless interchangeable lens camera) is to a large extent similar to the Canon 650D (the Rebel T4i). The two cameras (Canon G1X vs. EOS M) are as different to each other as chalk and cheese but the should appeal to different users. While they both have larger sensors compared to a compact point and shoot, one has the option to use interchangeable lenses the other one does not and has a built-in tele lens. However the EOS-M wins the sensor size battle as it’s sensor is the larger of the two. The EOS-M is going to be a part of Canon’s EOS series cameras, but there is a caveat. Canon’s erstwhile range of EF and EF-S lenses won’t mount without an adapter ring Canon EOS M Mount Adapter on this camera. This one is not yet due for a few more months and when it comes out it will do with two accompanying M mount lenses; the EF-M 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 IS STM and the EF-M 22mm f/2 STM. There are no viewfinders on this camera but a 3” LCD screen with 1,040,000 dots compensates for that. Several additional features should appeal to a serious photographer like the 31 point AF system, 100-12800 ISO setting (expandable to 25600) and full HD video shooting capabilities in 1080p in 30, 24 and 25p. Read more on EOS M here

Who should choose these cameras? While the Powershot G1X has a significantly great performance shooting videos and have a decent sized sensor together with DSLR like features, the EOS-M has a larger sensor for better theoretical image quality, DSLR like superior AF & ability to use entire range of EF lenses. It depends really on what kind of photography you do as both of them are going to be available for just under $800.

Related reading:

Full Frame vs Crop sensor vs Micro 4/3rd Sensors: What are sensor sizes and how they can affect your photographs?