Two of this year’s best point and shoot cameras are the Canon G1X Mk II and the Sony RX100 Mk III. Both cameras share a decorated lineage and both are aimed at the enthusiast that wants a pocket camera with a large sensor.
But just which one is better?
What you really need to know is that the Canon G1x Mk II has s sensor at the heart that is slightly larger than Micro Four Thirds while the Sony RX100 Mk III has a 1 inch sensor.
First off, these cameras have different sizes. While the Canon G1x Mk II has a nice beefy feel to it, the Rx100 Mk III has a svette and sleek look and feel.They’re both beautiful cameras, but in the end the G1X MK II also has more control dials exactly where it counts. If you want something a bit more pocketable though and prefer to shoot in the more automatic modes like Aperture priority, then you may thoroughly enjoy the Rx100 Mk III.
In the tests that Kevin and I did on the streets of NYC, we found that the sony RX100 Mk III focuses faster than the G1X Mk II and also misses focus much less often. Part of this is due to the smaller sensor with more in focus at a given exposure and aperture, but even when the playing field was levelled the Sony camera tended to outpace its bigger and more robust Canon competitor.
When it comes to build of each camera, the Rx100 Mk III may work better for those of us with smaller paws. But for the man-bear-wolves amongst us all, it may be better to reach for the G1X Mk II. Both cameras have some flaws though: they’re both not the easiest to handhold when out walking around for a day or so. You’ll be happy using a wrist strap with either camera but then again, a great neck strap can also work.
In our tests, Kevin and I walked around NYC’s East Village–a common testing ground for the Phoblographer’s reviews. We metered each scene the exact same and tried to compose along the same regions. While this is an informal test, it still applies much more towards the real life scenarios that we try to test cameras out in.
Here’s where we were quite shocked. On the back of the cameras, the LCDs had us showing that Sony was getting much more detail in the highlights. But then when I brought both files into Adobe Lightroom 5, I wasn’t able to get said highlights back no matter how hard I edited and no matter how much color theory I applied.
However, Canon’s sensor was capable of pulling out lots of details from the shadows. If you tend to overexpose, then you’ll be happier with this.
High ISO Results
As far as high ISO results tend to go, both the Canon G1x Mk II and the Sony RX100 Mk III did a great job for most consumer needs and wants. But the G1X Mk II was able to achieve cleaner high ISO results while the Sony was able to pull more details. The overall reason for extra details on the Sony sensor though is because it is smaller–and therefore more is in focus at a given depth of field.
When it comes to color rendition, Canon tends to take a slight edge though Sony’s RX100 Mk III isn’t a slouch at all. For what it’s worth, we feel that the Canon chip in the G1X Mk II has better color than some of the company’s DSLR cameras. The only thing that can really beat it right now is Sigma and Fujifilm.
The lens on the Sony camera is made in collaboration with Zeiss while the Canon one is made in house with no extra partners. Canon’s G1x Mk II has comparable bokeh to the Sony RX100 Mk III in the right situations. Both cameras have great bokeh overall that you really can’t complain about–though Canon’s bokeh balls are only slightly more round.
It should come at no surprise that since the Sony RX100 Mk II has a smaller sensor, that it can resolve more details in the images. Indeed, Canon G1X Mk II can use a speedlight flash however–which means that it has potential to be able to bring out more specular highlights on its subject.
So which one is better for you?
To be honest, if you just want to capture great street scenes, either can works. However, the RX100 Mk III is what we’d recommend to the street photography crowd. In fact, you’ll probably never miss a shot.
If you want overall better image quality though, then the G1X Mk III takes the cake.
It’s avery tough decision and ultimately may come down to what your ergonomic preferences are.