Not everyone needs a full frame professional DSLR or a fancy mirrorless camera with interchangeable lenses.
In fact, many beginner and enthusiast photographers simply need something more powerful and capable than their smartphone. A compact camera fits the bill.
The market is flooded with excellent compact cameras from Sony, Canon, Panasonic, Fujifilm, and more.
In this compact camera comparison, we pit two excellent options against one another - the Canon Powershot G9 X Mark II vs the Panasonic DMC-LX100.
Canon Powershot G9 X Mark II Overview
The Canon Powershot G9 X Mark II is a small, lightweight, and slim camera that makes it an ideal for both still photography and videography.
Its 1-inch sensor has 20.1 megapixels of resolution, and paired with Canon’s DIGIC 7 image processor, the camera operates quickly and efficiently.
The Powershot’s sensor has an impressive ability to capture a wide dynamic range, which means your photos will retain detail in both highlighted and shadowed areas. This is aided by the back-illuminated sensor, which helps improve low-light shooting performance.
Image sharpness with this camera is exceptional as well. This is due to several factors, not the least of which is the built-in optical image stabilization system.
The aforementioned DIGIC 7 processor makes this camera a speed demon. It has a lightning-fast startup time so you’re less likely to miss critical shots, and with 8.2 fps continuous shooting, you can capture fast motion in beautiful detail.
Canon has also given this camera enhanced tracking and detection capabilities, which allows the camera to lock onto the subject. Paired with face tracking, this means that you can keep moving subjects in focus with greater ease and minimize blurry, out-of-focus shots.
The wide aperture 28-84mm f/2.0-2.9 zoom lens means you can take photos in low light situations without boosting the ISO. Shooting at a wide aperture like this also enables you to create nice background blur that helps set portrait subjects apart from the rest of the image.
Other features of note in the G9 are Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and NFC, an ISO range of 125-12800 and a 3-inch fixed touchscreen LCD.
Get a full hands-on look at this camera in the video above by Backpacking Videos.
Panasonic DMC-LX100 Overview
Though the DMC-LX100 has been replaced with the DMC-LX100 II, the original version is still a highly capable camera. A look at its specs demonstrates this fact.
Armed with a 12.8-megapixel micro 4/3” sensor, this camera doesn’t have the resolution of the Canon, yet it still produces excellent results with images that are detailed, sharp, and rich in color.
Paired with a 24-75mm Leica DC Vario-Summilux zoom lens, you have the capability of photographing wide-angle landscapes, intimate portraits, street scenes, and even wildlife.
What’s more, with an aperture range of f/1.7-f/2.8, you get excellent low-light performance. The nine-blade aperture also creates smooth background blur.
This camera has manual controls that allow you to take greater initiative in creating your photos. There are dedicated aperture and focus rings, as well as controls for shutter speed and exposure compensation.
This little camera is also a champ with video. With 4K recording capabilities, you can create detail-rich footage. Additionally, when shooting at 30 fps in 4K, each individual frame can be extracted as an 8-megapixel still image.
Unlike the Canon, the Panasonic has a viewfinder, and an electronic one at that. With 2.764-million-dots of resolution, the viewfinder affords you another level of control when composing your images.
Other features of note in the LX100 include 11 fps burst shooting, an ISO range of 200-25600, an optical image stabilization system, and a fixed 3-inch LCD.
See a detailed review of the Panasonic LX100 in the video above by Adam Savage’s Tested.
Canon Powershot G9 X Mark II vs Panasonic DMC-LX100
Canon Powershot G9 X Mark II
When comparing these cameras head-to-head, there are many similarities.
Both cameras have a small form factor and are lightweight. Both also have built-in zoom lenses with comparable focal range and apertures.
Additionally, both cameras have optical image stabilization and similar ISO ranges that give you improved low light performance. Both cameras have Wi-Fi, RAW image support, face detection focus, and manual focusing modes too.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100
NFC is a common feature, as is remote control via a smartphone app. Both cameras also have manual exposure controls, timelapse recording modes, and high-resolution LCDs.
The primary difference between these cameras is the sensor.
In the Canon, you find a more resolute 20-megapixel sensor, which is great if you want to make large prints, but it’s a 1-inch sensor. By comparison, the Panasonic’s sensor is 1.9 times larger. Even though it’s less resolute with 12.8-megapixels, the larger sensor means improved low-light performance and large pixels for better image quality. Larger sensors also give you more control over depth of field.
If action photography is what you’re after, the Panasonic wins. It has a faster maximum shutter speed of 1/4000 seconds (compared to 1/2000 seconds in the Canon) and has a faster burst shooting rate (11 fps vs 8.2 fps).
The fact that the Panasonic has an electronic viewfinder is a big deal as well, especially considering there is no viewfinder in the Canon. As noted earlier, a viewfinder can greatly assist you with composition, and electronic viewfinders provide information and feedback that help you perfect your shots.
The Canon wins out in a few areas, too.
The touchscreen LCD is a nice touch, and it is more resolute than the LCD found on the Panasonic. This is advantageous for inspecting the details of the photos you take. It also means a brighter, crisper display that’s easier to see during daytime shooting.
Furthermore, the Canon has a greater reach with its lens (84mm vs 75mm in the Panasonic), which can make a difference when shooting far-off subjects. The Canon also has Bluetooth and is slightly smaller and lighter than the Panasonic.
Canon Powershot G9 X Mark II and Panasonic DMC-LX100 Prices
These cameras are evenly matched when it comes to features, but the same cannot be said for their prices.
Since price is often the overriding factor for many photographers, the question is, is the Panasonic so much better that it warrants spending an additional $120.00?
For me, the answer to that question is yes.
The Panasonic has a larger sensor, better features for action photography, better ISO performance, and a beautiful electronic viewfinder. Those things alone are enough for me to spend another $120.00.
However, when it comes to image quality, build quality, features, and lens performance, these cameras are very evenly matched. That makes the Canon an excellent choice as well.
In that case, it will likely come down to feel. Get your hands on both cameras, test them out, see how they fit in your hand, and examine their features, controls, and so forth. Sometimes how a camera works and feels can be the deciding factor.