Compact quality

l am looking for a compact camera that I can use while travelling and walking around, and I’m considering either the Canon PowerShot G16orGl X. The G1 X appears to be quite an ‘old’ model now, which is reflected in the price drop since it was released – the G16 and G1 X are now comparable in price. I’ve got a Canon EOS-1 D Mark IV that I use for sports photography, so the compact does not need to deliver super-fast focusing or continuous shooting speeds, but is the focusing of the G1 X bad compared to the G16? Is the smaller sensor of theG16 worse for noise as one would expect, or has the newer technology made the difference negligible? In a nutshell, which of them is the best multi-purpose camera (excluding sports), and do the extra features of the G16 trump the image quality of the G1 X, or vice versa? - John White

If image quality is the most important factor, then it’s got to be the G1 X. Although the newer camera, the G16 is essentially still a compact camera, with a sensor size to match. By comparison, the sensor in the G1 X is based on the 18-million-pixel, APS-C-sized sensor used in some Canon DSLRs (albeit at a slightly smaller size). As a result, the G1 X’s image quality is close to that of a DSLR.

The downside is that the G1 X is physically larger (and noticeably heavier). Its zoom range is not quite as expansive (28-112mm equivalent, as opposed to the G16’s 28-140mm equivalent focal-length range), and the maximum aperture is smaller (f/2.8-5.8 vs f/1 8-2.8). However, the fact that you’re considering the G1 X to start with would suggest that these things aren’t necessarily a concern to you, so in that light I’d go for the improved picture quality offered by the G1 X.