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I'm confused by the differences in the literature. In short, does the Canon G3X have a larger sensor than the G16?

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Yes, the G3X sensor is larger. From Canon's product pages,

  • The G3X has a 20.2 Megapixel, 1.0-inch CMOS sensor.
  • The G16 has a 12.1 Megapixel, 1/1.7-inch CMOS sensor.

Confusingly, a 1-inch sensor does not directly translate to any dimensional inch. Its nomenclature is a historical holdover from television camera tubes. Roughly, a 1" sensor has an approximately 16mm diagonal. For sensor sizes relative to 1", such as the G16's 1/1.7" sensor, scale accordingly.

Thus, the G3X's sensor is about 16mm diagonal. It has a crop factor relative to 35mm full-frame of 2.72. The G16's sensor is about 9.4mm diagonal. It's 35mm-relative crop factor is 4.55.

Put another way, the G3X's sensor is 1.7 times larger (linearly) than the G16 sensor. It has 1.7² = 2.9 times the area of the G16 sensor.

  • Thank you so much. I was going round in circles. Thanks again. – bobtee178 Oct 29 '17 at 2:45

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