G-series vs other Powershots - IQ comparison for beginners

Started Mar 20, 2016 | Discussions thread
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patriot07 Contributing Member • Posts: 789
G-series vs other Powershots - IQ comparison for beginners

FIL is looking for my advice on a new camera. I'm a Nikon DSLR user, and I love my D7100. But I've had great luck with Canon p&s back in the day, and I know the in-laws like Canon more. So I have a few questions for the DPR experts about the differences between them.

They are mainly looking for a camera for family pictures and the FIL wants a quality camera for pictures of the homes he's remodeling so he can eventually build a gallery for his website. Budget is definitely <$400, but preferably <$250, meaning the G9 and G16 are probably the only G-series models in consideration. A huge zoom range isn't desired or necessary. It's really a question of how big the IQ differences are between the two lineups.

When reading Canon specs on sensor size, does 1/1.7" mean (1/1.7*25.4) = 14.94mm? Assuming so, that's a nice step up from entry-level p&s, but still a good bit smaller than even the APS-C/DX sensor size for DSLRs.

I'm mainly comparing the following models:

G9 - $429 - 25mm sensor, 20MP, ISO 125-12,800, 28-84mm FL

G16 - $379 - 15mm sensor, 12MP, ISO 100-12,800, 28-140mm FL

S120 - $449 - 15mm sensor, 12MP, ISO 80-12,800, 28-140mm FL, touch screen

Elph 170 IS - $109 - 11mm sensor, 20MP, ISO 80-1,600, 25-300mm FL

Elph 350 HS - $159 - 11mm sensor, 20MP, ISO 80-3,200, 25-300mm FL

Is the main difference between the expensive ones and the Elph series going to be in low light, or are they going to take noticeably better pictures all the time? Seems to me like the Elph might not be appreciably different quality than a smartphone, but you do get the zoom capability. Are there other models I should be looking at?  What would your recommendation be?

 patriot07's gear list:patriot07's gear list
Nikon D600 Nikon D850 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G Nikon 85mm F1.8G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-85mm F3.5-4.5G ED VR +3 more
Canon PowerShot G16 Canon PowerShot G9 Nikon D7100 Venus Laowa 15mm F4 1:1 Macro
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