Canon PowerShot G1 X – DSLR quality in a compact camera body
Canon has unveiled the PowerShot G1 X, the latest camera in the successful and popular Canon G-Series line up. With a sensor 6.3x larger than that found on the Canon G12 predecessor, it promises dSLR quality photos from a compact camera body.
Digital SLR quality photos on the Canon PowerShot G1 X
Like previous Canon PowerShot G-Series cameras, the G1 X offers a host of manual controls so you can get the best out of your photography. The 14.3Mp CMOS sensor in the new Canon G1 X, however, is far larger than the sensors found in earlier models, and is actually larger than the sensors found inside Panasonic and Olympus’s micro-four-thirds cameras.
The larger sensor will improve the camera’s low-light performance, and offer a more pronounced depth of field.
The Canon PowerShot G1 X is powered by the latest DIGIC 5 processor, which Canon claims will allow the camera to rattle off 4.5 full resolution shots per second – with a limit to six shots per burst. Alternatively, you can shoot at 1.9 frames per second until the memory card is full.
Canon PowerShot G-Series retains optical viewfinder
The 3-inch LCD on the rear can be twisted to offer more comfortable composition when shooting from awkward angles – such as below or above head height. The 920k dot resolution screen provides sharp reproductions of what the camera is seeing, however an optical viewfinder is also available for those who prefer not to compose shots at arm’s length.
The Canon G1 X provides a 4x optical zoom ranging from 28-112mm. Alongside still images, the new Canon G1 X captures video at 1080p resolution.
The Canon PowerShot G1 X shall go on sale towards the end of February for around £700. Which? will be offering its UK readers the chance to win a Canon PowerShot G1 X in the coming months, so watch this space for more details.
Canon PowerShot G1 X – Rich’s first impressions
Rich Parris – Digital Camera expert for Which?
In all truth, even reading over the specs for the Canon G1 X had my mouth watering, so getting my hands on a model was always going to be cause for excitement.
The first thing that struck me picking up the G1 X was just how much it felt like any other recent model from the PowerShot G-series.
Hearing about that 1.5-inch sensor, I was certain that the camera body would have to be bulkier to house it. Not so. The G1 X feels barely any larger than the Canon G12, and by all accounts weighs only 5g more.
Though the model I tried out wasn’t the finished article, the shots I took in dim indoor light looked clean, sharp and low on noise – exactly what you’d hope for from a larger image sensor.
The ISO dial has been lost from the top of the camera, but other than that, the G1 X has all the direct access controls you’d expect from this series. For a DSLR owner looking for a worthy back-up camera, this could be just the ticket.
Any flaws? Well, for me that optical viewfinder could still be improved. It’s the same squint-for-all-your-life window found on the other G-series cameras, and for a model with these specs (and rumoured £700 price point), I’d hope for better. Fujifilm showed how to do a quality compact optical viewfinder with the Fujifilm Finepix X10, and Canon would do well to learn from this example.
What I loved most about the G1 X was its place in the camera world. Canon didn’t try to make a system camera for the sake of it, and I’m actually really pleased that this is an all-in-one model rather than an interchangeable lens system. If the Canon G1 X can deliver the picture quality it promises, then you won’t need a kit bag or a second lens for it – this could be the jacket-pocket camera many of us have always been waiting for.
The small size of the Nikon 1 sensor worried me when it was announced, and it’s to Canon’s huge credit that the G1 X somehow combines a compact 4x zoom with a sensor that’s even larger than the Panasonic/Olympus micro-four-thirds (and much larger than the Nikon 1 sensor), all in a camera body that can still realistically be called “compact”.
I can’t wait to get this model to the Which? test lab and put it through its paces. On paper, it’s a winner. In my hands, it was lovely. In the lab? I have very high hopes indeed.
- Enter our competition to win a Canon PowerShot G1 X
- Canon PowerShot G-Series history
- Read the full review of the Canon G12 in our bridge camera report
- Keep up-to-date with all the latest CES 2012 announcement
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