Although it’s “just another” compact camera, the Canon G1 X is more exciting than most because, at 1.5 inches (18.7x14mm), its 14.3-megapixel CMOS sensor is only a fraction smaller than the average SLR’s. Also, its pixels are the same size and design as those on the Canon 600D’s sensor. This immediately puts the G1 X ahead of the game and makes it capable of producing high-quality images.
The latest generation Digic 5 image processor drives the camera’s performance, while the Canon 4x optical zoom lens (28–112mm equivalent) with image stabilization incorporates a new design using Ultra High Refractive Index Aspherical (UA) elements for superior image quality. The tech is impressive: a 3-inch, 920,000-dot, articulated LCD; built-in flash; optical viewfinder; full manual control as well as automated shooting modes; a great ISO sensitivity range that tops out at ISO 12800; 1080p movie recording at 24fps; and the ability to shoot raw and JPEG files.
Naturally, the G1 X is a bit larger than the popular $499.99 PowerShot G12, which sits beneath it in Canon’s lineup, but not by as much as you might think. However, it can be squeezed into a coat pocket if the need arises. The G1 X’s stainless steel chassis gives it a robust feel, and one glance at the extensive array of buttons and control dials confirms that this is a camera aimed at serious photographers who need a smaller alternative to an SLR. As these users would expect, Program, Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority, and Manual exposure modes are available, and the exposure mode dial also has automated options for the less experienced user.
Thanks to the large sensor and Canon’s excellent metering and white balance systems, image quality from the G1 X is high. Plenty of detail is captured in both the raw and JPEG files. Noise is controlled well up to ISO 12800, and dynamic range is excellent up to ISO 3200, beyond which it drops quite dramatically.
The bottom line. It’s pricey, but the G1 X impresses on many fronts, with excellent handling and superb image quality.
Specs: 14.3MP resolution; 28-112mm(35mm equivalent) f/2.8-5.8 lens; supports Raw, JPEG, MOV; SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards
Lots of control and auto options. Excellent image quality. Variable angle LCD usable viewfinder.
Bulky for a compact camera.