Canon has removed the optical viewfinder on the revamped version of its PowerShot G1 X high-end compact, but added a 5x, f/2 aperture, wideangle zoom.

Photographers will have the chance to add an optional £199 electronic viewfinder to the £750, 13.1-million pixel PowerShot G1 X Mark II when it launches in May, however.

The original G1 X – complete with optical viewfinder – cost around £50 less than its successor, announced two years ago.

The move came after Canon received negative customer feedback on the optical viewfinder.

David Parry, from Canon UK’s Product Intelligence Team, explained that concern was raised when part of the camera’s lens was visible through the viewfinder.

This, plus a desire to cut down the size of the new camera, was behind Canon’s decision to remove it completely, given that the new version carries a longer lens.

The EVF accessory carries a resolution of 2.3-million dots and can rotate through 90°.

There is also an articulated 3in (one million dot) LCD touchscreen.

Carrying the same 1.5-type imaging sensor (18.7x14mm) as the original G1 X, improvements include the use of two control rings so users can, if they choose, focus using one, and zoom with the other, for example. Each one can be customised separately.

Key to the design is an ‘ergonomic’ grip, made larger for the European market following customer feedback, said Parry.

Versions launched elsewhere in the world will carry a smaller grip.

The f/2-3.9 (nine-blade aperture) lens is designed to deliver the 35mm viewing angle equivalent of a 24-120mm optic.

Tweaks also include the use of 31 AF points, compared to nine on the G1 X, plus the addition of a manual focus peaking option.

Canon claims the newcomer can focus 42% faster, and that the time for focusing, capture and processing – known as the ‘shooting lag’ – has been cut by 56%.

There is also a 5cm macro mode, and newly installed Wi-Fi and NFC wireless connectivity – allowing smartphones and tablets to be used to control the camera remotely, for example.