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.

  • Max Green LRPS

    No way would I buy an expensive Camera without a viewfinder.

  • Lindsay Forster

    The ditching of the inbuilt viewfinder in the G1X11 and replacing it with detachable one at a cost of an extra £200 is a serious error of judgement. Having the lens in view through the viewfinder is a nuisance but it does not prevent it from being unuseable (Ref. the Petri 7S c lat 1960’s etc). If it was a real problem then I accept that an electronic viewfinder is a good solution…..BUT for camera of this class and price it should have built in. It is an essential feature for the enthusiast particularly in suuny weather. I was considering replacing my G12 with one, but not now! Body plus a viewfinder that prevents you using an external flash for fill in etc. at the same time….its not worth money.

  • Lindsay Forster

    Ditching the optical viewfinder is a big mistake and rplacing it with a £200 accessory.If the optical one was less than perfect then, in camera of this quality the answer should have bben to build in the electronic viewfinder. I have a G12 and in sunny weather I found the optical viewfinder the difference between a picture and no picture. I was thinking of upgrading to the G1Xll but not now now!!!