Built like a Canon PowerShot G12 on steroids, the new PowerShot G1 X has a large 14.3-million-pixel sensor and a 28-112mm equivalent lens. Could it be the compact camera that finally replaces your DSLR?
While it is still unknown whether Canon will enter the compact system camera market, for now the PowerShot G1 X fills this gap in the company’s range. The large sensor performs extremely well, and it is enough to rival many CSCs.
With a 28-112mm equivalent range, the 4x zoom lens should fulfil the demands of most DSLR photographers looking for the convenience of a smaller camera, but without the additional cost of purchasing a new system.
Despite initially being somewhat sceptical that the G1 X was anything more than just a larger G12, I now recognise that it is a very different beast and deserves to be thought of as much more a competitor to CSCs or compacts with APS-C-sized sensors, such as the Fujifilm FinePix X100. The image quality is almost on a par with Canon’s EOS 600D, which is an achievement.
There are a few things that could be improved, though. The autofocus could do with being a little faster, and I would like to see an actual control dial around the lens that could be used as an aperture ring. But these touches are more like putting the cherry on top of what is already a very nice cake.
Those looking for a serious compact camera alternative to a CSC shouldn’t look much further than the Canon PowerShot G1 X.
Canon PowerShot G1 X: Focal points
The external hotshoe allows you to mount compatible Canon flashguns
The rear screen can rotate through 170˚
This button allows video recording to be quickly started and stopped
This is coupled to the zoom lens and offers 80% coverage
To help take long-exposure shots during the day, or when a shallower depth of field is required, the G1 X has a built-in 3-stop ND filter. This comes down in front of the path of the light when required, and is activated via the camera’s on-screen menu.
The small pop-up flash has three levels of manual power adjustment, with a range of 50cm to 7m at its widest focal length.
The G1 X can shoot at full resolution at a speed of 4.5fps for six frames using its high-speed burst HQ mode. However, focus and exposure are locked at the first frame.
Multi-area white balance
In smart auto mode the camera can detect and alter the white balance in each scene locally. This helps to balance the white balance in an image where two different light sources are used, such as tungsten and daylight.