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?
Noise, Resolution & Sensitivity
In low light, the G1 X handles noise reasonably well. This image was taken handheld at just 1/6sec at ISO 1600
With a 14.3-million-pixel sensor that is closer in specification to Canon’s APS-C-sized sensors, it is no surprise that the PowerShot G1 X produces images that are full of detail and far beyond what one would expect from a regular compact camera.
The G1 X’s sensitivity range of ISO 100-12,800 is impressive, particularly as noise is well controlled throughout the range, even at the maximum sensitivities.
Those shooting JPEG images will see little in the way of chroma noise. There is a hint of speckled luminance noise at sensitivities higher than ISO 1600, but noise reduction does help to reduce this. The downside is that the blurring effect of noise reduction reduces detail resolution.
More detail can be recovered from the raw files produced by the camera. Chroma noise is easy to reduce, but the luminance noise is difficult to remove without losing too much detail. I edited the raw files using Canon DPP software, but when converting Canon raw files in the past, I have found that noise reduction and sharpening are better with third-party raw-conversion software. We will check this when such software becomes available.
Overall, the quality of the images will certainly meet the demanding standards of enthusiast and professional photographers.
These images show 72ppi (100% on a computer screen) sections of images of a resolution chart, captured using the lens set around 50mm. We show the section of the resolution chart where the camera starts to fail to reproduce the lines separately. The higher the number visible in these images, the better the camera’s detail resolution is at the specified sensitivity setting.