Overall Rating:


Canon PowerShot G1 X



Price as Reviewed:


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.

  • Video: Yes, up to 1920x1080-pixel HD at 24fps
  • AF Assistance: Yes
  • Built-in Flash: Yes
  • White Balance: Auto, 7 presets, plus 2 custom
  • Memory Card: SD, SDHC, SDXC
  • LCD: 3in, Vari-Angle LCD with approx 920,000 dots
  • Output Size: 4352x3264 pixels
  • Hotshoe: Yes
  • Max Flash Sync: Up to 1/2000sec internal, 1/250sec external
  • Sensor: 18.7x14mm, 14.3-million-pixel CMOS
  • Exposure Modes: Auto, program, aperture priority, shutter priority, manual, 2 custom modes and 15 scene presets
  • Weight: 534g (including battery and memory card)
  • Lens: Canon 4x zoom lens, 28-112mm (equivalent) f/2.8-5.8
  • Power: Rechargeable Li-Ion battery NB-10L
  • File Format: JPEG, raw or raw + JPEG
  • AF array: 9 points, selected manually or automatically
  • Drive Mode: Single and continuous. Approx 1.9fps maximum, 0.7fps with AF, 4.5fps for 6 shots in high-speed burst mode
  • Shutter Speeds: 60-1/4000sec in shutter priority and manual mode
  • Colour Space: sRGB
  • Dimensions: 116.7x80.5x64.7mm
  • DoF Preview: No
  • Metering System: Evaluative, centreweighted average and spot (can be linked to active AF point or face detection)
  • Connectivity / Interface: USB
  • Compression: Fine, Normal
  • RRP: £699
  • Exposure Comp: ±2EV in 1/3EV steps
  • ISO: ISO 100-12,800
  • Focusing Modes: Manual, single AF, continuous AF, face detection

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