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 JPEG images are good, even more detail can be revealed in raw images
DxO Labs (www.dxomark.com) rates the dynamic range of the PowerShot G1 X at 10.83EV at ISO 100, which is virtually the same as the 10.9EV range it quotes for the G12. However, the G1 X’s larger sensor manages to retain a large dynamic range as the ISO sensitivity increases. At ISO 400, the G1 X is rated at 10.68EV, whereas the smaller sensor of the G12 is only 8.84EV.
Further confirmation that the G1 X’s sensor is derived from the APS-C-sized sensors of Canon’s EOS series is its behaviour as the ISO sensitivity increases. At ISO 100, the EOS 600D has a dynamic range of 11.46EV, which drops to 11.16EV at ISO 400. This slight drop is almost exactly in line with the behaviour of the G1 X.
Compared to its competitors, the G1 X’s dynamic range performs very well. It is around 1EV greater than that of the smaller 12.3-million-pixel sensor in the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3.
In use, the dynamic range of the G1 X is impressive for a compact camera. There is plenty of detail that can be recovered from shadow areas, and with careful metering it is possible to recover some highlight detail in raw files. Those shooting JPEG images should use the DR Correction function and exposure for highlight detail.