Canon PowerShot G1X HS Point & Shoot Digital Camera Black
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Canon PowerShot G1X HS Point & Shoot Digital Camera Black - Expert Reviews
Canon PowerShot G1 X is essentially a compact device that comes with a huge sensor, a pretty moderate 4x zoom, an optical viewfinder to go with it and alongside that, a screen that fits perfectly into the metallic body. Canon PowerShot G1 X joined the esteemed arsenal of compacts from Canon branded under the PowerShot G series, but then, rather than replacing the existing model, it actually positioned itself as a newer and more premium model, for while the body of this camera is almost immediately identified as a next-in-line camera for the G series, the sensor inside it is actually closer to the one you would find on a dedicated DSLR or a CSC. So yes, what we have been trying to say here is that Canon has finally brought in its widely awaited first compact digital Point and Shoot type device with a big sensor.
Canon PowerShot G1X shows features such as a 14.3MP Point-and-Shoot digital camera (Black) with 4GB SD card, a camera case that gives a good idea about the 14.3 megapixels 1.5 inches CMOS sensor, which is considerably larger in size than the 1/1.7 inches sensor that prevailed on its predecessors and on other enthusiast compact cameras available with fixed lenses. Indeed, the sensor size of Canon PowerShot G1 X is a bit larger than the famous ‘Micro Four Thirds’ format sensor of Olympus and Panasonic and just, a bit smaller than the APS-C sized sensor employed by Sony NEX systems and most DSLRs available in the market. Therefore, G1 X features a large sensor that makes it similar in class like most DSLRs and CSCs, but what makes it different is its fixed lens. In this case, rather than adapting to survive and making it a fully fledged CSC, Canon has actually opted for fitting in a fixed lens on the system, to carry on the G series trend.
The sad part here is that G1 X’s lens does not even match the 5x 35mm equivalent 28 – 140mm lens of Canon PowerShot G12, but still is a make-do 4x 35mm equivalent 28 – 112mm lens. All this while matching the aperture size at wide angle being a maximum of f/2.8, which actually mixes up the lens a bit longer and brighter than most high-end DSLR’s and CSC kit lenses combined. Although, the downfall to this is that you cannot really swap this lens with anything else, which actually is the biggest flaw any DSLR can have. Now, like its predecessor, G1 X also comes with fully articulated horizontally hinged screen. Then, we have an optical viewfinder to wrap up alongside a flash hotshoe and a whole bunch of manual controls.
Design and Build Quality
Now, in terms of design and build quality, there is no doubt that it resembles a typical PowerShot G series camera. Actually, when you glance at the camera for the very first time, it is quite possible that you mistake it for Canon PowerShot G12, but once you actually place them side by side, you will be able to visualise a whole lot of important differences that are quite apparent. Most obvious of these is that Canon PowerShot G1 X is typically a larger and heavier camera, which is all credits to the bigger sensor size of the camera. One look at Canon PowerShot G1 X’s inside and you will see that the dimensions of this device are 117mm x 81mm x 65mm, which is typically more than Canon PowerShot G12’s 112mm x 76mm x 48mm.
And, similarly talking of the weight aspect, Canon PowerShot G1X measures 534 grams whereas its competitor measures approximately 401 grams. So, Panasonic G1 X is around 5mm wider, 5mm taller, but the biggest difference is most certainly in height, where the 17mm difference accords much credit to the lens, which caters a bigger circle for imaging purposes. Since, Canon PowerShot G1 X is already known to be a bit chunky, it is really worth comparing a larger selection of mirror less CSCs.
Nikon V1 is as such slightly smaller when viewed from the front, measuring 113mm x 76mm, but is thicker overall with the default 10 – 30mm kit lens mounted on the device. When comparing in terms of height and weight, Nikon V1 kit is marginally lighter than the reviewed camera built-in at 498 grams, but the difference doesn’t really make much of a deal when you take the real in-hand feel of the device and while kit lens is still more thick than the camera, it is actually only by 7mm. Nikon J1’s kit is the one that actually feels the difference, when it measures 392 grams.
Focus and Face Detection
The same three AF modes of Canon PowerShot G12 are embedded inside Canon PowerShot G1 X;
As mentioned before, Flexizone uses its focus on a single area of concern, its position in the group can however, be made to adjust to all places on the screen of the device. Also, it can be chosen from the 2 varied sizes of AF area. Now, the Face AiAF mode on the camera gives access to the automatic face detection should there be a single person present in the frame, if not, it switches to a traditional 9 point AF system. In the tests, AF worked really good and effortlessly, and like it, has been the forte of recent compact devices from Canon.
Canon PowerShot G1 X traces down human faces with high success rate. If the user is willing to test the focus before the shot is taken by our reviewed device, there is an AF Point zoom that helps in enlarging the AF area or the basic face, when you half press on the shutter. An alternative to this is that, you can very easily set Canon PowerShot G1X to a focus area after the picture has been taken.
Lens and Image Stabilization
Canon PowerShot G1 X comes fully packed with a very moderate 4x optical zoom lens that has an equivalent range measuring 28-112mm with an aperture measuring f/2.8 –f/5.8. The camera is fully optically stabilised with four stops of compensation available such that, it retracts within the body when powered down and features a highly built-in Neutral Density filter that can be used to darken the lights that comes by three stops. This is really amazing for using larger apertures or longer shutter speeds in bright light conditions. The highest focal ratio available is of f/2.8 – 5.8 for which, the closest focusing distance is approximately 20cm when zoomed out.
Screen and Menus
One of the biggest positives of Canon PowerShot G series is that the company has bundled the series with an articulated screen, which is one of the biggest upgrades over Canon PowerShot G12. So, rather than sporting the previous moderate 2.8 inches 460 dot pixel detailed screen, we have on this camera, a larger and highly more detailed 3 inches 920 dot pixel detailed screen. Also, this is done without making any cuts in the articulation whatsoever, and you can now, fully flip and twist this screen to any desirable angle, which includes the “forward to face the subject” and “back on itself for protection”.
The screen on the camera is in itself, highly bright and tremendously detailed, although, when you view it in direct sunlight, it becomes rather hard to see and this is pretty much one of the two flaws we found in the screen, other being the unavailability of the feature where you just tap the areas of the screen that you want to focus. Now, like many other Canon PowerShot devices, Canon PowerShot G1 X gives you full chance to customize the information that is displayed on screen. You can choose from almost any combination of shooting details which include, grid lines, a live histogram and single axis levelling gauge, which is definitely quite handy when it comes to being nice with dual axes. The details on the screen that you choose can simply be applied to one of the dedicated two screen views, which can then be cycled with the DISP button. There is also a third press switch that can switch the screen off.
Canon PowerShot G1 X has the battery platform in the form of NB-10L Li-ion battery pack, which as per the claims made by Canon, is good for 250 shots with screen and at 700 without it, measured under CIPA working conditions.
There is no surprise whatsoever that Canon PowerShot G1 X sports a classy Full HD 1080p video quality, a very significant upgrade over the 720p HD resolution of Canon PowerShot G12. While the sensor size of our reviewed device matches closely that of a DSLR, the movie making capabilities of it are still not better than the regular high-end compact devices. In technical terms, Canon PowerShot G1X gives you the choice to work at 1080p Full HD at 24 frames per second and at 720p at 30 frames per second alongside the dedication VGA options. There are also the Movie Digest options at VGA and iFrame friendly features at 720p 30 fps, but the sad part of it however, is the slow motion video mode being completely absent.
For Canon PowerShot G1 X, Canon has brought out a pretty amazing 1.5 inches format CMOS sensor that measures approximately 18.7mm x 14mm. This is actually larger than the 7.4mm x 5.6mm sensor sported on 1/1.7 inches type sensors on the previous Canon PowerShot G12 and S100.
• Smart Auto handled lighting circumstances better than the program method
• An assortment of manual exposure control options
• Dedicated video capture button is always ready to record
• HS system and new image sensor produce amazing image quality
• Incredibly low image noise levels at all ISO levels
• DIGIC 5 processor produces amazing burst rates
• Intelligent IS is ready for any shooting situation
• Vari-Angle LCD is great for tough shooting situations
• Hot Shoe accepts all speedlight flash units
• Amazing shooting performance
• HD video quality is outstanding
• Macro focus is almost nonexistent with a minimum focus range of only 7.9 inches at wide angle
• The AF system did a lot of focus hunting / searching and failing to achieve focus in various lighting conditions
• Optical viewfinder is not reliable where framing is concerned
• Battery Life is not very good when using the LCD screen
• No audio input to match great audio with the great video capabilities
Canon PowerShot G1X HS Point & Shoot Digital Camera Black - User Reviews
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Canon PowerShot G1X HS Point & Shoot Digital Camera Black Specifications