The Canon Powershot G1 X is the update to the Canon Powershot G12 and uses a large 14.3 megapixel CMOS sensor that is slightly larger than the Micro Four Thirds sensor (not to be confused with the similarly named Panasonic Lumix GX1). It offers a fairly standard 28mm wide angle 4x optical zoom lens with an aperture of f/2.8 to f/5.8 at the telephoto end.
Canon Powershot G1 X Features
Canon PowerShot G1 X
The styling of the Canon Powershot G1 X owes a lot to its predecessor, the Canon Powershot G12, although instead of a 5x optical zoom lens, this new camera has a 4x optical zoom lens. The biggest change is the introduction of a large 1.5inch sensor measuring 18.7mm by 14mm, compared to the 1/1.7inch (7.6mm x 5.7mm) sensor in the G12.
Canon PowerShot G1 X Lens Extended
14.3 megapixel 1.5inch CMOS sensor
4x optical zoom lens, f/2.8 - f/5.8,
Optical image stabilisation
3inch tilting screen, 920k dots
Manual Controls, 14bit RAW
ISO100 - 12800
Full HD video, stereo sound
1.9fps continuous shooting / 5fps High Speed Burst
20cm macro mode
Canon Powershot G1 X Handling
Canon PowerShot G1 X Top
Handling - The front of the camera has a large rubber grip with a rubber grip on the back for your thumb and the camera is quite a large and chunky. The camera gives a good number of buttons and controls on the exterior of the camera including a dedicated exposure compensation dial, front scroll wheel, customisable shortcut button, focus, metering, star, rear scroll wheel and 4-way buttons. The front and rear scroll wheels can be customised, or in manual mode used for aperture and shutter speed. The camera is quite east to use when you get used to the controls and being able to customise what the buttons and dials do should certainly help make it easier to use. The optical viewfinders view is obscured by the lens until you zoom to around 85mm.
Canon PowerShot G1 X
Menus - The camera gives quick access to most options using the buttons and dials on the camera, with more options available in the Func/Set button overlay. The menus are clear and well laid out with large text and a brief explanation of each option at the bottom of the screen. This makes the camera easy to use with a good menu system.
Canon PowerShot G1 X Bottom
Battery - Battery life is rated at 250 shots according to CIPA standards. We were able to take over 250shots before the battery went flat. I was expecting better battery life considering the battery is quite large, although limiting your use of flash and the rear LCD screen should extend battery life.
Canon PowerShot G1 X
Speed - We tested each camera's performance at focusing, shutter response, shot-to-shot time, continuous shooting etc. and have posted the results below. To test this we took 6 or more shots and calculated the average, so that consistent results were produced.
Canon G1 X
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo
Shot to Shot (without flash)
Shot to Shot with Flash
Continuous Shooting (JPEG)
5fps (6 shots)*
7.5fps (14 shots)
12fps (14 shots)
Continuous Shooting (with Flash)
Continuous Shooting (RAW)
7.5fps (13 shots)
12fps (14 shots)
Focus speed was slow in comparison to other cameras, with most other compact cameras focusing quicker. Switch on time is a little slow with shot to shot time slow at 2.5 seconds between shots or 3.8 seconds with flash on. At under 2fps continuous shooting is a little slow when shooting JPEG, but becomes even slower with RAW and under 1fps. *High speed shooting at 5fps for up to 6 shots is available in the scene mode as JPEG only.
Canon Powershot G1 X Performance
Here we've taken a number of sample photos taken in a variety of situations, including real world as well as studio test photos. Additional sample photos and information can be found in the Equipment Database.
Canon PowerShot G1 X Sample Photos
Sample photos - The camera takes detailed and colourful photos. Photos with flash appear to have very little red-eye in the portrait photo.
Canon PowerShot G1 X Lens test images
Lens Test images - Lots of detail, could be ideal for landscape photography. Poor macro performance with the closest focusing distance with macro mode enabled being 20cm.
Canon PowerShot G1 X ISO test images
ISO Noise Performance - ISO100 shows very low noise, with good detail. Again at ISO100. At ISO200 noise starts to become apparent in the darker areas, but is very clean in the brighter colours. At ISO400 there is a slight increase in the noise in dark / shadow areas. At ISO800 noise increases but the camera is still capable of producing clean noise free areas especially in the bright colours. At ISO1600 noise increases and there is a slight drop in detail. ISO3200 sees similar results with slightly more noise, but extremely usable results. Noise increases at ISO6400 with grain in most areas, but results are still usable. At ISO12800 noise becomes much more noticeable and colour and detail suffer, but resized or converted to black and white and the image should provide good results.
Canon PowerShot G1 X White-balance test images
White Balance Performance - Auto white balance under tungsten lighting gives a strong yellow cast, and using the tungsten preset produces good results. Auto white balance performs very well under fluorescent lighting. Again using the fluorescent preset produces good results.
Panoramic - Panoramic stitch assist is built in to the camera, this helps align the shots, but does not combine them in the camera. Instead you need to use the provided software to create the panoramic photo on your computer.
Canon PowerShot G1 X Digital filters
Digital Filters - There are a large number of digital filters and effects available, some more useful than others, including HDR, miniature, monochrome, as well as handheld nightscene (not shown).
Video - The camera records full HD video with stereo sound, wind filter and optical zoom, although there are not many other options available.
The Canon Powershot G1 X is an interesting camera, simply because it has a large 14.3 megapixel CMOS sensor that is capable of producing high quality images with lots of detail. ISO noise performance is impressive with low noise right up to high ISO settings. The optical viewfinder is quite small and shows a cropped and obscured view at wide-angle. Compared to compact system cameras the Canon Powershot G1 X comes in at a fairly high price although the optically stabilised lens is better than most kit lenses starting at f/2.8 and providing 4x optical zoom. If image quality is of a high importance to you then the Canon Powershot G1 X is recommended, it would be nice if the 5fps shooting mode was available in all modes, rather than in just one of the scene modes.
The Canon Powershot G1 X is capable of producing some excellent photos however, we do wish it was a little quicker.
Canon Powershot G1 X Pros
Colourful detailed images
Large 1.5inch sensor
Great ISO performance
5fps high speed shooting mode
Tilting, rotating screen
Optical viewfinder (however, see below)
Canon Powershot G1 X Cons
Optical view through finder blocked by lens
20cm minimum focus distance
Name - very similar to other cameras