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Canon Powershot G1 X Hands-On Preview

Joshua Waller takes a closer look at the new Canon Powershot G1 X with large CMOS sensor.

|  Canon PowerShot G1 X in Compact Cameras
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Canon Powershot G1 X
Canon Powershot G1 X

The Canon Powershot G1 X features a 14.3 megapixel APS-C sized sensor, full manual controls, a wide angle 4x optical zoom lens with optical image stabilisation, optical viewfinder and will be available from February for £699 including VAT.

Canon Powershot G1 X Features

Canon Powershot G1 X Grip
Canon Powershot G1 X Grip

Key Features:

  • Large 14.3 MP CMOS, DIGIC 5, HS System
  • Compact 4x zoom 28-112mm; Intelligent IS
  • 7.5 cm (3.0”) vari-angle LCD; OVF
  • Full Manual, RAW, DPP
  • Full HD, HDMI
  • High-speed Burst HQ
  • Smart Auto
  • Extensive accessories
  • HDR mode and ND filter
  • Optional 40m waterproof case
  • Available from late February, priced at £699/€799 RRP incl. VAT
Canon Powershot G1 X Swivel Screen
Canon Powershot G1 X Swivel Screen, lens at full optical zoom

Canon Powershot G1 X Handling

Canon Powershot G1 X
Camera on

Handling: The Canon Powershot G1 X features a large chunky hand grip at the front with a large thumb grip at the rear. The lens has a removable conversation lens ring and is quite large.

Canon Powershot G1 X Back
Canon Powershot G1 X Back

Menus: The menus are very typically Canon menus and that's a good thing, as they're easy to use, well laid out with clear text and helpful text that explains each setting and menu item. The menus will be instantly familiar to anyone who's used a Canon camera before.

Canon Powershot G1 X Top
Canon Powershot G1 X Top

Buttons: The buttons and controls are very similar to the Canon Powershot G12 with a top mode dial and underneath the exposure compensation dial. A front command wheel allows setttings to be changed quickly and on the back are a number of customisable buttons.

Canon Powershot G1 X Bottom
Canon Powershot G1 X Bottom

Battery / Speed: Switch on time seemed reasonable and under our brief time with the camera, we found the camera responsive enough, however it didn't particularly stand out as super fast. When we got one to review we will post full details.Battery life seems reasonable at 250shot but it would have been nice if there was a way of enahnching the battery life.

Canon Powershot G1 X Performance

Canon Powershot G1 X
Canon Powershot G1 X
As the camera tested was pre-production we are unable to show sample photos, however we will update as and when we can and will a large sensor high ISO performance is expected to be good.

Value For Money

Priced at £699 the camera is aimed at the enthusiast and is a similar price to some of the higher end Micro Four Thirds or APS-C mirrorless cameras such as the Olympus PEN E-P3, Sony NEX-5N, Samsung NX200 or Fujifilm X-Pro1.

Canon Powershot G1 X Verdict

The Canon Powershot G1 X is an interesting take on the question "How do we make a compact camera with high image quality?" and Canon appear to have succeeded in producing a camera aimed in design and function to meet that need. However, whether it truly will deliver the image quality and performance expected is another matter. There is a lot of interest in this camera, but many appear to be wondering when Canon will release their mirrorless compact system camera. Perhaps this is just the start?

Come back for more CES 2012 coverage, here.

Canon PowerShot G1 X Specifications

Max Aperturef/2.8 - f/5.8
35mm equivalent28mm - 112mm
Optical Zoom4x
Image Sensor
Pixels14.3Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)4352
Pixels (H)3264
Sensor TypeCMOS
Sensor Size1.5 inch
Sensor Size (width)18.7mm
Sensor Size (height)14mm
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
  • 3:2
  • 16:9
  • 1:1
  • 4:5
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor3in
Screen resolution920,000
Touch ScreenNo
Min Focus20cm
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • Spot
  • Face Detection
  • AF Tracking
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/4000sec
Shutter speeds longest60sec
Bulb modeNo Data
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Aperture-Priority
  • Shutter-Priority
  • Manual
  • Scene modes
  • A
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Spot
ISO sensitivity100 - 12800
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Cloudy
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
  • Flash
  • Underwater
Exposure Comp+/-3
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting1.9fps
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 1920x1080 FullHD
  • 1280x720 HD 720p
  • 320x240 QVGA
Video FPS24
Stereo SoundYes
Optical Zoom with VideoYes
Other Features
Image StabilisationYes
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
File Type
  • RAW
  • JPG
  • RAW + JPG
Power Source
Battery TypeRechargeable Li-ion Battery NB-10L
Battery Life (CIPA rating)250shots
Box Contents
Box ContentsDigital Camera, Neck Strap, Battery Charger, Battery Pack, Interface Cable (USB), Software (CD-ROM), Quick Start Guide

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Photographs taken using the Canon PowerShot G1 X

Lolaia waterfallAutumn colorsBerlin - Banhofer Potsdmer Platz 3Berlin - Bahnhof Potsdamer Platz 2Berlin - Bahnhof Potsdamer Platz 1Early evening walkHome sweet homeAfternoon napEvening MarketChurch viewCrummock WaterPrada

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11 Jan 2012 10:51AM
This is a great camera, and i'll be selling my G10 to get one, i just wish they would have added a "BULB" function. How hard is it to add this function??? I get i'll have to write and ask, who knows maybe one day!!
11 Jan 2012 7:56PM
Looking at the pictures, I can't say that I like the look of the new Canon. It looks a bit retro to me and not something that I would like to pay 700 for. I reserve further judgement until I get my hands on one.
Ebbesen 10 6 Sweden
11 Jan 2012 8:17PM
Looks promissing and a nice replacement for my G11 (my loyal traveling partner)
KeithOT 15 10 United Kingdom
12 Jan 2012 11:05AM
It's a big chunk of lens for only 4X zoom hope this means very high quality something similar to the Sony DSC-R1 maybe?
timbo 19 596 United Kingdom
12 Jan 2012 2:37PM
I'm sure it is a wonderful piece of kit but it looks like it was designed in the 1980's.
Paul Morgan 20 19.5k 6 England
12 Jan 2012 5:15PM

Quote:There is a lot of interest in this camera, but many appear to be wondering when Canon will release their mirrorless compact system camera. Perhaps this is just the start?

Why has Canon picked a more or less 4/3 size and shaped sensor over that of APS-C ?

Its a bit of a ugly beast as well and the lens strikes me as a little slow.

The 700 price seems a little steep and for the same price or less there`s no shortage of CSC`s.
mikesavage 19 299 2 England
14 Jan 2012 1:51AM
The design looks like something that used to come out of the old Soviet Union!
Canonshots 11 206 13 United Kingdom
18 Jan 2012 3:30PM
The proof of the pudding will be in the image quality, of course, but first impressions are disappointing. Why only 4x optical zoom when the G9 had 6x? It looks bulky and clumsy compared with most compacts, but without the versatility of a DSLR. The price is on the high side too. I'm keeping my G9 and my 7D, both splendid cameras.
ianrobinson 12 1.2k 8 United Kingdom
22 Jan 2012 9:27PM
I have to agree with you Paul Morgon on what you said.
It seems disappointing that this camera is not Mirror less too.
I am glad i brought the olympus pen ep3 and the more i use it the more i love it.
You see the oly gives you a touch screen that focuses where you touch then takes the picture where you touch, to me that is genious then there's the mirror less sensor again genius and the build quality is all metal plus other features the canon does not have and apart from the oly being truely compact where as the canon seems a beast to me.
The olympus pen ep3 is cheaper at 599.00, more compact, and pact with technology that works so well.
Sorry but for me this canon does not impress.
ianrobinson 12 1.2k 8 United Kingdom
22 Jan 2012 9:31PM
Picture quality also from the oly pen ep3 is stunning with out question so i don't see how the canon can compare.
In my opinion i think it's a let down really and for that price tag i would want lots more tech to play with thx.

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