Canon's new PowerShot G1 X: The compact point-and-shoot camera with DSLR aspirations


February 22, 2012

The Canon G1 X boasts a 1.5-inch, 14.3-megapixel CMOS sensor with over six times the area of previous G-series models

The Canon G1 X boasts a 1.5-inch, 14.3-megapixel CMOS sensor with over six times the area of previous G-series models

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While most compact point-and-shoot cameras are aimed at the budget-conscious end of the market, Canon has higher aspirations for the new flagship of its PowerShot G-series. With a 1.5-inch, 14.3-megapixel High-Sensitivity Canon CMOS sensor that is just 20 percent smaller than the APS-C sensors used in Canon's EOS line of DSLRs and over six times bigger than those in previous G-series models, Canon says its new G1 X delivers the highest image quality available in a compact point-and-shoot.

"One big feature of this model is the sensor size," Shunsuke Abe, a rep from Canon Marketing, Japan told DigInfo. "Previous models used a 1/1.7 inch sensor, so this one has 6.3 times the area. The result is impressive pictures, with a great feeling of definition, and depth of focus on a par with an SLR."

Canon says the bigger sensor delivers shallow depth of field, wide dynamic range and improved low-light shooting performance with the ability to shoot at ISOs of up to 12,800. Throw in 14-bit RAW +JPEG shooting, Full HD 1080p video capture, a quality 28mm f/2.8 - f/16 lens with 4X optical zoom and you have a spiffy little camera that might be capable of giving many DSLRs a run for their money. The G1 X includes Canon's HS System incorporating the DIGIC 5 image processor, as well as a 3-inch variable-angle 922,000 dot LCD and optical viewfinder.

Although it takes the mantle of G-series flagship from the G12, both models will continue to be sold alongside each other. The G1 X is due to hit shelves later this month and will retail for the princely sum of US$799.

The video below from DigInfo highlights some of the G1 X's features.

Source: Canon

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Randolph Jonsson A native San Franciscan, Randolph attended the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland before finding his way to the film business. Eventually, he landed a job at George Lucas' Industrial Light + Magic, where he worked on many top-grossing films in both the camera and computer graphics departments. A proud member of MENSA, he's passionate about technology, optimal health, photography, marine biology, writing, world travel and the occasional, well-crafted gin and tonic! All articles by Randolph Jonsson

hmm, let\'s see, I bought an Olympus 7040 because of this site last year 14 megapixel for 105 bucks,(bitchin\') had a Canon FAIL LITERALLY one day out of warranty and Canon just said sorry, out of warranty, not gonna touch anything Canon ever again as the cost of repair was more than purchase cost, canon, garbage customer service

Bill Bennett

My last two cameras have both been Canon and I very happy with them, but, with only 4 times optical zoom I think I\'ll wait for the G2 or G3. Keep up the great work Canon.


To Bennett above. Sorry that you experienced failure of your Canon just after warranty time had run out, but do you seriously believe any other company would have said: \"We\'ll gladly extend our warranty for you!\"

Back in 2000 I had a Canon Powershot G1, with 3,2 MP, it was an expensive camera at that time, (more than 1200$), but took very good pictures. And it was rather tough, I used it quite actively for more than three years, and it survived a couple of falls from my bike and generally rough treatment without major damage. When it failed, out of warranty of course, Canon sent me a mail saying the fault was caused by a loose screw which had short-circuited the mainboard, and they repaired it for free. But I would have accepted to pay.

As regards this camera, I think Canon should have used another name for this series and not just added that \"X\". It is a bit confusing. The G1 X also clearly is a camera intended to more closely match the SLR\'s and I think the bigger sensor is a sign of this. This sensor also means that that the depth of sharpness is more shallow. This might be a good thing for experienced photographers, but most of us hobby-shooters will be more than satisfied with cameras like the G12, which has a good combination of zoom and optical quality. The bigger sensor also means that it probably will have poorer close-focus properties than a G12, more similar to a SLR. The G1X will still have some shutter lag, as do all non-SLRs. So I would buy a full SLR rather than the G1 X.

On my wish list, the Canon Powershot G12 is still one of the top three...


VERY interesting camera. A possible replacement for my much used/abused(?) Canon A630 which gets used while backpacking, off-road motorcycling and snorkeling(in a housing). I have found the Canon to be tough and reliable and provides excellant photos. The swing out back has been a very useful feature for me - glad to see on this model!


Canon is very good about repairs, often they will offer an updated model,refurb, for less than the repairs. Many of my students have confirmed that and a while ago I sent a SX 10 in because of a gear problem and I got the SX20 back for less than the repair estimate.



We may have a long wait for a larger zoom factor. The sensor on the G1X is almost as big as a DSLR, I think I read 6x the old one (maybe it was 4x, don\'t remember) Point is, bigger sensor requires a bigger image circle which, all things being equal, means a bigger lens. This is why the lenses on the Sony NEX, which uses a DSLR size sensor, are so huge. I am waiting to read some tech reviews to see if this small lens performance is any good.

It\'s a surprise that Canon still has not jumped into the \"mirrorless interchangeable lens\" camera category, preferring to stick with a boutique approach like Fuji did with the X10. I guess we will see how Nikon does with the new mount and cameras, and if they are successful maybe Canon will jump in

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