Canon powershot g1x camera

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Canon PowerShot G1X Camera

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The Canon PowerShot G1X Camera

The Canon PowerShot G1X drops the typical compact camera sensor in favor of a 14.3MP 1.5" sensor (midway between that of a Micro 4/3 sensor and an APS-C sensor). That’s six times larger than a typical point-and-shoot sensor, giving huge improvements in image quality and ISO performance.

The G1 X has RAW capabilities (14-bit), full manual controls, a max ISO of 12,800 (useful to ISO 1,600), and a 28-112mm (full-frame equivalent) f/2.8-5.8 lens with optical IS. There’s also a built-in, pop-up flash, external hotshoe allow for further low-light options. It also has both a 3", vari-angle rear LCD and an optical viewfinder. Other features include in-camera HDR, Movie Digest mode, and 1080p HD video recording.

Roger's Take

The sensor is great (and apparently has a weak AA filter, increasing sharpness, but perhaps allowing moire in some images). The lens is very good. You get near-SLR-quality images and resolution with good high ISO performance. You’ll probably need the ISO performance—the lens says f/2.8 on the front but most of its working range is f/4 or f/5.6.

What you don’t get is a viewfinder. It says it has one, but I’ve seen viewfinders and this isn’t a viewfinder. You’ll do all of your composing and shooting with the LCD. You don’t get a wide aperture lens. You also don’t get wider than a 28mm (full-frame equivalent) focal length. The camera is small, but not the smallest of compact cameras by any means. It will fit in your jacket pocket or purse, but that’s about it. The ergonomics are okay.

Here’s the bottom line: If you think of this as a supercharged G12, you’ll be correct and you’ll love it. If you think of it as an SLR alternative, you won’t be happy. For me, as much as I want to love the camera for its great sensor, the (poor excuse for a) viewfinder is really a deal breaker.

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