Feeds
80%
Canon PowerShot G1 X compact camera

Canon PowerShot G1 X compact camera

CSCs – who needs 'em?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

Not so close

The overall image quality is definitely helped by the build and optical quality of the 28-112mm zoom lens mounted on the G1 X. The lens suffers only negligible barrel distortion at 28mm and controls chromatic aberrations extremely well. The only complaint I have about the lens is its minimum close focusing distance. The zoom lens has a minimum focusing distance of 35cm in normal mode and a not-so-close 20cm in Macro mode.

Canon PowerShot G1 X compact camera

Ahh viewfinders, doncha just love 'em?

Other noteworthy features that lend the G1 X a competitive edge are the 3-stop Neutral Density filter that allows you to use slower shutter speeds in equivalent lighting conditions, an HDR scene mode and Canon’s Intelligent Image Stabilisation system that analyses camera movements and distance from the subject to select one of seven different anti-shake options to best suit the scene.

The G1 X also offers a wide range of colour settings and creative filters to make the shooting experience more playful. Unfortunately though Canon has not taken a leaf from its competitors and upgraded its outdated Stitch-Assist panorama mode to the smooth fully automated panorama mode now becoming standard on this class of cameras.

Canon PowerShot G1 X compact camera

Full HD video capture, but still no external mic input

If image quality is the G1 X’s strongest selling point speed performance certainly isn’t. A bit sluggish in almost every operation, the G1 X can’t quite compete with most CSCs when it comes to continuous shooting and autofocus speed. At a rate of 1.6 fps the G1 X is certainly below its competitors standards but the main problem is the slow and erratic response of its contrast detection autofocus system. Even in optimal lighting conditions the G1 X takes its own sweet time before the AF system locks onto its target, and in low light the delay can be quite unnerving.

The improved HD movie mode delivers some beautifully sharp and smooth footage and lets you use the full focal length of the lens if not all the camera’s manual controls. Sound is good too although it tends to record lens movement quite clearly and there is sadly no option for an external mic despite the hotshoe provided on the top plate.

Battery life was slightly disappointing with the 250 shots per charge not quite stretching to a full day of action.

Canon PowerShot G1 X compact camera

CSC stop gap or a strategic offering? Either way, the G1 X is a class act

Admittedly, I’m still waiting for Canon to show its hand at the CSC game but should it decide to pass, I start thinking the company might actually be on a wise path. As a DSLR owner, and having tried the G1 X, I have to say that I would be much more tempted to invest into the new PowerShot G-series than into any of the CSCs out there. With the G1 X, Canon has shown that an advanced compact can deliver similar or better image quality than Micro Four Thirds with a zoom range flexible enough to cover most scenes.

Verdict

Once the novelty of an interchangeable lens compact has worn off wouldn’t most enthusiast photographers be tempted to simply choose between a G1 X-style compact or a DSLR, rather than a Compact System Camera? I certainly feel the proposition is a valid one. As has been the case for years with the G-series, the G1 X would make an excellent back-up compact for DSLR owners as well as an exciting imaging tool for enthusiast photographers. I just wish that Canon would fix some of the performance issues that make this camera less than perfect. ®

More Camera Reviews…

Nikon
Coolpix P7100
Sony
NEX-7
Fujifilm
Finepix X10
Panasonic
DMC-GX1
Canon
PowerShot S100

High performance access to file storage

80%
Canon PowerShot G1 X compact camera

Canon PowerShot G1 X compact camera

Canon's flagship G-series PowerShot gets a larger 14Mp sensor and full HD video capture.
Price: £699 RRP

More from The Register

next story
Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS
'Well, that 5c experiment didn't go so well – let's try the other direction'
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Nvidia gamers hit trifecta with driver, optimizer, and mobile upgrades
Li'l Shield moves up to Android 4.4.2 KitKat, GameStream comes to notebooks
AMD unveils Godzilla's graphics card – 'the world's fastest, period'
The Radeon R9 295X2: Water-cooled, 5,632 stream processors, 11.5TFLOPS
Sony battery recall as VAIO goes out with a bang, not a whimper
The perils of having Panasonic as a partner
NORKS' own smartmobe pegged as Chinese landfill Android
Fake kit in the hermit kingdom? That's just Kim Jong-un-believable!
Gimme a high S5: Samsung Galaxy S5 puts substance over style
Biometrics and kid-friendly mode in back-to-basics blockbuster
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.