As Canon introduced the PowerShot G1 X, some people thought that it was the company’s answer to the increasingly popular mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras; however, as the company launched their first ever mirrorless interchangeable lens camera recently, the Canon EOS M, the theory has been proven to be wrong. Some other people thought that the G1 X is the successor to the Canon PowerShot G12 advanced point-and-shoot digital camera, due to its similar-looking metal body with extensive external controls; however, Canon recently introduced the true successor to the G12, namely the Canon PowerShot G15, so people’s assumption was wrong again.
So what is the Canon PowerShot G1 X exactly? According to Canon, it is the finest compact camera the company has ever produced, and looking at its specifications, we could agree with that statement. The G1 X is certainly a part of the legendary PowerShot G series line, but looking at its features and its price tag of US$799 (MSRP), it can be seen as a prestigious addition to the line-up, rather than a replacement to the earlier G series cameras. The highlight feature of the G1 X is its very large 1.5″ CMOS sensor, which is the largest sensor available in a point-and-shoot digital camera by the time of this writing, even larger than the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100’s 1″ sensor.
With its measurements of 18.7 x 14 mm, the Canon PowerShot G1 X’s 14.3-megapixel sensor is more than six times larger than those of previous G series cameras, it is even more than 15% larger than the four thirds sensor used by mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras from Panasonic and Olympus, and only about 20% smaller than the APS-C sensor found on most digital SLR cameras. The G1 X’s extraordinary sensor is coupled with a fast Digic 5 processor and a versatile 4x 28-112mm equivalent f/2.8-5.8 zoom lens, which is not the brightest and longest lens on the point-and-shoot digital camera market, but still slightly brighter and longer than most digital SLR camera’s kit lenses.
Other features of the Canon PowerShot G1 X include a 3-inch 920,000-dot resolution fully-articulated TFT PureColor II LCD screen, ISO 100-12,800, a built-in optical viewfinder, a built-in pop-up flash, an integrated hot shoe, extensive manual controls with twin control dials, 1920 x 1080 full HD video recording at 24 frames per second, and 14-bit RAW image capture. Offering a strong feature set, the G1 X could be suitable for professional-grade digital SLR camera owners who are looking for a compact digital camera for back-up. It could also be an alternative to entry-level digital SLR cameras, especially for those who would never swap their kit lenses.