Review: Canon PowerShot G1X
A bridge camera that brings some DSLR functions to a smaller package, the G1X is the perfect travel companion
Although this device has been upgraded already with the latest in the G series from Canon, this is both a model and a series that has some hardcore fans who wouldn't trade their camera for the world, so JOE decided to see what all the fuss was about.
In terms of design the G1X doesn't depart too far from the G series to date, which is noticeably a bit blocky, and you might even say retro. That's something that we quite liked as it wasn't a brick, but it wasn't a slim piece of kit either, so there was a bit of weight to holding it in your hand. The viewing screen was also a flip out one, that meant that you tended to use the real viewfinder a bit more, something that we're all for and find a bit more comfortable anyway. If that's not your thing, then it will take a bit of getting used to.
Before this we sampled the Canon SX 510 HS, which had a serious optical zoom of 30x, so the 4x seemed at first to be a huge step down, but as this is a bridge camera and although it's a compact, it leans more towards a full DSLR than a portable small number, so we were willing to see what it had in store.
That lack of huge zoom wasn't a massive problem however, as this camera really stands out from the crowd when you get into taking portraits and closer shots, that perhaps might be lost when you zoom in. Here's a portrait of JOE's lazy, lazy cat which might help illustrate the point.
Let's get a look at some of the specs under the hood: It's 14megapixels, which is plenty in a bridge camera like this. While the giga/mega/quadrahoozy/ultrapixel is the thing that many people look at when buying a camera, a compact and a DSLR of the same megapixelage (it's a word, trust us) will take vastly different pictures. The difference there will be the sensor (ultimately hoe much light the camera can capture), and the G1X has a pretty decent CMOS sensor measuring 18.7mm x 14mm, the same size as the EOS 600D, so you get that type of quality reduced down into a smaller package.
The ISO range is 100 to 12800, meaning that low light performance is very impressive, and you have full manual control mode so that you can get the shot as you want it. When it comes to movies, you can shoot at 1080p and 24fps, so there will be good quality there too, but there will be little better than getting a look at the type of quality that we were able to get. We had our hands on this device a few weeks back around Christmas time, so here's JOE's dinner on the big day, which was as delicious as it looked.
Hungry? Us too. Anyway, with the next model up from this being released, the G1X Mark II, there's sure to be a drop in price as well that will make this an even more attractive prospect, and given that it's built like a tank it's perfect for travelling too. Overall, we really, really liked the quality of image from this heavy piece of kit, and we definitely recommend it. You can pick it up from local retailers around Dublin and Ireland such as Conns Cameras and John Gunn, who will also be able to guide you through the process of getting yourself a new camera.