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Canon PowerShot G1 X – A Brief Hands On
The first product on tap to check out was the new Canon PowerShot G1 X. The large sensor, perceived game changer, in the high end of point & shoot cameras. Lots of people have asked since the Sigma DP1 for Canon to make a larger sensor, great ISO performing PowerShot. It took a few years, but Canon has finally delivered.
There was a lineup to see the camera up close and personal. The Canon reps mentioned that none of them had spent any more than 3 minutes with the camera in their hands. I had to wait about 10 minutes to get to it.
The first think you notice is the size of the camera. It’s nearly the same size as the PowerShot G12 at first glance. The one glaring size difference is the rather large lens. Even when the camera is at it’s widest focal length, the lens sticks out a fair bit. Zoom in and the lens extends further.
The camera has a very nice weight to it. I’ve always been against making point and shoot cameras too light. This one feels like a camera in your hands. The viewfinder is adequate, but I wouldn’t use it too often. The 3″ articulating screen is bright and beautiful. One of the first things I noticed was the removal of the ISO dial at the top of the caemra like on the G12. I would miss that in day to day use. There is an ISO button on the back, but that isn’t as intuitive to me. The exposure compensation dial is still on top along with the mode dial, which is great news.
Roaming around the camera you find the dials and buttons are pretty small for hands my size. However, once the camera is set up, I can’t see needing to mess around with too many things on the back of the camera.
When we hear Chuck Westfall say the new G1 X will have better ISO performance than the 60D and 7D, I think most of us sit up and pay attention. Having a small camera with excellent lowlight ability makes one (me, less so my wife) giddy inside.
As per all the unreleased cameras that Canon is displaying, I was not able to put a memory card in the G1 X to get some sample images. However, one of the first things I did was switch the camera to ISO 12,800 and take a couple of pictures and view them on the big 3″ screen. If the display is accurate, the performance of ISO 12,800 is fantastic. You can see some noise reduction smoothness, ut the detail and file quality is there.
This wasn’t the ideal way to test a camera for ISO performance, however I think most of us have pretty trained eyes when judging through an LCD.
I was told we’d see the first shipments of the G1 X in February.