Canon G1 X review

A premium compact camera bursting with high-end features, the Canon G1X is here

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The formula for this new breed of PowerShot may be unfamiliar, but its styling and control layout have been kept in line with the rest of Canon's G-series compact cameras, so previous owners will feel instantly at home with the interface.

The Canon G1 X's stainless steel chassis lends it a robust feel, creating the impression of a solid camera that's likely to withstand the rigours of daily life in the hands of an advanced enthusiast/ professional photographer.

Being larger (though perhaps not by as much as you might expect) and heavier than the older Canon G12 - which occupies the space below the Canon G1 X in the PowerShot camera hierarchy - the new flagship model is less compact-like, closer in fact to the sort of dimensions seen with some of the latest CSCs.

Canon G1 X review

While not easily pocketable, the Canon G1X is still fairly small and unobtrusive-looking and, as such, is less likely to attract attention when you're dabbling in a bit of street photography, say, than your full-size DSLR would.

All of the buttons and controls on the Canon G1 X seem well placed, with the thoughtful inclusion of both front and rear command dials to improve the experience of altering settings in any of the manual modes.

The chunky top panel of the camera hosts a responsive shutter release that's encircled by a spring-loaded zoom lever, alongside an illuminated power button that sits flush to the body.

Canon G1 X review

Stacked on top of a large metal exposure compensation dial is the slightly smaller exposure mode dial. The former offers precise control over the exposure in your shots, with three stops of adjustment in either direction. The latter provides fast access to 10 different modes, 10 Creative filters, 15 Scene modes and a point-and-shoot Auto mode.

Whenever you want to take more control over your settings, the camera also offers Program, Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority and Manual modes, plus two user-customisable slots (C1 and C2) for you to store your own combinations of settings for frequently-encountered situations.

The adjacent metal hotshoe that's invaluable for attaching accessories such as an external Canon EF flashgun sits beside the Canon G1 X's miniature, manually-operated pop-up flash, which nestles inside the camera body until it's activated.

Canon G1 X review

Offering an alternative to the versatile articulated LCD screen, the inclusion of the optical viewfinder in the Canon G1 X's design may not instil past owners of similarly-endowed PowerShot cameras with much enthusiasm, thanks to their tiny dimensions.

Happily, however, Canon has made some improvements with the PowerShot G1 X's viewfinder, which is a little larger and more usable than that of its predecessors; albeit a far cry from Fuji's exemplary 'hybrid' optical/electronic innovation seen on the Fuji FinePix X100.

Around the back, the simple control layout makes the Canon G1 X easy to get to grips with. There's a dedicated movie button providing one-touch access to the camera's HD movie mode, plus further buttons to alter settings such as the AF point location, switch metering modes and to access the main menu system.

Canon G1 X review

Soft key access to the ISO, Flash, Display and AF mode options are located on the four-way navigation, with the central 'Func/Set' button calling up a handy on-screen quick menu that's overflowing with further options to tweak and hone.

This combination of physical controls and shortcuts to on-screen options makes the Canon G1 X a pleasure to shoot with. There's a comprehensive level of manual control available if you want it, and plenty of automatic and creative options there when you don't.

Tech Specs

Product TypeCompact Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Green CompliantYes
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Effective Camera Resolution14.3 Megapixel
Product FamilyPowerShot G
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC), Eye-Fi Card
Image StabilizationOptical
Optical Zoom4x
Digital Zoom4x
Brand NameCanon
FeaturesSelf-timer, Wink Detection, Smile Detection, Face Detection, Continuous Shooting Mode, Orientation Sensor, Blink Detection
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsMPEG-4, QuickTime MOV
Viewfinder TypeOptical
Weight (Approximate)534 g
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityRoHS, WEEE, REACH, ENERGY STAR
Image Sensor Size18.70 mm x 14 mm
Maximum Image Resolution4352 x 3264
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height80.5 mm
Width116.7 mm
Depth64.7 mm
Product SeriesG
Focal Length15.10 mm to 60.40 mm
Image FormatsJPEG, RAW
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
ManufacturerCanon, Inc
Product ModelG1 X
Product NamePowerShot G1 X Compact Camera
Product LinePowerShot
Exposure Control
  • Program AE
  • Aperture Priority AE
  • Shutter Priority AE
  • Manual
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part Number5249B011
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

Bright, fast and more creative than ever: advanced technologies come together for an exciting new camera that moves beyond anything the G-Series has seen before. The PowerShot G1 X digital camera will inspire advanced amateurs who have embraced the G-Series to explore new realms of photographic expression, and give pros an excellent camera that complements their creative demands. The new 1.5-inch High-Sensitivity CMOS sensor approaches an EOS DSLR's APS-C sized sensor, with a light-sensitive area that's approximately 6.3 times larger than that of the PowerShot G12 digital camera. The new 14.3 Megapixel sensor, combined with a new lens and DIGIC 5 Image Processor, creates the HS SYSTEM that delivers image quality previously impossible in a compact camera, with beautiful blur, lower noise, and extraordinary resolution in low-light shooting and can shoot at ISOs of up to 12800. The PowerShot G1 X also has 14-bit RAW capabilities for even greater creative control and Full HD Video recording. Manual settings and operability inherited from EOS cameras impart a high-level shooting experience, and open the door to new creative possibilities. Substantive luxury defines the design: a neatly clarified sculpture with a firm grip, huge Vari-angle LCD and optical viewfinder.

Package Contents
  • PowerShot G1 X Compact Camera
  • Rechargeable Li-ion Battery NB-10L (with Terminal Cover)
  • Battery Charger (CB-2LC/CB-2LCE)
  • Interface Cable IFC-400PCU
  • Neck Strap NS-DC9
  • Lens Cap (with Cord)
  • Getting Started
  • Software Disk
  • Warranty Card
Limited Warranty1 Year