Canon has announced the new PowerShot G1 X, a compact camera with a large CMOS sensor, which it says has been designed for professional and serious photographers.

UPDATED: Check out our in-depth Canon G1 X review

Designed to sit at the very top of the Canon G-series premium compact line-up, the G1X features EOS (DSLR) sensor technology with the latest Digic 5 processor, a new Canon lens and extensive manual control. The company is dubbing it "the finest compact camera Canon has ever produced".

The first Canon compact to feature a large, 4:3 aspect, 14.3-million pixel CMOS sensor (measuring 18.7mm x 14mm), the sensor is similar in height to the APS-C sensors used in many EOS DSLR models. It features the same pixel size and structure as the 600D, an entry level camera. The surface area is approximately 6.3 times larger than the sensor found in the PowerShot G12.

On chip noise reduction promises to deliver noise-reduced images, even at high ISO speeds. The new high-speed Digic 5 processor is also designed to assist with low-light performance. Sensitivity runs from ISO 100 - ISO 12800, a level never before seen on a Canon compact.

Lens

The on-board lens is manufactured using the same processes as the EF DSLR lens range, utilising Ultra high refractive index Aspherical (UA) elements and precision glass moulding technology. In 35mm terms, the 4x zoom range covers 28mm-112mm. A 6 blade aperture, combined with the large sensor, promises to produce beautiful background blur (or bokeh).

A 4-stop optical Image Stabiliser is also included on the lens, allowing photographers to use shutter speeds up to four stops slower than would be possible without IS. Intelligent IS is also included, which analyses focal length, focal distance and type of camera movement, applying the most appropriate Image Stabiliser mode from seven possible settings including Macro and Panning.

Also in-built in the lens is a 3-stop Neutral Density (ND) filter, which permits the use of wider apertures in bright light to achieve shallower depth of field.

Full manual control is offered on the G1 X, with shooting mode and exposure compensation dials for quick access to a range of settings. 14-bit raw capture is also available along with High-speed Burst HQ, which captures bursts of six full resolution shots at 4.5fps. Alternatively, 1.9fps can be shot right up to card capacity in JPEG format only.

Canon powershot g1 x

Video recording is available at 1080p and in 24fps. The 4x optical zoom can be used while filming, along with the capture of stereo sound.

The body of the G1 X is designed to be robust, with a stainless steel chassis and compact design. It also includes a large vari-angle 3 inch PureColor 920K DOT UU VA LCD screen for shooting in awkward positions. An optical viewfinder with dioptre adjuster is also included. A manual pop-up flash can be used, along with additional flashes which can be attached via the hotshoe.

Canon G1 X key specifications:

  • Large 14. 3-million pixel sensor
  • 4x optical zoom
  • 3 inch articulating screen
  • Full manual mode
  • Raw shooting
  • Full HD (1080p) video recording
  • High-speed burst shooting

The Canon G1 X UK price will be around £699, and will be available from late February.