Digital Camera Types

Large Sensor Compact Cameras

Written by Gail Bjork

The Canon G1 X was the first, but not the last, fixed-lens camera to have a large sensor, allowing you to take near-DSLR quality photos in low light.

Compact camera/Huge sensor

When Canon first announced the PowerShot G1 X, a highly advanced, compact digital camera, it took photo enthusiasts by surprise. It has a huge sensor compared to those found other non-interchangeable lens cameras.

Though somewhat physically larger, the G1 X looks a lot like the Canon G-series compacts. Like the G-series, it is packed with myriad of highly advanced features that will tickle the fancy of any owner who likes control over camera settings.

What sets it apart from current compacts is that the G1 X has a very large sensor, only 20% smaller than sensors used in the majority of Canon’s and many other interchangeable lens cameras.

Getting DSLR quality photos in low light was previously impossible with all-in-one compacts with small sensors. I’ve seen shots taken with the G1 X at high ISO numbers that blow your socks off. (The camera shoots at an ISO range between ISO 100 and 12800). But you’ll pay for it so be ready to open your wallet wide if you decide to buy this camera.

The G1 X has similar performance limitations as other compacts compared to digital single lens reflex cameras: slow AutoFocus,  and shot-to-shot time, and  a mediocre viewfinder (but at least it has one). Some consider its limited zoom range a drawback.  It also has limited close-focus distance.

First but not the last

While not considered a new classification of digital camera, the Canon G1 X is the first fixed-lens compact to sport such a large sensor.  Sony introduced the CyberShot RX100 that has a 1″ sensor, almost three times larger than sensors found in other in it’s class.  While not the smallest compact camera, it still fits in your pocket unlike the G1X

I look forward to what other camera manufacturers have offer. Hopefully with more competition, the price of the large sensor, non-interchangeable lens compact will come down.

About the author

Gail Bjork

Gail Bjork, who is passionate about digital photography, is the owner and editor of Digicamhelp.Gail is the author of three illustrated ebooks about digital photography. A number of her photos and digital photography related articles appear at other websites.In 2006, a series of her photos, People in the Louvre, were exhibited at the Underground Photo Gallery
in Iisalmi Finland. Eight of her photos taken in the Florida scrub are on permanent exhibition at Parrish Medical Center in Titusville, Florida.Gail served twelve years as an elected member of The School Board of Palm Beach County, Florida, one of the largest school districts in the U.S. She has also been the editor of a small town newspaper and a free-lance writer. Gail and her husband owned and ran several small businesses.

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