Why I’m not buying the Canon G1 X

Many photo enthusiasts and professional photographers have dreamed of a compact camera like the  Canon PowerShot G1 X.

Is the G1 X a dream come true? It depends.

The G1 X has all the features of advanced, fixed-lens compact cameras but with a significant difference. It has a huge sensor by comparison.

Because of its large sensor, the G1 X outperforms compact cameras with smaller sensors especially in low light using high ISO numbers. Coupled with a sharp lens, it takes photos at near-DSLR quality, exhibiting subtle gradations and depth of color not found in other compact cameras

Though somewhat larger and heavier than other Canon G series cameras, the G1 X has most of their features including lots of external controls, viewfinder, built-in pop-up flash and an high-resolution articulating LCD screen. The image quality, overall, is better than other digital cameras in its class. Well to be honest, there are no other compacts in its class at the time of this writing.

G1 X issues

But the G1 X also has issues that plague most compacts such as slow autofocus and shot-to-shot time. What a shame for a camera that costs $800. I personally can not live without some of the features I’ve come to expect on a high-end camera, especially if I’m going to spend that kind of money.

Other issues

Owners of the G1 X have reported some of the following issues:

  • highlight clipping
  • poor viewfinder – on par with other G series cameras but, hey, they don’t cost $800. It’s barely useable except in emergencies because part of the view is blocked by the protruding lens.
  • slow autofocus
  • slow shutter lag when using an external flash
  • slow continuous shooting; the camera can not be counted on to capture fast moving subjects
  • slow lens at the long end of the zoom, though it in not always problematic because of the excellent high ISO performance: f/2.8 (W) – f/5.8 (T)
  • poor macro ability – you may need to get a adapter ring and close-up lens
  • quirky manual focus – when the LCD times out, manual focus is lost and the camera reverts to autofocus
  • battery life could be better
  • no manual control when shooting video
  • annoying clip-on lens cap

If you can live with these drawbacks and part with a good chunk of change, get the G1 X. Those who own it praise it’s image quality.

Personally, I’ll wait until there are more refinements to subsequent models. Canon vastly improved the S100 over the s90, and even the s95 and, for many, the features were worth the wait. If there are no subsequent models, oh well, there will be lots of other good choices in digital cameras.

The G1 X is a class-leading compact camera; it’s just not for everyone.

For an excellent analysis of the Canon G1 X, it’s strong and weak points and possible other cameras to suit your photographic needs, read the review at the Witness to Beauty website.

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