Canon PowerShot G1 X

January 9, 2012 | Zoltan Arva-Toth | CES 2012, Digital Compact Cameras | 23 Comments | |
News image

The Canon PowerShot G1 X is a new compact camera with a large 14.3-megapixel CMOS sensor and a metal body. Measuring 18.7x14mm, the sensor of the PowerShot G1 X has a 4:3 aspect ratio but is marginally bigger than a typical FourThirds imager. Utilising Ultra high refractive index Aspherical (UA) elements and precision glass moulding technology, the fixed-mount lens of the Canon G1 X offers a 35mm equivalent zoom range of 28-112mm. Catering to the needs of professionals and advanced amateurs, the Canon PowerShot G1 X offers full manual control with shooting mode and exposure compensation dials for quick and intuitive access to a range of settings, and supports 14-bit raw capture for smooth gradations. Other highlights include an optical viewfinder, vari-angle screen, built-in Speedlite, flash hot shoe, High Dynamic Range mode and Full HD movie recording capabilities. The PowerShot G1 X is available from late February, priced at £699.00/€799.00/$799.99 RRP.

Click through / scroll down for a 2-minute introductory video released by Canon Europe.

Canon Press Release

Canon unveils The Master Compact – the revolutionary PowerShot G1 X

United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, 9th January 2012 – Canon today introduces the PowerShot G1 X – a revolutionary new compact camera with a large CMOS sensor, designed to produce DSLR levels of image quality and control in a highly portable metal body. Created for professional and serious photographers, the PowerShot G1 X creates a prestigious new category at the top of Canon’s legendary G-series line-up, and redefines the performance achievable from a compact camera.

A high-quality camera in its own right or the perfect complement to a professional DSLR, the PowerShot G1 X combines EOS sensor technology with DIGIC 5 processing power, a new precision Canon lens and extensive manual control – creating the finest compact camera Canon has ever produced. Designed to be highly portable, the PowerShot G1 X features a zoom lens which retracts into a discreet, robust metal body, providing photographers with an unimposing camera that delivers high quality images and superior handling.

Professional levels of image quality
Incorporating Canon-developed technologies and expertise trusted by professionals worldwide, the PowerShot G1 X offers a level of image quality previously only possible with a Canon DSLR. It’s Canon’s first compact camera to feature a large, 4:3 aspect, 14.3 Megapixel CMOS sensor measuring 18.7mm x 14mm – similar in height to the APS-C sensors used within EOS DSLR models. Featuring the same pixel size and structure as the EOS 600D, and a surface area approximately 6.3 times larger than the sensor in the acclaimed PowerShot G12, it provides DSLR image quality in a body small enough to carry anywhere.

The increased sensor size allows photographers to have greater control over the depth of field, with increased potential to creatively and artistically isolate a subject from its background. Improved dynamic range enables users to accurately capture shadows and highlights within the same frame, while the 14.3 Megapixel resolution allows for the output of large-sized prints, or permits images to be cropped for more powerful compositions.

The PowerShot G1 X also features a range of benefits that result from the advanced CMOS sensor technology developed within Canon’s EOS range. On-chip noise reduction ensures images are clear, even at high ISO speeds, while a 4-channel read-out provides high speed image capture – ensuring fast, responsive performance in all conditions.

Combining the large sensor with the DIGIC 5 image processor, the HS System in the PowerShot G1 X sets new standards for low-light performance, with a maximum full-resolution ISO range of 100 to 12800 – a level never before seen in a Canon compact. Photographers can shoot using the ambient light in even the darkest of conditions, capturing natural shots with incredible detail and low noise – providing a powerful basis for low-light photography.

Precision lens technology
Developed using the same design, manufacturing and quality processes as the world-renowned EF lens range, the lens in the PowerShot G1 X is built to achieve professional levels of image quality. Utilising Ultra high refractive index Aspherical (UA) elements and precision glass moulding technology, the lens achieves both a compact size and pin-sharp clarity for the most discerning of photographers. The lens retracts compactly into the camera body while offering a flexible 4x optical zoom range of 28mm – 112mm, giving photographers the option to use the zoom creatively and change the framing and perspective of their shot. A 6 blade aperture also combines with the large-sized sensor to produce beautiful background blur.

To help ensure optimum image and Full HD movie clarity, the lens features a 4-stop optical Image Stabilizer (IS), allowing photographers to shoot in darker conditions and use shutter speeds up to four stops slower than would be possible without IS. The optical Image Stabilizer is supported by Intelligent IS which analyses the focal length, focal distance and type of camera movement and applies the most appropriate Image Stabilizer mode from seven possible settings: Normal IS, Macro IS, Panning IS, Powered IS (in Movie mode only), Dynamic IS, Dynamic and Macro IS and Tripod Mode. For example, when a panning motion is detected, Panning IS is activated and stabilises in only one direction for more artistic capture of movement across the frame. Hybrid IS technology is also included to capture macro subjects without the blur associated with shift camera shake.

The lens also includes an in-built 3-stop Neutral Density (ND) Filter, permitting the use of wider apertures in bright light to achieve a shallower depth of field, or to use slower shutter speeds to intentionally blur motion.

Extensive control
Following on from the control historically offered by the PowerShot G-series, the PowerShot G1 X offers Full Manual Control with shooting mode and exposure compensation dials for quick and intuitive access to a range of settings. For maximum control over the final image, the PowerShot G1 X fits seamlessly into the EOS photographer’s workflow, supporting 14-bit RAW capture for smooth gradations and natural colours which can be fine-tuned using the supplied Digital Photo Professional (DPP) software.

Giving photographers the option to capture split-second action, the PowerShot G1 X features High-speed Burst HQ, capturing bursts of six full-resolution shots at 4.5fps to freeze fast-moving action. Alternatively, users can shoot continuously at 1.9fps right up to card capacity in JPEG format – ensuring longer sequences of action are captured.

High quality, Full HD movies
The PowerShot G1 X supports Full HD (1080p) movie capture instantly at 24fps, via a dedicated movie button. Taking advantage of the camera’s large CMOS sensor, users can experience high quality movies, even in low light conditions, with the shallow depth of field associated with a larger sensor. Additionally, the 4x optical zoom can be used whilst filming, offering versatility, while stereo sound is also captured.

Professional handling
With its robust, stainless steel chassis and compact design, the PowerShot G1 X offers professional-quality handling. A large vari-angle, 7.5cm (3.0”) PureColor II VA LCD screen allows photographers to shoot from virtually any angle or position, to get the composition they desire. The bright, high-resolution, 920k dot LCD provides a sharp, detailed platform for image framing and review, while an optical viewfinder (OVF) with dioptre adjuster gives photographers the option to shoot according to their individual style. A newly-integrated manual pop-up flash provides the option to add additional light to a scene, and, using the hotshoe, external Canon Speedlite flashes can also be used.

Advanced shooting modes
A range of advanced shooting modes are provided to assist photographers in capturing challenging scenes and situations. When shooting in very dark conditions without a tripod for example, Handheld Night Scene captures a high-speed sequence of shots, combining the data to produce one well-exposed image with minimal blur. Additionally, High Dynamic Range (HDR) mode captures scenes with a particularly high range of bright and dark tones, taking multiple exposures and combining them to deliver rich detail in shadows and highlights.

Expanded potential through accessories
Ideal for EOS DSLR users, the PowerShot G1 X is compatible with a range of EOS System accessories, allowing photographers to instantly expand the potential of the camera. Canon’s EX Speedlite flash units can be used for creative lighting, while the WP-DC44 waterproof case provides protection to a depth of 40m – ideal for shooting in the heavy rain or taking shots underwater – with full access to all controls. 

An optional lens Filter Adapter, FA-DC58C, also enables photographers to use a range of filters, such as a circular polariser to enhance blue skies or remove reflections. For more even lighting when shooting macro subjects, a Macro Ring Lite adapter (MLA-DC1) allows Canon’s Macro Ring Lite or Twin Lite flash units from the EOS System to be used.

Offering truly advanced levels of professional control alongside unprecedented image quality, the PowerShot G1 X is the ideal camera for professional and serious photographers who demand DSLR flexibility and quality from a compact camera.

PowerShot G1 X – key features:
Large 14.3 MP CMOS, DIGIC 5, HS System
Compact 4x zoom; Intelligent IS
7.5 cm (3.0”) vari-angle LCD; OVF
Full Manual, RAW, DPP
High-speed Burst HQ
Smart Auto
Extensive accessories
HDR mode and ND filter
Optional 40m waterproof case

Pricing and Availability
The PowerShot G1 X is available from late February, priced at £699/€799 RRP incl. VAT.

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Your Comments

23 Comments | Newest Oldest First | Post a Comment

#1 M.

This is the way Canon found to say: 'if you want a high quality camera, buy one of our DSLRs'. Just like Nikon did with the 1 series, only in a different way.
I'm sticking with my E-P1. At least I'll be able to use the lenses I want.
P. S. This is a rather ugly little camera!

5:16 pm - Monday, January 9, 2012

#2 Lynx

I think I still like my EOS 1100d more than this.

5:48 pm - Monday, January 9, 2012

#3 Low Budget Dave

Seems like it has everything I want. F2.8 to 5.8 is not great, but is good enough. How fast does it focus, though? The Olympus EP3 is fast, and the Nikon V1 is blazing.

Unless Canon is fast, the it is going to get left behind.

6:12 pm - Monday, January 9, 2012

#4 Paolo

I think his isthe right way for quality and portability. It's not so useful having a light body with a HUGE lens attached....
Thank's CANON!

6:31 pm - Monday, January 9, 2012

#5 Tobias

@Paolo: It's also not useful to having a light body with a SLOW lens permanently attached to it.

@Low Budget Dave: I disagree. The lens is too slow. Their compact S90/S95 has a smaller and faster lens with almost the same range: f/2.0 versus f/2.8 at the wide end, f/4.9 versus f/5.8 at the long end. The camera is too expensive for such a slow lens that can't be changed. Micro Four Thirds offers the more attractive package here.

@Lynx: That was Canon's intention. They introduced this 'worst of two worlds' camera so they don't hurt the sales of their entry level DSLRs. It's damn hard to sell crappy, plastic quality entry level DSLRs when there's good compacts in the same range that do the same.

6:42 pm - Monday, January 9, 2012

#6 dj

If there was no such thing as Micro Four Thirds (or other mirrorless cameras) then this camera would be exciting....

7:54 pm - Monday, January 9, 2012

#7 Matt

@Tobias the problem with making the lens faster means making the physical size bigger, so the entire camera is less... compact, which is exactly the point of a compact camera!

The M43/NEX kit lenses are generally f3.5-5.6 or thereabouts and only tend to go to 42/45mm. I don't think f/5.8 @ 112 mm is going to be that much of a problem for a COMPACT camera. Don't forget when comparing prices that you have to add the cost of an extra lens to your system, and I don't know any CSC that offers a fast telephoto lens - i.e. 100mm+ @ f/2.8 or faster - so I'm not sure what you can compare it to that has a similar sized sensor other than a dSLR + pro 2.8 lens if you want fast telephoto, and then you're talking way more money than this.

Personally I think this will make a great addition to my range of cameras. A compact with a big sensor sounds great to me! I bought the Nikon P7000 and though it was rubbish, the G12 didn't offer me much more, I avoided the Fuji X10 after all the problems I had with my X100 and haven't found a compact camera that I'd be interested in - until now! I already have two mirrorless camera systems, neither of which will let me put them in my pocket with a 28-112mm zoom range lens, this is the perfect carry everywhere camera for me for family occasions where I want decent quality photos.

Price-wise I think it's probably about £100 too much, but that'll most likely come out in the first month or so - although you do have to remember that it has nearly an APS-C sized sensor in there! Give I have two MSC's already, I'd definitely choose this over the Nikon One, and I'm a big Nikon dSLR fan!

8:18 pm - Monday, January 9, 2012

#8 andy clad

Now come on Olympus, you have the chance to excel and produce a semi-pro compact with the same fantastic lens found on the XZ1.
Its a good concept upgrading the sensor, but its a really slow lens.
I wont be trading in my SX220HS for this one just yet.
I think Panasonic have invested to much in their four thirds models to produce a fantastic LX6?

8:21 pm - Monday, January 9, 2012

#9 Alex

Hi everyone,

+1 Paolo.

in my opinion some of you are missing the point. This is NOT an interchangeable lens camera and rightly so. If I'm going to take a 4/3 camera body and a bag with several lenses, I might just as well take a DSLR and through some larger lenses in the bag.

But for those days when I want to travel light or just wanna have a camera in my pocket, I take my G11, with it's small sensor and image quality that is much less than that of a recent DSRL.

I think this new canon is very exiting. It's small enough to fit almost everywhere, especially due to its retractable lens. It does not need several lenses to cover a relatively wide zoom range. It has a huge sensor for such a small camera. It's got manual everything, RAW, HD video, Flip screen...

I love my G11 and switching to the G12 did not seem interesting enough to get my wallet out. But such a big sensor in such a 'compact' ready-to-shoot camera is very appealing. According to Canon's video, this sensor is almost as large as that of the 600D/60D/7D, which has 4.4MP more. If my maths are correct, a pixel on this new sensor is 3% larger than on the 600D/60D/7D sensor. I'm exited to read the review when it comes out!

8:28 pm - Monday, January 9, 2012

#10 brigitte

Any news on the G13 or this is all we can expect from canon now in the high end compact?

9:06 pm - Monday, January 9, 2012

#11 ento

I think it will be a great camera. The lens are faster than DSLRs kits. So I think it will have DSLR IQ being smaller and lighter. Battery Life (CIPA): 250 it's a bit low... As for comparing with S95, XZ1: f2.0, f1.8 - that's possible because of the smaller sensor.

9:46 pm - Monday, January 9, 2012

#12 Warren Lyons

G12 on Steroids!

10:35 pm - Monday, January 9, 2012

#13 M.

Yes, Warren, only it's the Ben Johnson kind of steroids :)

10:43 pm - Monday, January 9, 2012

#14 Joe

Had a Canon G almost 9 years ago. Have a NEX currently (and it takes every lens I can think of, at least with manual focus peaking).

This Canon is five (5) years too late and the crowd has moved on. Kind of iPhone with a rotary dial.

Even Fuji is on to their second, and more flexible, iteration/generation of the X100.

11:40 pm - Monday, January 9, 2012

#15 Bill

Too big, about as portable as a brick. The G12 was not really pocketable, and this is even bigger. If I have to carry it in a case, I see no drawback to something with interchangeable lenses. Too expensive, for that much, I will go with an NEX. It does probably fix most of my complaints about the G12, but it's too little, too late. I was waiting to see what they did before getting my next camera, and it looks like I will finally be getting something other than a Canon.

1:15 am - Tuesday, January 10, 2012

#16 vger

Sounds like a great compromise to me: I've wanted a 4/3 size sensor but I do NOT want to carry around extra lenses... I loved my G11, I really like my G12, but I'd like better low light performance and a little better picture quality.

3:26 am - Tuesday, January 10, 2012

#17 Fabio

This camera is huge, hardly "compact" , and what's the point in buying a big camera like that for about the same price of the T3i or a D5100 ? Nikon P7100 costs half the price and makes more sense to me if you need more control or a Canon S100 that is so tiny and has better lens.
It seems that now that the megapixels race is over , they created a new trend , big "compact" overpriced cameras that offer much less than a DSLR in the same price range. This should cost US$500,00 to make sense or at $800,00 perform better than a DSLR , and that I doubt it will.

6:46 am - Tuesday, January 10, 2012


incredible camera and specs , only letdown by lame battery capacity .

10:45 am - Tuesday, January 10, 2012

#19 Thomas

@Fabio you are wrong on pretty much every account. The S100 is tiny and has a FASTER lens. In this case, that doesn't necessary equal "better". If you look at other large sensor, fixed lens cameras, they all have brilliant lenses, simply because the lens has been designed to the sensor (and the other way around, obviously). The same will most likely be the case here, in which case we'll have a large sensor camera with a sharp to very sharp zoom lens covering 28-112 mm. And that brings me to your second comparison, that against entry level DSLRs. Compared to those, this camera should have better build quality, more manual control, more features AND a much better lens. The kit lenses, while much better these days, are certainly no wonders in terms of sharpness and contrast.

The other aspect is market dynamics. It doesn't strike people as odd that the cameras that were pretty much killed off by the cheap DSLR five-six years ago are now making a comeback? A lot of people, who never bother to go beyond the kit lens, don't want the bulk of a DSLR system. A lot of DSLR users want a smallER back-up that provides them with the same control. This last group has always been the target market for the Ricoh GR range, and now Canon is offering them an even better - on paper - solution, while at the same time providing enthusiasts who don't want the bulk of a SYSTEM (SLR or CSC) with a versatile and decently compact camera.

Given how well Canon's recent sensors have performed wrt ISO, DR etc, I expect this to perform on par with their 18 MP DSLRs and just slightly behind the (currently superior) 16 MP Sony sensor.

1:29 pm - Tuesday, January 10, 2012

#20 Fabio

To Thomas
I never said that the image quality of a S100 is the same, of course G1X will provide excellent image quality due to bigger sensor, what I meant is that a really compact camera makes more sense as a backup, and if it's is not a backup and I have to carry a camera bag then a DSLR makes more sense ( to me).
I'm not the one that is comparing this camera to a T3i (600D), Canon is comparing then in their presentation.
There's a very good video at youtube comparing sizes with the Panasonic GX1 and Canon G12 , and the Canon G1X is bigger and thicker than both.
You may get a longer lens than a kit DSLR but you lose a decent viewfinder, G1X's is said (?) to cover only 77% of the image and is tiny, leaving only the LCD to compose the photo. Speed is also much different and focusing speeds are not likely to match a DSLR.
I would love to have one of this but not at this price, I had the chance of using the Fuji X100 for about 2 hours and it's a wonderfull equipment , but also too expensive for a APSC sensor with fixed lens.
After reading this I decided to order the Nikon P7100, at half the price, smaller size ,longer lens and good reviews it makes more sense to me for those moments when I want to leave my DSLR at home.

4:00 pm - Tuesday, January 10, 2012

#21 Michael

I think this is brilliant. I've never been impressed by EVIL cameras because the lenses make them impossible to carry around in a pocket. To me this is a great idea - a point&shoot; with a big sensor is the best of both worlds.

4:47 pm - Tuesday, January 10, 2012

#22 DaveAB

I wonder if there will be a Powershot G13 later this year? The G1X is larger than the G12, has a far larger image sensor, and (at least in the U.S.) cost $300 more (actually more like $400 more with the heavy discounts on the G12 lately). It wouldn't surprise me to see a G13 with the sensor from the new S100 come out at the $450-500 price point. If the same size as the G12, it would
be a (barely) pocketable compact, the G1X, not so much.

11:19 am - Wednesday, January 11, 2012

#23 Ronnie Biggs

Nice camera/ but not the price! g12 is overpriced, but this one is really expensive.

3:31 pm - Saturday, January 21, 2012