Canon PowerShot G1 X Review

February 14, 2012 | Mark Goldstein | |

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#1 js

Great job Canon! While Nikon is sleeping…

2:36 pm - Tuesday, February 14, 2012

#2 Krishna

Wow…wonderful..spectacular…marvelous..gorgeous..what a quality…till ISO3200 no sign of graininess in the pics and very little for 6400 and a bit for 12800…still they are perfectly usable…IMHO its performance is far far better than many high end DSLR’s…gr8 job Canon…all features in a compact package…rally good…hats off…

4:10 pm - Tuesday, February 14, 2012

#3 Paul

Yes, “the finest compact camera Canon has ever produced”.I Like!!!!!!

4:15 pm - Tuesday, February 14, 2012

#4 FTB

Looks ideal for anyone who would typically buy a DSLR and never change the kit lens - this has the benefit of being smaller and lighter plus the lens is a bit ‘faster’ and longer than a typical kit lens.

The only negatives I can see compared to a DSLR with kit lens is AF speed, zoom speed and the ViewFinder.

It costs a bit more than most entry level DSLRs also but the price will drop in time.

5:26 pm - Tuesday, February 14, 2012

#5 Chris R

Any chance you could re-shoot the two shots across the Thames used to illustrate the focal range? They look seriously pasty and quite under-whelming, perhaps due to mist or the winter weather. They are currently enough to make me quite disinterested in this camera!

5:37 pm - Tuesday, February 14, 2012

#6 iqfaizal

nice info..

5:09 am - Wednesday, February 15, 2012

#7 Jason Horman

Great review. Pretty excited about the G1X as someone who took the plunge into CSC from compacts and is sort of annoyed by the pain of interchangeable lenses while still not getting SLR quality photos. At least the G1X gives me back that compact fixed feel,  with better pictures.

The comment I have is that many camera reviews show amazing samples of fixed scenes. I need to know how movement works, how taking pictures of kids is going to work in low light. How at ISO 1200, in a darkish room (bday party), the shutter speed doesn’t drop to 1/20, and produce blurry pictures of fast kids. Would love to see more real world with movement samples.

5:33 am - Wednesday, February 15, 2012

#8 dj

Image quality is excellent—but the camera is way too big for a compact and mirrorless cameras are much more versatile… and AF is very slow.—also it costs way too much.

8:43 am - Wednesday, February 15, 2012

#9 Dan

There is a real lack of shallow DoF in the samples. Sure maybe I was expecting too much but the intro paragraphs did mention the larger sensor would give greater DoF. Until these compact cameras can produce the kinda of DoF I prefer I’m definitely not in the market for a compact like this. However it does look like a good package in many other areas.

9:36 am - Wednesday, February 15, 2012

#10 Brian G

Quote ”  the 4x zoom lens with filter thread for the attachment of supplementary extras”
Can you show me this filter thread?
I understood that filters etc. attach via the FA-DC58C bayonet filter adapter.

10:13 am - Wednesday, February 15, 2012

#11 Sergio Perea

Awesome camera! I like that!

10:34 am - Wednesday, February 15, 2012

#12 FTB

The G1X is only going to give the same shallow DOF that you can already achieve with a Fuji X10 or Olympus XZ-1 ie similar to a DSLR with kit lens, but it should do it with better overall IQ. However the X10 & XZ-1 can also focus much closer to the subject so they can achieve blurred backgrounds for macro shots whereas the G1X closest focus distance is 20cm at the widest angle.

I already have an XZ-1 and ISO performance > 400 is very poor IMO, the X10 has the downside of maximum shutter speed of 1/1000 with no built-in ND filter so you can’t open the aperture very wide on a bright day unless you fit an added ND filter.

1:17 pm - Wednesday, February 15, 2012

#13 Steve

An almost for me - with a 24-96 lens and I’d get one, but I can’t live with 28 at the wide end. Hopefully the G2x will solve this….

2:13 pm - Wednesday, February 15, 2012

#14 Mino

“Sure, it can’t match a DSLR or an APS-C equipped compact system camera at the higher ISO speeds, but ISO 100-1600 is eminently usable with 3200 as a backup, not something that you can say about many compacts”

G1 X has almost the same sensor like EOS 600D, 60D and 7D. At least, the pixel density is the same and it looks it shares the same technology like these sensors (maybe it is even cropped sensor from 7D). Do you really want to say EOS 7D “can’t match a DSLR or an APS-C equipped cameras?” :-)

2:56 pm - Wednesday, February 15, 2012

#15 Teto

Who wants to spend 699 pounds in this kind of camera?

Sorry, I´m writing for Spain and you can find one CSC camera ,like the Olympus E-PL1 por 249 € , 200 pounds with 14-42 mm lens…. Clever spend money ...

Do you pay for one camera o for one brand ???

4:45 pm - Wednesday, February 15, 2012

#16 Chris

Isn’t worthing $799.00….

6:20 pm - Wednesday, February 15, 2012

#17 dutch666

Only 20 cm in macro mode, and 799,- euro’s?

Forget it, Canon.

7:09 pm - Wednesday, February 15, 2012

#18 Fan

Larger sensors have less depth of field, not more as you write!

See the definition on

Depth of field is what’s sharp and not the amount of background blur you can get.

5:37 pm - Thursday, February 16, 2012

#19 Baby Elph

The image quality is simply spectacular… much better than a lot of high end APS-C dslr’s… AND the high ISO performance… WOW!!! ... it just blows the competition away… its so much better than the Nikon D7000 / D5100 at anything above ISO 3200 ... Outstanding job Canon!

9:51 am - Friday, February 17, 2012

#20 Maurice Hammon

Just for the record - if I download the test images said to be CR2 - CS5 says “unsuported TIFF format”. Not sure why this is - time will tell, probably need some sort of update.

11:46 am - Friday, February 17, 2012

#21 Lanson

The battery, 28mm wide angle & the price is a big turn off for my team of 27 people.

12:16 pm - Friday, February 17, 2012

#22 Dutch666

@ Mr. Goldstein:

Is it possible to compensate the crappy macro a bit by using the zoom function?

9:28 pm - Saturday, February 18, 2012

#23 RHum

The G1X seems perfect for someone like me, when I need highest quality and flexibility, I use my 5Dmk2 or possibly my 7D.  But when I cannot or do not want to carry all that bulk, it would really be nice to have high quality images from my carry-about camera.  Seems to me that this fits the bill nicely.

1:14 am - Sunday, February 19, 2012

#24 nychisf

Back ordered it. Hope Canon quality shines through. Did not like the G11 but this is a different animal. Trading in the P7000 - hope this guy slips in and out of pockets smoothly as well.

9:23 pm - Monday, February 20, 2012

#25 goldfries

Got my unit yesterday and I LOVE IT! Beats older SLR to pieces. :)

It costs more than a 600D but hey, I don’t need another SLR.

This one works great, nice noise control, great image stabilization, works for strobing as well!

On the downside, the minimum focusing distance is disappointed, and so is the macro mode.

Overall a solid camera.

6:14 am - Saturday, February 25, 2012

#26 Bill Pryor

I really, really wanted to like this camera. It’s a great camera as a carry around small camera for 5DII users. However I use my 5DII mostly for video and want a compact that can shoot good video as well. Unfortunately, while the G1X can shoot good video, under some conditions, there is no good manual control. While you can work around it to a degree and use AE lock to keep it from changing exposure during a shot, and do the same with focus, there is no way to set the shutter at 1/48 or 1/50 for 24p video. Sony seems to be able to give us full manual control in its little NEX-5N for less money. I wish Canon had done the same with this one and I’d have already ordered it.

10:10 pm - Sunday, February 26, 2012

#27 nychisf

Yes, you do have to jump through hoops to make it perform to your specs for your video standards. This why I leave it up to my camcorder to record moving things. Still cameras just don’t cut it with their video functions. Also, not being able to attach a filter and a hood at the same time is goofy. Maybe we’ll have to pay another $100 for the Gx 2 to fix that.

11:08 pm - Sunday, February 26, 2012

#28 Lanson

Great! But Canon powershot S100 is equally great with a plus in pricing and a smaller body easily lug along. Either one we choose Canon wins. Hats off to you Canon

4:44 pm - Sunday, March 11, 2012

#29 Lanson

Point for point, I will take Sony NEX-5N. Everything more & better for much le$$.

4:52 pm - Sunday, March 11, 2012

#30 Don Wilber

$800 and a optical viewfinder?  I’ll pass on that.  Why can’t camera manufacturers get it all right in one good camera?

2:13 am - Wednesday, March 14, 2012

#31 Frank Stanton

Has anyone experienced light leakage or “glow dots” at high ISO as Canon refers to it, as reported today by the Imaging Resource website?They say they have no plans for fixing it since they believe it is rather rare.

5:06 pm - Wednesday, March 21, 2012

#32 Frank Stanton

The Imaging Resource (March 21, 2012) website is reporting light leakage at ISO 3200 and above; Canon refers to this as “Glow Dots” and says they have no plans to fix this as it is rare. Has anyone experienced this?

5:10 pm - Wednesday, March 21, 2012

#33 Ron Graves

AP is asking is this the DSLR killer? Based on this review, the answer is a solid no. It’s a nice camera, and I wouldn’t mind one, but to supplement my DSLR, not replace it (a 4x zoom, maxed at 112mm is pretty poor).

And I agree with #5 Chris R - those cross-river pics really suck.

7:26 pm - Wednesday, March 21, 2012

#34 Rick

I had one for two weeks and sold it because it was very slow to operate. Ergonomics were also awkward. Picture quality was astonishingly good but it felt like I was operating a machine and not a camera.

9:04 pm - Sunday, March 25, 2012

#35 Roger

I’ve always been a Canon fan and currently use a G10 which is a great camera but just a little too bulky. I was hoping that Canon would be bring out something similar in size to the Sony NEX-5N so I could use some of my DSLR lenses with it. Unfortunatley looks like I’ll have to wait a bit longer.

10:59 am - Tuesday, March 27, 2012

#36 Hi Kelsey

I bought the G1X and am very happy with it.  I wanted as much technology as possible in a camera that I can carry with me everywhere at all times.  Size matters, and this is a large unit, but I’ve ben able to accomodate that size very well so far.  The next step up for me would have been an interchangeable lens unit and their size constraints make it virtually impossible to have it with me always.  By using the highest quality image settings, and cropping to the desired close-up portion, I’ve been able to achieve excellent macro results.  As an enthusiast, not professional, I’m extremely pleased with this camera at this point.

5:47 pm - Saturday, March 31, 2012

#37 Bojan Flaks

I bought one of these recently - and not for £699! It is very, very good. I had noted the macro deficiency, but got a Canon 250D close-up lens for about £37.00 form Ebay.  If you really need a real macro (up to 1:1) then you need an SLR.
The reviews didn’t mention that this camera allows digital zoom to 16X, as well as the optical 4X. This quite usable and certainly gives better results than most PASs.  You can take this on holiday without constantly regretting leaving your DSLR at home. Worth every penny of £500.

3:53 pm - Thursday, April 12, 2012

#38 Alberto

I have recently bought this camera. The image quality is AMAZING. Really good. It is impressive. The big sensor really makes a difference. When I compare the photos with the ones of a DSLR I have the quality is very similar. It is, without a doubt, the best compact on sale right now. Even if you use it in Auto mode (for beginners or lazy pros) the image quality is superb. I of course recommend it. The only problems I have perceived are: price (way too expensive), slow AF (but acceptable), poor macro (but logical due to its huge sensor) and size (not really a compact.) If you really are after THE BEST image quality in a compact camera with a fixed lens (without having to worry about changing lenses or carrying bulky lenses with you like with a DSLR or a mirrorless camera), and don’t mind a bigger size and a higher price than a normal compact, then this is the one for you! This camera is a beast.

3:16 pm - Tuesday, May 22, 2012

#39 Mary38

Does Canon have a problem with Independent Voters?

“Even the G1x is having problems becoming a hit. A 1.5” sensor with a glued-in zoom lens were wild fantasies of G-series fans and fixed-lens-with-RAW photographers for many years. The camera arrived, but the excitement was not on the train.”

12:04 pm - Friday, July 6, 2012

#40 OutToPlayJazz

Cameras are such compromised things, aren’t they? I’ve been through the CSC mill with a Lumix G3 and took the nasty thing back. I don’t really want a DSLR due to the size and sheer cost of lenses, so currently I have a Sony HX200V for it’s immense 60X “Clear Image” zoom and I’m going for a G1X in the next week or two for those big sensor quality images.

Why the G1X? Well, we all buy cameras for their image quality. I’ve read review upon review, weighed up all the pros and cons, and finally arrived where I started. Yes, the G1X is flawed, but on my iMac screen the G1X image quality consistently blows me away. Simple as that. More when I get mine…

9:41 pm - Tuesday, September 4, 2012

#41 NyChiSF

I’ll toil with my full frame with the G1x in the pocket. Use this compact mostly for movies when the occasion arises. I’m lazy so the red button and AE Lock button gives a nice 1080p video. Was very frustrated at the air show with the short zoom. Very good glare reduction out in the sun. Also like the LCD screen flat up against the back of the camera so wherever I point the lens, that’s where the subject is, not offset to the side like an articulated camcorder screen. This helps especially with a fast moving subject. I expect this is not a problem to other shooters.

2:17 am - Thursday, September 6, 2012

#42 mohammad

if you want to take sharp ,clear photo in low light condition choose canon g1-x it really works well

9:19 am - Wednesday, April 24, 2013

#43 Harold Resnick

I bought my first serious point and shoot, the Canon G9, about 5 years ago, and I decided last month to upgrade it, and purchase the Canon G1X. I love the camera. Is it perfect? Probably not, as no camera is, and everyone out there will find something to nitpik about every camera. I would still give this camera a 5/5 rating. Yes, my G9 had a better macro than the G1X, and the G9 had a more powerful zoom, but I actually prefer the G1X’s lens, as it starts at a wider angle than the G9, which for me is more important than how powerful the zoom lens is. From my experience, I find it easier to just move up than I find it to move back to get more in the photo. As I did with my G9, I will be splurging to purchase the custom Canon waterproof case. Yes, the camera is heavy, but I prefer the fact that it is, as it strikes me as more durable to abuse, if I ever were to bump it or drop it. If you want a compact point and shoot camera, and you’re criticizing the G1X camera because it’s not pocket size, what size did you expect it to be?

5:00 am - Wednesday, December 18, 2013

#44 Don

I was thrilled to find a GX1 at half price and quickly scooped one up.  I put it up for sale 2 days later.  I am a longtime Canon owner and have never been as disappointed as I was with this camera.  Clumsy and incredibly slow AF.  I recall my first G series camera, a G2, being faster.  Great sensor, good lens, but all for not in a camera that demands you pre-focus to achieve any kind of timely result upon squeezing the shutter release!  Vey disappointed in Canon.

3:01 am - Monday, August 11, 2014

Entry Tags

hd video, hd, 3 inch LCD, compact, 1080p, wide-angle, hdmi, dslr, canon, manual, 14 megapixel, raw, prosumer, 4x zoom, powershot, vari-angle, optical viewfinder, g1 x, g1x, powershot g1 x, canon g1 x, Canon PowerShot G1 X Review

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