Canon PowerShot G1 X Review

4.5
February 14, 2012 | Mark Goldstein |

Image Quality


All of the sample images in this Review were taken using the 14 megapixel JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 4Mb.

The Canon PowerShot G1 X produces images of excellent quality. It recorded noise-free images at ISO 80-1600, with some noise and slight colour desaturation at ISO 3200. ISO 6400 shows more obvious noise and loss of colour but still remains perfectly usable, and even the fastest setting of ISO 12800 doesn't suffer too badly.

The Canon PowerShot G1 X handled chromatic aberrations well, with limited purple fringing effects appearing only in high contrast situations and generally at the edges of the frame. The lens exhibits a little barrel distortion at the 28mm wide-angle setting, along with softening of detail towards the corners. The built-in flash worked well indoors, with no red-eye and good overall exposure, although there's noticeable vignetting at 28mm. The night photograph was excellent, with the maximum shutter speed of 60 seconds being long enough for most after-dark shots.

Anti-shake works very well when hand-holding the camera in low-light conditions or when using the telephoto end of the zoom range. Macro performance is poor, only allowing you to focus as close as 20cm away from the subject. The images were also a little soft straight out of the Canon PowerShot G1 X at the default sharpening setting and ideally require some further sharpening in an application like Adobe Photoshop, or you can change the in-camera setting.

Noise

There are 8 ISO settings available on the Canon PowerShot G1 X. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting for both JPEG and RAW formats.

JPEG RAW

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 12800 (100% Crop)

ISO 12800 (100% Crop)

Focal Range

The Canon PowerShot G1 X's 4x zoom lens offers a fairly versatile focal range, as illustrated by these examples:

28mm

112mm

Sharpening

Here are two 100% crops which have been Saved as Web - Quality 50 in Photoshop. The right-hand image has had some sharpening applied in Photoshop. The out-of-the camera images are a little soft at the default sharpening setting. You can change the in-camera sharpening level if you don't like the default look.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

   

Chromatic Aberrations

The Canon PowerShot G1 X handled chromatic aberrations well during the review, with fairly limited purple fringing present around the edges of objects in high-contrast situations, as shown in the examples below.

Example 1 (100% Crop)

Example 2 (100% Crop)

Macro

The Canon PowerShot G1 X has a disappointing macro mode that only allows you to focus on a subject that is 20cm away from the camera. The first image shows how close you can get to the subject (in this case a compact flash card). The second image is a 100% crop.

Macro Shot

100% Crop

Flash

The flash settings on the Canon Powershot G1 X are Auto, On, Auto Red-eye Reduction, Slow Synchro and Off. These shots of a white coloured wall were taken at a distance of 1.5m.

Flash Off - Wide Angle (28mm)

Flash On - Wide Angle (28mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64
   

Flash Off - Telephoto (112mm)

Flash On - Telephoto (112mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are some portrait shots. As you can see, neither the Flash On or the Red-eye-Reduction settings caused any red-eye.

Flash On

Flash On (100% Crop)
   

Red-eye Reduction

Red-eye Reduction (100% Crop)

Night

The Canon Powershot G1 X's maximum shutter speed is 60 seconds, which is great news if you're seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 15 seconds at ISO 100. I've included a 100% crop of the image to show what the quality is like.

Night Shot

Night Shot (100% Crop)

Anti Shake

The Canon Powershot G1 X has an anti-shake mechanism, which allows you to take sharp photos at slower shutter speeds than other digital cameras. To test this, I took 2 handheld shots of the same subject with the same settings. The first shot was taken with anti shake turned off, the second with it turned on. Here are some 100% crops of the images to show the results.

Shutter Speed / Focal Length Anti-Shake Off (100% Crop) Anti-Shake On (100% Crop)
1/6th sec / 28mm
     
1/4th sec / 112mm

Dynamic Range Correction

The Dynamic Range Correction mode automatically takes three exposures of the same scene at different settings, then combines them in-camera to create a single image with greater dynamic range. Note that you need to mount the G1 X on a tripod or stable surface to avoid camera-shake.

Off

Auto

   

200%

400%

My Colors

The My Colors function menu option contains the now familiar range of colour options for tweaking the look of your images before shooting.

Off

Vivid

   

Neutral

Sepia

   

B/W

Positive Film

   

Lighter Skin Tone

Darker Skin Tone

   

Vivid Blue

Vivid Green

   

Vivid Red

 
 

Creative Filters

The Creative Filters shooting mode contains 10 different options to help spice up your images.

Off

High Dynamic Range

   

Nostalgic

Fish_Eye Effect

   

Miniature Effect

Toy Camera Effect

   

Monochrome

Super Vivid

   

Poster Effect

Color Accent

   

Color Swap

 
 

Entry Tags

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

Tracker Pixel for Entry