Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II

12.8MP 1.5" CMOS sensor | 24-120mm equivalent F2.0-3.9 zoom | Built-in Wi-Fi w/NFC

What we like:

  • Large 1.5"-type sensor
  • Fast lens
  • Three dial operation

What we don't:

  • Expensive
  • Backgrounds can be unintentionally blurred in Program mode
  • Clips highlights abruptly

The PowerShot G1 X Mark II is Canon's flagship compact, and a great improvement over its predecessor. With a large 1.5" CMOS sensor and fast lens, the G1 X II is unmatched in its class, and makes an excellent 'second camera' to an ILC. It offers extensive manual controls, 14-bit Raw, a touchscreen articulating LCD and dual control dials. As with many cameras these days, the G1 X II has Wi-Fi with NFC.

"The image quality, features, and performance make it a top choice"

While the G1 X II has the same 1.5" sensor as its predecessor, the image processor is new. The JPEG results are impressive, with very good performance up to ISO 8000. The Mark II always uses a crop of its sensor, allowing you to maintain the same angle of view of 3:4 and 4:3. The main downside is that the sensor is relatively dated, meaning the Raw files aren't as flexible as you'd expect from a contemporary camera, which undermines some of its sensor size benefits.

With a few exceptions, the G1 X II is a drastic improvement over the original model. It's more compact, has a faster lens (24-120mm F2.0-3.9), a real macro mode, faster burst shooting, and Wi-Fi with NFC. Two things lost are an optical viewfinder (an EVF is optional) and a fully articulating LCD (the Mark II's tilts up to 180° instead). The autofocus system is vastly superior, with speed nearly twice as fast as the original G1 X (in good light). The camera features twin dials around the lens, making it easy to adjust exposure settings (there's also a slightly clumsy third dial on the back plate). Despite the size of the camera, we were disappointed to see how cluttered the rear controls are.

Whether you're looking for a companion for your DSLR or mirrorless camera, or just a great 'compact', the PowerShot G1 X Mark II will fit the bill nicely. It's not a cheap camera by any means, but the image quality, features, and performance make it a strong contender.

Studio Test Scene | Specifications Compared | Aperture Comparison

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