G1X II Intial Review & Sample Photos

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MK153
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G1X II Intial Review & Sample Photos
4 months ago

Why I Bought It

I’m going on a 3-week trek across France, Switzerland and Italy later this summer where I hope to only bring one carry-on bag. All of my camera kits are just too big/valuable and I wanted something compact and versatile. Must haves for me were a lens wider than 28mm, a big sensor and ease of use.

I really thought about bringing my EOS-M with the 11-22mm lens (which I had to import - thanks Canon USA!... not), the 22MM pancake and the 18-55mm. I ended up deciding that was just too much to bring. So my plan is the G1XII in my bag - and my trusty old G12 in my wife’s just in case the G1XII gets stolen, dropped or malfunctions.

Image Quality

  1. Noise is pretty well controlled. I read the DXOMark graphs too - but in real life ISO 3200 is 100% usable and the even higher settings are fine for web photos. Its not quite as nice as my EOS-M - but its awesome for what it is (considering the lens and price).
  2. F2 is 100% usable if your subject is more than 4ish feet away. When its closer than that you start getting some ghosting around whatever is in focus. That goes away around f3.5 (the speed of the EOS-M’s lens I might add).
  3. Image stabilization is very effective - its really amazing actually combined with a fast lens like this.
  4. The lens is pretty sharp. Don't expect it to compete with a L-series or anything

Operation & Autofocus

  1. Startup feels instant.
  2. Review after a photo is taken feels very fast too
  3. AF Speed is much improved over the G1X, feels considerably faster than my 5D
  4. AF hunting has only been a problem so far in very very dark conditions

Handling

  1. The front ring cannot be set to zoom. This constantly feels so un-natural. If my 10 year old Powershot Pro1 can do it… the flagship in 2014 sure as hell should. In AV mode I have it programmed so the click ring is zoom stops and the smooth ring is aperture - this is the opposite of any 35mm lens I have ever used - yet it’s the closest setting to one you can configure. You can even set the little thumb wheel on the back to zoom but not the front ring…. wha???
  2. I miss the dedicated EV wheel of the G1X and G12 (also in my fleet).
  3. The touch screen is nice - but several things you cannot interact with. The other night I was shooting some photos and I wanted to change the ISO - so I tapped on the ISO setting…. nothing…. nada… I had to get out my phone to shine some light on the back of the camera to find which button does ISO.
  4. The shutter release button is very small - I keep trying to depress the very prominent mode dial. (Which by the way Canon - a lot of people rarely use…. my camera is on AV mode 80% of the time). You actually have to arch your finger over the mode dial to reach it. Strange design decision.

Build Quality

  1. Very solid and feels heavy
  2. Tilt screen feels much more fragile than the old tilt. Im glad I bought a Squaretrade warranty on this one.

Missing Features

  1. GPS. I bought this camera for a trip across Europe - I was really disappointed once I found out there was no GPS. I bought it anyways… but its still will be sorely missed. Another thing my 3 year old iPhone does better than a $800 camera - sounds pretty pathetic doesn’t it?
  2. Microphone Input. This should be standard on a camera with HD video - especially a flagship. I feel like they left it off just so I don't want to sell my EOS-M. That’s not a good feeling Canon.
  3. External speedlite control. Nikon has been doing this for years… to my knowledge the only Canon camera that can do it is the 7D. As I said in my review of the G12 - Canon you should really fix this.
  4. You should be able to do RAW to JPEG conversion in camera.
  5. The "Remote Shooting" smartphone app only shoots JPEGs in auto mode - no matter what mode you actually had the camera in.

Quirks & Bugs

  1. If you insert a memory card after the camera is on - it won't recognize it. You have to turn the camera off and then on again. First time using the camera I thought it was broken and ended up formatting the card (which also made it recognize it).

Sample Photos

These really are nothing special - its just me clicking around with the new camera for 24 hours after I bought it. Several of the downtown ones are even shot through my windshield - if you are a pixel peeper don't use these as a quality judge.

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F2 ISO3200

F2 Macro

 MK153's gear list:MK153's gear list
G1 X II
Canon EOS 5D Canon EOS 7D Canon PowerShot G12 G1 X II
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