Previous page Next page

Features

Photostitch Panorama

Unlike some competitors in the mirrorless large-sensor bracket of the market the Canon G1 X does not come with a fully automated panorama feature. Both the Samsung NX200 and the Sony NEX series offer panorama modes that let you sweep the camera sideways across a scene and generate a fully stitched panorama as the end result. These panoramas are taken at a lower vertical resolution than single frame images but the quality is good enough (especially on the Sonys) for web-use. Most of all these systems are quick and convenient, eliminating the need for stitchgin in post-production.

The G1 X however comes with the same Stitch-Assist scene mode that we've seen on many generations of Canon compact cameras. The mode allows you to line-up the single frames you take to create a panorama but the actual stitching has to be done on your computer, using the provided Photostitch software. Unfortunately the quality of the end result is far from perfect. In the sample below you can see that out of 4 images taken with the G1 X's Stitch Assist mode Photostitch created a panorama with a bent horizon, visible 'seams' and some stitching errors. For comparison we used the same images to create a panorama in Adobe Photoshop CS5's Photomerge feature and the result is visibly better.

In the 'About' section of Photostitch you can see that software has been around since 1996 and judging by the distinct 'Windows 3.1 look-and-feel' of the interface hasn't changed too much since then (although the most recent update dates from 2008). The software clearly needs a refresh but, ideally we'd like to see a panorama function in-camera.

The Photostitch interface is very simple. You open your images and a press of the button starts the merging process. There are very few parameters available to play with.
Panorama created with Canon Photostitch 3.1
Panorama created with Adobe Photoshop CS5's Photomerge feature

HDR, iContrast and Shadow Correct

The G1 X comes with three different features to help enhance the dynamic range of a scene - iContrast, Shadow Correct and the HDR scene mode. The former two are accessed via the Func-menu, the latter is located within the image effects, which you can get to via the mode dial.

We've seen the iContrast featyre on other Canon compact cameras before and works in similar way to the Highlight Tone Priority (HTP) mode on Canon DSLRs. More highlight detail in the images is achieved by amplifying the sensor's output by one stop (200% DR) or two stops (400% DR ) less than usual, meaning highlight detail is less likely to be discarded. As a result iContrast ISO 200 (400) is, at the raw level, the same as conventional ISO 100 underexposed by one (two) stop(s). A modified tone curve then ensures you still get the correct image brightness, and any properly compatible raw converter should reflect this and be able to render the additional highlight detail.

The downside of this is that using a lower chunk of the sensor's response leaves more space to capture highlight information, but means shadow detail is recorded using the noisier bottom end of that output. Thus, when these tones are pulled up to the correct brightness, they tend to bring a bit more noise with them. This is visible in the shadow on the red boat and on the green boat to the left in the series of sample images below.


Standard

iContrast 200%

iContrast 400%

400% + Shadow Correct

Shadow Correct

HDR

Shadow Correct works much like the Auto Lighting Optimizer on Canon DSLRs. It is supposed to detect dark areas in an image and slightly lift them in order to increase shadow detail. There is an 'Off' and an 'Auto' setting for the feature and it cannot be used when shooting raw. The effect is clearly visible in the shadow areas of the frame which are brighter but again you pay for this with slightly increased shadow noise.

In HDR mode the camera takes three shots in quick succession at different shutter speeds and then combines the single frames to an HDR image. Canon recommends the use of a tripod to avoid camera shake but even when using a tripod you'll get some ghosting effects if you have moving subjects in your image. Overall the effect is fairly subtle with only small gains in highlight and shadow range but the end result can, depending on the scene, be quite attractive and vibrant.

Electronic 'first curtain' shutter

It's clear that Canon has implemented much the same electronic 'first curtain shutter' in the G1 X as is used by its EOS SLRs in Live View mode (although the G1 X uses an in-lens, rather than focal plane shutter). In other words, when you press the shutter button the exposure is started electronically, as opposed to closing the shutter, resetting the sensor then opening the shutter again. The physical shutter is only used to end the exposure.

This means that shutter lag (once the camera has been focused) is minimal, and makes the G1 X exceptionally quiet in operation (as long as you turn off all of the synthesised operational noises). Indeed it's almost too quiet - there's almost no feedback when you take a shot.

Previous page Next page
204
I own it
105
I want it
44
I had it
Discuss in the forums

Comments

Total comments: 11
Sdaniella
By Sdaniella (3 months ago)

Canon:
G1X 15.1mm-60.4mm Zoom Lens
Max.Ap.Diam: 5.4mm (15.1/2.8) Wide
Max.Ap.Diam: 10.4mm (60.4/5.8) Tele
Horiz.AoV: 63.53° Wide
Horiz.AoV: 17.6° Tele

0 upvotes
biginabox
By biginabox (4 months ago)

Still the same flimsy, delicate lens and leaf design, I assume. No thanks.
After both a G10 and a G16 succumbed to 'shutter error' (the G16 within a week), it's manual transmission for me from now on. Something I make work by twisting with my fingers.
Come to think of it, I lose count of the number of my devices which have died simply because the 'automated' systems failed. VCR's, tape-decks, Minidisk players, and now cameras.

0 upvotes
rugosa
By rugosa (7 months ago)

I bought a G1X 2 weeks ago from a person that bought it for his wife for Christmas. She found it too much camera for her needs and so I bought it with about 10 shots total for $400. I usually shoot with a Nikon D300 and the Nikon higher priced lenses. For underwater and a light carry around I had a G10 for 5 years. After 2 weeks of shooting I must say that I'm amazed by the IQ of the photos this camera puts out. Low light shots up to ISO 1600 are allot better than my D300. It's not a perfect camera but then non of them are. Ordered a Canon 500D close up lens for it after seeing how well that worked on Marco Nero's photos with the G1X on www.pbase.com . This camera also shoots some very good underwater photos from examples I have seen on the internet so I picked up Canon's case on sale for my trips south. All told I think that although this camera is not for everyone most owners give it at least an 8/10. www.witnesstobeauty.com has another good review, great landscape photos

Comment edited 51 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Gunzorro
By Gunzorro (7 months ago)

I've been wanting this camera since it was announced. I'm primarily a DSLR shooter, and FF at that. I also have owned a G6 and currently G10 and S110. So, I'm pretty familiar with where this camera fits in and what a step it is for Canon to take.
I just bought a used version at a very nice price so will be trying it out in the near future.
I would have rated the camera a little higher, based on my past experience with Canon and reports I've read from reviews and owners. Particularly, Optics and Performance would have got a couple ticks up in my estimation. I think a 79 or 80 would have been appropriate -- being practically in a category of its own: attached zoom, large sensor, compact camera.
It won't be a camera for everyone, true. But if you want better IQ than P&S and use it as a second camera to your DSLR for quick grab shots and take-anywhere convenience, you should be well served! :)

0 upvotes
jan snks
By jan snks (10 months ago)

Image quality G1X, dpreview reports "excellent image quality across the ISO range without nasty surprises".
I would like to refer to the www.imaging-resourcing.com review of this camera. They reported a nasty Light Leakage phenomenon at higher ISO settings and short shutter times. This defect seems to be confirmed by Canon.
Would anybody comment on this ?

0 upvotes
millhoud
By millhoud (11 months ago)

I've noticed that the g1x took this studio shot at f7.1 , while other "enthusiast" compacts (g15 or p7700...) at f4.5. Could somebody explain me why's that? It would be nice to know the shutter speed too. Thanks

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (11 months ago)

It's to offer enough depth-of-field (it's a 3D target).

This has a sensor much bigger than the others, so needs to be stopped-down further in order to provide enough depth-of-field.

0 upvotes
millhoud
By millhoud (11 months ago)

Please sorry my ignorance, but to achieve this it has to use a slower shutter speed too or, thanks to the higher light-catching capabilities of the bigger sensor the g1x uses comparable shutter speeds as, say, the g15 or p7700 , with a smaller aperture?

0 upvotes
lem12
By lem12 (Sep 18, 2013)

If Canon increases DR able to at least match T2i and updates its Panorama mode (similar to the Sony's would be great), this would be true compact I'm looking for. I'll buy it no doubts!

0 upvotes
Wildbegonia
By Wildbegonia (Sep 6, 2013)

Almost but not there yet.

3 upvotes
Ponderer
By Ponderer (Aug 5, 2013)

G1x Cannons almost camera
Almost an APS-C sensor, Almost a good EVF, Almost enough lens magnification, Almost small enough. A good first try for a company that just started designing cameras.

9 upvotes
Total comments: 11