Superb - massively under-rated.

Started Jan 9, 2014 | User reviews thread
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papillon_65 Forum Pro • Posts: 27,030
Superb - massively under-rated.

I left it a while before reviewing this camera as its definitely a grower. Most complain about two things on this camera, the focusing and macro performance. There is nothing wrong with the focusing, you just need to understand how it works. It's not a close focusing camera unless you switch to the macro mode, and even then its not an ideal camera for macro. You can do it but you need to fit a close-up lens or a reverse lens adaptor and fit another lens on it. If you have any issues focusing with it then switch to manual focusing, it's a cinch to use and works very well, it also has a nice distance scale to help you. The G1X has a focusing assist beam for low light which also works really well and you can switch it on and off as needed. None of these things are issues to me, I knew it wasn't ideal for macro because I read the reviews on it, all of them are clear on this.

Now the real strengths of the camera, it has excellent build quality and ergonomics, the ovf is small and only for emergencies but in bright light, when you're most likely to use it, switch to F8 and all points focusing (IAF) and you can use it no problem. The LCD is excellent and versatile, it has a level finder and all the info you need, about the only thing I'd like is a digital dof scale, but then most cameras don't have that. It's very configurable and I love the manual AE dial and custom modes on the mode dial.

Other great features are focus bracketing (not all bad for macro then), the ability to fit an adaptor and hence use ND filters, IR capability using just an IR filter, high flash sync speed flash (though you need to use Canon speedlights to take full advantage for off camera flash (on camera is not an issue), superb lens (and I mean superb, great colour, contrast and sharpness from F2.8 onwards), superb jpeg engine (I often don't need to use RAW because the jpegs are so good) and excellent high ISO up to 6400.

So what can you use it for? pretty much anything within it's focal range IMHO. Using dof you can prefocus for anything moving, it has a great facility in which you can preset the zoom to different focal lengths. This might not be ideal for sports and movement but if you know what you're doing it's not a problem, look on Flickr in the G1X group and you will see what I mean (plenty of nice examples of running dogs etc.). It's forte though, is travel and landscape stuff, it makes a terrific lightweight landscape camera, it gives my 5D2 a run for it's money in many circumstances and will give you better IQ than many DSLR and lens combinations out there. The combinations of a superb lens and optimised sensor is really impressive. The image stabilisation is also very good, stick at F2.8 and for static subjects using the IS you can get great IQ in some very dim lighting. Think ISO 1600 and around 1/8th second if you're careful. Of course it's only F2.8 at around the 28mm mark but just it as a 28mm prime in low light, though you can go pretty high on the ISO scale if you need more focal length.
Because of the larger sensor you can also get some pretty nice portraits though you obviously won't be smashing the background to oblivion.

So in summary I'm giving it 5 stars, every camera is a compromise but this camera is less of a compromise than most. For me it all comes down to versatility and high IQ and this camera has it in spades. Ignore all the grumblings about focusing, if you know your onions it's really not a problem. I will possibly get another when they hit rock bottom price for when mine packs in, I can't see Canon bringing out at G2X, they got their fingers burned by too many reviewers who never spent enough time with this camera. The biggest compliment I can pay it is that if I could only shoot with one camera then the G1X would be it, no question. Grab one while you still can, I commend it to the house!

Oh, and a few samples if you're interested ( best viewed by clicking on them and using the "original" option as DPR on-page viewing destroys IQ with high compression ).

(Using an IR filter on the lens)

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 papillon_65's gear list:papillon_65's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix X100 Sigma DP1 Merrill Sigma DP2 Merrill Sigma DP3 Merrill Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX50V +7 more
Canon PowerShot G1 X
14 megapixels • 3 screen • 28 – 112 mm (4×)
Announced: Jan 9, 2012
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