Of the G1X IV, G3X II and the state of things...

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
OP RLight Senior Member • Posts: 2,556
PDAF vs DPAF rework

AllFlawed wrote:

RLight wrote:

I was considering where we are, how we got here with point and shoots, Canon technology and whatnot... Couple thoughts:

The G7X III and G5X II addresses the larger market need for pocketable power with Canon flare, and do it with Sony's 1" sensor. This is "the" sensor for point and shoots. Leverages Sony's R&D to accomplish high MP counts, high ISO performance and fast readout, in a compact category. Canon doesn't have a sensor in this range to address this market. Canon can, adopt the RX100 V/VA sensor on next update to add PDAF. Interestingly enough, by Canon choosing to use the RX100 IV sensor, they don't have to re-write their AF software for PDAF (for the G7X III / G5X II), but get the benefits of 4K and faster readout on contrast detection.

Canon, is addressing "peak" image quality and build with the G1X Mark III via their own APS-C sensor. The G7X III and G5X II lack PDAF/DPAF. The G1X III lacks DIGIC8 and has a slower lens, albeit higher quality.

I gather, the G5X II's newly designed lens will get re-used next round, probably on a newer Sony RX100 sensor down the line in say 1-2 years that has PDAF. It'll probably also get DIGICX at the time so ever smarter processor for say HEIF support, etc with PDAF is a decent upgrade.

The G7X III may likewise get PDAF around the same time. We're probably a year or so away from both (G5X II getting updated sensor/DIGIC).

Will Canon really want to develop processing on sensor PDAF purely for the compact range when it is not paralleled in its ILC range?

Can the dual pixel software and hardware setup just be be switched to reading on sensor specialised PDAF that easily? Presumably they will need at least to work up to avoid banding issues that have not come too easily to current practitioners of the art.

To your point, I gather the amount of work needed on Canon's behalf may have been one of the reasons they chose a contrast based 1" sensor on the G7X III and G5X Mark II. It gave them a cheaper offering (the RX100 IV sensor probably is more abundant in Sony's stores and thus Canon probably got a deal on them as the sensor is usually the single most expensive component in a camera historically anyways) and allows them to reuse their existing AF software from the former G3/7/9X series (and prior contrast detection) handiwork.

DPAF works differently than PDAF, even though they are similar in concept, how they come to an AF acquisition though and how much software Canon's written for DPAF, I don't feel the cost to write the code was worth the target market here, especially when fast contrast detection is "good enough" for most uses and this is a niche market, no offense.

For Sony, they already have AF-software they can reuse from their A7 series which also uses PDAF, so naturally it makes sense for them to continue to develop the 1" PDAF ala RX100 and RX10 series.

However for Canon, this is a declining niche market, a high margin one though. It made sense this round to grab the RX100 IV sensor without question. But RX100 V sensor and redo code? Probably not.

This may signal the end of the line here though... Canon's been standardizing their sensor lines and is no longer making a 1.5" sensor, instead the G1X III got the 80D sensor. I'd bet dollars to donuts Canon's only path forward here is an APS-C for the PowerShot G series, be it zoom or prime, or even FF prime ala Leica Q / RX1, which would be really cool btw.

The trouble with the latter (APS-C zoom/prime or FF prime PowerShot) is they aren't pocketable. I feel the G7X III and G5X II are the apex of point and shoots as Sony's taking a different approach: smartphones with computational photography mean the 1" married to a fast zoom, can be contended with a smaller sensor and software, thus reach, ala the 200mm of the RX100 VI-VII is the future. The trouble is these are in fact knocking on the door of diffraction nearly out the gate at f/4.5 on a 1" so they are hitting the wall so to speak now too where all Sony can do is improve handling and user experience (SOOC colors, etc).

Lastly, not to hit the G3X again, but, considering the nature of that camera's AF needs (you need more autofocus at longer reach) and the contrast detection based AF system Canon's adopted for the 1" PowerShot, coupled with the low demand and high production cost of the G3X lens, it's becoming more obvious as I write this that the G3X Mark II may be dead and will never materialize. The RX100 IV sensor married to DIGIC8 probably didn't give enough gains to merit producing a product that is "behind" the RX10 and FZ1000. I have to concur with that line of reasoning on Canon's behalf. Shame though.

All to say we're reaching diminishing returns in a shrinking niche market. This may be as good as it gets with perhaps another APS-C PowerShot in the future or possibly a Leica Q like offering, but this may be it (our existing lineup), with VERY small incremental updates going forward.

 RLight's gear list:RLight's gear list
Canon G5 X II Canon EOS R Canon RF 28-70mm F2L USM Canon RF 35mm F1.8 IS STM Macro Canon RF 24-240mm F4-6.3
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