Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II Review
Body & Design
The PowerShot G1 X Mark II is relatively bulky for a compact. It's about the size of a mid-size mirrorless camera fitted with a pancake lens. Build quality is very good. The camera is made mostly of magnesium alloy and feels well put together, especially the lens barrel with its twin dials. The dual-hinged plate that allows the LCD to tilt is quite impressive.
Controls are tightly packed on the rear of the camera, with a typical Canon PowerShot G-series layout. The dial that surrounds the four-way controller is one of three on the camera, with the other two being around the lens. The functions of each can be customized, with the available options listed at the bottom of this page.
In your hand
The G1 X II's large sensor and fast, wide-ranging lens make for a large camera. Despite that, Canon has designed the camera in such a way that it can be operated with one hand - though the front dials encourage a two-handed approach.
Compared to PowerShot G1 X
The design of the G1 X II has changed considerably compared to its predecessor. The G1 X 's 'two level' top plate - used to house the optical finder - is reduced to a styling flourish on the G1 X II, which gives the camera a more traditional rectangular shape. The grip on the G1 X II is smaller than on the original, though the optional 'custom grip' closes the gap. Also note that the front dial on the G1 X is gone on the G1 X II, replaced instead by twin control rings around the lens.
On top you'll notice that the G1 X's stacked 'double dial' which combined the mode and exposure comp dials has been transformed into a more traditional mode dial. The hot shoe on the G1 X II offers an accessory port (for the optional EVF) that was not available on its predecessor.
The back of the cameras hasn't changed too much, aside from the obvious removal of the optical viewfinder. While the controls were tight on the G1 X, they're even more crowded on the G1 X II.
Tilting touchscreen LCD
While the G1 X Mark II's 3" LCD can't flip out to the side and rotate like on its predecessors, it does have some tricks up its sleeve, one of which you won't find on any other enthusiast compact.
|The LCD can be tilted in the usual up and down positions. Note how the camera can stay flat even while the LCD is tilted downward.|
|The LCD can be tilted all the way to 180 degrees, allowing for 'selfies'.|
For better or worse, you can now take 'selfies' on a large sensor compact. As for the display itself, there are 1.04 million dots and 3:2 aspect ratio (720 x 480 pixels). Outdoor visibility was average - meaning not great - which may get some folks to pony up the $300 for the EVF.
Touchscreen features include the usual suspects. You can touch to focus and take a shot, navigate through menus, and flip through photos you've taken. The touchscreen is responsive and the actions (especially in playback mode) feel very smartphone-like.
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