Performance

Overall Performance

The PowerShot G1 X Mark II is a good performer in most areas. Startup, focus, and shot-to-shot delays are brief, the refresh rate on the LCD is impressive, and continuous shooting isn't bad, at least for JPEGs. The camera falls down a bit when you examine its battery life, and the autofocus can be flaky at times.

When you power on the camera, it'll take about 1.3 seconds before the G1 X II is ready to take a photo. Autofocus speeds are indeed fast than those on the original G1 X, sometimes twice as fast. The gap is a bit smaller when taking photos of faces but overall, the G1 X II wins this race.

The G1 X II's autofocus system did fail on a few occasions. In the night scene mentioned on the Shooting Experience page, the camera repeatedly displayed a yellow square on the LCD, which means that focus could not be obtained. In other situations the camera would be more interested in focusing on something in the background, rather than the closer subject under the focus point. Using continuous AF helped reduce that problem.

Shot-to-shot delays are brief, hanging around 1.2 seconds regardless of whether you're shooting Raw or JPEG.

As mentioned on the shooting experience page, the G1 X II can be unresponsive at times. The 'clicky' inner dial does not always respond when you turn it, and the whole camera pauses for about 1.5 seconds after the shutter release is halfway-pressed.

Continuous Shooting

One of the weak points on the PowerShot G1 X was its continuous shooting performance. The camera couldn't crack the 2 fps mark, even when shooting JPEGs on a very fast SD card. Canon has improved things considerably on the G1 X II, with claimed speeds as high as 5.2 fps.

To put Canon's numbers to the test, we used a super-fast SanDisk Extreme Pro UHS-1 SDHC card, which has write speeds of 90MB/sec.

Standard Continuous

The 'regular' continuous mode locks the focus and exposure on the first shot. As you might imagine, this is how you're going to reach the camera's top speed.

Timing
JPEG Large/SF
RAW
RAW+JPEG SF
Frame rate 5.3 fps 1.4 fps 1.3 fps
Number of frames To card capacity
Buffer full rate N/A
Write complete ~1 sec

The good news is that the G1 X II can shoot continuously until its memory card fills up, and doesn't lock up while its clearing its buffer. The bad news is that the Raw burst rate is very low, to the point of not being terribly useful.

Continuous AF

As its name implies, this burst mode refocuses on every shot. One would expect an even slower burst rate than above, due to the time required to focus. Let's take a look:

Timing
JPEG Large/SF
RAW
RAW+JPEG SF
Frame rate 3.0 fps 0.8 fps 0.7 fps
Number of frames To card capacity
Buffer full rate N/A
Write complete ~1 sec

The G1 X Mark II hit its advertised numbers, for JPEGs at least, as that's the only speed which Canon discloses. While the camera can shoot fast enough to track a moving subject when shooting JPEGs, anything involving Raw is just too slow. As with the standard continuous mode, you can keep taking photos until the memory card fills up, and there's no 'lock up' delay after a burst is taken.

Battery life

Canon has done an impressive job in creating a smaller battery (the NB-12L) that has the same amount of energy as the NB-10L found in the G1 X. That said, battery life is quite poor for a large, expensive camera, with a CIPA rating of 240 shots per charge.

An external charger is included in the box, which fills up the NB-12L in just over three hours. The G1 X II cannot be charged over USB.