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We reviewed three of the more popular 'pocket printers,' the Canon Ivy, Fujifilm Instax Share and Polaroid ZIP. Here's the one we recommend...
One of the most exciting cameras that debuted in 2012 was Canon's PowerShot G1 X. It featured a 1.5" sensor (which is only 20% smaller than APS-C), 28-112mm lens (albeit a moderately slow one), fully articulating LCD, and optical viewfinder (a rarity at the time). The result was one of the first semi-pocketable cameras to offer image quality that rivaled that of interchangeable lens cameras. The G1 X was far from perfect: the lens' maximum aperture range of F2.8-5.8 wasn't great, AF performance and minimum focus distance were disappointing, continuous shooting rates were poor, and battery life was downright lousy.
With the 'Mark II' version of the PowerShot G1 X, Canon has addressed many of the shortcomings of its predecessor. For a start, the G1 X II has a faster lens that covers a wider focal range and can shoot much closer to a subject. It also promises a faster, more sophisticated AF system, improved continuous shooting, dual control dials around the lens, and Wi-Fi with NFC. The LCD has also been redesigned: it now tilts upward 180° and downward 45° - instead of flipping out to the side - and touch functionality has been added, as well. The camera is also significantly smaller than its forebear, now looking more like an over-grown S-series, rather than an out-sized G12. Something that got sacrificed in all this was the optical viewfinder, but fear not, you can buy a tilting XGA EVF for $300.
The big story remains the G1 X II's 1.5"-type sensor which is around 5.6 times larger than the one found in Canon's own PowerShot G16. The result is still a fair bit smaller than the APS-C-sized sensors used in Canon's DSLRs, but then the camera is quite a bit smaller, too. It's interesting to compare the EOS-M, which is similar in body size, to the G1 X II: the built-in lens and smaller sensor allow the PowerShot to remain much smaller than the 'M' would be, were there an equivalent lens available.
While the total pixel count of 15 million is the same as on the G1 X, the G1 X Mark II only uses around 13 million (versus 14.3).
The G1 X Mark II's pixel dimensions show that it's cropping from a sensor that's larger than the imaging area, allowing it to offer the same angle-of-view for both the 3:2 and 4:3 aspect ratios - something that the original G1 X could not do.
The 18.7 x 12.4 mm sensor size that Canon has been quoting appears to refer to the 3:2 crop area - the sensor itself is the same size as the one in the original G1 X. To find out more, read our original first look article.
Another significant change on the G1 X II is in the lens department. Gone is the comparatively slow 28-112 equiv. F2.8-5.8 lens on the G1 X - replaced by a much more appealing 24-120mm equivalent F2.0-3.9 lens. The use of a smaller sensor area means these numbers aren't directly comparable, but the new lens is certainly brighter. Where the minimum focus distance on the G1 X was an unhelpful 20cm (and 40cm in most modes), the new lens can be just 5cm away from its subject. Canon has also improved the autofocus system, and claims that the G1 X has the 'the fastest in Canon compact camera history.'
The combination of the camera's fast lens and 1.5" sensor pays big dividends, as illustrated below:
The above chart shows the changes in 35mm equivalent aperture as the equivalent focal length increases. This chart allows you to see the effect of the different aperture and lens ranges, taking into account the different sensor sizes. The G1 X II starts off very well, and bumps into three other cameras (the original G1 X, Sony Cyber-shot RX100 II, and Canon Rebel with kit lens) at 28mm. That doesn't last long, as the G1 X quickly pulls away from all but the Rebel until you reach 50mm, at which point the G1 X Mark II is in a class by itself.
So what does this all mean? Simply put, it means that the G1 X II allows for shallower depth-of-field than the cameras that are 'above it' on the chart. One could also make the assumption that the G1 X Mark II has the potential for better low light performance than the other cameras shown.
Getting back to new features: the LCD has been redesigned and can flip up by 180 degrees (you know, for selfies) and down by 45 degrees. It's also touch-enabled, which allows for all of the controls that you'd expect from such a feature. However, this is a step backwards from the hinged, fully articulated screen on the original G1 X, that made it much more flexible.
While the optical viewfinder from the G1 X is gone (and to be honest, it wasn't very good), Canon offers an XGA (1024 x768 pixel) EVF that attaches to a special connector on the hot shoe and can tilt upward 90 degrees. The bad news is that the EVF costs $300.
One final feature of note shouldn't be surprising in this day and age, and that's Wi-Fi. You can control the camera remotely and send photos to social networking sites, cloud storage, or a computer. NFC (near-field communication) is also supported, which allows you to pair the camera with compatible smartphones by tapping them together.
As you've probably gathered by now, there are quite a few differences between the G1 X Mark II and its predecessor. The chart below lists the more significant ones:
|PowerShot G1 X||PowerShot G1 X Mark II|
|Effective resolution||14.3 megapixel||12.8 megapixel|
|Processor||Digic 5||Digic 6|
|Multi-aspect||No||Yes (3:2, 4:3)|
|Lens focal range||28-112mm equiv.||24-120mm equiv.|
|Lens maximum aperture||F2.8-5.8||F2.0-3.9|
|Minimum focus distance (Normal mode)||40cm (W), 1.3m (T)||5cm (W), 40cm (T)|
|Minimum focus distance (Macro mode)||20cm (W), 85cm (T)||5cm (W), 40cm (T)|
|Control rings||None (front control dial)||2|
|LCD design||Fully articulating||Tilting (180 up/45 down)|
|Viewfinder||Optical||No (optional EVF)|
|Continuous shooting||2 fps||5 fps|
|Max video resolution||1080/24p||1080/30p|
|Wi-Fi||No||Yes (with NFC)|
|Battery life (CIPA)||250 shots||240 shots|
With the exception of battery life and degree of LCD movement (and, for some people, the optical viewfinder), the G1 X II has much more impressive specs than its predecessor. You can see the cosmetic changes on the Body & Design page.
There's no shortage of extras available for the G1 X Mark II. The most notable are the electronic viewfinder and custom grip.
The EVF-DC1 ($299) is an XGA electronic viewfinder with 2.36 million dots (a 1024x 768 pixel display). As shown above, the viewfinder can tilt upward by 90 degrees. It has a built-in eye sensor, or you can turn it on via the button on its left side. While the resolution of the viewfinder is quite high, the refresh rate isn't nearly as nice as the main LCD.
There will be some people who decry the loss of the G1 X's built-in viewfinder but, given how small and imprecise it was, we feel the option to include of a considerably better finder (or not, if you don't want to spend the extra), is a reasonable alternative. It does, of course, mean that you need to spend more money to get a camera with a viewfinder, but that effective price increase over the G1 X also gains the faster, more versatile lens, smaller form factor and all the camera's other improvements.
|Standard grip||Custom grip|
Those with large hands may find the G1 X Mark II's grip a bit lacking. Canon offers the GR-DC1A custom grip ($29), which is more substantial. Switching the grip out just involves removing a pair of screws, swapping the pieces, and then screwing the new one back in.
Other accessories include an underwater housing (WP-DC53), 58mm filter adapter (FA-DC58E), lens hood (LH-DC80), and remote shutter release (RS-60E3).
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Taking apart a camera isn't for the faint of heart, but if you've chosen to do so you don't have to go alone. Our friends at iFixit publish disassembly guides to empower owners of electronic devices to make some fixes themselves. And who hasn't wanted to see what's underneath the plastic shell of Canon's top-of-the-line compact camera? Read more
Like any travel photographer, David Julian is happy to carry less gear whenever possible on his trips. With a photo expedition to Alaska on the horizon, he agreed to take the Canon G1 X Mark II for a spin and try it out from a travel photographer's perspective. No doubt it's easy to carry on a long journey, but is it versatile enough to be a traveler's primary camera? Read more
What's so special about the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100? It uses the same sensor as the GX7 but is at a distinct disadvantage not being part of an interchangeable lens system. So why would anyone choose the Lumix LX100 with its expensive body over the flexibility of the only-slightly-bigger Lumix DMC-GX7? Has Panasonic shot itself in the foot? Click through to read more
Update: Amidst a slew of announcements yesterday, Adobe also made final release versions of Camera Raw and DNG Converter 8.5 available for download. A few new cameras are now supported including the Canon Powershot G1 X Mark II, Olympus OM-D E-M10, Panasonic GH4 and Sony Cyber-shot RX100 III. Camera Raw 8 users with Photoshop CS6 will get new camera support, lens profiles and bug fixes, but a few new features are added for Photoshop CC subscribers. Read more
Adobe has made Camera Raw and DNG Converter 8.5 release candidates available for download. A short list of cameras are added for ACR support including the Canon Powershot G1 X Mark II, Olympus OM-D E-M10 and the Panasonic GH4 (with preliminary support). Camera Raw 8 users with Photoshop CS6 will get new camera support, lens profiles and bug fixes, but a few new features are added for Photoshop CC subscribers. Read more
We reviewed three of the more popular 'pocket printers,' the Canon Ivy, Fujifilm Instax Share and Polaroid ZIP. Here's the one we recommend...
Following testing of the Panasonic Lumix DC-LX100 II, we've added it to our Pocketable Enthusiast Compact Cameras buying guide as joint-winner, alongside Sony's Cyber-shot RX100 VA.
If you're looking for a high-quality camera, you don't need to spend a ton of cash, nor do you need to buy the latest and greatest new product on the market. In our latest buying guide we've selected some cameras that while they're a bit older, still offer a lot of bang for the buck.
What's the best camera for under $500? These entry level cameras should be easy to use, offer good image quality and easily connect with a smartphone for sharing. In this buying guide we've rounded up all the current interchangeable lens cameras costing less than $500 and recommended the best.
Whether you've grown tired of what came with your DSLR, or want to start photographing different subjects, a new lens is probably in order. We've selected our favorite lenses for Sony mirrorlses cameras in several categories to make your decisions easier.
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The 12th International Garden Photographer of the Year winners have been announced. We've gathered the top photos from each category and rounded them up into a slideshow.
Kosmo Foto has announced the release and opened pre-orders for its new Mono 120 black-and-white film.
Uber software engineer Phillip Wang has created a website that shows a portrait of a person that doesn't actually exist by using AI to merge multiple faces together.
The Atomos Shinobi is a compact, lightweight monitor that features the same display found inside the much more expensive Ninja 5 monitor/recorder.
Want to know more about the Canon EOS RP? Dying to ask a question that hasn't been addressed anywhere else online? Join the editors of DPReview for a live Q&A about this new camera next Tuesday, Feb. 19 on our YouTube channel. Click through for details.
Got a couple of minutes? Then you have all the time you need to learn about Canon's second full-frame mirrorless camera body – and why it's a compelling option for someone stepping into full-frame for the first time.
NASA's Curiosity rover captures a 360 panorama from its Vera Rubin Ridge 'Rock Hall' drill site before moving on to greener...er...redder pastures.
Xiaomi's new flagship Android smartphone is expected to be launched on February 24 at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
A quick glance at the spec sheet doesn't make the Canon EOS RP look that exciting. But having shot with it, we've become oddly fond of this little full framer.
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Alongside the EOS RP, Canon showed us mockups of the six lenses it says are in development for 2019. There's a distinct high-end flavor to the options in the works.
The new X-T30 may not be Fujifilm's flagship model, but it arrives with some very impressive features and specifications. Chris and Jordan have been shooting it for a few days and share their first impressions, along with a look at an iconic new building in their hometown of Calgary.
We don't often get excited about $900 cameras, but the Fujifilm X-T30 has really impressed us thus far. Find out what's new, what it's like to use and how it compares to its peers in our review in progress.
The Fujifilm X-T30 is equipped with the same 26.1MP X-Trans sensor and X-Processor 4 Quad Core CPU as the X-T3, along with some autofocus improvements. The new camera arrives in March for $900 body-only.
Fujifilm's new XF 16mm F2.8 R WR is a compact, weather-resistant lens that weighs just 155g/5.5oz. It'll be available starting in March for $399.
Fujifilm's XF 16mm F2.8 is one of the widest lenses in the company's lineup of compact primes for its X-series interchangeable lens cameras. We've been up and down the streets of snowy Seattle - a rare sight - to see just what our pre-production copy of this petite prime is capable of.
Firmware version 2.00 brings two new shooting modes and one new setting to its X-T100 and X-A5 camera systems.
Fujifilm has announced its upcoming rugged point-and-shoot, the FinePix XP140.
Get a closer look at Canon's second full-frame mirrorless body and its unique combination of features, capability and price point.
Canon has unveiled its second full-frame mirrorless camera: the entry-level EOS RP. Touting its compact size and approachability for beginners, the RP uses a 26.2MP sensor and will sell for $1300 body-only this March.
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Nikon has taken the wraps off a new standard zoom lens for mirrorless, the Z 24-70mm F2.8 Z. The new 24-70mm has been on Nikon's Z-series roadmap since the mount was announced last August, and it will ship in spring for $2299.
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