Canon PowerShot G1 X Review
Raw and raw conversion
The PowerShot G1 X is provided with the 'Canon EOS Solutions Disk' which includes:
- Canon ZoomBrowser EX 6.5 - Easy to use image browsing and organization with a unique interface. Includes rudimentary image editing, printing and e-mail. This latest version of the software also provides some very basic video editing. - Windows only.
- Canon PhotoStitch 3.1 - Panorama stitching utility.
- Canon Digital Photo Professional 220.127.116.11 - Advanced image workflow and editing, specialized in RAW conversion with a range of adjustment and output options. *
- Movie Uploader for YouTube - Tool for uploading videos to the Youtube website.
- CameraWindow - Tool for transferring images to a computer
* Universal Binaries (Intel / PowerPC) for Mac OS X.
Digital Photo Professional is an image workflow and RAW conversion application that provides for the browsing and management of images in a folder structure as well as tagging, rotation etc. In addition it also provides an extensive range of RAW conversion features which include digital exposure compensation, white balance, tone curve, color, picture style, sharpness and lens correction parameters.
A number of different tools can be accessed from the tools menu. The Quick Check tool allows you to browse through a selection of images and assign check marks to them. The Trimming tool can be used to apply a crop to an image (the image itself is not modified, this is simply saved in the recipe).
The Stamp tool works in a similar way to the clone stamp or healing brush in Photoshop (although it is primary designed for the removal of light or dark blotches).The Rename tool can be used to change the filename of a selection of images based on a rule set. Finally you can convert multiple RAW files at a time using the batch conversion tool.
As is normal in our reviews we like to compare the supplied raw conversion software, any optional manufacturer raw conversion software and some third party raw converter. For the purpose of this test we've picked Adobe Camera Raw alongside the Canon software. Here we compare these two converters to the camera's JPEG engine to see how each of them pulls detail out of the images.
- JPEG - Large/Fine, Default settings
- DPP - Digital Photo Professional
- ACR - Adobe Camera raw 6.7 Beta
Sharpness and Detail
Like previous versions of the software and some other manufacturer-supplied raw converter Canon DPP emulates the camera's JPEG engine very closely. Color rendition, pixel-level sharpness and detail are, at default settings, as good as identical. However, when venturing away from DPP's default settings you can customize your settings for your specific requirements and, with the fine control over the type and level of sharpening being offered in DPP, get a little extra detail.
Adobe Camera Raw's color rendition is a little different, slightly less saturated and less 'punchy' in the red channel but at its default settings ACR is also squeezing some more detail out of the G1 X files than can be found in the out-of-camera JPEGs or the default DPP conversion.
|Digital Photo Professional ->JPEG (Default settings)
ISO 100 studio scene 100% crop
|Adobe ACR 6.7 Beta raw ->JPEG (Default settings)
ISO 100 studio scene 100% crop
|JPEG out of camera, High quality setting (all settings default)
ISO 100 studio scene 100% crop
When converting the raw file of our resolution shot the out-of-camera JPEG and DPP conversion are again nearly identical, producing clean files that are virtually free of artifacts but don't get the most of the captured data in terms of resolution. At default settings Adobe ACR does a better job, squeezing visibly more detail out of our resolution chart while not introducing any artifacts.
|JPEG from camera||Digital Photo Professional (raw)|
|Adobe Camera raw (raw)|
RAW vs JPEG
With its combination of a 14MP sensor and the good quality Canon zoom lens the G1 X captures a good amount of detail in a pocketable package. The camera's out-of-camera JPEGs already show a good level of detail and it is difficult to extract any additional detail through raw conversion. Processing the files in Adobe ACR and applying some custom sharpening (Amount 34, radius 0.6, detail 60) makes the image look a little crisper at a pixel-level but there is only a very minimal increase in detail. The sample below was shot at ISO 100, 1/250th sec, F5.6 at an equivalent focal length of 28mm.
|JPEG from camera||Adobe Camera Raw (raw)|
|100% crop||100% crop|
Even if you're not a detail fetishist the ability to modify shooting parameters after an image has been taken, in raw conversion, can be extremely useful. Canon's White Balance tends to produce very warm results under low tungsten light. If that's not quite to your taste you can still snap away and take care of the problem in post-processing.
The picture below was taken under very low light with Auto White Balance which resulted in a strong yellowish cast. In Adobe ACR we modified the color temperature and tint parameters and slightly lifted the exposure to create a more pleasant end result. The sample below was shot at ISO 12800, 1/6th sec, F6.3 at an equivalent focal length of 28mm.
|JPEG from camera||Adobe Camera Raw (raw)|
Raw files for download
Don't just take our word for it - take a look at the G1 X's raw files for yourself, and run them through your own software and preferred conversion settings. Here, we provide you with a selection of raw files of 'real world' scenes, and if you want to take a closer look at the G1 X's studio scene shots, you can download original raw files from our compared to (raw) page.
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