Canon PowerShot G1 X Review
In terms of operational performance the Canon G1 X has something of a split personality. The camera turns on quickly and the lens only requires a short moment to extend. Although we wish the ISO adjustment screen appeared instantly rather than being animated and 'emerging', the G1 X's user interface, whether you are using the external buttons or the on-screen menus, generally reacts swiftly to any user input. Browsing and zooming in review mode is as responsive as we would expect from a camera in this price bracket and the shutter-lag is essentially nonexistent.
However, where the G1 X lacks behind some mirrorless system cameras is the continuous shooting speed and AF speed. A continuous shooting rate of 1.6 frames per second is the slowest we've seen in a long time and won't be too useful when trying to capture fast-moving action. You can switch to a 4.5 fps scene mode but in turn you lose most manual control over image parameters. The AF system works reliably but compared to cameras like Panasonic's current Lumix G-series range, it's distinctly sluggish.
We've also noticed that live view becomes a little laggy when the camera is attempting to focus. This isn't a problem most of the time but when the light levels drop, the system starts to hunt, and the camera effectively locks up during this process.
Ultimately of course the G1 X is not meant to be a sports or action camera and most users will not require a super-fast burst mode or professional-level AF, but this doesn't mean that they wouldn't appreciate them. Even for fairly everyday shooting requirements like your kids' soccer match or capturing your skater friends' freestyling attempts the G1 X can be frustratingly unresponsive compared to the best of its mirrorless competition. Panasonic's G-series Lumix cameras, for example, offer significantly better autofocus performance.
Continuous Shooting and BufferingIn terms of continuous shooting the G1 X's specification isn't spectacular. In JPEG capture mode, if you switch the drive mode to continuous and hold the shutter button down with a fast card (a SanDisk Extreme Pro UHS-I SDHC card in our case) you can shoot continuously until you run out of space. However, you'll be shooting at 1.9 fps - hardly blazing speed, by today's standards. This goes down further to 1.2 fps and 1.1 fps when switching from JPEG only to RAW and RAW+JPG respectively. As if that wasn't slow enough the cameras slows down further as you move the zoom position toward the wide-angle setting, where the maximum JPEG continuous shooting speed is only 1.6 fps. We suspect the further delay is caused by the distortion correction that has to be performed by the JPEG engine at these focal lengths. On the plus side there is no discernible buffering/writing delay after you finish shooting a burst.
|Frame rate||1.9 fps||1.2 fps||1.1 fps|
|Number of frames||until card full||until card full||until card full|
|Buffer full rate||n/a||n/a||n/a|
All timings performed using a 64GB SanDisk Extreme Pro UHS-I SDHC card (90MB/s)Another disadvantage of continuous shooting mode on the G1 X is that the camera cannot maintain a live view feed in continuous shooting. On the screen you see a sequence of still frames in real time after they've been captured and while they're being buffered which makes it virtually impossible to follow a fast-moving subject while panning the camera, unless you use the 'well it's better than nothing' optical finder. That said, it almost doesn't matter, with the slow continuous shooting rates and its relatively short lens the Canon G1 X simply is not the tool of choice for fast-paced action or sports photography. If you find yourself needing a faster frame rate than the very sluggish 1.9 fps of the standard continuous shooting mode you've got the option to switch to the 'High-Speed Burst HQ'-mode which is hidden among the camera's scene modes. At 4.5 frames per second and a maximum of 6 frames per burst (JPEG only) it is still not exactly impressive. Exposure, ISO and white balance are fully automatic in this scene mode. In good light the mode tends to use shutter speeds faster than 1/500 sec which makes it usable for fast-moving subjects but Auto ISO limits itself to ISO 1600, which means you may run into motion-blur issues in lower light. To make things even more difficult, in this mode the screen is blank while you are shooting a burst, meaning you are forced to either pan blindly after pressing the shutter button, or resort to the optical finder for a rough approximation of composition.
Autofocus speed / accuracy
The G1 X is Canon's first mirrorless large-sensor camera and the AF system is where this lack of development experience shows just a little bit. The AF is, as you would expect from a contrast detect system, reliably accurate, but it is not as speedy as some competitors in the mirrorless system camera bracket of the market such as the Panasonic GX1 or the latest models of the Olympus PEN series, and noticeably less positive in marginal light.
|This is a raw conversion of an image taken at ISO 3200 in low light (1/30th sec). The G1 X's AF is not the quickest around but with relatively static subjects, such as the person in this portrait, it works reliably, even in very low light.|
There is a very obvious delay between half-pressing the shutter button and the focus locking on. The focusing time increases further when focusing at the long end of the lens and in low light where you'll occasionally see some 'focus-hunting'. That said, as long as your focus area is contrasty enough, the lens will almost always eventually focus even in very dark conditions. The AF illuminator can help but always illuminates the center of the frame, rendering it useless when moving the AF away from the center.
If you can live with the sluggish focus speed the G1 X's minimum focus distance could still be a problem. At the wide end of the G1 X's zoom minimum focus is 40cm and this increases to 1.3m at the tele-end of the zoom. At 50mm it's already 1.1m which means that for close-up portraits, for example across a dinner table, you have to switch to macro mode, which lets you get closer but slows the focusing speed down further. Don't forget to switch back to standard focusing mode afterwards though to avoid trouble when focusing on a subject in the distance in your next shot, as the G1 X cannot focus to infinity in macro mode.
For most users this is unlikely to be a massive problem all the time but you should get used to the idea of frequently having to change between Macro and Standard focus mode when using the G1 X in varied shooting situations - not something we can remember having to do to the same degree with any other modern camera.
The G1 X comes with the same NB-10L battery pack that is used in the Powershot SX-40 superzoom camera. It's got a capacity of 920mAh which, according to Canon, is good for 250 shots (CIPA standard). While shooting our sample images for this review we found the battery life to be approximately in line with Canon's but the real number will depend a lot on your shooting conditions and operational habits. 250 images is not an awful lot compared with a midrange DSLR but you should typically have enough juice for a day of casual shooting. For more intense imaging sessions it's probably a good idea to bring a spare battery.
Mar 29, 2012
Feb 16, 2012
Jan 10, 2012
Mar 27, 2015
|Dirt Hose by poppyjk|
|European bee-eaters by drvanger|
from A Big Year - birds
|Fat Is Beautiful Guinea 2008 DP by MarioSS|
from - Fat is Beautiful - (Woman's Portrait n Black and White+ A Border)
The a9 boasts impressive capability. As more examples of it in practice pour in, Sony's claims hold up. Watch the a9 track and maintain focus on a rapidly approaching basketball.
Last week, more than a million tonnes of Californian coastline slid into the ocean, taking part of Highway 1 with it. Check out the remodeling in photos taken before and after the landslide.
Even after eighteen months of reviewing the latest, greatest, shiniest and must-buy-me-est new gear, DPReview staffer Carey Rose has continued to use older DSLR cameras for his freelance work. But now, that might be changing. Read more
Sony is the world's leading mirrorless camera brand but remains third for ILCs overall, it's said in a presentation to investors. A focus on high value cameras and lenses should boost operating income, it says. Read more
It's nicknamed the 'Cycloptic Mustard Monster,' and is a 3D printed medium format camera. Read more
The new NanGuang LED lights are battery powered and come with accessories including filters and diffusers.
Have you been telling yourself, "Hey, I really need one of those 8K displays?" A video about Dell's new 8K monitor shows you what to expect. Is it really that much better?
Tamara Lackey, a Nikon ambassador USA and pro shooter, discusses embracing self-consciousness as a means of connecting with subjects.
There's a new Spiderman movie coming out and the poster been generating a lot of online chatter. Mostly about how it looks like the creation of a fevered teenager that just discovered Photoshop.
An honest defense of the system's merits, with photos as proof.
Copyright disputes are no fun at all. 'Binded' is a new startup that aims to simplify the process of registering - and enforcing - copyright for photographers. Read more
Not everyone wants to pay a premium for a long zoom camera. Thankfully, there are many reasonably priced cameras available, though they won't offer the same image quality as enthusiast models. In this updated roundup we look at big zoom cameras with more consumer-friendly price tags. Read more
Think Tank Photo has updated two of its popular bag lines with improvements to functionality. Read more
We’ve all seen Bob Jackson’s Pulitzer Prize winning photo, but there's another.
The sample footage looks good.
It will automatically pick the best camera settings depending on shooting conditions. It even promises enhanced functionality for your camera, like exposure and focus stacking. It already supports many cameras from Canon, Fuji, Nikon and Sony. Read more
As if $13,950 wasn’t enough to pay for a special edition lens, the Leica Store in San Francisco is offering a prototype of said lens for $24,995. Read more
Make those old photos disappear without deleting them forever.
Firmware updates enable 10 fps shooting with adapted A-mount lenses, and faster startup times and better compatibility for 20 fps shooting when using native lenses on the a9.
Fujifilm has released firmware updates for its camera models X-T2, X-Pro2, GFX 50s, X-T20, X100F and X-T1 and updates to three of its software products.
A 22 year-old Romanian photographer uses his DJI Phantom 4 drone to capture unique perspectives of the city where he now lives.
What's it like to ride the waves with champion surfer Kelly Slater? This VR video from Teton Gravity Research gives you a taste.
When Nikon released the full-frame D3 in 2007, it changed the professional photography industry. In this week's Throwback Thursday, Barney remembers a legend. Read more
The new stuff should have better red hues, improved sensitivity and finer grain - but don't worry - will still shift blues to green, greens to purple and yellows to pink.
Ricoh has introduced a new rugged compact camera with a 16MP CMOS sensor, 28-140mm lens, 2.7" LCD and built-in LED macro lights. Read more
This compact drone can shoot HD video using a 2-axis stabilized 12MP camera. Read more
The new Prynt Pocket can print a photo directly from their iPhone simply by inserting the phone into the printer, then snapping a photo. Each print will cost about 50 cents. Read more
Updates for Adobe Camera Raw and Lightroom CC bring support for the Sony A9 and Panasonic ZS70/TZ90, along with bug fixes.
The Triggertrap remote camera control system is no longer sold due to the company folding, but now users will be able to build their own. Read more
The Magic Format Converter comes with internal optics that expand the image circle of full-frame DSLR lenses for use on the Fuji medium format camera. Read more