Does the Canon G1 X redefine the compact camera market? The What Digital Camera Canon PowerShot G1X review takes a look...
Canon PowerShot G1 X review – Design
Despite the G1 X’s upscaled sensor the camera body itself isn’t significantly different from the PowerShot G12’s size. Instead it’s the lens that’s far more significant. However, neither camera is what could be described as small – not to cite that as a bad thing, as the full-bodied nature of the G1 X means there’s plenty of room for a rubberised grip, rear thumb rest and variety of controls.
The top of the camera employs two dials – a large exposure compensation dial with a smaller mode dial sat on top. Each dial rotates in its own right, has a textured edge and just the right amount of give to stay in place but not to the point of being too difficult to shift. There’s no ISO sensitivity dial to be found, however, as the inclusion of a pop-up flash – necessary to provide reach beyond the sizeable lens – and a hotshoe fitting occupy most of the layout’s remaining space.
The rear of the camera has a d-pad to control ISO, flash, macro/manual focus and display, surrounded by a rotational wheel to cycle through options. Four rear buttons control focus area, AE lock, metering and Menu access.
On the front side of the camera there’s also a thumbwheel that, when used in conjunction with the rear wheel, makes light work of manual control.
The combination of a metal body and stainless steel chassis ensures the camera is one tough cookie that’ll last for years to come.
The G1 X is a well laid out, functional camera. It may look like a bit of a brute, and is less elegant than the likes of the Fujifilm X10, but Canon’s ongoing experience in the camera industry ensures everything feels right to use.
Our one qualm is the lack of a manual zoom or focus ring on the lens itself. There’s a detachable unit surrounding the lens barrel’s base that, as much as it looks like a focus ring, is rigid. Canon missed a trick here.