Does the Canon G1 X redefine the compact camera market? The What Digital Camera Canon PowerShot G1X review takes a look...

Product Overview

Overall rating:


Canon PowerShot G1 X

Overall score:88%
Image Quality:95%


  • Superb image quality and shallow depth of field possibilities, excellent sharpness, impressive high ISO performance, Raw capture, vari-angle LCD


  • Poor close-focus, off-set parallax and limited field of view optical viewfinder, significant price, so-so battery life, autofocus system less capable than some competitors


Canon PowerShot G1 X Review


Price as reviewed:


Image Quality

Canon PowerShot G1 X review – Image Quality

The G1 X’s large sensor size means it can deliver image quality unlike almost any other compact camera on the market. It more than wipes the floor with standard compacts when it comes to image quality, making up for some of its less-appealing handling characteristics.

Canon G1 X: Tone & Exposure:

In a variety of examples the Canon performed well, carefully measuring exposure of the subject as based on the position of the FlexiZone focus area. This may lead to the odd over-exposed background in some conditions, or blown highlights in other scenes, but the +/-3EV exposure dial on top of the camera means quick adjustment can be made where required.

Canon G1 X: White Balance & Colour:

An area where the Canon, like so many PowerShot cameras, holds its own is with image colour. Not only are shots rich and vibrant straight from camera, the Auto White Balance system does a sterling job when it comes to maintaining blacks and dark tones. It’s rare for a colour cast to cause the camera to slip up, whatever lighting is brought to question.

In-camera effects can be accessed via the main mode dial on top of the camera for the likes of Sepia, Monochrome and other dramatic finishes too.

Canon G1 X: ISO Sensitivity & Image Noise:

Image noise (or the lack thereof) is an area where the G1 X excels. The large sensor really comes into its own here as shots from ISO 100-3200 are all usable with little qualms. That’s not to say that the quality doesn’t deteriorate, of course, as the amount of detail visible from IS0 1600 and above takes a bit of a dip compared to the lower sensitivities.

But even at ISO 6400-12,800 the results are impressive despite the presence of a little colour noise. Overall the shots the G1 X can produce shots that can rival a similar-priced DSLR camera. Now that’s impressive stuff.

Canon G1 X: Sharpness & Detail:

As the G1 X’s lens has been engineered using many of the processes used by the Canon EF lens range, it’s a top quality piece of glass. An inability to close-focus may be its drawback, yet when the subject is within range it’s guaranteed to be super-sharp. The level of detail, again, rivals a DSLR camera.

Canon G1 X: Raw vs JPEG:

The included Digital Photo Professional software opens up the Canon’s .CR2 Raw files and deals with them swiftly – both when presenting, making adjustments and converting.

The difference between Raw and JPEG is more significant than may at first meet the eye. There’s little evidence of distortion or chromatic aberration correction for either file types. But the Raw files visibly retain more detail that will make it the demanding shooter’s format of choice. It’s worth the extra processing time to squeeze that subtle extra detail out of each frame.

  1. 1. Canon PowerShot G1 X review - Key specs
  2. 2. Design
  3. 3. Performance
  4. 4. Image Quality
  5. 5. Value & Verdict
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