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:


Value & Verdict

Canon PowerShot G1 X review – Value

The £699 launch price has set many tongues wagging. It’s an awful lot of money and some £100 more than a 600D with 18-55mm kit lens at the time of writing.

Is it worth it? If DSLR-like image quality is an essential feature in a compact body then yes it is. There’s nothing else out there short of the fixed-focal-length and more expensive Fujifilm X100 that could take on the G1 X for overall image quality. The eminently more affordable Fujifilm X10 – the G1 X’s most direct competitor – has decent enough image quality, but the Canon still has the upper hand in this department.

If the price drops by £100 upon launch in many retailers then the G1 X will be a more attractive prospect to a wider audience. As, and let’s face it, at its current price it’s got a niche market.

Canon PowerShot G1 X review – Verdict

The Canon G1 X’s sensor is the star of the show. The images this camera can produce are exceptional, easily of a DSLR quality – and it’s not often that’s said.

But in use there are issues. The hefty price tag ought to bring a better, more advanced autofocus system, plus the close-focus distance of the lens can be limiting.

The viewfinder, too, is no better than that found in the PowerShot G12. What with electronic viewfinders making headway in other cameras such as the Fujifilm X-S1, the Canon G1 X’s low field-of-view, small and off-set optical viewfinder just doesn’t cut it. But then it does have one, which is more than can be said for almost any other compact.

On the plus side the build is sturdy, the layout functional and everything falls into its right place in use. Find that stride when shooting and the G1 X will have plenty of appeal to candid street snappers, landscape photographers, or those that demand the utmost in image quality. Considering the high £699 price-point the camera’s performance is underwhelming, yet its images are so good that the G1 X is guaranteed to win over a demanding audience. It’s that good.


Video:(Full HD) 1920 x 1080, 24 fps, (HD) 1280 x 720, 30 fps, (L) 640 x 480, 30 fps / Miniature Effect (HD, L) 6fps, 3fps, 1.5 fps
Other:DIGIC 5 processor with iSAPS technology; +/- 3 EV in 1/3 stop increments; 3-stop ND filter; 1.9fps max or 6fps (to 4.5frames) in Burst HQ mode; 77% real-zoom optical viewfinder; closest macro focusing distance is 20cm (at 28mm equiv.)
Sensor:1.5in; 18.7x14mm Canon high-sensitivity CMOS
LCD:3in, 921k-dot, PureColor II VA (TFT)
Memory Card:SD (HC/XC)
White Balance:Auto (including Face Detection WB), Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Fluorescent H, Flash, Underwater, Custom 1, Custom 2. Multi-area WB correction available in Smart Auto
Metering System:Evaluative (linked to Face Detection AF frame), Centre-weighted average, Spot (centre or linked to Face Detection AF or FlexiZone AF frame)
Exposure Modes:Smart Auto (32 scenes detected), Program AE, Shutter priority AE, Aperture priority AE, Manual, Custom (2 modes), SCN (Movie Digest, Portrait, Landscape, Kids & Pets, Sports, Smart Shutter(Smile, Wink Self-Timer, FaceSelf-Timer), High-speed Burst HQ, Handheld Night Scene, Beach, Underwater, Foliage, Snow, Fireworks, Stitch Assist), Creative Filter (High Dynamic Range, Nostalgic, Fish-eye Effect, Miniature Effect, Toy Camera Effect, Monochrome, Super Vivid, Poster Effect, Color Accent, Color Swap), Movie
Flash Modes:Auto, Manual Flash On / Off
Weight:Approx. 534 g (including battery/batteries and memory card)
Connectivity:A/V out, remote in, HDMI (c-type) out
Power:Rechargeable Li-ion Battery NB-10L
Lens:15.1-60.4mm (28-112mm equivalent) f/2.8-f/5.8 with lens-shift intelligent stabilisation
ISO Range:100-12,800
Dimensions:116.7 x 80.5 x 64.7 mm
Shutter Speeds:60 - 1/4000 sec
File Formats:JPEG, Raw (14 bit), Raw & JPEG
  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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