January 10, 2012: Canon has (finally) added a new large-sensor model to its premium G-series of PowerShot cameras. The PowerShot G1X boasts an all-new 1.5-inch type (18.7 x 14.0mm) High Sensitivity CMOS Sensor with 14.3 megapixels.
The sensor in the G1X is 6.3x larger in area than the sensor in the PowerShot G12 and has a diagonal measurement 2.5x longer. This allows the G1X to support ISO settings up to ISO 12800, compared with ISO 3200 in the G12.
The new camera features the latest DiG!C 5 image processor, which was introduced with the PowerShot SX40 HS. Like other PowerShots, the G1X supports both JPEG and CR2.RAW file capture and Raw files are losslessly compressed. As in Canon’s EOS DSLRs, the processor applies 14-bit analog-to-digital conversion, producing data-rich files for users to edit.
The lens in the G1X is non-interchangeable and has a focal length range of 15.1-60.4mm (equivalent 28-112mm in 35mm format). Maximum apertures range from f2.8 to f5.8 lens and the lens focuses down to 20cm at the 15.1mm setting. The G1X is scheduled for release in March but pricing has still to be finalised. However, a price point of around $850 has been suggested in Photo Review’s excellent and comprehensive ‘First Look’ review from Margaret Brown. Click here for access.
‘Opting for a fixed lens camera is a smart move on Canon’s part,’ writes Margaret Brown in the preamble to her review. ‘While other camera manufacturers have seen their mirrorless cameras as a step-up for digicam buyers (and down-specced their cameras accordingly), Canon has developed the G1X to provide the convenience of a G-series PowerShot with similar image quality to a DSLR.
‘Canon’s strategy is more cost-effective than the interchangeable-lens option, both for itself and for potential customers.’
– However, in an interview with Japanese website, DC Watch, Masaya Maeda, who heads up Canon’s imaging division, has flagged a mirrorless compact system from Canon later this year.