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Canon G1X Mark II 1.5" sensor, First look


Lovely new cameras are popping up all over the place. It's a great time to be an image capture person.

So canon finally came out with a successor to the GX1, which was a larger sensor point and shoot, which was interesting, but fell short in a number of ways. Let's see if the mark 2 gets it right.

The key feature here is of course the sensor, which is between an m43 and an aps-c in size. Yes, that's a damn big sensor in a point and shoot fixed lens camera! I know, many people will complain it's a fixed lens, but those people just don't get what a point and shoot is. It's meant for convenience, it's not a professional tool, even though some people can successfully use it in a professional capacity. 

Looking at the original G1X, you'd be impressed by the specs even today, but for one reason or another, it just fell short on overall performance. It underwhelmed. Looking at the specs of the mark 2, it definitely looks like an update as opposed to a fully new camera, which isn't necessarily a bad thing considering all the things the original almost got right.

Market/competition?

 

My first thought was that they were targeting the RX10 market, but it isn't really a superzoom(then again, neither technically is the RX10), and it's overall design is distinctly point and shoot. OK, so a RX100mk2 competitor, right? Reading through the retailer brochures, they seem to be targeting the lower end DSLR market in one way or another. Perhaps they just want to push how good it's going to be, but there's more than one reference to DSLRS in this little camera's marketing. It's always fun figuring out how much the retailers took from the manufacturer supplied text, and how much they tweaked/added/subtracted/highlighted/etc....

Needless to say, canon's website put this statement in bold at the very top:

"Canon 1.5-inch, 12.8 Megapixel High-Sensitivity CMOS sensor combined with the DIGIC 6 Image Processor creates the Canon HS SYSTEM, which helps provide excellent low-light performance."

OK, so they are heavily pushing the new sensor and processor as low light capable, so we better see some impressive results. If comparing to an rx100/rx10 which has a 1" sensor with 20million pixels, this canon has a 1.5" sensor with 15millin pixels, meaning the Canon really should have an edge here with its far larger pixels and overall sensor area. The RX100/RX10 perform quite well up until 3200iso, so this G1X better have some pretty darn clean 6400iso up its sleeve.

One hilarious bit of silliness in the marketing text of one retailer which talks about the lens: "Developed specifically for the PowerShot G1 X Mark II". No shit?! You made a FIXED LENS specifically for the camera that it's FIXED to? Mind blowing. I guess they meant that they didn't just re-use the same lens from the Mark 1, but that's kinda obvious guys, it's a different range and zoom.... Anyways, i digress.

  

HD video, killer or killed?

It has all the latest fixings of wifi, remote shooting, NFC, etc... What i do not see, which may or may not be included, are Zebras, Peaking, and other little things we like for video. This leads me to think that this camera isn't targeted for the video user. But what about those control rings for focus and aperture? And in one retailer's text there's an extra paragraph just to tout the HD video, even though it's all fluff.

It's hard to say what their drive was, i see plenty of back and forth with the advertising of both the photo and video capabilities of it, which sounds like a good thing because it is of course a point and shoot which these days means it packs a lot into a little package. However, if you look at how the RX10 was marketed, yes the touted the great photo abilities, but they gave good attention to marketing the video side of things as well. The full sensor readout for instance, which gives the RX10 its true 1080 sharpness. Canon, are you doing a full sensor readout? binning? line skipping? Give a hint, or show examples of how sharp it is. I'm not calling them out, rather, noting that while this camera looks to have capable video, i'm skeptical as to it's outcome from the somewhat lackluster initial overview of its features and abilities in the video department.

Here's to hoping they prove me wrong and nail it on the head.

For now we can simply gander at the specs:

-Image sensor 1.5-inch CMOS
-Total Pixels Approx. 15.0 Megapixels
-Effective Pixels Approx. 12.8 Megapixels
-5x optical zoom - Focal Length 12.5 (W) - 62.5mm (T) (35mm film equivalent: 24 (W) - 120mm (T)
-Maximum Aperture f/2.0 (W)-f/3.9 (T)
-9 blade aperture -Dynamic Image Stabilization
-Digital Zoom 4x
-Focusing Range Normal/Auto: 2.0 in. (5 cm) - infinity (W), 1.3 ft. (40 cm) - infinity (T) 
-Quick: 4.9-66.0 ft. (1.5-20 m) (W, T)
-Optical Viewfinder Optional Electronic Viewfinder EVF-DC1 (not included)
-LCD Monitor 3.0-inch Tilt, Capacitive Touch Panel LCD (3:2)
-LCD Pixels Approx. 1,040,000 dots
-Sensitivity Auto, ISO 100-12800 
-Exposure Compensation +/-3 stops in 1/3-stop increments
-Shooting Modes C1, C2, M, Av, Tv, P, Auto, Hybrid Auto, Creative Shot, SCN, Creative Filters, Movie
-Storage Media SD/SDHC/SDXC/UHS-I Memory Cards
-Video: MP4 (Image data: MPEG-4 AVC/H.264; Audio data: MPEG-4 AAC-LC (Stereo))
-Number of Recording Pixels: VideoFull HD 1920 x 1080: 30 fps(29.97) 
-Full HD, Star Time-Lapse Movie 1920 x 1080: 15 fps (14.985), 30 fps (29.97)
-iFrame Movie 1920 x 1080: 30 fps(29.97) 
-HD 1280 x 720: 30 fps(29.97) 
-Video Out Analog: NTSC or PAL, Digital: HDMI (HDMI micro connector)
-Power Source Battery Pack NB-12L, AC Adapter Kit ACK-DC100
-Shooting Capacity Approx. 240 Shots 
-Dimensions (W x H x D)4.60 x 3.17 x 2.9 in. / 116.3 x 74.0 x 66.2mm
-Approx. 19.5 oz. / 5553 (Including the battery and memory card)

Added on 2014-02-11 by
Darren Levine

Darren Levine

Stimulus Video

DP/Videographer, Video/Film Editor
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