Canon today announced the successor to its big-sensor compact, the G1X Mark II, with many customer-requested changes. Can it outdo the original?
When the Canon G1x came out in 2012, it was one of the first compact cameras to sport a larger sensor, in this case a 14MP 1.5-inch CMOS. It immediately went to the head of the class as Canon's top compact for image quality. Today, Canon announced its successor, the G1x Mark II (pre-order now from Adorama for $799), featuring a redesigned lens, built-in Wi-Fi and NFC, 31 focus points, a touchscreen flip-out monitor, two control rings on the lens barrel, and an optional, high-resolution electronic viewfinder.
Two surprises: The optical viewfinder is gone, and the 14MP sensor has been replaced by a 12MP one; by pulling back on pixel density, Canon allows more light per per pixel since each one can be larger, and this should result in overall better image quality. As for the optical finder, it only showed 70 percent of the scene, which many photographers found to be frustrating.
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All new Canon products can be pre-ordered now from Adorama, and will ship on a first-come, first-served basis. Credit cards will not be charged until orders are shipped.
Canon G1x Mark II Key features:
- Canon 1.5-inch, 12.8 Megapixel High-Sensitivity CMOS sensor
- 5x Optical Zoom plus a new f/2.0 – f/3.9, 24mm Wide-Angle lens
- Optical Image Stabilizer
- Built-in Wi-Fi
- Built-in NFC (Near Field Communication)
- Capture stunning 1080p Full HD video with a dedicated movie button
- Bright, capacitive 3.0-inch tilt-type touch panel LCD
- New lens with Dual Control Rings provides customized functions with operation similar to SLR lenses and allows full-time manual focus.
- A 9-blade aperture
- High Speed AF
- Burst rate up to 5.2fps with less and the removal of buffer time.
- 14-bit RAW + JPEG
- Optional Electronic Viewfinder, custom grip available.
Let's take a closer look at the G1x Mark II
Canon 1.5-inch, 12.8 Megapixel High-Sensitivity CMOS Sensor
Its predecessor's image quality was impressive; the G1 X Mark II promises better: Almost as large as the APS-C CMOS sensor found in many EOS digital SLRs, and bigger than those found in 4/3 system cameras, the PowerShot G1 X Mark II’s sensor has larger pixels—4.5x the size of those found in 1/1.7 type sensors—and is thus able to capture more light at the pixel level. This means better detail, even at higher ISOs, with minimal noise and distortion and, thanks to the sensor’s wide cell pitch, improved dynamic range, according to Canon.
The PowerShot G1 X Mark II camera natively captures images in the 3:2 aspect ratio, which is the same as Canon EOS SLR cameras. The PowerShot G1 X Mark II also features a new Aspect Ratio function, enabling RAW image capture in both 3:2 and 4:3 aspect ratios while maintaining the same angle of view.
Canon DIGIC 6 Image Processor
The PowerShot G1 X Mark II camera is equipped with the latest Canon processor, the DIGIC 6, which is said to provide improved light sensitivity and allows for higher resolution with less noise when shooting in dark conditions. Dynamic IS now detects and compensates for tilt and parallel movement (shift blur) to create video that's exceptionally free of distortion. The DIGIC 6 Image Processor also enhances the performance capabilities of the PowerShot G1 X Mark II, according to Canon, powering full resolution high-speed continuous still shooting and the advanced Star shooting modes. Video recording has also been improved with MP4 recording for better compatibility with mobile devices and tablets. MF focus peaking is now available as well.
A new f/2-3.9, 24mm Wide-Angle 5x zoom lens was developed specifically for the PowerShot G1 X Mark II. Canon says this large aperture lens offers the highest specifications for any camera in this class, and incorporates dramatic improvements on all fronts based upon the feedback of PowerShot G1 X users. It offers a 5x zoom factor with a 24–120mm equivalent range. Also new: an inner focusing system said to enable fast AF speed, a reduced focusing distance of 5cm, 14 elements in 11 groups and has 9-blade aperture diaphragm. In response to the overwhelming requests from PowerShot G1 X users, it has an integral lens cap.
The PowerShot G1 X Mark II camera’s lens features two control rings on the lens barrel designed to enhance operability with quick, intuitive customizable functions. The inner ring is stepped and can be directed to set aperture value, shutter speed and exposure compensation. The outer, continuous ring has an easily recognizable different texture and makes fine tune adjustments simple, even enabling full-time manual focus that operates similarly to the focus rings found on typical SLR lenses. Working in tandem with the PowerShot G1 X Mark II camera’s rear-mounted control dial, virtually every shooting function can be accessed and customized to any photographer’s favorite specifications.
Built-In Wireless Tech
The PowerShot G1 X Mark II is equipped with built-in Wi-Fi so you can post your images to social networking and media sites – Facebook®, Twitter®, YouTube™, Flickr® and now Google Drive™ – through CANON iMAGE GATEWAY# directly from your PowerShot camera, or save them to the online photo album. The camera can also connect directly to both iOS and Android devices, and upload images via the free Canon CameraWindow app without a computer. One-touch connection to your mobile device or computer is also made possible via the Mobile Device Connect Button.
With the built-in Wi-Fi® on the PowerShot G1 X Mark II, you can use your smartphone or tablet to remotely control the camera by connecting wirelessly to your device and accessing the free Canon CameraWindow app. Your device will show a live image of the camera’s capture for easy composition – perfect for wildlife and nighttime shots, group photos and all kinds of situations. You can thus operate the camera’s zoom, flash, self-timer and shutter and save images from afar.
Another wireless technology supported by the PowerShot G1 X Mark II is NFC (Near Field Communication) technology, eliminating the need to find and open the Canon CameraWindow app on your mobile device. Simply touch the NFC icon on your camera to your compatible Android device, and the CameraWindow app will launch automatically for remote shooting and quick, easy sharing of your images.
Tiltable Touchscreen LCD
The PowerShot G1 X Mark II features an entirely new 1.04 million pixel capacitive screen that can tilt up 180 degrees and down 45 degrees for flexible shooting in any number of situations and angles. Touch-sensitive, it delivers intuitive touch panel operation and review. Menu and quick control settings can be accessed, and focus point and shutter release can be activated with the touch of a fingertip using Touch AF.
Full Resolution Continuous Shooting and High Speed AF
Shooting and processing are now performed in tandem, eliminating buffering time to deliver high shooting speeds at full resolution. With the significantly higher AF speed due to the newly improved Canon 1.5-inch CMOS sensor, streamlined processing also makes the camera's High Speed AF the fastest in Canon compact camera history, achieving focus nearly the instant the camera is aimed. With no separate mode setting and no reduction in image quality, you can freeze action shots.
14-bit RAW + JPEG
The PowerShot G1 X Mark II recognizes 58 shooting situations, automatically optimizing settings for achieving the highest quality shots on the go. However, a significant number of this camera's target users will appreciate the 14-bit signal processing, just as in EOS-series cameras, promising rich detail and smooth gradation, and RAW images are available in a choice of 3:2 or 4:3 aspect ratios.
Star Shooting Modes
Starry skies were formerly out of reach to all but experienced SLR camera users, but star shooting modes on the PowerShot G1 X Mark II camera make these wonderfully impressive images accessible to all. With just a tripod and simple settings, you can capture exquisite Star Nightscapes, Star Trails, Star Time-Lapse Movies and Star Portrait. The new Star Portrait mode, which consecutively takes two shots of the subject plus one of the night sky and then merges them into a single image, enables beautiful portraits with a starry background.
Optional Electronic Viewfinder EVF-DC1
Gone is the squinty little optical viewfinder, but for those who need eye-level viewing, Canon has designed the Electronic Viewfinder EVF-DC1, which plugs in via the hot shoe and offers 2.36 Million dot resolution.