This is my second toe in the water buying a large sensor compact camera the first was the Fuji X100 which was sent back after 3 days !
Not everything that’s new and has the word Canon written on it is up to scratch, take the new Canon G1X it has an 18.7 x 14mm CMOS sensor and by all accounts has an ISO to die for. I have been putting my new baby through his paces.
My first finding is when you are in manual mode, you get to change the speed with the front dial and the iris with the back thumbwheel as shown. What a poor decision that’s been…if you are not careful you start changing all sorts of menus and there is no way to isolate the thumbwheel to just change the iris.
The lens is a 15.1-60.4mm f2.8-5.8 (35mm = 28-112mm) which is fairly reasonable though I would have preferred a 24mm f1.8 wide lens. I can’t understand why companies like Canon insist on producing compact cameras at this level of sophistication to let themselves down with glass that goes from f2.8 to a poor f5.8 making tight shots almost useless in low light.
A constant f2.8 lens would be dearer but far more preferable.
Stunning is the only words to describe some of the pictures coming out of the G1X, this is my friends dog, Molly, and due to the very useful swivel LCD low angle shots like this are a breeze. Its not all good news the closest focusing is very poor at 20cm and thats in macro mode and 85cm at the telephoto end !
The Canon G1X is far from perfect in fact it seems to share the same erratic focusing problems that the Fuji X100 had, the ISO is usable up to about 1250 with a push to 1600.
As a clear example ISO 6400 is very fluffy and to all intent purposes not usable on a daily basis, so stick to the rules, low light at f2.8 ISO 1600 max keeping the lens wide (f2.8).
These are the kind of “reportage” shots you can pull off with the G1X in natural lighting at night round a dinner table.
There is no doubt about it these large sensor compacts can produce stunning pictures but you have to work hard to get them, the last thing I want with a point and shoot is a tripod.
Don’t look for any kind of shallow depth of field with this camera even at f2.8 once again disappointing.
I would rate this camera 7 out of 10 and hope Canon can take this technology forward and develop this into a fantastic reportage compact camera sometime in the future.