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Canon PowerShot G1X Digital Camera Review

canon20120517aa.jpgDigital Camera Review by: Ashley Akers 

What makes any product a ‘classic’ within it’s own market is: unrivaled quality. Products made with the highest quality finish and the most solid structural materials and design. They handle themselves well, they’re polished, refined until perfect and they’re leaders of their market. These are the products you’ll purchase and hold onto for a lifetime. These are the products you’ll hand down to the next generation. These are the products you’ll search through endless garage sales and op shops to find one just like the one you had all those years ago. Now that manufacturing has become so cheap, it’s often difficult to find those ‘classics’ in today’s market. Is it the plastic, budget compact car? No. Is it the moulded plastic toddler trike? No. Is it the Canon PowerShot G1X? Without a doubt, yes. 


Appearance and functionality

The Canon PowerShot G1X defines quality in a non-DSLR market. The professional look and feel of this camera makes you sure that it won’t fail you. It’s functionality specific chunky, solid, metal casing and design ensures confidence in the G1X’s abilities.
The extensive amount of buttons, knobs and wheels ensures immense ease of use and no fiddling around in complex menus to find the most basic features, as they can all be found on dedicated control inputs. There’s two main dials for navigating up and down or left and right within the menus as well as the option to use directional push buttons instead. The main dial on top is responsible for changing the shooting mode but a step down from that, you’re given a handy exposure compensation dial. This gives you the option to easily take charge with your photography and bump up or down the exposure on a shot.

The shooting modes on the G1X include all the most basic auto and program modes as well as a full manual, HD Video and even a HDR mode. HDR or High Dynamic Range allows the user to automatically take three separate photos at three separate exposures. One in the middle, one slightly underexposed and another slightly overexposed, the camera itself will then combine these photos to give you a balanced photo with incredible dynamic range. This feature allows you to easily take a photo of the children playing on the playground against the bright sky. Without this you would either get a photo of a correctly exposed cloudy sky but dark face, or a correctly exposed face but bright blown out sky. With the HDR mode you can easily get both with amazing creative effects, provided you have a tripod or very steady hand.

A handy feature is the inclusion of an ND or neutral density filter. At the press of a button this filter flicks out over the lens and reduces the amount of light entering the lens and falling on the sensor. This allows for more creative, customizable shots and videos in all situations and is most useful in extremely bright light.


Image Quality / Lens Quality


canon20120517ac.jpgThe 4x optical zoom lens and equivalent of 28mm wide angle lens, although not the widest range on the market, gives you enough options to capture the majority of moments. While other brands and cameras on the market may give you a much larger range, what these other cameras don’t mention is their potentially poor ability to handle low light and capture quality images. The G1X does this amazingly; Canon have not substituted on quality.


Whether it be faces of family at a dimly lit birthday party, kids playing sport in the park on a sunny day, a wide shot of your mates newest car or a closeup of your friends newest pair of shoes, there isn’t even a whiff of poor quality to be noticed on the 14.3mp sensor. Skin tones are natural, colours are natural and vibrant and scenes are sharp and clear at all levels of zoom.

An exceptional point of focus on the Canon G1X is it’s low light capabilities and high ISO range. While low light is often the defining trait where you can begin to pick off cheaper, poorer quality cameras the G1X does not skip a beat. The f.2.8 lens when at a wide angle helps the ISO along to deliver high quality low to no grain images at all ISO levels.

Between each ISO level you’re given the option for third steps which drastically increasing the possibilities for the perfect shot. ISO100 through to an incredible ISO1600 show zero to almost zero grain and provide a perfectly acceptable and useable image quality. ISO3200 shows slight grain and when bumped all the way up to ISO6400 levels of grain are still on the low side. ISO12 800 is the highest value on the G1X which creates medium levels of grain but where lower quality cameras will falter, images on the G1X still retain most of their clearness, sharpness and usability.



canon20120517ad.jpgAccompanying the 7.5cm LCD screen on the PowerShot G1X is a handy viewfinder. While the screen is useful in displaying vivid colours and useful information, the viewfinder stands out in bright light and provides you with all the options. It isn’t a through the lens option as you’d find on DSLR camera but is useful none the less.

The LCD screen also has the option to flip it out and rotate it up 90 degrees, down 90 degrees and backwards 180 degrees. The options of creativity this opens up puts a spotlight on the G1X’s abilities. You’ll no longer miss a shot because you couldn’t see over the heads of the crowd in front of you. Just flip out the screen angle it down and hold the camera above your head. You’ll now be able to compose photos and videos of kids at a lower, more personal level instead of always towering over the top of them. With this LCD you’ll have no problems with always being the one missing out on group shots because you’re behind the camera; flip the screen around 180 degrees and you’re good to go.



The flip out LCD screen, ND filter and Full HD 1080p capabilities make the G1X not just a still camera but just as equally a video camera. The IS or Image Stabilization makes the videos smooth and un-shaky. The quality of the video is sharp and colours are natural.





The Canon PowerShot G1X goes down in history as a ‘classic’. The unrivaled quality this camera presents will outlast it’s competitors. While the focus is more on quality and functionality rather than design and gimmicks, you won’t be disappointed. Canon have developed a top of the market camera with the G1X, ready to outlast and outlive.



Accessories Used During Testing:

SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s SD Card 

Tamrac Aero 94 / 3394 Camera Bag 


Recommended Retailer:

View / Buy The Canon Powershot G1X 



Appearance rating 3.5 stars
Functionality rating 4 stars
Image quality
5 stars
Video quality
3.5 stars
Lens quality
4 stars
LCD screen (Rear)
4 stars
Value for money 3 stars
Street Price $799.95
Effective Pixels 14.3 Megpixels
Sensor Type
1.5-inch / Primary colour filter (Bayer), High Sensitivity CMOS, DiG!C 5
Image Sizes 5 Sizes / 5 Aspect Ratios
Lens 15.1 (W) - 60.4mm (T) (35mm film equivalent: 28 (W) - 112mm (T)
Lens Mount
Resolution Settings: Stills [16:9] Large: 4352 x 2448, Medium 1: 3072 x 1728,
Medium 2: 1920 x 1080, Small: 640 x 360
[3:2] Large: 4352 x 2904, Medium 1: 3072 x 2048,
Medium 2: 1600 x 1064, Small: 640 x 424
[4:3] Large: 4352 x 3264, Medium 1: 3072 x 2304,
Medium 2: 1600 x 1200, Small: 640 x 480
RAW: 4352 x 3264
[1:1] Large: 3264 x 3264, Medium 1: 2304 x 2304,
Medium 2: 1200 x 1200, Small: 480 x 480
[4:5] Large: 2608 x 3264, Medium 1: 1840 x 2304,
Medium 2: 960 x 1200, Small: 384 x 480
Resolution Settings: Video [iFrame Movie] 1280 x 720 (30 fps*1)
[Miniature Effect] 1280 x 720*2 / 640 x 480*2
[Other than the above*3] 1920 x 1080 (24 fps*4), 1280 x 720 (30 fps*1) / 640 x 480 (30 fps*1) 
Face Detection Yes
Manual Focus No
Auto Focus Yes
Aperture Priority Yes
Shutter Priority Yes
Shutter Speeds 1 - 1/4000 sec. 60 sec. to 1/4000 sec. for Manual and Tv modes.
ISO AUTO, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200
LCD Monitor 7.5 cm (3.0”) PureColor II G (TFT). Approx. 461,000 dots, Approx. 100%. Adjustable five levels. Quick-bright LCD
Viewfinder -
Flash Yes, Auto, Manual Flash On / Off, Slow Synchro
Hot Shoe No
White Balance Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Fluorescent H, Flash, Underwater, Custom 1, Custom 2
Self Timer Approx. 10 sec or 2 sec delay, custom
Stills Format/s
Exif 2.3 JPEG, RAW (14 bit, CR2 (Canon Original)) Video: MOV (Image data: H.264; Audio data: Linear PCM (2 channel stereo))
Video Format/s MOV (Image Data: H.264; Audio Data: Linear PCM (2 channel stereo))
Video Recording Time/s -
Storage Type - External SD / SDHC / SDXC Memory Card
Storage Type - Internal
Connectivity USB 2.0 Hi-Speed (mini-B compatible), PAL or NTSC selectable / Stereo
Power Source CB-2LCE / AC Adapter Kit ACK-DC80 (Compact Power Adaptor CA-PS700, DC Coupler DR-80, Power Cord)
Battery Options Rechargeable Lithium-ion Battery NB-10L
Battery Life LCD Monitor on 250 shots;
LCD Monitor off 700 shots and Playback 7 hours
Dimensions 116.7 mm (W) x 80.5mm (H) x 64.7mm (D
Weight Approx. 492g (camera body only)



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