Canon PowerShot G1 X Digital Camera Review$799.99
Ease of Use
- Automatic Features
- Buttons & Dials
- Effects, Filters, and Scene Modes
- Instruction Manual
The G1 X features a fully automatic, or "green" mode, and this is really all that inexperienced shooters will need. All functions default to their automatic state, and exposure compensation is locked at 0.0 EV. The main menu does still allow some degree of customization, and the trimmed down Func. menu overlay still offers customization of image or video size and self-timer customization. This mode renders the camera completely beginner-proof, and reliably captures great exposures with nothing more than a simple press of the shutter.
Buttons & Dials
The rear and top panel buttons have been arranged in a highly intuitive way, though some of the symbolic labeling does assume a familiarity with photography. We love how the most commonly used shooting options have receiver their own dedicated buttons, such as program shift, focus area, and metering. These keys surround the excellent directional pad, which doubles as a rotating dial for versatile input and menu navigation. The far off playback and shortcut buttons are raised and angled, which makes it easier to strike them quickly.
Effects, Filters, and Scene Modes
The G1 X comes with 14 preset scene modes, varying from mainstays like Portrait and Landscape, to the very useful High-speed Burst HQ mode, to fun extras like Movie Digest and Stitch Assist. Scene modes get their own dedicated position on the mode dial, so these techniques are always close at hand.
Picture effects also get their own stop on the mode dial, and these produce zanier images, with choices like Fish-eye, Miniature Effect, Color Accent, and Poster Effect. This mode is also home to the HDR shooting option.
Canon's excellent menu system is a tab based layout, combined with a quick cross-section overlay activated by the Func. button. The quick menu is highly efficient for adjusting common options...well, quickly. While the main menu controls painlessly with a combination of the zoom lever and rear rotating dial. This is a fantastic menu system.
The G1 X's "Getting Started" manual is little more than a pamphlet. It lacks a table of contents and an index, and most users with details questions will find it entirely unhelpful. Thankfully, a sufficiently detailed instruction manual is available on Canon's website.