Canon PowerShot G1 X Digital Camera Review$799.99
Lens & Sensor
It's likely Canon had to reduce the G1 X's zoom ratio in order to accommodate the huge new sensor. Optical zoom is down to 4x, and sadly macro focus distance is worse too. The G1 X can only lock subjects as close as 7.9 inches, to the G12's 0.4 inches. The barrel has great action though, extending and retracting quickly, albeit with quite a bit of audible noise.
Just like the G12, the G1 X features a removable metal ring around the lens, which protects the hardware when it's in place. An optional teleconverter can also be connected here, and exchanged using a mechanical release on the front panel below the lens.
The new 1.5-inch CMOS sensor is head-turning upgrade from the G12. This 14.3 megapixel unit is much larger than the Four Thirds standard, and such a sensor is unheard of in a fixed lens camera. Low light performance should also be significantly better than the G12's CCD.
The same viewfinder used for the G12 makes a return here. This is an optical viewfinder, another rarity in the fixed-lens market. The finder isn't through-the-lens, but runs on a parallel vector and allows pretty accurate framing to the final image. As the lens zooms in, so does the viewfinder. The edge of the lens barrel is visible in the corner of the viewfinder, since they're so close together, and we were hoping Canon would've come up with a workaround for this since the G12.
The swing-out, rotating LCD screen is a little bit larger than its predecessor's, coming in at a full 3.0 inches with 922,000-dot resolution. This versatile panel is useful for video or tripod work, and the gorgeous picture is quite accurate to the final recorded image.
A sturdy plastic door on the right panel of the chassis houses a standard USB terminal as well as a miniHDMI connector. We also appreciate when manufacturers go with standardized ports instead of proprietary ones, and Canon rarely disappoints.
A hot shoe mount rests directly above the viewfinder, and this will be useful for accessories like high-powered flash.