Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II Compact Camera

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77% Silver Award
The G1 X II produces image quality that bests nearly all compact cameras, and also offers a plethora of customizable controls, three dial operation, a tilting LCD and optical EVF, and a comprehensive Wi-Fi feature.”

Read more of the review

Key Features

  • 13.1 megapixel at 4:3 / 12.8 megapixel at 3:2 aspect ratio 1.5"-type CMOS sensor
  • 24-120mm equivalent F2-3.9 lens with optical image stabilizer (5x optical zoom)
  • ISO 100-12800
  • Dual control rings
  • 3" tilting touch LCD with 1,040,000 dots
  • 1080/30p HD video
  • Optional electronic viewfinder with 2,360,000 dots (sold separately)
  • Raw and Raw+JPEG shooting
  • SD/SDHC/SDXC memory
  • Built-in Wi-Fi, NFC, and GPS

Product Description

Boasting a sensor that is 4.5x larger than a 1/1.7" sensor found in professional level point-and-shoot cameras, the PowerShot G1 X Mark II camera can produce high-quality images with a wide dynamic range. The G1 X II improves upon its predecessor in many ways. It's smaller, features a faster 24-120mm F2.0-3.9 lens (with closer focusing distances), a 31-point AF system, dual lens rings, a touchscreen LCD that can tilt upward by 180°, and Wi-Fi with NFC. While its 1.5"-type is a bit smaller than on the original, the G1 X II can shoot at 3:2 or 4:3 with the same field-of-view. The catch? No more optical viewfinder (though an EVF is optional).

Specs

Body type
Body type Large sensor compact
Sensor
Max resolution 4160 x 3120
Other resolutions 4352 x 2904, 4352 x 2448, 3120 x 3120, 2496 x 3120, 3072 x 2304, 3072 x 2048, 3072 x 1728, 2304 x 2304, 1840 x 2304, 2048 x 1536, 2048 x 1368, 1920 x 1080, 1536 x 1536, 1232 x 1536
Image ratio w:h 1:1, 5:4, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels 13 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors 15 megapixels
Sensor size 1.5″ (18.7 x 14 mm)
Sensor type CMOS
Processor Digic 6
Image
ISO Auto, 100-12800
White balance presets 8
Custom white balance Yes (2 Custom settings)
Image stabilization Optical
Uncompressed format RAW
JPEG quality levels Superfine, fine
Optics & Focus
Focal length (equiv.) 24–120 mm
Optical zoom 5×
Maximum aperture F2.0 - F3.9
Autofocus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Selective single-point
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Touch
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Digital zoom Yes (4X)
Manual focus Yes
Normal focus range 5 cm (1.97)
Macro focus range 5 cm (1.97)
Number of focus points 31
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCD Tilting
Screen size 3
Screen dots 1,040,000
Touch screen Yes (Capacitive)
Screen type sRGB PureColor II Touchscreen LCD
Live view Yes
Viewfinder type Electronic (optional)
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed 60 sec
Maximum shutter speed 1/4000 sec
Aperture priority Yes
Shutter priority Yes
Manual exposure mode Yes
Subject / scene modes Yes
Built-in flash Yes
Flash range 6.80 m
External flash Yes
Flash modes Auto, On, Slow Synchro, Off
Continuous drive 5 fps
Self-timer Yes (2 or 10 secs, custom)
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
Exposure compensation ±3 (at 1/3 EV steps)
Videography features
Resolutions 1920 x 1080 (30p), 1280 x 720 (30p), 640 x 480 (30 fps)
Format MPEG-4, H.264
Videography notes Star Time-Lapse: 1920 x 1080 (15 or 30 fps), Digest Movie: 1280 x 720 (30 fps), Minature Effect: 1280 x 720 or 640 x 480 (1.5 - 6 fps)
Microphone Stereo
Speaker Mono
Storage
Storage types SD/SDHC/SDXC
Connectivity
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMI Yes
Microphone port No
Headphone port No
Wireless Built-In
Wireless notes with NFC
Remote control Yes
Physical
Environmentally sealed No
Battery Battery Pack
Battery description NB-12L lithium-ion battery and charger
Battery Life (CIPA) 240
Weight (inc. batteries) 553 g (1.22 lb / 19.51 oz)
Dimensions 116 x 74 x 66 mm (4.57 x 2.91 x 2.6)
Other features
Orientation sensor Yes
GPS None

First Impressions

The G1 X II's large sensor and fast, wide-ranging lens make for a large camera. Despite that, Canon has designed the camera in such a way that it can be operated with one hand - though the front dials encourage a two-handed approach.

The design of the G1 X II has changed considerably compared to its predecessor. Gone is the 'two level' top plate - used to house the optical finder - which gives the G1 X II a more traditional rectangular shape. The grip on the G1 X II is smaller than on the original, though the optional 'custom grip' closes the gap. Also note that the front dial on the G1 X is gone on the G1 X II, replaced instead by an additional dial around the lens.

The lens is longer (24-120mm) and faster (F2.0-3.9), and the latter makes the camera pretty compelling when you throw in its 1.5"-type sensor. The autofocus system is much faster according to Canon, and you can finally focus on something remotely close to the camera (5cm).

Read the entire First Impressions Review on DPReview.

Reviews

DPReview Conclusion

Scoring is relative only to the other cameras in the same category at the time of review.

Score Breakdown
Poor Excellent
Build quality
Ergonomics & handling
Features
Metering & focus accuracy
Image quality (raw)
Image quality (jpeg)
Low light / high ISO performance
Viewfinder / screen rating
Optics
Performance
Movie / video mode
Connectivity
Value
Silver Award
Silver Award
77 %
Overall Score

The PowerShot G1 X Mark II is an enthusiast compact whose fast lens and large sensor allow it to produce impressive photos in both bright and low light. Its well-built body offers three dials, and numerous controls can be customized. That said, there are numerous improvements that could be made, especially in terms of dynamic range and responsiveness.

Good For

Those desiring a flexible compact camera that's even good for portrait photography.

Not So Good For

Photographers who demand wide dynamic range. Auto/Program mode shooters. Videographers.

User Reviews

4.26667 out of 5 stars
  • HussainJanjua, Apr 19, 2014 GMT:
    smart Gadget

    Its amazing gadget by Canon

    Continue Reading

  • servic, Apr 21, 2014 GMT:
    Great all-rounder with focusing issues

    I like the camera as it is except for several issues: The standard grip is not designed for the weight of the camera. Since the camera is heavier than most compacts, I unintentionally press camera controls and it is somewhat annoying. The optional grip is way too expensive. So I'd rather keep nagging around than buy this grip. I don't want to invest my money in this Canon's carefully designed marketing rip-off (larger grip should cost some 5 cent more in production). The other issue that ...

    Continue Reading

  • jonrobertp, Apr 22, 2014 GMT:
    cool lens and iso capability

    I have the G1X2 and also the RX100.   The new G1X has a nice thumb grip to hold it better.   The speed of all functions is very good, right there with the RX.    The lens is sharp at the long end even at 3.9, and best at 5.6.   At the wide end its typical wide open, a bit soft as experienced photogs might expect, but mostly at very close shooting distances.  For the street at dusk, I won't worry about it.  Not that bad.   If 2.8 is enough light, that's of course better at 24mm. At 6400 iso it ...

    Continue Reading

  • jgersh, Apr 23, 2014 GMT:
    Only an incremental improvement from basic PowerShot

    I am a middling enthusiast who only buys a camera every three years... so my previous camera was the SX130, a very capable machine! After intensive studying of dpreview, I lighted on the new G1X Mark II. It's a great camera! Its behavior in low-light is excellent, and the AF speed is tremendously improved, the WiFi is cool, all factors in my purchase.  But my expectations of IQ were far too high.  I figured that three years from now (when I buy my next camera) a 1.5" sensor will be common, ...

    Continue Reading

Questions & Answers

QUESTION

Max Zoom RX100 III vs G1X II

Would it be correct to say that the max zoom capability of the RX100 III is roughly the same as the G1X II - even though the G1X II has a max focal length of 120mm vs the RX100 III's 70mm, because the RX100 III has a 20mp sensor vs. the G1X II's 13mp? In other words, if I took a picture of the moon at maximum optical zoom with both cameras, it would occupy roughly the same number of pixels?

Helmut Eder asked
2 months ago

ANSWERS

Thanks for that explanation!  Indeed the pixels on the Sony are smaller - but they are on a BSI sensor which means the difference wouldn't be that big.  So really, as you said, you have only a little less zoom but a LOT less baggage! Continue Reading

Helmut Eder answered
2 months ago

I agree, the basic IQ of rx100 is terrific, BUT, it's not for real zoom. I have had mine for 1-1/2 years, it's wonderful, but it is just at the beginning of zoom at 100, m3 at 70mm is considered not enough for portraits for some. You can get some great crops from it, and jpeg only clear image zoom is what I call 'good enough', but, not for zoom of far away objects , and certainly not for shooting far away objects and cropping later. m3 constant f2.8 is nice, but that doesn't mean you aren't going to be in high iso territory , the larger sensor G1X samples I have seen are superior at high ISO for near shots, and I would think superior for far low light shots too. and, if you are close, and want more DOF, you will need to set a smaller aperture than f2.8, giving different results. Continue Reading

elliottnewcomb answered
2 months ago

Sony sensor is superior...they have continued to improve while Canon has chosen to go slow and steady.  The G1X II is a great camera, had it come out in that version in the G1X, but things have progressed and the market is moving forward. its up to each individual consumer to decide how much zoom they really need.  You can get a program to run analysis as to the focal points of all your shots.  After doing this, most people are surprised to find the bulk between 24mm - 70mm.  For rare situations when zoom is more needed, cropping comes in handy.  Far better than carrying an extra bulky camera around. Continue Reading

Jennyhappy2 answered
2 months ago

QUESTION

G1X II good for macro?

I'm in the market for a point-and-shoot that takes good close-ups of fairly small objects at night. I used a Canon SX110IS for several years, and while it took some pretty good nighttime close-ups ( e.g. ), I want an upgrade. Reviewers universally love the Sony RX100II, so I got one last year, but I hate its macro. It only seems to work if you're zoomed completely out and then get to within 1-2 cm of the object. This is problem if you're using the flash (the lens blocks the flash), or if you don't want to be that close . Maybe I just don't know what I'm doing, but I'm ready to give up and get a different camera with friendlier macro. One of the things that I loved about my old Canon is that on macro it gave a minimum focal distance in cm for any given zoom (sony doesn't). Does the G1X II give minimum focal distance in actual distances? What are people's experiences with macro on this camera?

filups21 asked
1 month ago

ANSWERS

It was just discussed here: http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3693283 Continue Reading

Woiana11 answered
1 month ago

The G1XMII allows close focusing when the camera is zoomed out to 24mm. So, it does not really do macro photography without an adapter. Also rather depends on what you mean by "small". If you are talking about very small things like hover flies, you will have a problem, I think. Macro is best done with a lot of light. This allows the aperture to be small, thus more sharply focusing the light, and the ISO to be low, resulting in less noise. By definition, Macro photography means that the image on the film/sensor is the same size (or larger) as the object being photographed.* It is difficult, and expensive, to do this on a zoom lens. Most manufactures have bent the definition to mean getting close with the camera. But, since it is more easily accomplished at wide angle (zoomed out), the image on the sensor will still be small. *Some looser definitions allow 1/2 size. Continue Reading

lilBuddha answered
1 month ago

This is quite common with most cameras of this type. Continue Reading

Greg Gebhardt answered
1 month ago

QUESTION

250D misuse on my G1X-II; skewing perception?

I've posted a few photos taken with my G1X-II comparing shots taken with and without my 250D. I figured out pretty quickly that the 250D gives a noticeable improvement in magnification at the telephoto end of the zoom range on this camera, but not much improvement at the wide end thanks to the Mk II's improved MFD over its predecessor. I also mentioned more than once that I seemed to get much clearer shots without the 250D  than with. As I've seen my own photos, I don't think the trade-off in IQ is worth the increased magnification. Each time I've posted samples like this, I've clearly stated that I do not have the filter adapter for the Mk II and have been holding the 250D against the front of the lens by hand (250D glass in direct contact with the plastic front rim of the G1X-II lens). I realize the filter adapter would actually hold the 250D slightly away from the front of the lens, and would certainly do so at a constant distance. My question is whether my hand-held method is ...

requa asked
1 month ago

ANSWERS

Your handholding of a lens element is almost certainly always out of alignment.  The proximity of the 250D glass to your G1 X II front element is also probably causing some bizarre reflection or color issues (especially considering how misaligned you are). I don't understand why you're not using the adapter.  Of course what you're doing is affecting image quality in your macro shots.  If the focus plane of your 250D is slightly off (which it is without using the adapter) who knows what bizarre effects could occur between it and the sensor as light goes from one lens element to the next.  If you've got IS switched on and the 250D is not perfectly stable then even that could cause vibration in the IS as it tries to compensate. After spending around a grand for a camera and close up lens why would you avoid spending $30 for an adapter? Continue Reading

Joseph Black answered
1 month ago

[[My question is whether my hand-held method is contributing to the reduced IQ.]] It would be difficult, if not impossible, to answer this without a corresponding test using your camera and your subject matter with the adapter. When it comes to macro-photography, given the shallow depth of field, very slight movements will cause all sorts of problems. Continue Reading

Rob Bernhard answered
1 month ago

Thanks for the thoughtful responses. What you have suggested makes sense to me. To answer the question about why I have not purchased the adapter, this was not a matter of the cost, but of wanting to wait until a third party version became available made out of actual metal instead of plastic. I'm not sure why I'm so leary of the plastic adapters, considering both the 250D and the lens mount are plastic. Maybe I'll try either the Canon or the JJC and see how much improvemetn I get, plus I would then be able to use my other 58 mm filters. Dan Continue Reading

requa answered
1 month ago

Warranty Information

"Canon U.S.A., Inc. and Canon Canada Inc. (collectively "Canon") warrant to the original end‐user purchaser, when delivered in new condition in its original container, that the Product will be free from defects in materials and workmanship under normal use and service for a period of one (1) year from the date of original purchase. Product returned to a Canon repair facility and proven to be defective upon inspection will, at Canon’s sole discretion and without charge, be (a) repaired utilizing new, remanufactured, repaired and/or recycled parts; (b) exchanged for a new Product or; (c) exchanged for a refurbished Product, as determined by the Canon repair facility. Warranty exchange or replacement does not extend the original warranty period of the Product. "

Go to Canon USA's warranty page for more information. DPReview GearShop is an authorized Canon dealer in the United States.

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