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Canon G1X: A sign of things to come?

Discussion in 'Other Systems' started by Luckypenguin, Apr 2, 2012.

  1. As a still vaguely loyal Canonista I have followed the build-up to the G1X release and eventually decided that I had to have one. After my first week I have to say that I am generally quite happy with the camera, and extremely happy with the handling and image quality. Firstly, the G1X is not a baby EOS, but is instead a purebred G Series compact with a big engine under the hood. This applies to everything from operational speed, menus, controls, and customisation. An EOS gets on with the job with a minimum of fuss. In comparison the G1X works to it's own pace, just like it's G Series forebears. It is actually a very good reminder of how truly great the Micro 4/3 implementation of live view and CDAF really is. The G1X is not bad, but far from class leading.

    The sensor and lens work extremely well together and once I'd gotten a handle on how to optimally convert the CR2 RAW files to tiffs in Canon's DPP software and export to PS and Color Efex/Silver Efex, I am extremely impressed with what I am seeing so far.

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    To string together a series of ifs;

    If Canon use this as a basis for a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera,
    if they get a better handle on live view implementation and CDAF,
    if they back it up with a timely release of compact lenses,

    then Micro 4/3 could eventually be facing their stiffest competition yet. The G1X sensor is only marginally bigger than the m4/3 sensor, and the G1X applies the same kind of lens correction software as used widely in the m4/3 system which bodes well for a similarly compact system of lenses. Incidentally, the G1X's lens-based IS is just as impressive as that in their better EF lenses, which goes to show that you can make a working IS system in a collapsible lens for a large sensor compact camera...

    Maybe I'm "iffing" just a bit too much, but creating a mirrorless system that will be in competition with their existing DSLR system is less of a risk than Canon took 25 years ago in mothballing the FD system and creating EOS. In the meantime, I am enjoying my G1X (and my Micro 4/3 system!) very much.
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  2. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Sep 5, 2011
    I don't have any interest in the G1x, itself. For a compact, I'm willing to trade-off some IQ for a truly small package (e.g., the S95 or S100). At the price of the G1x, I'm willing to trade off a little more size in exchange for interchangeable lenses.

    But I think the G1x would be a great camera for a great many people if, and it's a big IF, Canon didn't deliver it with such crippled AF.

    I agree with you that IF Canon can do the things you suggest, they'll be a formidable competitor. OTOH, if they deliver an MILC that's as crippled as the G1x, it could give the entire MILC segment a black eye. If large numbers of people buy into a bad MILC, they won't think it's just Canon, they'll think the whole idea of mirrorless is weak.

    Some excellent pictures, btw.
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  3. nickthetasmaniac

    nickthetasmaniac Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2011
    First up, love the shots :smile: All very nice and there's a few there that demonstrate the G1X's DR if nothing else.

    I come to a different conclusion with your 'ifs' though - if Canon does all those things then they'll be in a similar position to MFT when MFT was released. Which means they'll still be about 3 years behind :smile:
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  4. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    Canon has the resources to pull something like that off, it just remains to to be seen if they have the vision to do it. I suspect that having it impact their different product lines may be something they are reluctant to do but the G1X is clearly a response to the the success of mirrorless cameras.

    It will be interesting to watch...BTW lovely shots.
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  5. Very true. If Canon does go down the MILC route, they owe it to the format to do it well.

    The G1X seems to have become the current whipping boy of the DPReview forums. Not quite to Nikon 1 proportions, but it does seem to have generated a serious love/hate persona. During my rather amused readings over there, the favourite reason I saw for not liking the G1X was that the manually removable lens cap could cause you to miss all manner of shots compared to other compacts. Ah, it's all good sport :) 

    The other big complaint is of course the speed of the lens. There appears to be some serious misunderstanding over there of the physical implications of using a large sensor is a small body. A little while back I created an artist's impression of a G1X with a constant f/2.8 lens, using my old G9 for reference.

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    Until I get a chance to run a G1X raw file through Adobe Camera Raw I can't be totally certain on how the G1X compares in terms of dynamic range since I don't know how good the highlight recovery is in Canon's DPP software. The numbers I've seen don't indicate that is quite up there with the best Sony sensors, but it seems pretty good to me. And you're right; momentum is a big advantage in favour of Micro 4/3 for any company contemplating going head-to-head.

    I guess what we don't know yet is whether mirrorless cameras will effectively replace DSLRs, or just carve a niche alongside them. Canon still appear to be in option 'B' mode, with the G1X allowing them to get their eye in without committing either way.
  6. nueces snapper

    nueces snapper Mu-43 All-Pro

    I don't understand the price

    If it was say, a hundred bucks more than a G12 it would make sense. At the present price point it is just too much $ for a fixed lens Canon. There is a whole genre of folks out there that have begun to grasp the need for a bigger sensor ( most of whom don't know mirrorless from rangefinder ) and don't want to mess with interchangeable lenses. BUT, few of these want to spend as much as Canon wants to get. :rolleyes: 
  7. I've owned a few of the smaller sensor G Series cameras before, and to my mind the improvement in IQ is worth the price difference. Compared to our own Micro 4/3 cameras, the price I paid for the G1X ($700) is the same as what I would currently have to pay for a brand new E-PL3 with kit lens, and $200 less than an E-P3 with kit lens. The flexibility of being able to change lenses gives the two Olympus models an X-factor that the G1X can't match, but compared spec-for-spec, lens-for-lens, the G1X looks like reasonable value. The thing to remember is that the lens on the G1X is a very impressive optic designed to cover a sensor much larger than the 1/1.7" in the G12, lacking only resolution in the extreme corners at the widest setting due to the distortion correction.
  8. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 All-Pro

    Well, the G1X has a faster lens than our kit lenses, and it's 28-112 equivalent. So, at $100 more than the E-PL3 with kit lens, I wouldn't call it wildly overpriced. And considering that most interchangeable-lens camera users never use more than the kit lens, or maybe the low-end zoom option, it makes sense in many ways.
  9. nueces snapper

    nueces snapper Mu-43 All-Pro

    Yeah, but ... you and most of us here are 'enthusiasts'. We have a grasp on value based on a somewhat more advanced photographic tech knowledge. The genre this camera seems to be aimed at don't asses camera value like we may. I think this camera is a non-starter. Soon to fade away into the mists of not enough units sold. A mere blip in photographic history.
  10. In spite of having bought one myself, I also have my doubts on how the G1X will fare in terms of sales. The G Series has always been marketed as a camera for compact enthusiasts or as a backup for existing DSLR owners, yet even on a large and busy forum like the Canon photography-on-the.net site, the G Series forum is fairly small and quiet. To me this says that (in the Western market at least) the average owner either isn't that enthuiastic about photography to talk about it much, or uses it as a second camera and isn't that invested in it to talk about it much either.

    By raising the price and putting a large sensor in it, Canon has exposed the G1X to a far more critical audience. By raising the price, making it larger, and removing the usual compact camera feature of decent macro, it's appeal to it's traditional G Series market may have lessened also.

    It's possible that the changes made to lift the G1X's IQ out of the Compact category and into DSLR territory could ironically prevent it from being a sales success. But that's okay, since I have the camera that I wanted and will enjoy it and the images it produces whether it turns out to be an orphan or not.
  11. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    To be honest, the G1X is the camera I always wanted. I couldn't find that camera and wound up with m4/3 instead. Now as it turns out there's a lot of practical problems -- the lens is too slow, autofocus is too slow, poor usability/handling, it's too expensive, etc. But it's a first iteration. The way I see it, if they can clean up some of the issues for a G2X, it'll be a way better choice than any ILC for many people.
  12. SRHEdD

    SRHEdD Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 24, 2011
    Viera, Florida USA
    I bought a P7000 on a (cheap) whim. It is okay for what I bought it for, kids parties, trips out, snapshots on the run. But I went to an Orlando Magic game last night, where they don't allow lenses longer than 6" or DSLRs in general. I kept thinking a m4/3 would have slipped through without issue. If the G1X had a longer lens, I'd have bought it, but I really hope Nikon does something similar so I can use my flashes with it. I'm still tempted, but an Oly E-PL2 is still my favorite m4/3 and for $375 on the 'bay with the kit lens, that STILL seems like the best bang for the bucks with money left over to buy the longer 40-150.

    Nikon P7000 at ISO1600, cropped and over-processed to get something usable on facebook...

  13. Bhupinder2002

    Bhupinder2002 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    I fully agree with u . Canon has all technology to create something which can give MFT stiff competition . As a matter of fact of fact if canon had introduced a mirror less series 3-4 years ago , MFT would have been in trouble . But its very good for consumers that we have so many choices .
  14. A few last images to share from the G1X. The camera itself is not without it's faults but is definitely a keeper. It's hard to repel IQ of this magnitude. I think a bit of camera rationalisation might be in order. I really didn't need a third Micro 4/3 body anyway, and this could replace some SLR gear as well. I might even end up in front!

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  15. InlawBiker

    InlawBiker Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 1, 2012
    Seattle, WA
    Who wouldn't want one? I sure do. I never had a Canon camera I didn't like. There are still times that even the smallest Micro-4/3 kit is too big, because the zoom lens protrudes so far. I wish it were not so expensive but, Canon can get away with it like nobody else.
  16. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    I don't really see this argument. A GF3/14-42X is no larger than the G1X. Surely the Canon has its advantages (and disadvantages), but it is not the case that the Canon has a unique size advantage.

  17. Once you consider the 14-42 X on a small Micro 4/3 body I think the Canon actually ends up being the larger overall package. The differences between the two lenses is that the Canon lens is a 4x zoom, is sharp virtually everywhere, and the new "Hybrid" Image Stabilizer is right up there with the best. Given the quality of the lens on the G1X, my EF 24-105mm f4L from my SLR gear starts to seem a bit redundant now.
  18. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Nov 7, 2010
    Nic, my torture test for any camera is to shoot kids (or people) moving around indoors in suboptimal lighting. What can you share about the G1X in that regard? I'm guessing that the larger sensor + slowish lens = OK performance (maybe on par with S95/100 type P&S?), but I can't say I've seen that specific type of shot being addressed.

  19. I haven't yet tried it in the type of situation to which you refer, but my guess is that it would be no better than an S95 type camera. I suspect a Micro 4/3 camera would be better suited to that role. Essentially I bought the G1X for static subjects. In operation the G1X is just like every G series that has gone before it and sets no speed records. Handling, ergonomics, and file output are my reasons for keeping the G1X.
  20. InlawBiker

    InlawBiker Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 1, 2012
    Seattle, WA
    You're right I was not counting the 14-42X lens.

    I'd rather have a GF3 but even so I can see the appeal of a the G1x with a 28-112mm range in one body and a larger sensor - it's easier to carry around and the range is very useful. I still wouldn't buy one though.

    When they make some improvements and put it on a diet I might become interested.
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