Canon Launches New Digital Compact Cameras, Including Flagship PowerShot G1 X [Update]
Update: Canon Singapore has just announced the local retail price of the PowerShot G1 X, it will sell for S$999 and be available in early March. Check out the next page for the official press release and click here for our G1 X hands-on preview!
Canon has announced three new digital compact cameras, including the successor to the PowerShot G12. The new PowerShot G1 X comes with the largest image sensor yet in a compact camera body; rivaling the size of sensors found in Micro Four Thirds cameras.
The IXUS 500 HS, IXUS 125 HS and PowerShot G1 X will come with the DIGIC 5 image processor, which promises better quality images in low-light settings, faster operation and improved color accuracy. For the G1 X, the DIGIC 5 enables a High-Speed Burst feature which lets you shoot 4.5 full resolution images in one burst at a frame-rate of 6 per second. The IXUS 500 HS and 125 HS come with Advanced Smart AUTO, with a new Face ID feature which can register up to 12 people on the camera.
Canon PowerShot G1 X
The Canon PowerShot G1 X succeeds the PowerShot G12 which was released in 2010. The G series cameras have always been about the enthusiast photographer looking for the best handling and image quality in a compact camera, but in recent years they've faced competition from their smaller S-series brothers, like the S95 and S100.
The new G1 X blows the S-series out of the water though, with the largest sensor to date for a Canon compact camera (and in fact, the largest sensor to be found in a compact camera today). Measuring 18.7 x 14mm, the 14.3MP sensor is larger than the Fujifilm X10's 8.8 x 6.6mm sensor (the previous large-sensor record holder for compact cameras) and comes close to the size of the sensors found in Micro Four Thirds mirrorless cameras which measure 18 x 13.5mm. It's no guarantee, but larger image sensors usually deliver better image quality, and the G1 X's should be impressive.
The G1 X comes with a 4x optical zoom lens (35mm equivalent of 28-112mm), with the widest aperture settings of f/2.8 (W) to f/5.8 (T). This makes it a brighter but shorter lens than the G12, which had a 5x optical zoom lens (35mm equivalent of 28-140mm) and the widest aperture settings of f/2.8 (W) to f/8.0 (T). The G1 X features 14-bit RAW shooting and compatibility with accessories like Canon's Speedlites, Macro Twin Lite and Macro Ring Light flashes. The HDR feature from the G12 is carried over, and the G1 X shoots in Full HD 1080p video. The 3" vari-angle LCD with 922k dots is bigger than the G12 and more than double the resolution.
Perhaps of the larger sensor, the G1 X is considerably more expensive than the G12 at US$799.99, which is currently S$1035. The G12 launched at S$749 and its street price should be even lower today. While the local price is just an estimate, it will most likely be even more expensive than the pricey Fujifilm X10, which launched at S$999.
Finally - we couldn't let this go. What's with the Japanese companies' obsession with the letter 'X' recently? In just a few months, we've had the Panasonic GX1, the Canon 1D X, the Fujifilm X100, X10, X-Pro1 and now the Canon G1 X. There are 25 other alphabets in the English dictionary, guys.
The IXUS 500 HS will be available in March with the estimated selling price of US$299.99. The IXUS 125 HS and PowerShot G1 X will be available in February for the estimated price of US$249.99 and US$799.99 respectively.
For more on the Canon PowerShot G1 X, check out the promotional video below by Canon Europe. Click here to go to Canon Europe for a video of photojournalist Gary Knight giving his take on the G1 X. Dpreview has a hands-on preview of the G1 X based on a pre-production model.