Feature Articles

Hands-on with the Canon PowerShot G1X Mark II

By Azizul Rahman Ismail - 4 Jun 2014

Hands-on with the Canon PowerShot G1X Mark II (UPDATE:Now with video)

The lens on the G1X Mark II is large, and the camera overall is a little on the heavier side.

Between the land of the colossal DSLRs and the domain of the compact camera is a realm of the bridge cameras. Featuring non-interchangeable lens and non-pocketable form factor, these cameras, which are also known as large sensor compact cameras, walks the fine line between quality and portability.

Recently, we were lucky enough to get our hands on Canon’s latest entry in the realm of bridge cameras, the uncompromised PowerShot G1X Mark II.

The dark is no obstacle for the G1X Mark II (1/20 sec, f/2.8, ISO 800).

Right from the start, the G1X Mark II impresses with large a 1.5-inch CMOS censor capable of up to 13 megapixels of resolution, coupled with a bright 24mm-120mm equivalent F2.0 to 3.9 lens. The result is impressive performance in low light conditions and better macro performance (as close as 5cm) compared to its predecessor, although the camera’s resolution has dropped.

Canon’s use of two control rings on the lens barrel is interesting.

Weighing in at 553g, the G1X Mark II with its magnesium alloy body has the reassuring heft of a well-built camera. To accommodate the weight, the camera has a modest and comfortable rubberised grip on the right side of the camera.

The large touch screen makes navigation easy.

Almost all of the camera’s controls are also clustered on the right side of the camera. All of the basic Canon compact camera controls are there, however the multi-purpose dial has been relegated to the lens barrel instead, which means the lens has two rings, one for focusing and the other for selecting and adjustments.

The built-in flash has to be popped up manually.

Other interesting enhancements to the G1X Mark II are the tiltable pop-up flash, and tiltable 3-inch capacitive LCD touchscreen, which opens up a whole plethora of creative shooting options. These comes at the cost of an optical viewfinder, however the camera also has an accessory hot shoe for electronic viewfinders and speed lights.

Shot at dusk, this dark walkway looked lit with the large aperture lens (1/20 sec, f/2, ISO 800).

The most interesting addition to the camera is its connectivity. Not only does it have standard ports, such as USB and HDMI, it also has built-in wireless and NFC capabilities. Coupled with a an Android or iOS device installed with the Canon Camera Window and Image Gateway apps, the connectivity of the G1X Mark II truly shines.

With Canon Image Gateway, you can upload pictures taken on the camera straight to an online photo album, where you have full control of the picture’s sharing permissions. Canon Camera Window, on the other hand, lets you remotely control your camera using your smartphone or tablet. It also works as an image browser where you can preview the pictures on your camera using a device with a bigger screen and transfer the selected picture to your device.

Versatile, the G1X Mark II does portraits well.

A commendable entry in the bridge camera category, the Canon PowerShot G1X Mark II looks, feels, and performs well in our short stint with it. Nevertheless, we cannot wait to have the camera back in our labs for a full test. Look out for the review of the camera in the July 2014 issue of HWM Malaysia.

The Canon PowerShot G1X Mark II will be available for RM2,899.