There’s a lot happening right now in the world of photography. A majority of the top camera manufacturers have made some exciting announcements this week, unveiling some new arrivals within the compact camera market. Canon being one of them with the announcement of the Canon Powershot G1X.
The advancements in technology that have been made over the last few years have opened up the doors for some dramatic changes to camera features and image quality, especially in some of the new smaller formats. One of the problems that I’ve found with previous generations of these compact models is excessive noise and low image quality. I’ve previously used a Canon Powershot G10 which was a great little camera with a fantastic design, but very lacking in the image quality department.
Photographers have tried hard to love these upper level compacts, designed and marketed as a smaller camera to one who already owns a DSLR or one who is looking for the best in compact features.They offer convenience with image quality and responsiveness being the major hurdles.
Part of the problem has been the smaller sensor size these cameras have had; coupled with increased megapixels and dated processing power, the results have been subpar performance at least for professionals looking for close to DSLR image quality.
Why the Canon Powershot G1X looks so intriguing is that it’s using a much larger sensor, only 20% smaller than Canon’s APS-C size, and in addition it’s also using their new DIGIC 5 processor. At 14 megapixels with this size sensor and processing power, this is a huge leap in quality from it’s predecessor the Canon Powershot G12.
Improvements in image quality and noise should no doubt be a major upgrade from the previous model. When asked a question on how the G1X handled noise here’s what Canon’s Chuck Westfall had to say about it: “Closest comparison is to cameras like the 7D and 60D, because it uses the same pixel pitch. The G1X is actually lower noise than the 7D, because it’s the latest generation of the DIGIC, the DIGIC 5. Can’t speak to RAW because I haven’t seen it, but the JPEGs and videos are definitely cleaner at any given ISO than the 7D’s. I can speak to that personally because I tested it myself.”
There’s a ton more improvements I won’t get into, but if you’re a photographer who is looking for a small compact to compliment your DSLR for travel, this camera is very exciting news. The only downside is the price has jumped up a bit from previous models with the G1X being released at $800.