When word of Canon’s G1 X first leaked, we naturally assumed the stalwart line of G-series cameras was receiving a new lease on life. So imagine our surprise when we discovered the G12 will live on, to be supplemented by the higher-end G1 X.
This is a 14.3-megapixel camera with a high-sensitivity CMOS sensor, in a body more or less the same size as its G-series brethren. You also get a 28mm wide-angle lens built-in with 4X optical zoom and image stabilization. So far, so good, right? Well...wait until you see the price.
While the G12 currently retails for $499, the G1-X is launching at an incredible $799. That puts Canon’s most expensive point-and-shoot in line with some of the industry’s best compact mirrorless cameras, a market segment Canon has long ignored. What's clear is that Canon believes it can compete with such cameras head-on—or, at the very least, bridge the gap until it comes out with an oft-rumoured mirrorless of its own.
The 14.3-megapixel sensor is 1.5-inches in size, which makes it smaller than the APS-C sensors found in most consumer DSLRs, but still larger than the micro four-thirds sensors used in Olympus cameras. Canon believes that gives them the competitive advantage, especially amongst those who want compact, mirrorless power in the form factor of a point-and-shoot.
Canon is also touting the G1-X’s superb low-light sensitivity, which can reach ISO levels of up to 12800. Of course, we can only take Canon at their word, as this was near possible to evaluate on the show floor. Given the company’s history with the G-series line, however, it’s safe to assume that the G1 X performs much better than your average entry-to-mid-level point-and-shoot model—though we wouldn't hold your breath if matched against a DSLR.
Stylistically, the G1 X retains the same hardware dials as the G-cameras past, with an additional dial on the front of the body above the grip. The flash has also been integrated into the chassis, where it can stay hidden until needed. The pixel density of the 3-inch Vari-Angle display, meanwhile, has also been doubled to 922,000 dots. Otherwise, you'll find the usual complement of G-series features, including the ability to shoot RAW and 1080p high-definition video—this time with 4x optical zoom while filming and full-autofocus control.
It's clear now that Canon doesn’t see the G1-X as part of it’s traditional G-series line. The G12, for example, will still be sold, and a Canon rep speculated that we’ll likely even see a G13. That leaves the G1 X to carve out a brand new price point in the company's compact line—and it might just be a harbinger of mirrorless models to come.