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Archive 2012 · Early G1X experience
  
 
Jim Quinn
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Early G1X experience


After posting some questions here about the Canon G1X, I began an informative PM conversation with a Forum member. I bought the camera a few weeks ago (as part of an attractive Adorama camera/printer bundle that drastically lowered the camera's price), and he asked me for my feedback on it. I sent him the following information, and he suggested it might be useful to viewers on the Canon Forum. So here goes!

I've found that the camera handles in a similar way to my G9, with a few changes. The optical viewfinder is off-center, as usual, so I can't rely on it for accurate framing. I love the articulated screen! But I find that the LCD doesn't refresh very quickly; if I move the camera quickly, the image smears briefly before it catches up. I'm sure that higher-spec cameras (Sony, Fuji, Olympus, etc.) would do better with this.

At the same time as I ordered the camera, I bought a LensMate adapter and a set of Hoya closeup lenses, and they have proved very valuable in shooting closeups. By itself, the camera doesn't do Macro shots well at all; the close-focusing G9 is much better. the G1X retains the Macro setting from the G9, but it just gets in the way. For example, if I want to take a tightly-framed portrait from three feet away (which would require zooming the lens to its maximum length), I have to change from Standard to Macro or the shot won't be in focus. That's not very user-friendly; in my opinion, the camera should allow the lens to focus at its minimum distance at all times without requiring this change of settings.

But I'm really impressed with the camera's low-light capabilities. I have old 40D cameras with H settings that allow a maximum of 3,200 ISO. I've shot at that setting, and at 1,600 ISO, but I try to avoid them if possible because of the noise. With the G1X, I find that I can get usable photos at its maximum 12,800 ISO setting. I shot some comparisons with both cameras and the G1X was much better. I'm sure that the sensors in the 5D Mark II and III and the 1DX would be even better than that, but I found it to be surprising in a good way.

The G1X is what it is, so I can't complain that it doesn't have a constant-aperture lens. Now that I've gotten my feet wet with a (fairly) large sensor in a small(ish) body I expect that I'll move eventually into an interchangeable-lens mirrorless camera - more money, of course, but more function, including focus peaking and adapters for all sorts of glass, including constant aperture zooms.

I have begun checking out this site regularly:

http://www.discovermirrorless.com

The site owner, Will Crockett, makes a good case for mirrorless cameras, especially if you're combining stills, video, and audio. I'm not doing that, at least not yet, so that aspect doesn't appeal to me much. But the small size and light weight of these new cameras are attractive. The G1X is a good introduction into that world, I think; it has its faults, but I think it will be a good picture-taker.

Jim Quinn



Nov 15, 2012 at 05:10 PM
dhphoto
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Early G1X experience


Jim Quinn wrote:
The G1X is what it is


That is really the best way to think of the G1X. It's an odd little beast that has some serious flaws (the unusable VF and the lack of close focus being the worst IMHO)

But what it does do is take phenomenally good quality photos for it's size, especially in RAW.

If anything I have found it's sensor is *better* than that in my 550D and that is really saying something. Plus the lens is excellent at every length.

It's a funny little thing, but it's still brilliant in it's own way.

The same camera with a good 100% EVF, a 24mm equivalent and closer focusing would be a world-beater



Nov 15, 2012 at 05:38 PM
anthonygh
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Early G1X experience


Got mine two weeks ago now and am warming to it.

I am comparing it to my G10 as I have a lot of experience with it. First...I only use the G10 at ISO 80 if looking for colour...or a max of ISO 400 if I know I will convert to B+W ( gives a nice grain effect with a bit of PS manipulation).

ISO 80 isn't a problem for me...my other take anywhere camera is a rangefinder and my film of choice is PanF.

The G1X is bulky and needs a small bag whereas the G10 slips in my pockets....so that will remain my take anywhere camera. The G1X in a bag will be for casual trips where I might want to do some semi serious photographing (although I did that with the G10 in my pocket and to good effect).

As for image quality.....I haven't done any serious printing from the G1X yet but it will be interesting to see how it matches up to the A3 prints from my G10..the lens on that camera is just so sharp. However..the G1X lens is supposed to be the best G series lens according to Canon......so I am expecting great things.

All in all...I prefer the way the G10 handles but the G1X appears to be the better package and I hope it was a worthwhile purchase.

Edited on Nov 16, 2012 at 04:54 PM · View previous versions



Nov 16, 2012 at 02:27 AM
Edward Castro
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Early G1X experience


I've been looking in maybe getting this camera. They've come done on price. High ISO shots look fantastic from what I've seen so far. Done any of those Anthony?


Nov 16, 2012 at 02:59 AM
Jim Quinn
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Early G1X experience


These photos were taken with a Canon PowerShot G1X camera at ISO 12,800 using aperture-value autoexposure, auto white balance, and face-detect autofocus. The first three photos were taken in a small fluorescent-lighted kitchen; the second shot of the baby was made in a dark room using light from a nearby fish tank. The dog photo was made in low mid-day room light. No flash or fill were used. The RAW files were imported into Lightroom 4.2 and immediately exported as JPEGs. No color adjustments, noise reduction, sharpening, or other changes were made to any photo.

http://tinyurl.com/bmlnuao



Nov 16, 2012 at 05:21 AM
Edward Castro
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Early G1X experience


If those where to be turned to B&W they'd look great. I mean they look good with such a high ISO with a smaller then a APS-C senor.


Nov 16, 2012 at 05:58 AM
Jim Quinn
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Early G1X experience


I'm impressed with the relatively low noise for that high an ISO setting, and with the neutral color balance and realistic contrast; I would not have been surprised if shadow detail began to disappear, but I can see detail in some pretty dark tones. I haven't done any manipulations yet, but I expect that a little noise reduction in Lightroom would be all I'd need to make some decent color prints. And I agree that B&W coversions would work really well.


Nov 16, 2012 at 06:26 AM
Snead
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Early G1X experience


I bought my G1X eight months ago, when they first came out, to replace a very poorly build Fuji X100. I considered it a bargain costing 1/3 less than the X100. Its primary use is for travel and it fills that need very well. The image quality is very impressive and using a small hip mount pouch makes it very easy to carry. The 4/3 aspect ratio takes some getting used to and reminds me of the old 2 1/4sq film size which I always disliked.

The description ďit is what it isĒ perfectly describes the camera. Itís not the camera that does everything but what it does, it does well. Iíve noticed the new Capture One Pro7 does an excellent job processing the RAW images and improves the cameraís dynamic range more than any other processor Iíve tried.

For the person who has a FF DSLR outfit itís the perfect replacement for when you donít what to carry around all that heavy bulk and it does so with a very little loss of image quality.



Nov 16, 2012 at 01:56 PM
Dick Snyder
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Early G1X experience


I find the expression, "It is what it is.", to be very appropriate as well. I bought one when they first came out and was not pleased initially. I sold it but kept looking at two prints that I done from files taken with the G1X. The scenes looked exactly as I saw them with rich colors and beautifully exposure, which, as we all know, is always not the case. I purchased another and still struggle with it a bit because I want it to be a "do everything well" camera and that is a tall order since nothing really seems to be able to do that. As I have gotten older, I am less inclined to carry a DSLR everywhere I go and I hope that as I become acclimated to the G1X I will also develop an even greater appreciation for its very real strengths.


Nov 16, 2012 at 05:01 PM
 

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Jeffrey
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Early G1X experience


Really, the G1X is barely larger than the G10. It's IQ is excellent. But I hate it's useless macro mode and lack of close focus, which I would like to use often. I'll probably buy the next camera with similar IQ that does macro well, and sell the Canon for a loss. What a shame to find this out after purchase.


Nov 16, 2012 at 06:42 PM
Jeff Nolten
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Early G1X experience


Jeffrey wrote:
Really, the G1X is barely larger than the G10. It's IQ is excellent. But I hate it's useless macro mode and lack of close focus, which I would like to use often. I'll probably buy the next camera with similar IQ that does macro well, and sell the Canon for a loss. What a shame to find this out after purchase.


The close focus issue has been discussed to death. It is a function of the large sensor and the resulting lens focus travel compromise. I wouldn't expect a G2X to be much improved in this regard. However the Canon 250D closeup filter and G1X filter adaptor are a simple solution that allows the G1X to do better closeups than previous Gs. Of course you could always get an EOS M and a dedicated macro lens to carry around.



Nov 16, 2012 at 06:57 PM
scalesusa
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Early G1X experience


I just received mine, the first thing I noticed was the difficulty in getting extreme closeups.

It is not necessary to change anything to get macro shots, you can set the camera to restrict the lens movement to macro only, distant only, or just let it do all.

Like any lens, restricting the movement range will speedup autofocus.

I bought one of the $6 lens shutters from Amazon.com. Its ugly, but it works well. Now I'm looking for a small case, since my G11 case is a little tight on it.



Nov 16, 2012 at 06:58 PM
anthonygh
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Early G1X experience


Jeffrey wrote:
Really, the G1X is barely larger than the G10. It's IQ is excellent. But I hate it's useless macro mode and lack of close focus, which I would like to use often. I'll probably buy the next camera with similar IQ that does macro well, and sell the Canon for a loss. What a shame to find this out after purchase.


I'm not a macro enthusiast but I did buy a decent 58mm filter adapter off eBay for very little money and can now use a range of filters...including close up filters I already own.

Setting up a macro shot is more fiddly than say with the G10 (just point and shoot with that one) but from my tests I would be happy with the results when compared to those from my G10.

However.....this does extend the depth of the G1X lens by about 12mm ( I keep a filter in place for lens protection) and it is not a carry anywhere camera like the G10. That I can slip into almost any jacket pocket...the G1X has to go in a small camera bag.

I am still at the learning stage with this camera but am warming to it all the time as a decent package that is very portable. I hope to do my first A3 prints from it later today.....



Nov 17, 2012 at 03:21 PM
JameelH
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Early G1X experience


Another annoyance (and it is not restricted to the G1x alone) is the 4G limit on videos. I tend to shoot videos of events (like lectures) where the camera is fixed on a tripod and needs to take upto 60mins worth. While the DSLR and large sensor p&S has excellent video quality, the size limitation (approx. 16mins at 1080) is very restricting. Getting a dedicated video camera is an option but why not auto switch to another file after the 4GB limit.

Does magic lantern for the DSLRs address this?



Nov 17, 2012 at 04:22 PM
Jim Quinn
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Early G1X experience


A note to Jeffrey:
It's simple to gain close-focus abilities with the G1X. Canon sells an adapter ring that accepts 58mm filters, including close-up filters. I bought a similar one from LensMate (http://www.lensmateonline.com/store/G1XQC.php), and a set of three Hoya close-up filters that can be stacked for more power. Adding filters is nowhere as convenient as simply selecting Macro and moving closer (my G9 can pull in sharp images with the subject almost touching the lens), and you need to carry one or more of the close-up filters with you (they're small, of course, and easily carried). But I think the results should be worth it. I find the camera's Macro setting a joke; I wish it could cover the entire range without needing to switch to Macro to shoot, say, an object that's two or three feet away. But I'm getting used to it.



Nov 17, 2012 at 05:02 PM
kevindar
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Early G1X experience


thanks for your post. its a great era in photography, with so many wonderful tools available. G1X has its own Niche, b/c it has a decent size sensor, and its lens is of very good quality, procusing nice sharp images. However, its no speed demon, when it comes to focusing, shot to shot time, etc, which I think is its biggest weakness actually. yet, some will find it perfect.
The sony RX-100 isa nother very very attractive option, and I think the best option in general purpose small point and shoot, b/c its significantly smaller (pocketable) and has much faster autofocus, and a superfast lens on the wide end (f1.8) and a good size sensor, not quite as big as g1x, but pretty big.
I have been down the path of ILC, with a soney nex 5n, and yes the large sensor in a small form factor is great. though not truly pocketable.



Nov 17, 2012 at 05:28 PM
Jeffrey
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Early G1X experience


Jim Quinn wrote:
A note to Jeffrey:
It's simple to gain close-focus abilities with the G1X. Canon sells an adapter ring that accepts 58mm filters, including close-up filters. I bought a similar one from LensMate (http://www.lensmateonline.com/store/G1XQC.php), and a set of three Hoya close-up filters that can be stacked for more power. Adding filters is nowhere as convenient as simply selecting Macro and moving closer (my G9 can pull in sharp images with the subject almost touching the lens), and you need to carry one or more of the close-up filters with you (they're small, of course, and easily carried). But I think
...Show more


Thanks, John. I have all that stuff. Of course, when you add 'close up filters' (which are not filters at all) you sacrifice a lot of DOF. Macrophotography is one area where DOF is crucial. So, I have not use the closeup lens yet.



Nov 19, 2012 at 08:32 PM
anthonygh
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Early G1X experience


Is a point and shoot ever going to be a suitable camera for serious macro work?

It might be possible..with the 58mm adapter.....to find some arrangement that gives great macro shots (say reverse mounting a 50mm prime).....but there are probably better options out there...like a G10 with the small sensor so giving much greater DoF.

I have the two (G10 and G1X).......



Nov 20, 2012 at 12:37 AM





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