Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Canon G1x

I have already dealt with Nikon's latest version of a pocketable camera, the V1 and J1, which are not really pocketable because they have interchangeable lenses and as soon as you add one it's a bulky machine. They, of course used small sensors, much bigger than normal compact cameras but smaller than a 4/3rds sensor.
Canon have gone in a different direction by continuing their Powershot G series with the G1x. While the thing is a brick ( 116.7 x 80.5 x 64.7 mm / 4.5 x 3.35 x 2.5 inches approx.) and not very beautiful, it still ticks many boxes. The combination of 14 megapixels, the comparatively large sensor and the absence of an anti-aliasing filter should mean extremely high resolving power. The lens, which is telescopic with a range of 28-112mm equivalent certainly covers many eventualities. It also has a zoom optical viewfinder, which has faults - only 77% of the picture is covered and it suffers from parallax. Personally, I prefer an electronic viewfinder which gives you shooting information as well but I suppose size considerations come into play. Those reviewers who have used the real thing have other criticisms as well, especially David Kilpatrick in the British Journal of Photography, but have only published a preview so far. It will be worthwhile to see their full review and sample pics. As it stands, however, the G1x is being promoted as the ideal standby camera for professionals, one they need never be without, with useability and quality levels approaching a DSLR. If it proves itself, then I think a lot of stock photographers may put aside their DSLR kit in favour of the G1x, especially when travelling, because it will inevitably appear on the approved camera list at Alamy.

Quotes from a forum:
First, from a highly qualified reviewer:    " It's better than 7D quality cropped to the same size (14 megapixels). And the lens is better than any kit zoom, actually it's better than certain L zooms - you can use it wide open at the wide end with more confidence of corner-to-corner sharpness than a full frame user with a 24-70mm can hope for."
Second, from a very busy experienced professional:     "from the few photos I took ,right off the top I could see the IQ is better than my Nikon D7000 with almost every lens I've used!"


  1. Thank you.
    Your review resolves part of the relatively long standing confusion over ths camera.
    But you haven't heped explain why Alamy refuses to add this camera to the approved list, but accepts other patently lesser cameras like the much smaller sensor Nikon Coolpix J1 & V1.
    We havr asked Alamy why? But the respose has been merely a cursory referral back to the "approved camera list"...!

    1. What is necessary to realise here is that Alamy does not test or review cameras. The people there make their assessments based on usage i.e. What quality are the pictures from that particular camera that contributors are submitting. So it would appear that the average picture from the G1x reaching Alamy does not impress them. However, because it's not on the Unsuitable Camera list, it means there is no reason why you shouldn't use it for Alamy pictures, if your own QC is high enough.
      By the way, your description of the smaller sensor Nikon J1 and V1 as "patently lesser" cameras just doesn't hold water, I'm afraid. I'm using the Sony RX100 which has the same sensor and the quality of the images is startlingly good, even at high ISO. And I'm not the only person who thinks so, including Alamy, where it's on the Recommended list. It would appear that not only sensor size contributes to image quality.

  2. Yes. I was remiss not defining the term. I didn't mean to abraid or provoke defensiveness.
    However, I was talking as much about end-user graphic art and mainstream image use as I was about the policies held by an agency.
    While the size and build standard of the sensor is quintessential, there are other factors, including lens quality that contribute to IQ sufficient to allow editorial and sub-editorial as well as art department cropping.
    And that of course is the basis of my concern: an editor must have the best image integrity original where possible to allow all or part publication Not merely on a web based medium where IQ is not as objective, but for graphic arts publishing.
    I accept Alamy's cautious counselling preference for quality 35mm eq frame digital camera work, and the agency's implied unofficial preference when pressed to nominate the better of the smaller sensor cameras to focus on the Leica and the Fuji X100S and Pro for the PJ preferred and inherent optical viewfinder.
    From what you have written I guess it's fair to assume given the long time since Canon introduced its G1X that Alamy won't be knowingly accepting standard file images taken with the Canon.