Canon G1 X - Who Needs Interchangeable Lenses on Large Sensor Compact?


You knew Canon would respond to the large sensor compacts and CSCs recently introduced. And to their credit, they've offered photographers yet another option: a relatively big 14MP 1.5" CMOS sensor (18.7 x 14mm) in a "jacket pocket" sized body with a fixed zoom, ranging from 28mm to 112mm (f/2.8-5.8). Add an optical viewfinder, 3" 920,000 dot articulated LCD, and 14-bit Raw, and you have the just-announced G1 X (not to be confused with Panasonic's competitor, the GX 1.)

The 1.5" CMOS sensor is larger than the sensors found in micro four thirds, Nikon 1, and FujiFilm's X10. It's a tad smaller, however, than APS-C that used in Sony's NEX line of CSCs.

Basically what Canon is saying with the G1 X is this: if you want a big sensor in a small package, but don't want to mess with interchangeable lenses, we've got the camera for you. So for the estimated street price of $799, you're done.

We'll see how the market responds to this proposition when the camera starts shipping in February.

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The G1X really does seem like it fits a very big spot in the market. So many people buy DSLR's/ILC's, yet don't ever buy any other lens than the one with which it came.

I'm not speculating: Canon had made 70 million EF lenses and 50 million EOS bodies as of October 2011; that's a ratio of only 1.4 lenses per body. That tells me that a plurality, if not majority of DSLR buyers don't ever have more than 1 lens.

For these people, this camera makes a LOT of sense. It's fully featured: big sensor, good zoom range, pop up flash, tilt/swivel screen, and optical viewfinder, plus it has the great PowerShot UI (well, great compared to other cameras), which is much easier to use than any DSLR UI I've tried. Sure, it's a slow lens, but it's no slower than the kit lens that comes with every DSLR/ILC (and is faster on the wide end). Plus it has full creative controls (it has more control dials than the T3!) for advanced operation.

$800 is a bit steep for this kind of camera, especially since it's pricier than, say, a T3, D3100, or E-PM1. A potential consumer who is choosing between the G1X and a DSLR/ILC will lose the ability to change lenses, sure, but so many of those buyers weren't going to anyway. They gain a lot of ease of use, a more compact size, and some features (like extra control dials and the tilt/swivel screen, which aren't available on the low end models, and a viewfinder, which is an optional extra on the smaller Micro Four Thirds and Sony NEX cameras). Assuming it performs well, I think the G1X will satisfy the needs of a lot of these people.

I want to see the reviews of this camera before getting too carried away - but this looks like exactly what I was hoping for in a compact.

I love my Nikon dSLR, but when you get away from SLR space I don't think Nikon has any idea what it's doing. Canon (and maybe Panasonic) seem to actually understand what people are looking for in a high-end compact camera.

I get what Rohith said above. Majority of DSLR buyers do not go beyond the kit lens so it is really pointless to have the ability to change lenses when most DSLR users do not change lenses. (I even cringe when I see people using a Canon 5D Mark II on full auto - not even on "P" mode!) I don't even know if most of those who use ILCs use a second lens. I mean ILCs are geared towards those who do not want the bulk of a big DSLR and most of those who do not want to carry such just want the ability to point and shoot.

The Canon G1x is a very, very compelling camera simply because of the sensor size. Can't wait to have Derrick review this. :)

Here's a question: who needs a 105mm f/5.6 at the widest?

This camera will appeal to those looking at Rebels but who'd never buy a 2nd lens for a DSLR. That's what this essentially is: a smaller entry-level camera that's a step up from point-and-shoots.

This camera is primarily good for daytime shots. Sorry, for not much more money you'd get a superior alternative from a used GF1 and new 20/1.7 and 45/1.8 lenses.

What I'm most curious about with the G1 X is the image quality. I love shooting with my Olympus PEN and its faster lenses. But that sensor is ready for an update. If the G1 X proves to be a superior image maker, then that casts its other limitations in a different light for me, such as the maximum aperture of f/5.6 at the telephoto end.

It's interesting. I certainly need to learn more about this camera.

On specs this sounds like the perfect second camera for hobbyists like me. Coat pocketablity along with a big sensor sounds great for when I don't want to carry my SLR.