Monday, February 24, 2014

Canon G1 X Mark II review: Hands-on

What does the updated version of Canon's high-end compact bring to the table? Find out in our Canon G1 X Mark II hands-on review
The Canon G1 X Mark II compact camera is the the follow-up to the brand's Canon G1 X (which was itself, a replacement for the Canon G12).

With the high-end compact camera market rapidly growing, as people trade up from basic compacts and smartphone camera, there's plenty of competition out there in the form of the Sony Cyber-Shot RX100, the Nikon Coolpix A and the Fujifilm X20.

Canon G1 X Mark II: Size and build

The Canon G1 X Mark II has a similarly chunky brick-like chassis as its predecessor did, which means that's it's not entirely pocketable, but it is still a solid alternative to a DSLR, or a good choice for a secondary back-up camera.

Canon G1 X Mark II: Features

The new model sports a 5x optical zoom (the previous model had 4x) along with a brand new 24-120mm f/2.0-3.9 lens which enables close-ups up to 5cm away from the camera - something that's been vastly improved since the last model.

One of the biggest improvements on the new camera is the inclusion two new manual control rings around the lens. The inner ring has a satisfying click action as it goes round, while the other has impressively smooth operation. These can be prgrammed for various functions and also help to give the camera a more DSLR-like grip in the hand.

Canon G1 X Mark II: Screen

The 3-inch LCD screen is now mounted on a bracket that can be pulled out from the camera and tilted up and down. On the previous model, the screen flipped out to the side, which felt a little cumbersome.

We much prefer the new vertically tilting screen, which makes it easier to capture shots from awkward angles and can even be flipped right round so you can line up your selfies properly. It's also a touch screen, giving you more options for control and making it easier to navigate through menus.

Canon has ditched the Electronic Viewfinder from the previous model as many felt that it was too small to be genuinely useful. Instead, the maker has created an optional EVF that be bought separately (for £200).

Canon G1 X Mark II: Picture quality

While we didn't get to test out the picture quality in our brief preview, we have high hopes for the new model. Its predecessor's image quality was never really in question, so we expect a similarly high standard from the Mark II as it packs the same sensor along with the DIGIC 6 processor.

Fans of the Star Mode on the Canon PoweShot S120 wil be pleased to note that this appears on the new G1 X and that the the new model boasts a more sophisticated version of the video Star mode.

Canon G1 X Mark II: Verdict

Our first impressions of the G1 X Mark II were all good - it apears that Canon has listened to all of the issues that were raised on the previous model and addressed them all to produce a highly specced compact. We look forward to taking it for a full test run.

Canon G1 X Mark II release date: May 2014

Canon G1 X Mark II price: £749

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