The last iteration of Canon’s compact rangefinder-esque series of cameras, the G12, wasn’t particularly compelling to me. It barely stood up to its opposite number at Nikon, on paper at least, and the superb S95 seemed like a better deal to most people who opted to go Canon at that price. Today they’ve unveiled the G1X, however, which addresses most of the sticking points of the previous device, though it also raises the price considerably.
It’s been upgraded with a new 1.5″ (18.7 x 14mm) sensor, which is a bit smaller than an APS-C sensor like you’d find in their consumer DSLRs but significantly larger than a micro four-thirds one. And at 14 megapixels, they’re not trying to pack too many pixels on there.
They’ve also upgraded the LCD: the inferior 480×320 one on the G12 has had its pixel count doubled, giving a nice sharp 640×480. It’s also a little bit bigger: 3″ versus 2.8″ on the last one. You can see some other changes in DPReview’s quick preview; I like the chunky design of this camera better than its predecessor.
The lens, unfortunately, isn’t going to win any awards. A 28-112mm equivalent (4x) zoom that goes from F/2.8 on the short end to F/5.6 on the long end — sounds a bit more like a mid-range point and shoot than an enthusiast’s compact. Compared with the likes of the Fujifilm X10 and even last year’s Olympus XZ-1, this isn’t very special glass.
And at $800, it’s a steeper asking price. At the previous $500 price this would be more than a steal, but at $800 you have that X10, a number of devices from Sony and Samsung, and then the many M4/3 devices from the likes of Panasonic and Olympus. We’ll wait and see how it actually performs, but it has its work cut out for it.