A compact camera with a large sensor and an electronic viewfinder. That’s the PowerShot G5 X. The latest addition to Canon’s premium compact series, it also has an assortment of dials and controls that will surely appeal to photography geeks. In this new series of Developer’s Interviews, we gain insight into the aims and objectives of the developers of the PowerShot G5 X. Part 1 kicks off the series with a focus on the built-in EVF, which has received much positive review for the good viewing experience it gives. What are some of the secrets behind it? Read on to find out.
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(From left to right)
Mechanism: Takashi Yoshida, Image Communication Products operations ICP Development Center 3
Electronics: Ryuji Fukute, Image Communication Products operations ICP Development Center 3
Design: Yoshihiro Miyazawa, Design Center Products Design Div. 1
Design Chief: Kenji Ito, Image Communication Products operations ICP Development Center 3 Manager
UI: Koki Kitaya, Image Communication Products operations ICP Development Center 3
Image Quality: Atsushi Fujita, Image Communication Products operations ICP Development Center 3
Product Planning: Yoshikazu Sakagami, Image Communication Products operations ICP Group 3
Pursuit of visibility appropriate to the G series.
A full-fledged electronic viewfinder that approaches an optical viewfinder.
- This is the first time a built-in electronic viewfinder was included in the premium line. What points did you place emphasis on?
Design Chief (C below) Ito As the first built-in electronic viewfinder of the G series, in order to appeal the enjoyment of viewfinder shooting, thorough pursuit was made to ensure visibility and ease of use comparable to that of entry-level EOS DSLRs, while maintaining a compact size. First of all, significant effort was put into the optics, for not only a wide angle of view, but also making it possible to see clearly right to the edges. The eyepoint with a wide pupil diameter is also long, so even if your eyes move away from a head-on position it can still appear correctly.
Products Planning (P below) Sakagami Installing the electronic viewfinder directly above the lens at the center of the body was one more point we were particular about. I think that this is the natural location for the viewfinder after all, and it was designed so people who normally use SLR cameras can use it without any discomfort. The eyepoint is quite wide at 22mm, making it possible to see even when distanced from the viewfinder. There is less chance of your nose touching the camera, so people who wear glasses will be able to comfortably use the viewfinder.
With a high-speed display of 120 fps and an OLED panel, the time lag of an electronic viewfinder is suppressed significantly.
C Ito Another main point with this viewfinder is that it is organic LED (OLED).
Electronics (E below) Fukute That's right. This time, the viewfinder's panel uses an OLED screen. As this has a higher contrast compared to an LCD, the 2.36 million dot high resolution screen is breathtakingly beautiful, and with excellent responsiveness, time lag is suppressed.
P Sakagami Compared to an optical viewfinder, it’s true that the weak point of an electronic viewfinder is time lag.
E Fukute Yes, that is correct. Due to this, a 120 fps high-speed display mode is included on the G5 X. As we strived for a viewfinder with as little time lag as possible that will be satisfactory to customers, I believe that you will experience the quality when you look through it. Visibility is fantastic, and there is virtually no discomfort from time lag.
Mechanism (M below) Yoshida I also took a look through it, and it certainly has a different impression from electronic viewfinders up until now. I felt that it was extremely beautiful.
Design (D below) Miyazawa As the electronic viewfinder plays a significant role in the appearance of this camera, a lot of thought went into the modeling. Firstly, I did not want it to give the impression it was simply sitting on top of the body, so, by matching the material with the lens parts, and lowering the end of the electronic viewfinder behind the end of the lens barrel, it creates a feeling of integration. Also, the flash is included in the front portion of the electronic viewfinder. By eliminating this dead space and making it as small as possible, I believe that the end result is a condensed shape overall.
Support functions only possible with an electronic viewfinder.
Information display is automatically optimized in the vertical position.
- Are there any aspects that resemble the EOS optical viewfinder?
UI (U below) Kitaya Yes. The UI was designed in such a way that even people who usually shoot using the viewfinder on EOS cameras will not experience any discomfort. For example, in Live View it is possible to concentrate on composition without the shooting information overlapping.
C Ito On the other hand, with the electronic viewfinder there is appeal for things that are not possible on an optical viewfinder.
U Kitaya That's true. When holding the camera in the vertical position for example, display information such as icons automatically switch vertically, so being able to quickly grasp the information even when in the vertical position is an appeal unique to the electronic viewfinder. Additionally, displaying an overlaid histogram while shooting, and being able to look through the viewfinder when shooting movies are interesting points only possible with an electronic viewfinder.
Holding the PowerShot G5 X in a vertical position
Full screen display
Holding the PowerShot G5 X in a horizontal position
Full screen display
Subtle focus adjustments while looking through the viewfinder are possible.
MF peaking and focus magnified display are supported.
Image quality (I below) Fujita When shooting movies, it’s great that the MF peaking function even works with the viewfinder. As it possible to shoot movies on the G5 X while manually focusing, you can enjoy reliable focus confirmation while shooting artistic movies.
In addition to peaking, magnified display during manual focus is also supported for still image shooting, and as the way images are read from the sensor is changed on the G5 X which improves the display quality of the magnified area, the image quality is so good that it will be obvious right away. Display up until now that was 2x or 4x is now capable of 5x and 10x, and I believe that focusing manually has become dramatically easier to do.
Magnified display is also supported during still image shooting
MF peaking during movie shooting