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Photo Review – Images captured with the PowerShot G1X Mark II

Being built as a digital compact camera, the PowerShot G1 X Mark II boasts a level of depictive power that is comparable to digital SLR cameras. In this article, we will take a look at the characteristics of each feature, and the ability of the camera through actual photographs. (Reported by: Teppei Kouno)

Large-diameter lens capable of producing beautiful bokeh at both the wide-angle and telephoto ends

The PowerShot G1 X Mark II is the successor of the "PowerShot G1 X" released in March 2013, and is the highest-end camera in Canon's compact camera line up. What is arguably the most distinctive feature of this camera is the brightness of the large-diameter 5x zoom lens with a maximum aperture of f/2 to f/3.9, while covering a focal length equivalent to 24 to 120mm in the 35mm format. The evolution is dramatic considering the f/2.8 to f/5.8 aperture and focal length range of 28 to 112mm of its predecessor model, the PowerShot G1 X.  Beautiful bokeh can be obtained at both the wide-angle and telephoto ends, while an increase in the number of aperture blades from six to nine has also made it easier to create round bokeh effects.

Yet another notable attribute is the close focusing distance of 5cm at the wide-angle end and 40cm at the telephoto end, which allows you to enjoy full-fledged macro photography while making good use of the bokeh effect when you move closer to the subject. These are qualities that revolutionize the conventional notion of a compact digital camera.

At the same time, significant enhancements have also been made to its operability. A tilt touchscreen LCD design has been adopted, while the lens tube comes with "dual control rings," each of which can be assigned with functions such as aperture, shutter speed, exposure compensation, and manual focusing.

The extremely handy detachable electronic viewfinder, "EVF-DC1" is sold separately but there was no chance to use during this shoot. With a coverage of approximately 100% and a high definition of about 2.36 megapixels, the viewfinder can be moved upward by 90º for more flexible composition.


PowerShot G1 X Mark II/ FL: 62.5mm (equivalent to approx. 120mm in 35mm format)/ Aperture-priority AE (1/250 sec., f/3.9, +0.3EV)/ ISO 400/ WB: Auto

This shot was taken at the telephoto end with the aperture fully open. The background blur is beautiful, with round bokeh created by the oblique backlight. Thanks to an aperture value smaller than f/4 and the 1.5-inch sensor, you can enjoy depictions comparable to those of a digital SLR camera.


PowerShot G1 X Mark II/ FL: 12.5mm (equivalent to approx. 24mm in 35mm format)/ Aperture-priority AE (1/2,000 sec., f/2, ±0EV)/ ISO AUTO (ISO 100)/ WB: Shade (A1, G2)

If you have a digital compact camera, it would be natural to use it for taking street snaps. In this example, the aperture was fully opened at the wide-angle end. Moving very closely to the mailbox helps to create a sense of openness, making the foreground in focus while making the background subject blurry. The white balance to [Shade] was also set to add a warm touch.


PowerShot G1 X Mark II/ FL: 12.5mm (equivalent to approx. 24mm in 35mm format)/ Aperture-priority AE (1/125 sec., f/2.8, +1EV)/ ISO 100/ WB: Auto (B2)

I captured this shot at the wide-angle end by moving to the closest focusing distance of 5cm. This short distance helps to widen my photographic expression considerably. The new "full-time manual focus" feature comes in handy in close-up photography. When the shutter button is pressed down halfway, MF operation is possible using the smooth ring.

* This article is created based on a trial model. Aspects such as the appearance and image quality may differ slightly from the actual product.

Characteristics of the PowerShot G1 X Mark II

Bright 5x optical zoom lens with a large diameter

The same 1.5-inch sensor as the predecessor model, the PowerShot G1 X, is used, but the maximum aperture is f/2 at the wide-angle end and f/3.9 at the telephoto end. Meanwhile, the number of aperture blades has been increased from six to nine, allowing photographers to produce beautiful round bokeh in their shots.

Dual control rings with excellent operability

One of the attractive features about the operability is the new dual control rings, which are made up of a smooth ring in front and a click ring at the rear. You can customize the two rings freely by assigning each of them with different functions.

Touch-sensitive LCD Screen

The three-inch touch-sensitive rear LCD screen is large, easy to view, and highly operable. With a tilt design, it can be moved upward to 180º and downward to 45º.

PowerShot G1 X Mark II

Lens max. aperture: f/2.0 (W) - f/3.9 (T)
Lens focal length: 24mm (W) – 120mm (T)*1
Min. focusing distance: 5cm
Image sensor type: 1.5" COMS sensor *2
Image processor: DIGIC 6

*1 35 mm film equivalent
*2 Total pixels : Approx. 15.0 Megapixels, effective pixels : Approx. 12.8 Megapixels(3:2)

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Teppei Kouno

Born in Tokyo in 1976. Studied under photographer Masato Terauchi after graduating from Meiji Gakuin University, Kouno works as an independent photographer since 2003.