Monday, January 9, 2012

Weaknesses of the Canon G1 X

The new Canon G1 X is tempting, and the best cure would be to find a weakness which would make it unsuitable for my purposes. I read the previews at Dpreview and Imaging Resource, and fortunately there are some obvious problems.

First of all, the lens range starts at 28 mm, not at 24 mm, which is a rather serious drawback for me. And the biggest aperture is f/2.8, which gives the camera 1-2 stop handicap compared to the LX5. The much bigger sensor helps here, but probably by 1-2 stops only, and thus it is a draw for low-light photography.

So, it seems that I can relax and stop thinking about the G1 X. Anyway, there are some other handicaps as well: size and weight and poor battery life. Also, even though the camera seems to have a macro mode, there is no mention of how close it can focus. This might be another handicap.

We are having a bit warmer weather now, but the temperature is still some degrees below 0 °C although it is getting warmer.

And yes, there will be a break in the postings here, while the weather is warming up.

Update: It seems that I was right about the macro mode of the G1 X. The closest focusing distance is 20 cm, which isn't so good for closeup photographs, as written by PhotoReview.


Andreas said...

Plus that it's easily one of the most ugly cameras that I've ever seen :)

No, honestly, I guess this is a killer camera for many photographers and I expect it to be spectacularly successful. I predict at least a three stop advantage, thus it should be significantly better in low light than the LX5, and that even at the long end.

On the other hand, I got a PEN E-P2 with superb electronic viewfinder, a 17/2.8 pancake lens and a spare battery used for only 550€. I could even have got an E-PL1 for much less. With an adapter I can use all my Nikon lenses, and some of them are extremely fast.

Between those two cameras I still see an advantage for the Canon sensor (after all, sensors are an area where Canon is extremely good), but the advantage dwindles with faster lenses. I used my 50/1.2 last night and I could shoot at ISO 200 handheld. Sometimes I even had to stop down :)

I think it all boils down to the question whether someone wants a fixed lens solution or is willing to carry and change lenses. The market is clearly there, but personally I am not attracted at all.

Juha Haataja said...

@Andreas: The G1 X is indeed ugly. And I think you are right, three stop advantage is possible.

Anyway, the G1 X bodes well for the future, we have not only the mirrorless cameras but also serious fixed lens cameras.

Would there be a fixed lens camera with a square sensor some day - this would get the maximum benefit from the lens...

Eko said...

Kauniita Kuvia vaikka rumasta 'välineestä...?' kommentoidaan...!
Hieno otos-sarja.

Näkisittepä vai 'oikean-taitelijan' välineet - eivät ole 'lasten-kateltavia'...!
Nohhh... 'kaunottaret' ovat erikseen ja työkalut erikseen.
Itselläni on ollut yli kymmenen kameraa käytössä - eikä yhtää kaunista.
Nykyään on isoimmin käytössä Canon G12 - tämän uuden 'rumiluksen' pikku-veli.
Voin sanoa - riittävä kuvan-laatu jopa ammattilaiselle...!
Voin verrata laatua kahteen järjestelmä-kameraan ja useaan vaihto-optiikkaan.
Tämä G12 on mukava kuljettaa taskussa.
Ei se 'maailman-paras' ole...?
En tiedä mikä se 'paras' on....?
Joopa..jooo... tulipa sitä taasen 'jorinaa'...
Kuvat ovat pää-asia - kuvaillaan...!

Juha Haataja said...

@Eko: Niin, eihän työkalussa rumuus hirveästi haittaa. Toisaalta monet työkalut ovat kyllä oikeasti hienoja ulkonäöltään.

Mikä tietysti eniten merkitsee on sopivuus omaan käteen. LX5:ssä on melkein kaikki omaan käteen sopivalla tavalla tehty, tärkeimmät asiat löytyvät suoraan ilman valikkojen selailua. Mutta tämä vain tässä meikäläisen käytössä, muilla on muunlaisia tarpeita...

Juha Haataja said...

@Andreas: Eko commented that the look doesn't matter in a tool as long as it works as a tool. (But then there are some tools which are really beautiful.)

Also, I'm not sure of the usability of the G1 X. How would it work with gloves on, for example? (And there is no dedicated aspect ratio switch...)

Despite my earlier reservations I have been positively surprised with the LX5, even with winter gloves on.