Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II Review

Review posted 08/08/2014

Quick Take
  • Image quality is outstanding most of the time
  • Terrific camera for portrait or product photography
  • Allows recording in JPEG or RAW
  • Camera works quickly most of the time
  • Fast f/2.0 lens
  • Solidly built camera
  • Tiltable LCD works well for use with a tripod
  • Offers touchscreen LCD
  • Uses same field of view in 4:3 or 3:2 aspect ratios
  • Plenty of manual control options
  • Plenty of button customization options
  • Offers Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity
  • Very heavy for a fixed lens camera
  • Small optical zoom capability at 5x
  • Battery life is poor
  • Camera's performance is slow when using flash or in low light
  • Design of step ring on lens is poor and has some responsiveness issues
  • Autofocus sometimes struggles in scenes with no obvious subject or in low light
  • Camera's menu structure is not updated for use with a touchscreen
  • Wi-Fi can be difficult to set up
  • Power button is too small and too tightly set near mode dial
  • No viewfinder
  • Starting price is too high
Bottom Line
TThe Canon Powershot G1 X Mark II is a very good advanced fixed lens camera, creating impressive images with its 1.5-inch image sensor. It's a fast performer in many shooting situations, and it has a host of advanced features and settings, including a fast f/2.0 lens. While such an impressive list of features may justify the G1 X Mark II's $800 MSRP, there are enough drawbacks with this model that it's tough to recommend it as an everyday camera. For those who want to shoot portrait or product photos in a studio with a fixed lens camera though, this model will be a great option. Read more in our Full Conclusion.
The PowerShot G1 X Mark II is Canon's newest professional level point-and-shoot camera for 2014. What does that mean, exactly? Basically, for a similar price as an entry-to-mid-level DSLR, this is a fixed lens camera brimming with Canon's latest and best features.

These include an all new 12.8-megapixel High-Sensitivity CMOS image sensor which, at 1.5-inches, is 4.5x larger than the 1/1.7" sensor more commonly found in this type of camera. There's also the brand new DIGIC 6 image processor with the Canon HS SYSTEM, which is capable of faster AutoFocus (AF) times, Full HD 1080p video recordings, 14-bit RAW + JPEG file capture, and "improved" low-light performance.

The G1 X Mark II also features a 5x optical zoom lens with a fast f/2.0 maximum aperture at its widest angle (24mm) and a f/3.9 maximum aperture at full telephoto (120mm). The 3.0-inch LCD tilts 180 degrees up, and 45 degrees downwards.

To mimic DSLR with premium lenses, the camera includes Background Defocus Mode. And, there are four Advanced Star Modes: "Star Portrait" and "Star Nightscape" allow you to see stars as well as terrestrial subjects. "Star Trails" records video trails of stars to turn the trails into one "luminous still image." And, "Star Time Lapse Movie" captures a series of stills over the course of a user-defined period, and then turn them into a video which shows the stars' movement over that time.

Lastly, let's talk built-in Wi-Fi and NFC. With the Mobile Device Connect button, and services like Canon's iMAGE GATEWAY, users can connect the G1 X Mark II to smartphones (iOS and Android for Wi-Fi, Android-only for NFC), back up files to the cloud or PCs, and even remotely control the camera.

Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II Features:
  • A new type of 12.8-megapixel 1.5-inch High-Sensitivity CMOS image sensor
  • DIGIC 6 image processor (with the Canon HS SYSTEM)
  • 5x optical zoom lens
    • f/2.0-3.9
    • 24-120mm zoom range (35mm equivalent)
    • Dual Control Rings (mimics manual controls of a DSLR)
  • 3.0-inch tilting LCD display
    • 180 degrees up
    • 45 degrees down
  • Full 1080p HD Video
  • 31 AutoFocus (AF) points
  • Built-in Wi-Fi & NFC (Near Field Communication)
    • Canon iMAGE GATEWAY
  • 14-bit RAW + JPEG recording
  • Background Defocus Mode
  • Advanced Star Mode
    • Star Portrait
    • Star Nightscape
    • Star Trails
    • Star Time Lapse Movie
  • Li-ion battery pack and external charger
  • SD card slot accepts SD, SDHC, and SDXC memory cards
  • Optional Accessories
    • Electronic Viewfinder
    • DSLR-styled Grip

Canon's PowerShot G1 X Mark II sports a suggested retail price of $799.99 US. See our best price box at the top right to see the most current online pricing.

What's in the box?:
  • PowerShot G1 X Mark II camera
  • Battery Pack NB-12L
  • Battery Charger CB-2LG
  • Neck Strap NS-DC11

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