Thursday, February 13, 2014

Canon G1X vs. G1X Mark II: Don't Buy the New Camera

Canon has just launched its Powershot G1X Mark II, which comes almost exactly 2 years after the debut of the original which, at the time, was the only large-sensor compact camera in the world to feature a zoom lens. Though widely praised for its on-paper innovation, the G1X was not without room for improvement, according to most reviewers.

With the “II,” Canon sought to correct these shortcomings and did so by improving a number of the original's pitfalls. These improvements include: a faster optic with expanded range, closer minimum focus distance, a second control ring, a 31-point AF grid, full wi-fi and NFC connectivity, and the ability to be remotely controlled, among other things.

Unfortunately, there's an Achilles Heel on the G1 X Mark II: no optical viewfinder.

The lack of an optical viewfinder (as was seen on the original G1 X) is a huge handicap in the picture-taking experience. Why? There is simply no way that any electronic viewfinder can replicate what is seen by the human eye. Adding to this disadvantage is the fact that Canon chose not to use a shielded OLED viewfinder in what would have been the optical viewfinder chamber, either. Result: one will be forced to rely on the Sun-exposed (and thus glare-prone) rear LCD screen. Yes, while the tilting can help reduce the flare problem, in bright enough Sun, many people will be wishing for a shielded viewfinder, whether of the optical or even OLED variety.

However, Canon has developed a hot-shoe mounted 2,360k dot external viewfinder for the G1 X Mark II, which it will be selling for $300, meaning that, in order to get a fully-functional camera, you'll be shelling out $1100, which could buy a entry-level dSLR or mirrorless interchangeable lens camera kit plus an additional lens! End result: the G1 X Mark II is a waste of money as the only way it becomes usable is via buying a $300 “accessory” that takes up the hot shoe and thus further limits the camera's functionality.

Come on, Canon!

My advice: skip the G1X Mark II and get the original (which is now going for around $550) if you must shoot Canon. If you're brand loyal, it's also worth looking at the other, similar models on the market from other manufacturers, too.

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1 comment:

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