This is an interesting camera for lots of reasons, beyond the actual technical specification. Canon hinted last year that people didn’t always want interchangeable lens on cameras, and with more camera companies releasing MILC (Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera) devices (especially after Nikon’s launch last year of the Nikon 1 Series), Canon seemed to be behind the times in this area. In the short term then, the PowerShot G1 X is designed to be their equivalent; I guess Canon’s thinking is that most people buy a MILC and stick with the standard lens, so why make it removable…?
What’s also interesting is that Canon have put quite a large (in physical size) sensor in the camera, allowing it to compete well against it’s competitors, even if it’s not got the highest megapixel value (in fact, a number of camera companies are saying the megapixel war is over for a while, and the numbers of pixels does not need to increase to increase quality; something we’ve seen from the likes of Canon before).
The camera has a 1.5-inch (18.7 x 14mm) 14.3 megapixel High-Sensitivity Canon CMOS sensor, with a 4x zoom lens (28-112mm 35mm film lens equivalent), Full HD recording, and has the DIGIC 5 processor as seen in previous Canon DSLRs. What’s also interesting is that at the wide end, the lens has an aperture of f/2.8, which will help get even more light into that new sensor. Also, it’s worth noting that the sensor is roughly the same size as the Micro Four Thirds sensor used by Olympus and Panasonic, both of which are bigger than the Nikon 1 Series sensor.
Although no UK price is yet confirmed, the camera will cost $800 in the US, where it goes on sale in February, so it shouldn’t be long before it’s available in the UK. Pricing could be just under £550, although I would suspect it’ll settle a little lower than this once it’s been available for a few months.
Having said that Canon have been making noises about whether people actually need interchangeable lenses on these compact sized cameras, the rumours are that if Canon do decide to release a MILC device, it will be in 2012. Obviously it won’t be well suited to the existing EF and EF-S lenses (although an adaptor is likely to allow people to slowly migrate across), so would need a new range of lenses to work with it.
My only concern; last month, Panasonic started selling the DMC-GX1, which is commonly called the GX1, so we now have the GX1 competing with the G1X; that’s bound to lead to some confusion…