Canon Powershot G1 X Mark II Review


Overview of the Canon G1 X Mark II Camera

If you can afford to buy a camera with the price of about $800, you may be easily attracted by the Powershot G1 X Mark II from Canon which use fixed lens. For a smaller amount of money, you can look for a mirrorless ILC camera or an entry-level DSLR. With these options, there will be more flexibility than with a camera using fixed lens.

The optical zoom of the Canon Mark II is 5X only and some of the buttons and rings to control over the camera are pretty inconvenient. While the measurement of the zoom lens is not large at all, the weight of the G1 X Mark II is over one pound, which makes the camera heavy and chunky. And while the touch screen is available with this Canon model, the menu screens for controlling the camera have not been updated. Therefore, it is a bit more difficult to use this touch screen than with that of other models.

For the listed price point, the above problems caused me a disappointment with this camera. The touch screen would have been more useful if the camera had included a nice design of the controlling menus. To compare the camera to another powerful camera offering the touch screen, for example Samsung which have taken the great advantage of the menus arrangement of a smartphone touch screen and applied this structure to the touch screen of a camera, it is frustrating to see that the Canon touch screens have not been organized in the similar way.

However, this G1 X Mark II is still worth your consideration because you cannot help ignoring some of its strengths, especially the large image sensor which has the measurement of up to 1.5 inches. In addition to the large sensor, the lens is also fast, which makes the camera outstanding in shooting portrait images. If you can live with the weaknesses of the camera, certainly its strengths shall easily satisfy you if a model with the powerful capacity to shoot images of excellent quality is what you are looking for.

Canon Powershot G1 X Mark II Camera Review Buy

Canon Powershot G1 X Mark II Camera Review Buy

The Canon G1 X Mark II advanced digital camera is available only in black. Canon

Brief Review of the Canon G1 X Mark II Camera



  • The resolution is 12.8 MP/13.1 MP
  • The optical zoom has the measurement of 5X (24-120mm equivalent)
  • The 3.0-inch touchscreen LCD is articulated and it has the resolution of 1,040,000 pixels.
  • The image size is 4160 x 3120 pixels at maximum
  • The camera use a Li-Ion Battery which can be rechargeable
  • The dimensions are 4.58 x 2.91 x 2.61 inches
  • The camera weighs 18.2 ounces (without the inclusion of the battery and memory card)
  • The 1.5-inch image sensor use the CMOS technology
  • A full HD 1080p movie mode is supported



  • The camera is very great for shooting portraits
  • There are two RAW or JPEG image format and the image quality is outstanding.
  • The camera brings the well-built feel.
  • You can have the nice manual controls and customization features
  • The LCD screen is  tillable and you can make use of the touch screen


  • The 5X optical zoom is small
  • The price is very high
  • It is hard to use the rings for controlling the camera  and there are some responsiveness drawbacks
  • There is not any viewfinder (an external viewfinder can be purchased separately)
  • The menus aren’t  well organized for taking full advantage of the touch capability
  • Some autofocus misses in certain shooting circumstances

Detailed Review of the Canon G1 X Mark II


Image Quality

Thanks to the large image sensor, the images created by the Powershot G1 X Mark II have the very outstanding quality for most of the time. Especially, the camera is very great because you can have control over the lighting results, as you can do in the studio environment. In addition, the camera is very flexible to use with the f/2.0 lens which is very fast. You can determine the automatic focusing depth of field with this lens.

You may encounter some slight trouble in some specific shooting situations, for example, when there is not a clear focal point in a scene mode that you’re shooting, such as a field of wildflowers.  Or in high contrast photography, a certain amount of purple fringing, in another words chromatic aberration appear or you may lose some details in shadows. The camera has a very great image quality, but finding any even very small image mistakes in such a camera in this Mark II’s price range certainly causes some frustration

Because the optical zoom lens is small with the Canon G1 X Mark II, perhaps there is no perfect mode for shooting nice images of nature, which should have required you to have a long zoom to see nature objects over a long distance. But the small range of the zoom lens does not matter in cases that you just need to shoot standard portraits.

One very nice feature with the large sensor of the Mark II is that you can select the two separate aspect ratios for a photo with the same field of view. This feature is not common for cameras using fixed lens at all. It is possible to shoot a 3:2 aspect ratio with the resolution of 12.8 megapixels and a 4:3 aspect ratio with the resolution of 13.1 megapixels.


Commonly, for a camera using fixed lens, you are not offered the full manual controlling. However, you’re going to be able to completely control this Canon Mark II.

The overall performance of the Canon Mark II is very nice when you shoot photos under normal photography situations. But if you use the popup flash unit which is built in the camera, for example in low light conditions, the camera may require you to wait for more than 4 seconds from shot to shot. You’ll almost not have to worry about the shutter lag because the performance of the autofocus is good for most of the time.

However, when you shoot photos under inadequate lighting conditions or in specific situation where you cannot see a clear focus point, for example, a nature photo about the forest, there may appear several autofocus troubles. For such a camera in this price range, the above error is pretty frustrating.

Wi-Fi connectivity and NFC are two nice extra features with the Canon Powershot G1 X Mark II, but it is pretty difficult to establish those two features for the first time. In addition, you will gradually recognize that the battery life of the camera drains very fast when you use the Wi-Fi feature. In fact, the battery is not as good as you may expect and it is just below the average level under common conditions.


The Canon Mark II is a chunky and heavy camera. The design of the buttons and rings could have been more nicely designed. You could have used the power button more comfortably if it were not too small and attached too closely to the mode dial. You’ll find it not easy to initially the Canon camera when you are pressed for time. While you use a step ring located next to the lens to change some of the settings, this ring is attached so closely to the camera. And when twisting the ring, you may find it slip, so the ring is not as responsive as you may expect.

There is an available built-in popup flash unit with the Mark II or a flash purchased separately can be attached to the hot shoe of the camera, which is useful for shooting photos under conditions without enough light.

The LCD screen of high resolution is a nice feature with the Canon Powershot G1 X Mark, which can be tilted away for the body of the camera. You can also make use of the touch screen abilities. However, the menu organization on the screen has not been redesigned for a number of years, so you cannot take the best advantage of the touch screen LCD of the Canon Mark II. It would have been more useful if there were more graphical elements as well as icons on the touch screen of the Mark II.

While there is a handy tiltable LCD screen which makes this Canon model become chunky, you won’t see any viewfinder as you may expect for such a camera in this price range. However, if you want, you can buy an external viewfinder and connect it to the hot shoe.

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