March 2014

PowerShot G1 X Mark II

A prestige compact camera model that marks another step forward with the inclusion of a DIGIC 6 imaging processor

Photo 1: PowerShot G1 X Mark II

Photo 1: PowerShot G1 X Mark II

This month's technical report brings you information on the features of the PowerShot G1 X Mark II, which comes with a 12.80-megapixel* (maximum image size), 1.5-type CMOS sensor and a 5x zoom lens with a lens-shift image stabilizer (35mm-film equivalent focal length range: 24 - 120 mm).

* At an aspect ratio of 3:2. The maximum image size is 13.1 megapixels at the 4:3 aspect ratio.

Development objectives

Developed as the successor to the PowerShot G1 X, the PowerShot G1 X Mark II (Photo 1) is a new model that delivers a higher level of image quality and functionality thanks to the synergy of the DIGIC 6 imaging processor and the 1.5-type CMOS sensor with approximately 12.80 effective megapixels (maximum image size).

The development aim of this new model is stated as:

Realize a flagship compact camera packaged with uncompromising image quality and functionality

Feature 1 - Outstanding image quality

1.5-type CMOS sensor with approximately 12.80 effective megapixels

The PowerShot G1 X Mark II uses an overhauled version of the CMOS sensor previously found on the G1 X. The sensor has approximately 12.80 effective megapixels.

The standard aspect ratio set to is 3:2 for consistency with Canon's SLR cameras and mirrorless cameras. Even when the aspect ratio 4:3 is selected, the camera changes the effective imaging area slightly to maintain the same angle of view whether the aspect ratio is 4:3 or 3:2. (Multi-Aspect).

Figure 1: Lens configuration

Figure 1: Lens configuration

Canon lens brings out the most from the 1.5-type imaging sensor and the DIGIC 6

The PowerShot G1 X Mark II is fitted with a newly developed f/2.0 (max. wide angle) - f/3.9 (max. telephoto angle) 5x zoom lens with a 35mm-equivalent focal length range of 24 - 120 mm. The lens is constructed with 14 elements in 11 groups and is the first to feature a six-group zoom mechanism (Figure 1).

The first lens group uses cemented elements to curb chromatic aberrations at the wide-angle end. The group also uses glass material with a high refractive index to shorten the optimal zoom stroke. Furthermore, ghosting is greatly reduced with an optimized coating on the high-refractive-index glass materials.

The second lens group employs high-refractive-index / high-dispersion glass material to compensate for field curvature, astigmatisms, and lateral chromatic aberrations, which tend to occur at the telephoto end.

The third lens group consists of a double-sided aspherical element and a pair of cemented elements to cut down flaring at all zoom positions.

The fourth lens group consists of a double-sided aspherical element and a pair of cemented elements to compensate for spherical and coma aberrations at all zoom positions.

The fifth lens group includes a double-sided aspherical element to reduce focus fluctuations with field curvature, a problem that occurs more frequently with large sensors and bright lenses.

The sixth lens group is designed to reduce shading, a problem for large sensors when a small aperture is used at the wide-angle end.

DIGIC 6 imaging processor
Optical image stabilizer with a 3-stop stabilization gain and advanced Dynamic IS

The PowerShot G1 X Mark II has an optical image stabilizer that counters shift blurring in addition to other forms of motion blurring.

The stabilization algorithms have been updated to optimize the correction of motion blur components in each IS mode. As a result, the stabilization of slow motion blurs in particular is much improved over past models. Furthermore, the IS method used for tripod or other fixed shooting has been changed to provide separately optimized stabilization for still images and movies. Past models had separate optimized IS controls for still images and movies in the Macro shooting mode, but they displayed the same icon for both IS modes. Now separate icons are used, bringing the total number of Intelligent IS icons to eight.

The G1 X Mark II adds the following IS mode.

  • Tripod IS (Movie)

    When the camera detects that it is on a tripod or fixed by some other means while taking a movie, this IS mode only compensates for slight camera shakes.

    Table 1 lists the camera's IS modes.

Shooting conditions IS mode Still images / Movies Icon
Normal shooting Normal (Hybrid IS) Still images
Macro shooting Hybrid IS (Macro) Still images
Hybrid IS (Macro) Movies
Panning Panning Still images
Fixed to tripod Tripod (IS is disabled) Still images
Tripod IS Movies
Large camera shake at the wide-angle end Dynamic Movies
Slow camera shake at the telephoto end Powered (Dynamic) Movies

Table 1: IS modes

Adjustable noise reduction level at high ISO speeds (High ISO NR)
Progressive fine zoom
Built-in ND filter
Smart Flash
i-Contrast

Feature 2 - Rich functionality

Figure 2: AF frames

Figure 2: AF frames

Photo 2: Star Portrait shooting mode

Photo 2: Star Portrait shooting mode

Advanced AiAF

On previous models, up to nine AF frames were displayed in the AiAF mode. For the PowerShot G1 X Mark II, however, the coverage of the AF frames has been expanded from about 54 percent vertically to a maximum of about 80 percent and from about 54 percent horizontally to a maximum of about 84 percent (with the 4:3 aspect ratio). This makes it possible to display up to 31 AF frames (Figure 2).

The AF frames are arranged in rows of 5, 7, 7, 7, and 5 frames respectively from the top (with the 3:2 aspect ratio).

Star Portrait shooting mode

Star Portrait is a new shooting mode that can shoot people in the foreground and a starry sky in the background while keeping both correctly exposed. The portrait image is generated by taking three separate exposures and combining them so the starry sky and the people appear correctly exposed in one image (Photo 2). The G1 X Mark II also has the Star Nightscape, Star Trails, and Star Time-Lapse Movie shooting modes found on the PowerShot G16 and other models. In the Star Time-Lapse Movie shooting mode, users can now set afterimage effects, the shot interval, and the frame rate, as well as the overall length of the movie.

Creative Shot

The PowerShot G1 X Mark II includes Creative Shot, a function first introduced with the PowerShot N. The G1 X Mark II increases the number of special filter effects to 46 and includes five selection categories: Auto, Retro, Monochrome, Special, and Natural. By selecting a category users can generate images with filters matching their general preference.

Shorter AF time and release time lag because of faster autofocusing
Movies recorded in MP4 (MPEG-4)
Defocused Background
High Dynamic Range with artistic effects
Slowest shutter speed of 60 seconds
High maximum ISO speed (ISO 12800)
Smart Auto mode with 58 auto-detection scenes, and Smart Movie mode with 21 auto-detection scenes
Copyright information setting
Selectable first/second-curtain flash synchronization
AE bracketing / Focus bracketing
Multiple aspect ratios

Feature 3 - More comfortable operation

Photo 3: Dual control ring

Photo 3: Dual control ring

Figure 3: Function Assignment menu

Figure 3: Function Assignment menu

Photo 4: Tilt-type LCD monitor

Photo 4: Tilt-type LCD monitor

Dual Control Rings

The dual control rings (Photo 3) on the lens barrel simplify making settings with just the left hand.

The ring closest to the body rotates with a click feel for setting the f number, shutter speed, and other shooting parameters, while the outer ring rotates in a smooth continuous motion for manual focusing and other analog-like controls.

Various functions (Figure 3) can be assigned to these two rings as well as to the control wheel from the G menu option [Function Assignment]. These assignments are in addition to the shortcut button and movie button controls.

Tilt-type LCD monitor

The high-resolution LCD monitor, with approximately 1.04 million dots and an sRGB-equivalent color space, has a tiltable vari-angle mechanism and touch-screen panel (Photo 4). This allows users to shoot with a more natural stance than before because the LCD screen is not too far offset from the optical axis.

Because the monitor can be rotated up approximately 180 degrees and down approximately 45 degrees, users can take high angle and low angle shots, as well as self-timer shots and remote-control shots, while confirming the angle of view from the lens side. The monitor's aspect ratio is 3:2 to match the sensor's standard aspect ratio setting.

The LCD monitor uses an in-cell touch-screen panel. An in-cell panel uses changes in the electrical capacitance between the color filter substrate and the TFT substrate to detect touches. This eliminates the need for an external touch-screen panel component on the monitor. The benefits of this are improved visibility and transmittance because less light is reflected, allowing the monitor to display images at maximum clarity without any loss in quality. The other benefit of in-cell technology is a thinner panel.

Dual-axis electronic level
Pop-up flash
Customizable My Menu screen for frequently used shooting options

Feature 4 - Enhanced printing options and digital communications

Enhanced Wi-Fi functionality (CiG connectivity)

In addition to the Wi-Fi features found on previous models, the G1 X Mark II includes the Mobile Device Connect Button and NFC, making it much easier to connect to smartphones or cloud-syncing services or to install CameraWindow. The camera can also be remotely controlled from a smartphone or tablet.

Select images for printing with DPOF
Supports DPS over IP (wireless PictBridge)
HDMI micro connector (Type D)

Feature 5 - Array of system accessories

Photo 5: EVF-DC1 electronic viewfinder

Photo 5: EVF-DC1 electronic viewfinder

Photo 6: GR-DC1A custom grip

Photo 6: GR-DC1A custom grip

Photo 7: NB-12L battery

Photo 7: NB-12L battery

Photo 8: WP-DC53 waterproof case

Photo 8: WP-DC53 waterproof case

Electronic viewfinder

In place of a conventional optical viewfinder, the optional EVF-DC1 electronic viewfinder (Photo 5), which offers better visibility, can be attached to the PowerShot G1 X Mark II. The electronic viewfinder attaches to the external flash unit's hot shoe, which has been redesigned with an extra terminal so that the viewfinder can communicate with the camera. The hot shoe still accepts external flash units as before.

The EVF-DC1 has a dioptric adjustment function that consists of three lenses. The viewfinder can be rotated about 90 degrees, allowing users to look into the viewfinder from the top of the camera. A button is available on the electronic viewfinder to switch the display between it and the LCD monitor. The electronic viewfinder also has a function that automatically switches the display from the LCD monitor when the user looks into the viewfinder.

Two options, Shooting Display and Display Control, have been added to the shooting menu to make settings when the electronic viewfinder is attached.

Custom grip

The GR-DC1A custom grip (Photo 6), which gives the camera a firmer hold, is available as an option.

Filter adapter

The FA-DC58E filter adapter has been designed for the camera's newly designed lens. It accepts protective filters and other 58-mm-diameter filters.

Lens hood

A new lens hood has been designed for the new lens. The hood can shield the lens to keep out light from outside the frame, particularly when shooting a backlit scene at the wide-angle end.

New NB-12L battery

A new battery (Photo 7) with a capacity of 1910 mAh has been developed especially for the PowerShot G1 X Mark II.

Waterproof case

Available as an option, the WP-DC53 waterproof case (Photo 8) allows the G1 X Mark II to be used underwater to depths of 40 meters.

Accepts EX Speedlite flash units and accessories for EOS cameras
RS60-E3 remote switch

This completes our look at the PowerShot G1 X Mark II this month. Table 2 compares the main specifications of the PowerShot G1 X and the PowerShot G1 X Mark II, and Photo 9 illustrates the kit components that come with the camera.

There is no fixed suggested retail price for the PowerShot G1 X Mark II.

Photo 9: PowerShot G1 X Mark II and its kit components

Photo 9: PowerShot G1 X Mark II and its kit components

  PowerShot G1 X Mark II PowerShot G1 X
Imaging sensor 1.5 type high-sensitivity CMOS sensor with approx. 12.80 effective megapixels* (approx. 15.00 total megapixels)
* With a 3:2 aspect ratio; approx. 13.10 megapixels with a 4:3 aspect ratio
1.5 type high-sensitivity CMOS sensor with approx. 14.30 effective megapixels (approx. 15.00 total megapixels)
Color filter type RGB RGB
Photographic lens (35mm-film equivalent) 24 - 120 mm, f/2.0 (max. wide angle) - f/3.9 (max. telephoto angle), 5x zoom 28 - 112 mm, f/2.8 (max. wide angle) - f/5.8 (max. telephoto angle), 4x zoom
Digital zoom Approx. 4.0x (approx. 20x max. zoom when combined with the optical zoom)
Progressive fine zoom: approx. 10x when combined with the optical zoom (Large image size)
Approx. 4.0x (approx. 16x max. zoom when combined with the optical zoom)
Optical viewfinder n/a Real-image zoom viewfinder with dioptric adjustment
LCD monitor 3.0 type (TFT color LCD, approx. 1.04 million dots, excellent color reproduction and wide viewing angle), brightness adjustment, Quick-Bright LCD, tilt type 3.0 type (TFT color LCD, approx. 922,000 dots, excellent color reproduction and wide viewing angle), brightness adjustment, Quick-Bright LCD, vari-angle type
Focusing modes Autofocus: Continuous, Servo AF (follows Servo AE), Face AiAF / 1-point AF (Touch AF available)
Manual focus
Autofocus: Continuous, Servo AF (follows Servo AE), Face AiAF / Tracking AF / Center / FlexiZone
Manual focus
Focusing range Auto mode: 5 cm to infinity (max. wide angle) / 40 cm to infinity (max. telephoto angle),
Macro mode: 5 to 50 cm (max. wide angle)
Auto mode: 20 cm to infinity (max. wide angle) / 85 cm to infinity (max. telephoto angle),
Macro mode: 20 to 70 cm (max. wide angle) / 85 cm to 1.6 m (max. telephoto angle)
Shutter Mechanical shutter + electronic shutter Mechanical shutter + electronic shutter
Shutter speeds 1/4000 to 1 sec.
1/4000 to 60 sec. (total shutter speed range from all shooting modes)
1/4000 to 1 sec.
1/4000 to 60 sec. (total shutter speed range from all shooting modes)
Light metering methods Evaluative, Center-weighted average, Spot (fixed to center / linked to AF frame) Evaluative, Center-weighted average, Spot (fixed to center / linked to AF frame)
Exposure compensation ±3 stops in 1/3-stop increments
• ±3 stops for exposure shift (in movie modes), but not adjustable while recording movies
±3 stops in 1/3-stop increments
• ±3 stops for exposure shift (in movie modes), but not adjustable while recording movies
ISO speeds
(Standard Output Sensitivity, Recommended Exposure Index)
When in P shooting mode: Auto, ISO 100 / 125 / 160 / 200 / 250 / 320 / 400 / 500 / 640 / 800 / 1000 / 1250 / 1600 / 2000 / 2500 / 3200 / 4000 / 5000 / 6400 / 8000 / 10000 / 12800 When in P shooting mode: Auto, ISO 100 / 125 / 160 / 200 / 250 / 320 / 400 / 500 / 640 / 800 / 1000 / 1250 / 1600 / 2000 / 2500 / 3200 / 4000 / 5000 / 6400 / 8000 / 10000 / 12800
Flash ranges 50 cm - 6.8 m (max. wide angle), 1.4 - 3.5 m (max. telephoto angle) (when ISO speed is set to Auto) 50 cm - 7.0 m (max. wide angle), 1.0 - 3.1 m (max. telephoto angle) (when ISO speed is set to Auto)
White balance Auto, Day Light, Shade, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Fluorescent H, Flash, Underwater, Custom 1, Custom 2 Auto, Day Light, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Fluorescent H, Flash, Underwater, Custom 1, Custom 2
Shooting modes C1, C2, M, Av, Tv, P, Hybrid Auto, Auto, Creative Shot, SCN*1, Creative Filters *2, Movie *3
*1. Portrait, Smart Shutter*4, Star*5, Handheld Night Scene, Underwater, Snow, Fireworks
*2. High Dynamic Range, Nostalgic, Fish-eye Effect, Miniature Effect, Toy Camera Effect, Defocused Background, Soft Focus, Monochrome, Super Vivid, Poster Effect
*3. Standard, iFrame Movie
*4. Smile Self-Timer, Wink Self-Timer, Face Detection Self-Timer
*5. Star Portrait, Star Nightscape, Star Trails, Star Time-Lapse Movie
• Shooting movies is possible with the Movie button
C1, C2, M, Av, Tv, P, Auto, SCN*1, Creative Filters*2, Movie*3
*1. Movie Digest, Portrait, Landscape, Kids & Pets, Sports, Smart Shutter*4, High-speed Burst HQ, Handheld Night Scene, Beach, Underwater, Foliage, Snow, Fireworks, Stitch Assist
*2. High Dynamic Range, Nostalgic, Fish-eye Effect, Miniature Effect, Toy Camera Effect, Monochrome, Super Vivid, Poster Effect, Color Accent, Color Swap
*3. Standard, iFrame Movie
*4. Smile Self-Timer, Wink Self-Timer, Face Detection Self-Timer
• Movie recording is possible by pressing the Movie button when in a still-image shooting mode
Continuous shooting Normal: approx. 5.2 fps (when in P shooting mode)
• When the scene is bright enough that the flash does not automatically fire. Speed depends on the zoom position.
Normal: approx. 1.9 fps (when in P shooting mode); approx. 4.5 fps (when in High-Speed Burst HQ shooting mode)*
* Max. number of frames per burst: 6
• When the scene is bright enough that the flash does not automatically fire. Speed depends on the zoom position.
Recording (when set to a 3:2 aspect ratio) (when set to a 3:2 aspect ratio)
pixels (still images) Large: 4352 x 2904, Medium 1: 3072 x 2048, Medium 2: 2048 x 1368, Small: 640 x 424
(when set to a 4:3 aspect ratio)
Large: 4160 x 3120, Medium 1: 3072 x 2304, Medium 2: 2048 x 1536, Small: 640 x 480
• RAW images can be taken with same number of recording pixels as Large images
Large: 4352 x 2904, Medium 1: 3072 x 2048, Medium 2: 1600 x 1064, Small: 640 x 424
(when set to a 4:3 aspect ratio)
Large: 4352 x 3264, Medium 1: 3072 x 2304, Medium 2: 1600 x 1200, Small: 640 x 480
• RAW: 4352 x 3264
Compression (still images) Super fine, Fine Fine, Normal
Movies Full HD: 1920 x 1080, 30 fps
HD: 1280 x 720, 30 fps
SD: 640 x 480, 30 fps
iFrame movies: 1920 x 720, 30 fps
Star Time-Lapse Movie: 1920 x 1080, 15 / 30 fps
Digest movies: 1280 x 720, 30 fps
Miniature Effect movies: 1280 x 720 or 640 x 480, recorded at 1.5, 3, or 6 fps*
* Played back at 30 fps
• 30 fps: actual frame rate is 29.97 fps
Full HD: 1920 x 1080, 24 fps
HD: 1280 x 720, 30 fps
SD: 640 x 480, 30 fps
iFrame movies: 1280 x 720, 30 fps
Digest movies: 640 x 480, 30 fps
Miniature Effect movies: 1280 x 720 or 640 x 480, recorded at 1.5, 3, or 6 fps*
* Played back at 30 fps
• 24 fps: actual frame rate is 23.976 fps
• 30 fps: actual frame rate is 29.97 fps
Recording media SD memory card, SDHC memory card, SDXC memory card SD memory card, SDHC memory card, SDXC memory card
Color space Standard (sRGB) Standard (sRGB)
File format Compliant with Design rule for Camera File system and DPOF Compliant with Design rule for Camera File system and DPOF
Data types Still images: Exif 2.3 (JPEG) / RAW (14-bit, CR2)*
Movies: MP4 (video: MPEG-4 AVC / H.264, audio: MPEG-4 AAC-LC (stereo))
* Digital Photo Professional is used for developing RAW images
Still images: Exif 2.3 (JPEG) / RAW (14-bit, CR2)*
Movies: MOV (video: MPEG-4 AVC / H.264, audio: Linear PCM (stereo))
* Digital Photo Professional is used for developing RAW images
Power supply Rechargeable lithium-ion battery: NB-12L
AC adapter kit: ACK-DC100 (sold separately)
Rechargeable lithium-ion battery: NB-10L
AC adapter kit: ACK-DC80 (sold separately)
Dimensions (CIPA compliant) 116.3 x 74.0 x 66.2 mm 116.7 x 80.5 x 64.7 mm
Weight (CIPA compliant) Approx. 553 grams (including battery and memory card)
Approx. 516 grams (body only)
Approx. 534 grams (including battery and memory card)
Approx. 492 grams (body only)

Table 2: Comparison of the main specifications of the PowerShot G1 X Mark II and the PowerShot G1 X