Canon PowerShot G1X Review

Tuesday January 31 2012

Sensor Review
Introduction | Canon PowerShot G1X sensor performance | Canon G1X, the best compact cameras | Canon G1 vs Fuji X100 | Canon G1X vs hybrid cameras | Canon PowerShot G1 X lens review | Conclusion

A great camera but no specific improvement of the Canon sensor

Overall the G1X is definitely an excellent point and shoot cameras. But, now for the bad news in this review: The G1X’s sensor itself shows no measurable improvement. As proof, we need to take a look at the results of the Canon EOS 7D vs Canon PowerShot G1X. Why this comparison?

  • The G1X and the 7D sensors make use of the same size pixel (4.2 µm).
  • The Canon EOS 7D is a bit dated, but the Canon APS-C cameras that came after it didn’t have any new sensor features (see the results for the Canon EOS 600D and 60D).

Normalized results (print mode):

  • As explained here, DxOMark scores are normalized for a 20 x 30 print at 300 dpi. The Canon EOS 7D’s sensor surface format is slightly superior and thus it logically ends up better placed in the low-light rankings.

Non-normalized results (screen mode):

  • Here we are interested only in pixel quality, so let’s take a look at the curves for SNR 18%, dynamic range, and color sensitivity when we toggle to screen mode. The results are surprising: The G1X pixel provides identical results for SNR 18% and color sensitivity as the Canon EOS 7D, and only very slightly inferior results for dynamic range.
SNR 18%
Dynamic Range

So while you will enjoy the same kinds of good qualities for the G1X as for Canon’s APS-C cameras, you will also experience the same problems (see our review of the Canon 500D vs D5000 cameras): The dynamic range is still limited by significant noise at low ISO.