RF MEMS enables auto-tuning, single-radio, anti-death-grip smartphones

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Canon PowerShot G1 X front image ET 640x353 RF MEMS enables auto tuning, single radio, anti death grip smartphones

The first thing you notice when picking up the new Canon G1 X is that it’s big for a point and shoot. Larger than Canon’s previous point and shoot flagship, the G12, it clearly isn’t designed for a pants or shirt pocket. The second thing you notice is how fast it is. Snapping off frames with it feels like shooting with an entry-level DSLR — except that its sizeable 1.5-inch (18.7mm x 14mm), almost-APS-C-sized, 14MP sensor and 28mm-112mm (in 35mm equivalent focal lengths) lens are all contained in one “point and shoot” unit.

At a time when just about every other camera maker is relying on interchangeable lens cameras with electronic viewfinders (sometimes called EVIL models), Canon has gone a different direction with the PowerShot G1 X. At a price of $799 the camera is positioned squarely above all its other point and shoot models, and very similarly to other vendors’ mirrorless models, once you add any type of lens to them.

One advantage of an all-in-one unit like the G1 X is that it is easier to add a conventional optical viewfinder — since it only has to work with the camera’s integrated lens. So foes of the electronic viewfinders popular in EVIL cameras and many point and shoots will be happy that the G1 X has a reasonable optical version. Unlike the view through an SLR, the viewfinder is at an angle to the image — like with rangefinder cameras — so you won’t get a photo exactly like what you see, but the viewfinder does zoom along with the lens, which makes it much easier to use than some type of cropping system.

Other nice features include both a pop-up flash and a full-size hot shoe — often cameras in this range only have one or the other. There is also an excellent 3-inch fully-articulating LCD on the back, which I find much more useful than the merely tilting version on the Nikon P7100, for example.

Image quality is excellent, judging from the sample images like the one we’ve shown above, with great skin tones and subtle textures being well preserved. The controls are familiar to any Canon point and shoot user, with the welcome addition of a dedicated mode dial for quick changes. Canon is not the first vendor to put a large sensor in a point and shoot — Sigma has been doing this for several years — but it is the first one which also retains a zoom and the other features like 1080p HD video that have come to be expected of any higher-end model.

Canon G1 X Sample Image Downsized 640x480 RF MEMS enables auto tuning, single radio, anti death grip smartphones

If you want the image quality of a mirrorless camera or entry level DSLR, but prefer a simpler all in one design, the Canon PowerShot G1 X may be just the thing — if you can stomach the $800 price tag and bulky size. Otherwise a slightly smaller model like the Canon PowerShot G12 or Lumix LX-5 may be a good compromise.

 RF MEMS enables auto tuning, single radio, anti death grip smartphones

About Sam Turker

Sam Turker has written 736 post in this blog.

Web Media Editor at Neown.com

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Posted by on January 14, 2012. Filed under Camera, Featured. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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