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Canon G1X arrived – first thoughts
Canon G1X Since 5 hours I’m a lucky (?) owner of the new Canon G1X camera as a successor to my IXUS 980IS. I used the Canon 980IS primarily with an Ikelite underwater housing as my underwater camera. Here are my first thoughts.

UPDATE: Please read my update to this post!

Basically I am a dSLR lover. I love my Sony Alpha a850 and use it for serious shooting. That camera unfortunately cannot record movies. And although I’m not really into videography, I like to have the possibility to capture a movie now and then. The IXUS gives me 640*480 movies, but I really hate the noise that the camera makes when zooming and the the sensor noise.

The IXUS 980IS is hacked, by adding the excellent CHDK firmware – Canon Hack Development Kit. A benefit of CHDK is to provide RAW photo images from an IXUS. Isn’t that great!

So why did I want to buy a new camera? Plenty of reasons.

  • Better image quality: the sensor of the G1X is much larger, giving better quality images, higher acceptable ISO settings.
  • Video: 1080p.
  • Native RAW: not to have to wait 3 seconds before the RAW images is written to the SD card.
  • Wide angle: 28mm instead of 36mm at the widest setting (although I would LOVE a 18-70mm lens [35mm equivalent] for underwater purposes !!!).
  • Zooming: the Ikelite zoom-knob often locks the camera as it does not fall back to the default center position after zooming.

To be honest, I would have preferred to buy a Sony NEX-5N. The Sony has better quality and is faster and cheaper. The main reason to choose the Canon G1X is the availability of a cheap underwater housing, the WP-DC44.

To do the math:
Canon G1X (€749) + WP-DC44 housing (€239): a bit under €1.000.
Sony NEX-5N (€599) + third party underwater housing and lens port (€1.700) totaling €2.300

!! Please SONY, start building underwater housings for the NEX line. You lost a sale today !!

So here are my first thoughts (viewed as a replacement for a standard compact camera):

  • Amazing picture quality
  • Big lens
  • Big camera (this is not a “compact” camera)
  • Heavy
  • Excellent build quality
  • Fast (I read several reviews complaining about shutter lag, but I’m happy as it’s an improvement over the IXUS)
  • Large LCD screen

Tips for Canon, to include in the G2X:

  • If you again opt for a fixed lens, start with 24mm (less is more)
  • Make up your mind about the form factor and stick to it for the next 20 years (so I can re-use underwater housings).
  • Add three custom (programmable) buttons

At this moment, I’m certain that this is a major improvement for the old compact camera. However, I’m pretty certain that I will upgrade this camera in the next 2 to 3 years. When will we finally reach the moment that you can buy a camera and have the certainty that your investment is safe for the next 10 years?

Camera makers, I love you. But I also hate you.

I will shortly do an extensive review for the G1X as an underwater camera. Watch this blog for an update.

UPDATE: Please read my update to this post!

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