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By 10 January 2012 | Categories: news

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Canon today unveiled its new PowerShot G1X, a new compact camera that the company asserted will offer DSLR levels of image quality and control in a compact and portable metal body.
 
The camera, which is aimed at both professional and serious enthusiasts, is the company’s first  compact camera to feature a large, 4:3 aspect, 14.3 megapixel CMOS sensor measuring18.7mm x 14 mm.This is similar to the APS-C sensors found within Canon’s EOS DSLR models.
 
The company explained that beyond offering DSLR level image quality, the increased sensor size will further give photographers greater control over depth of field, while the 14.3 megapixel resolution will cater for producing large-sized prints.
 
Additionally, on-chip noise reduction is intended to ensure clear images throughout the camera’s 100 to 12800 ISO range.
 
The company pointed out that this would enable photographers to use ambient light in even the darkest of conditions, and capture natural photos with excellent detail and low noise, thus making it more viable for low-light photography.
 
Back view of the PowerShot G1X
Lens matters
 
Any photographer worth his salt will confirm that even more important on a camera than its features is its lens.
 
With this in mind, the company reassured that the G1X’s retractable 4x optical zoom has been “built to achieve professional levels of image quality”. More specifically, the lens uses Ultra high refractive index Aspherical (UA) elements and precision glass moulding technology, in order to offer “pin-sharp clarity.”
 
The lens covers the 28mm - 112mm range, while a 4-stop optical Image Stabilizer (IS) allows photographers to capture images in darker conditions and use shutter speeds up to four stops slower than would be possible without IS.
 
The optical Image Stabilizer is further augmented by Intelligent IS, which analyses the focal length, focal distance and type of camera movement and applies the most appropriate Image Stabilizer mode.
 
The company elaborated that, when a panning motion is detected, Panning IS is activated and stabilises in only one direction for more artistic capture of movement across the frame. Hybrid IS technology is also included to capture macro subjects without the blur associated with camera shake.

Finally, the lens includes an in-built 3-stop Neutral Density (ND) Filter, permitting the use of wider apertures in bright light to achieve a shallower depth of field, or to use slower shutter speeds to intentionally blur motion.
 
Top view of the PowerShot G1X
 Further features
 
As would be expected from any new and premium class camera these days,the G1 X supports Full HD (1080p) movie capture instantly at 24fps, via a dedicated movie button.  Additionally, the 4x optical zoom can be used while filming, while stereo sound is also captured.
 
A large 3” 920k dot LCD screen is onboard and can be adjusted to a multitude of angles, while an integrated pop-up flash should cater to fill flash lighting. Additionally, an external Canon Speedlite flash can be added to the G1X via its hotshoe.
 
Along with the requisite aperture priority, shutter priority and full manual modes, a range of advanced shooting modes are available, including Handheld Night Scene, which enables photographers to capture a high-speed sequence of photos, and then combines the data to produce one well-exposed image with minimal blur.
 
Similarly, High Dynamic Range (HDR) mode captures scenes with a particularly high range of bright and dark tones, takes multiple exposures and combines them to deliver rich detail in both shadows and highlights.

To the point
 
"Created for professional and serious photographers, the PowerShot G1 X creates a prestigious new category at the top of Canon's legendary G-series line-up, and redefines the performance achievable from a compact camera," commented Abri Kriegler, product manager at Canon South Africa.
 
A local price and exact availability was not available at this time. 

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