Canon unveils PowerShot G1 X: huge 14.3 megapixel sensor, 12,800 ISO, $800 price tag

You were expecting Canon to announce a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, weren’t you? Well, we’re not getting that today — if ever. Instead, Canon has introduced a large sensor model to its PowerShot G-series of cameras. The G1 X joins (but doesn’t replace) the G12, which previously held the title as the company’s largest point-and-shoot. While the camera itself is not any smaller, the G1 X’s 1.5-inch 14.3 megapixel CMOS sensor is what really makes it unique, offering a sensor size nearly as large as the APS-C found in larger mirrorless models and many full-size DSLRs. Larger sensors require larger lenses and therefore larger body sizes, but for professional and advanced amateur photographers, the benefits typically outweigh the inconvenience associated with carrying a bulkier model.

With a large 1.5-inch (18.7 x 14mm) sensor, the Canon G1 X should theoretically be able to capture higher quality images in low light (with sensitivity boosted to ISO 12,800), and with more shallow depth of field — the 4x 28mm lens has an aperture range of f/2.8-16, making it ideal for everything from sports action to landscape shoots. The “EOS-like” feature set includes 1080p video, 14-bit RAW and JPEG capture and full compatibility with Speedlite flashes and other accessories. A 3-inch 922k-dot LCD is on the rear with full tilt and swivel, and a mode dial up top provides direct access to shooting modes, including full manual. The G1 X is scheduled to ship in February for $799.99, but check back here next week for the hands-on, live from the show floor at CES. more…

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