Canon has just announced the G1 X Mark II, successor to the revolutionary Canon G1 X, which was announced in early 2012 as the first large-sensor, pocket-sized point and shot featuring a zoom lens. To that point, all large-sensor P&S cameras has prime lenses, which were a serious put-off for people wanting convenience. Now, Canon has launched a 'II' model, which is a significant downgrade from the camera it supposedly replaces.
So, what of the new camera?
First of all, Canon has made several improvements to the camera since the 2012 original. First up: the lens, which is now a 24-120 f2-3.9 optic (the original was a 28-112mm f2.8-5.8 optic). For people looking to shoot moving objects in the dark, the extra f-stop of speed on both ends of the zoom range will be invaluable. Additionally, the new camera ha a shorter minimum focus distance than the original.
On the functionality end of things, Canon has improved user-friendliness with 2 (yes, 2) control rings on the lens. One ring is purely for focusing the lens in manual focus mode while the other is customizable so that it can control a variety of user-defined functions. Needless to say, for real photographers, having such extensive manual control without having to go menu diving is a good thing!
Another selling point of the G1 X Mark II is its AF system, which now comprises a grid of 31 points (vs. 9 for the original G1 X). According to Canon, the new AF system will allow the photographer greater freedom in composing and then capturing images. To aid in this endeavor, the G1 X Mark II comes equipped with a tilting, 3” 1,040k dot LCD screen, which can tilt 45 degrees down and 180 degrees up.
For people who demand the ability top share pictures instantaneously, the G1 X Mark II comes with both wi-fi and NFC connectivity. Additionally, utilizing NFC, one can control the G1 X Mark II via an Android device in regards to taking pictures, zooming and using the self-timer.
Unfortunately, there's an Achilles Heel on the G1 X Mark II: no optical viewfinder.
For any traditionalist (or anyone demanding the best viewfinder), the lack of an optical viewfinder (as was seen on the original G1 X) is a huge handicap in the picture-taking experience. Why? There is simply no way that any electronic viewfinder can replicate what is seen by the human eye. Adding to this disadvantage is the fact that Canon chose not to use a shielded OLED viewfinder in what would have been the optical viewfinder chamber, either. Result: one will be forced to rely on the Sun-exposed (and thus glare-prone) rear LCD screen. Yes, while the tilting can help reduce the flare problem, in bright enough Sun, many people will be wishing for a shielded viewfinder, whether of the optical or even OLED variety.
However, Canon has developed a hot-shoe mounted 2,360k dot external viewfinder for the G1 X Mark II, which it will be selling for $300, meaning that, in order to get a fully-functional camera, you'll be shelling out $1100, which could buy a entry-level dSLR or mirrorless interchangeable lens camera kit plus an additional lens! End result: the G1 X Mark II is a waste of money as the only way it becomes usable is via buying a $300 “accessory” that takes up the hot shoe and thus further limits the camera's functionality.
Come on, Canon!
Want to waste your income tax return money on this piece of garbage? The Canon G1 X Mark II will hit stores in April.
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