Third time's the charm for Canon's G series flagship
When Canon introduced its G1 X in 2012, it boasted that the camera was top of the food chain for image quality in the kingdom of compact point-and-shoots. The second generation that followed in 2014 seemed a rather modest upgrade, but the third and latest model is clearly designed to impress. The flagship PowerShot G1 X Mark III is the first of the company's point-and-shoot cameras to be treated to a 24 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor and Dual Pixel CMOS autofocus.
The most notable leap up for the new flagship model of Canon's premium G series compact cameras is its imaging sensor, now rocking a 24.3 MP APS-C (22.3 x 14.9 mm) CMOS sensor, compared to the Mark II's 1.5-inch type (18.7 x 14 mm) CMOS sensor. Working with a Digic 7 image processing engine, this should result in "fantastic image quality in both stills and video," as well as decent low light performance thanks to an ISO range of 100 to 25,600 and seven frames per second burst shooting with continuous autofocus, or up to nine fps with AF fixed.
But there's more high-end goodness on offer. Dual Pixel AF technology has made its way down from DSLR camera's like the EOS 77D, and is said to offer "extremely fast and smooth autofocus capabilities across nearly the entire focal plane, allowing for more creative compositions when framing a subject away from the center of a shot."
Out front, there's a 15-45 mm (24-72 mm equivalent) F2.8-5.6 zoom lens with optical image stabilization promising up to four stops of shake reduction. The camera has a 2.36 million dot OLED viewfinder and a 3-inch touch-enabled, vari-angle LCD display panel, with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC promising easy connection to mobile devices for remote control and file transfer.
Rather disappointingly, Canon has stuck with Full HD video (at 60 fps), though a welcome Time-Lapse Movie mode has been included.
Elsewhere, the camera's body has been sealed to keep dust and moisture out, but the compact shooter is not waterproof – so good for the odd rainy day, but not for dive's off the coast without first wrapping it in the optional waterproof case. There's a built-in, pop-up flash and the battery is reported to be good for about 200 stills per charge.
The PowerShot G1 X Mark III will be available for next month for US$1,299, which is quite a price hike on the Mark II.