Canon unveils G1X flagship compact

The latest news and reviews from Las Vegas: CES 2012 Special Report

Following on from yesterday’s unofficial leak about the imminent arrival of the Canon PowerShot G1X, the company has today formally announced its new flagship advanced compact at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. As we reported yesterday, the G1X is the successor to the popular PowerShot G12 and builds on the strengths of the PowerShot G-series with a number of hardware advancements, including a fairly dramatic increase in overall sensor size.

Whereas the G12 uses a 1/1.7inch sensor, the new model sports a brand new 1.5inch chip that is claimed to measure 18.7 x 14mm. This makes it slightly bigger than a Micro Four Thirds sensor (17.3 x 13mm). The main advantages of this increase in size include the ability to produce shallower depth of field along with a wider dynamic range. 

Given the larger sensor, it’s no surprise to find that maximum resolution has been increased to 14.3MP – a fairly substantial increase over the G12’s 10MP, but still within fairly sensible limits. As might be expected the ability to shoot 14-bit Raw is retained, although sensitivity has also ramped up to a maximum ISO 12,800 (the G12, by contrast, offers a top setting of ISO 3200). 

The new model also uses Canon’s very latest DIGIC 5 image processor. Canon claims this provides a boost to low-light shooting and colour reproduction, while also allowing the G1X to deliver up to 6fps at full resolution (up to a maximum 4.5 shots). In addition the G1X is able top record Full HD 1080p movies at 24fps, or HD 720p movies at 30fps.

On the front of the G1X is a new 4x optical zoom that offers between 28mm and 112mm in 35mm terms (slightly less than the G12’s 28-140mm). Maximum aperture is f/2.8 at 28mm rising to f/5.8 at 112mm. The back of the G1X is adorned with the same vari-angle 3inch, 920k-dot LCD monitor that was found on the G12.

The G1X is scheduled to land in UK stores in February. There’s no official announcement on UK prices as yet, although in the US its estimated retail price has been set at $799.99, which does suggest that it’s going to cost a fair bit more than the G12.

Expect to see a hands-on preview within the next few days, just as soon as TrustedReviews can push its way through the dense CES crowds to reach the Canon booth.

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