Friday, March 30, 2012

G1X: Shake Icon

At slow shutter speeds, a blinking orange icon is displayed on the lower left portion of the G1X display.  This icon is to warn you that shutter speeds may be too slow and that a tripod is needed.  Once you know what it is, you realize that the icon is a shaky camera.  So when does the warning appear?

I set up a simple experience in which focal length, shutter speed, aperture, Image Stabilization and ISO were varied and noted the fastest shutter speed for which the shake icon remained turned on.  As suspected, ISO and aperture were quickly eliminated as having an effect.  The shake icon activation logic is a simple function of focal length and shutter speed; however, Image Stabilization (IS) is definitely a factor.

There is an old rule-of-thumb of 35mm photography that says the slowest shutter speed that should be hand-held is 1/focal length.  For example, when shooting a 100mm lens, a tripod should be used if the shutter speed is slower than 1/100 second.  This “rule” was developed before the introduction of Image Stabilization.  Of course, it is not a law of nature – only a rough guide for pointing to the need for a tripod.  A little too much coffee and a tripod is always needed!

In very rough terms, the old 1/focal length rule applies to the G1X when IS is turned OFF.  With IS turned ON, the shutter speed can be 3x slower before the shake icon appears.  All these “calculations” (if indeed they are done) are then rounded off.  Strangely (to me), the effects of digital zoom are not a factor.  Also, the IS effect on shake icon activation is identical whether IS is for single shot or continuous.  “Power IS” does not seem to matter. 

I can remember the simple rule of thumb but here’s a chart of the data.

G1X shake icon

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Eagles at Shiloh

No, not with the G1X.  I’ve been blogging so much about the G1X that it must appear to be my only camera.  These shots were taken recently at Shiloh National Park in Tennessee with a Canon 7D fitted with a 100-400mm zoom.  Selected stills were combined into a slide show using Proshow Gold.

Saturday, March 24, 2012


HDR Tests

      Photomatix “Grunge”

The picture above is all too often the image in mind when High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography is being discussed.  This image is not from the G1X.  This image was post-processed in Photomatix using three RAW shots from the G1X.  The Photomatix setting was “Grunge”.  I don’t like it but it does get your attention!  I set up this scene to show variations on HDR images made with the G1X.  The scene has shadows with detail as well as a bright sky.  In my experience, HDR is often necessary for such wide range of contrast.  In fact, when the camera histogram indicates a “good” exposure without clipping, HDR is not necessary or effective. The in-camera HDR (using “Standard” setting) from the G1X is below.

HDR Tests

                         G1X in-camera HDR “Standard”                         

Now it is obvious why the G1X “HDR” is sometimes criticized for being too tame – G1X HDR do not look like over-the-top “HDR” images.  However, on comparison to the normal G1X in-camera JPEG below, one can tell that the G1X HDR images do indeed open up the shadows while not blowing out the highlights in the process.  The normal JPEG has slight clipping in the shadows and much clipping in the highlights.

HDR Tests

G1X in-camera default JPEG

Not “Grunge” but still not a good HDR for this scene is the “Painterly” setting in Photomatix shown below.  The bright areas between tree and sky is called the “halo effect”.

HDR Tests

Photomatix “Painterly”

Just to show that all the Photomatix canned settings are not bad, the image below was made with “Smooth Sky”.  Of course, the canned defaults really serve as starting points and can be adjusted in many ways.

HDR Tests

Photomatix “Smooth Sky”

In comparison to the in-camera HDR from the G1X, the Photomatix “Smooth Sky” needs a bit more contrast and saturation in my view.  This adjustment can be done in the Photomatix settings or by using Photoshop post-processing after Photomatix.  However, my favorite “HDR” for this scene is the “Compressor” rendition from Photomatix, below.

HDR Tests

Photomatix “Compressor”

In fact, more often than not, I prefer the “Compressor” rendition with a little customization in the settings to fit the scene.  I’ve probably gone through my over-the-top HDR days (well, almost) and Compressor suits me just fine (except that my all time favorite is not realistic at all).

Note that all shots above were made with the G1X mounted on a tripod and set for the defaults.  I made no effort to select focus, compensate exposure or tweak the in-camera settings.  With tweaks, surely every image could have been improved.  Likewise, I used Photomatix default settings and profiles and these could (should!) have been adjusted.

There are so many, many variations on HDR that it is almost not fair to even begin the comparisons.  Here’s another set of G12 variations; I assume that the G1X variations are similar to the G12 but will have to check them out. 

I occasionally use HDR but usually process three shots in Photomatix and, almost always, select the Compressor rendition.  The G1X in-camera HDR seems to do a reasonable job of capturing shadow and highlight details but the G1X shot-to-shot time interval does require a tripod.  I know myself well enough to know that even if I made a G1X in-camera HDR I could not resist auto-bracketing three shots in RAW and seeing how the Photomatix variation turned out. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

G1X: Coffee Video


Here’s a short video made with the G1X as I begin to learn video techniques.  Fortunately, video on the G1X is easy because it is automated.  Unfortunately, the G1X offers few adjustments for video.

So far, it seems to me that the G1X often overexposes video but, thankfully, exposure compensation is one of the adjustments available.  The Coffee video was taken with exposure compensation at –1.  Confusingly, exposure compensation for video is set in a different manner than exposure compensation for stills.  Instead of the top dial that is used for still exposure compensation, video exposure compensation is accessed by pressing the exposure lock button (*) and then turning the main dial to adjust compensation. 

ISO cannot be set for G1X video; only Auto ISO is available.  However, by holding the shutter button halfway, the selected ISO as well as the shutter speed and aperture can be seen.  Interestingly, adjusting exposure compensation can result in a change of ISO as well as shutter speed or aperture.

For the Coffee video, I used portrait orientation without thinking about it very much.  This caused an orientation problem but QuickTime Pro was able to change orientation. 

Wind noise is apparent even though the “wind filter” was turned on.

I suppose that video with the G1X is about right.  Although I do wish there were a few more options, video is certainly easy to access and the results seem reasonable to me.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Using Your New G1X

G1X CameraOne of the most popular posts on LightDescription has been “Using Your New G12” so it is natural to make a similar post for the G1X. In fact, the initial tips for the G1X are very similar to those for the G12 in many ways and much of this applies to other digital cameras, particularly the Canon PowerShots.

I received my G1X on February 29 and immediately began posting about it.  Those experiences (and prior wishes and expectations) have been posted previously.

With your own G1X box open, immediately find the battery and charger. Put the battery in the charger and plug in the charger. Although the battery probably already has a slight charge, begin the charging process. You’ll probably be too impatient to let the battery completely charge (I was) but go ahead and add a few electrons now. Full recharge might take a couple of hours.

G1X CameraUnlike previous G series cameras, there is no printed instruction manual for the G1X; however, there is a printed “Getting Started” guide. The instruction manual is in .pdf format on the CD that contains the Canon software. Install the software while electrons are being added to the battery. If you already have previous versions of the Canon software, Canon recommends that you install the current version over the older version. If you are using Windows XP, be sure to have installed all the available updates (Service Pack 3). Remember to restart the computer. (You really don’t need the Canon software to use the G1X; I confess to not actually installing the software.)

If you have experience with older G series cameras, take a quick look at the G1X User Guide Notes in this blog: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3. These notes are my understanding of major differences between the G1X and G12.

The G1X doesn’t come with a memory card so you’ll have to purchase one separately. I’m currently using a Class 10 Transcend 16GB SDHC card. It seems that almost anything memory card will do but Canon recommends Class 6 or higher. Slower cards will work fine but, uh, slower -- especially while you wait impatiently for all those bits to be transferred to your computer. If your new memory card came with special software already stored, be sure to copy that software to your computer’s hard drive or a CD before reformatting the memory card.

G1X CameraFlip the G1X upside down to get to the battery and card door on the bottom. Slide the catch over and then let the door pop up. Insert the memory card so you don’t lose it while you read the Quick Start guide and wait for the battery to be charged. The memory card and battery can be inserted into the G12 only when properly oriented.

G1X CameraGet accustomed to the G1X and the layout of its controls. Take a look through the viewfinder and, if necessary, adjust the viewfinder optics to suit your vision. Pull out that nice articulated screen, gently flip it around and push it back onto the camera body.

Now that approximately 5 electrons have been added to the battery, go ahead and put it into the G1X. Next, flip the G1X right side up and turn it on with the small button on the top of the camera. In using the G1X, you will probably discover that it is easy to accidentally push the wrong button or dial on the back of the camera. You’ll get better at this but it is a problem. Try putting your thumb firmly on the thumb pad next to the red “record” (video) button.

Reformat the memory card using the G1X menu system. The Menu button is on the back of the camera on the lower right hand side. Push it and use the large dial to cycle through the menu commands in amazement until you come to the one that says Format (it’s under the “tools” tab). Just think, soon you will know the meaning of all those options! Push the center button of the large dial on the back of the camera to activate the Format option.

Ready to take a picture (I bet you’ve really already taken one by now)? While you get the feel of the G1X, put it in completely automatic mode. This means the green oval “AUTO” on the small top dial. Rotate the dial to align the green AUTO label with the white bar. Take your first picture with the G1X.

Did you remember to use the “half press” shutter button technique? This is one of the most useful and important techniques for modern cameras because it reduces the effective shutter lag while confirming focus. In fact, I revert to thinking “Focus” as I do this. Push the shutter button gently and you’ll notice that the “feel” changes as the button goes about halfway down. You’ll probably hear a slight beep and see a green rectangle light up on the LCD. Hold that position momentarily then finish pushing the shutter button to get the picture. The “half press” technique is explained on page 18 of the Getting Started guide.

To do list:

Finish charging the battery.

Set the date and time using the menu system (page 14 of the Getting Started guide).

Get a second battery. The G1X battery is a good one but you’ll want a spare. I use the cheaper clone and get an adapter for charging in the car. Charge and test the clone as soon as you get it.

Get a wrist strap. I use a Gordy strap but there are many others to choose from.

Get a bag. It seems that most G series users opt for a small camera bag that can be mounted on a belt but I use a medium size shoulder bag to accommodate my “stuff”.

Get a real flash. The built-in flash is useful but not very powerful. Such built-ins often cause harsh shadows and red eye. A small, nice external flash is Canon’s 270EX (although I use a larger Canon flash on-camera and favor off-camera flash).

To connect the G1X directly to your HD TV, you need the HCMI cable HTC-100 (or a clone). This cable has a small connector matching the camera receptacle.

Eventually, you may want the FA-DC58C filter adapter. You’ll need the filter adapter to add screw on close-up lenses such as the Canon 250D. The little LH-DC70 lens hood adds a nice look and is probably useful as well.

This blog is full of my trials and errors with the G9 and G12. Many of those experiences will also apply to the G1X (I think). Use the labels on the left hand side of the blog or the search button to find topics of interest.

Enjoy your G1X!  Stay tuned and share my experiences with the G1X.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

G1X: A Short Walk

Short Walk

As the weather was very nice today, I found it convenient to take a short walk outside and slipped the G1X into my pants pocket* to grab a few shots along the way.  Nothing particularly great about these shots; the G1X was in Av mode, JPEG only, ISO 100 or 400.  Exposure compensation was used to tweak the Av exposure – sometimes based on the histogram but more often as an adjustment for a second shot.  Exposure compensation for the above shot was +1/3.

Short Walk

As a measure of my humility, the above flower shot just didn’t work as I thought it might.  No exposure compensation.  My idea was to focus on the foreground and have the middle and background fade to extreme blur.  The largest aperture for that focal length was f5 and it simply was not enough.  Probably needed more like f2.

Short Walk

Staying with 16:9 aspect ratio, the above shot (which I call “Tree and Clouds”) was at full telephoto and f5.8.  No exposure compensation.

Short Walk

Back to a 4:3 aspect ratio above.  No exposure compensation.

Short Walk

I get tired of people taking pictures of ducks.  These are geese.  Taken using the 1.9x digital zoom feature.  No exposure compensation.

Short Walk

Staying with the 1.9x digital zoom but –2/3 exposure compensation.

A nice walk with a little photo practice along the way.


* Said pocket being styled and designed for men of a certain age.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

G1X: Flower Macros

Yellow Rose

                                      Fig. 1.  Full telephoto, 250D, 1.5x

Following my post about the G1X “macros” with and without the 250D close-up lens, a question came up about the relative effects of the 1.5x digital zoom feature.  Never having used those features, I didn’t know the answer so I did a little experimenting with/without 250D close-up lens and with/without digital zoom.

First off, everyone should realize that the 1.5 digital zoom works only in pure JPEG mode and only in 4:3 aspect ratio. It does not work in RAW or RAW+JPEG. It seems to me that the 1.5x digital zoom (said to be different from continuous digital zoom) crops the normal view and then uprezes that crop to the normal 4352x3264 pixels resolution of the G1X. Although I've not used this feature in the past, it actually seems to work well.  There is also a 1.9x digital zoom.  Figure 1 shows the image obtained with the G1X at full telephoto (60.4mm focal length), 1.5x digital zoom and the 250D attached.

Yellow Rose

                         Fig. 2.  Wide angle, without 250D, no digital zoom

At the opposite extreme of Figure 1, Figure 2 shows the image at minimum “macro” focus distance at wide angle (15.1mm focal length) and without the 250D and without any digital zoom.

To get the above and following pictures, I put the G1X on a tripod and attached the RS60-E3 wired remote trigger.  The G1X was set to JPEG mode, ISO 400, f11 and 1/30 second for all shots.  The subject (a beautiful yellow rose from our garden) was moved (trial and error) to the minimum focus distance for whatever configuration was being tested.  Lighting was done with a cheap LED continuous source, hand held and moved very close (typically about 9 inches) to the flower until the exposure compensation indicator read zero (got to post about that LED light some day).  The LED light was fitted with a CTO-like diffuser and, to my chagrin, the resulting white balance was not really tungsten – which is what I set on the G1X.  Consequently all photos taken were tweaked (by the same amount) in Photoshop.

To understand the results, one must realize that the minimum focus distance with the 250D is about 10 inches.  Therefore, the 250D plus telephoto is a powerful combination. If the goal is to produce the highest magnification uncropped JPEG image straight out of the G1X then the setup should be full telephoto with the 250D. This conclusion is not really different from that posted previously

In order of increasing magnification at the closest possible macro auto focus distance (by trial and error) here's what I saw:

1. max telephoto without 250D produced the smallest image, see Figure 3

2. wide angle image was slightly larger than max telephoto image, compare Figures 2 and 3

3. max telephoto without 250D using 1.5 digital zoom

4. wide angle image with 1.5 digital zoom.

5. wide angle image with 250D is essentially the same as #4, see Figure 4.

6. telephoto image with 250D is significantly larger than #5.  Compare Figures 1 and 5.

Yellow Rose

                     Fig. 3.  Maximum telephoto, without 250D, without digital zoom

Yellow Rose

                         Fig. 4.  Wide angle with 250D, without digital zoom

Yellow Rose

                       Fig. 5.  Telephoto with 250D, without digital zoom

Initially, there was some concern that the 1.9x digital zoom was an extreme and probably produced poor images.  However, the 1.9x image seemed OK to me.  Of course, the 1.5x and 1.9x digital zoom can be used with the 250D and the results looks OK to me.  In addition to viewing on-screen, I printed an 8x10 of each test and the results all looked OK to me. 

So, once again, I’ve learned something.  If I need a large print of a macro from the G1X, I’ll still use RAW with post processing and cropping.  But the 1.5x and 1.9x digital zoom provide usable options. 

Friday, March 9, 2012

G1X: Macro

G1X adapters

As noted in comparisons of specifications, the G1X minimum focus distance is significantly more than previous G series cameras.  Strictly speaking, the G1X does not do macro-photography on its own and even adding the 250D accessory lens (above) does not make the G1X a macro camera.  In fact, the 250D is labeled as a “close-up” lens.  But enough nit-picking; here’s how the G1X performs up close to the subject.

G1X Macro

                   Fig. 2. Minimum AF focus distance at wide angle

In Figure 2 (above), the G1X was set for maximum wide angle and “macro” focusing.  This uncropped image was as close as I could get the G1X and still have automatic focusing.

G1X Macro

                     Fig. 3.  Minimum AF focus distance at telephoto

I prefer to get close-ups at telephoto-like focal lengths because distortion is reduced and the subject is easier to light.  Figure 3 represents the uncropped scene at minimum auto focus distance in macro mode at the maximum telephoto (full zoom).  Disappointingly, the combination of increased focus distance at increased focal length resulted in a reduction in macro effect.

G1X Macro

                     Fig. 4.  Minimum AF focus distance at wide angle with 250D

As shown in Figure 4, adding the 250D produces a significantly larger image at wide angle and minimum autofocus distance.

G1X Macro

                    Fig. 5.  Minimum AF focus distance at telephoto with 250D

The 250D is really intended for longer focal lengths than the wide angle of the G1X.  Therefore, as shown in Figure 5, when the G1X is zoomed to maximum telephoto, the resulting image with the 250D is noticeably larger than when the G1X is at wide angle. 

G1X Macro

                    Fig. 6.  Minimum focus distance at telephoto with 250D

My approach to using the 250D is to set the G1X lens to manual focus at infinity distance and move the camera to get the best image.  The result is shown in Figure 6.


G1X Macro

                                  Fig. 7.  DOF at telephoto, 250D, f5.8

Figures 2 though 6 were all made at ISO 100, 1/250 second and f6.3. Because of its relatively large sensor, depth of field with the G1X is less than previous G series cameras. Although reduced depth of field can produce a nice blurred background effect, that blur is usually not desirable at extreme close-ups.   Figure 7 shows the depth of field up close at f5.8 using the 250D with the G1X at maximum telephoto and infinity focus distance.

G1X Macro

                                     Fig. 8.  DOF at telephoto, 250D, f16

Figure 8 shows how depth of field is increased at f16.  (ISO was increased from 100 to 200.)

All the above photos were taken handheld using trial and error to get a “minimum” distance.  While I’m thinking of it, I suspect that the “macro” mode of the G1X (and previous G series as well) is really a shift in the expected distances used in the autofocus algorithm and not a realignment of the optics.  I say this because the close distances of “macro” are also available in manual focus mode.

The “macro” performance of the G1X provides a good illustration of the trade-offs and compromises in camera and lens design.  For enthusiasts of macro photography, a small sensor camera, perhaps one of the prior G series, might very well be a better choice than the G1X.  I expect to be using the 250D regularly with the G1X when close-ups are needed but I may be using the G12 instead – we’ll see how it all works out.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

G1X: Adapter and Lens Hood

G1X adapters

The Canon FA-DC58C is an adapter that fits the bayonet fitting on the end of the G1X lens.  It is threaded to accept 58mm filter thread accessories.  This means it will accept standard 58mm filters as well as accessories such as the 250D close-up lens as shown below.

G1X adapters

The Canon LH-DC70 is a lens hood.  It is a nice looking lens hood that mounts directly onto the G1X lens; unfortunately it is not threaded for filters.  This means that the LH-DC70 cannot be added to the FA-DC58C filter adapter (above) and also that filters cannot be added to the LH-DC70.

G1X adapters

G1X adapters

I really like the looks of the G1X with the lens hood but the inability to add filters is a great business opportunity for someone – probably Lensmate.

The G1X as shown above is also fitted with a Gordy strap and a Franiec hot shoe cover.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

G1X: Rural Life Museum

G1X Rural Life

The Rural Life Museum is one of my favorite places to try out new cameras, photo equipment and techniques.  Today, while practicing with the G1X, I received an added bonus:  No Senior Citizens discount!  In fact, I was not even asked!  That dollar seemed insignificant to me as I decided to pay the full fee and feel years younger.

G1X Rural Life

I shot with the G1X naked (no, not me, the camera!) meaning without a tripod, flash, filters, no RAW mode, no editing, no post processing.  This forced me to use high ISO settings along with whatever the G1X had to offer.  Unlike some of my first G1X attempts however, I did change take multiple shots and varied exposure and other settings in my attempts to get the picture that I wanted.  So the pictures in this post are Straight-Out-Of-Camera (SOOC) – even if I took several at various settings and discarded all but the one posted.

G1X Rural Life

G1X Rural Life

Instead of cropping, I sometimes changed the aspect ratio in-camera.  In practice, I believe in cropping.

G1X Rural Life

G1X Rural Life

G1X Rural Life

G1X Rural Life

I have a definite tendency to shoot vertical (portrait) pictures. In fact, my favorite shot of the day is a vertical, shown below.

G1X Rural Life

This exercise (JPEG only, no editing) was a good one.  I still plan to (mostly) shoot in RAW and post-process to taste but SOOC definitely has its place.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

G1X: JPEG Variations

HannahAs promised by the weatherman, today was rainy, overcast and cooler than I wanted.  Instead of searching for a scene to turn into a work of art with my new G1X, I decided to test variations of its in-camera processing.  Normally, I prefer to shoot in RAW mode which means that each shot is considerably post processed in Photoshop following conversion from Canon’s RAW format in Adobe Camera Raw (ACR).   There is no doubt in my mind that shooting RAW ultimately yields the best print – especially for me.  Even so, there are advantages, particularly in economy of time, to using the so-called Straight-Out-Of-Camera (SOOC) image. 

Although some still talk as though the Straight-Out-Of-Camera image is the only truth, SOOC is actually misleading.  Modern digital cameras include a number of image adjustments – sort of an internal Photoshop.  When shooting in JPEG (only) mode, the G1X allows adjustments in color saturation, contrast, sharpness and individual color adjustments to red, green, blue. There are also dynamic range adjustments to both highlights and shadows.   In addition, the G1X offers a number of effects such as HDR, B/W, Sepia, etc. which were not included in today’s testing.

I coaxed Hannah and her friend into posing even though it was still cool outside and quickly set up this attractive composition to include several colors and distances.  The sky, though, remained overcast with resulting soft lighting.  The first photo of this post was made with all “normal” settings in JPEG format shooting in Av mode at ISO 400.  That is, SOOC.

HannahHere’s a shot with saturation, contrast, sharpness and red turned down one notch in the “My Colors” menu.  Such settings are sometimes recommended by photographers who do not use RAW format but still tweak the files in various photo editing software.  I was surprised to see so little variation between this image and the “normal” (first image shown) image.  The differences are visible in the full size files on my screen but probably are not so apparent here.  I don’t like this variation.


HannahThis shot is the near opposite of the above “turned down” image; call it the “turned up” image with contrast and sharpness turned up one notch but saturation normal and red still turned down one notch.  Looking at the “turned up” and “turned down” images, I hope the difference in contrast is apparent even if the difference in the other parameters is not.  I actually like this one but have a tendency to overdo both contrast and sharpness (and I’m not the only one!).


HannahNext is a shot taken with all settings “normal” except that highlight and shadow recovery (Dynamic Range) have been forced to maximum.  I don’t like this one; it looks washed out with low contrast.  The problem (I think) was that the overcast sky prevented bright highlights and dark shadows from occurring in the first place.  When Dynamic Range Improvement was set to “Auto” the result(not shown) was essentially the same as a “normal” picture thus indicating that Dynamic Range Improvement was not significantly applied.  I need to test this feature further but, for now, my thinking is to be sure to use RAW image mode when highlights and shadows are strong.

My conclusion?  I’ll be leaving all the “My Colors” settings at “normal” with the possible exception of Red saturation.  If I’m to do post processing of image files then I might as well shoot in RAW to begin with.  This is a convenient conclusion because the “My Colors” adjustments do not apply when shooting in RAW+JPEG and most of my JPEG shots are produced via the RAW+JPEG combination.  If I were down to the last Gigabyte of the memory card and forced to switch to JPEG only then I’d set “My Colors” for Red turned down one notch and would also think about using Dynamic Range Improvement.  In such a case, I’d probably turn down the sharpness as well in anticipation of tweaking the JPEG file myself. 

Straight-Out-Of-Camera?  What are the camera settings?

Friday, March 2, 2012

G1X: First Impressions

G1X Camera

I’ve had the G1X for a few days now, taken a few snapshots and it’s time to write about first impressions.  First, I like the G1X and will be keeping it – that may seem strange to say but a number of early purchasers have decided, for one reason or another, to return theirs.  As I did with the G9 and then G12, I intend to learn to work with the G1X and, where necessary, work around its peculiarities.

G1X and G12

The G1X is very similar to the G12; in fact, the G1X is essentially a G12 with a large sensor.  For the most part, that similarity is a good thing although I wish some of the G12 “bug’s” had been corrected.  Also, I wish that more of the features on my wish list had been incorporated into the G1X. 

Video on the G1X seems to be very good even though highly automated with few options.  In fact, my very first action with the G1X was to shoot some video – even though entirely accidentally as I inadvertently pressed the video button.  That button is in the wrong place!

To me, the G1X feels good in my hand.  It is not as large or heavy as I thought it might be.  In fact, the G1X is pocketable!  That is, the G1X will fit into the pocket of “comfortable” pants for men of a certain age.  (I did not subject myself or the G1X to the jeans of my youth!)  The G1X might seem to be too large when packing bags or traveling but will seem to be too small when matched with a large external flash. 

G1X and G12

The pop-up flash of the G1X seems very dinky and is probably the least professional aspect of the G1X. Canon should at least have this flash drive a remote flash such as the 580EX.  The G1X does have the “screen blanking” bug of the G12.  Also, the YN565EX flash is incompatible with the G1X in the same manner as the G12.  All understandable but nonetheless disappointing.

The lens cap is easily removed or installed. I probably won’t use the attaching string but will simply put the lens cap in my left rear pants pocket just as I do for a DSLR lens cap.

Although some early users have said that the G1X rear control dial is the same as  the G12, it is actually a different design. It is the same size as the control dial on the G12 but its knurled rotating ring sticks up above the fixed center portion of the dial. This makes the control dial of the G1X easier to use than the control dial of the G12. On the other hand, it is still too easily accidentally pressed.

In use, the auto focus speed and shutter lag of the G1X seem to be about the same as the G12.  This shortcoming will produce much criticism because everyone was wishing for a significant improvement.  Like the other G series, the G1X is not the best camera for grabbing shots of active youngsters.  On the positive side, manual focus seems somewhat easier than on the G12 because of the increased display resolution.

Apertures begin at f2.8 for the G1X at wide angle zoom but change to f5.8 at maximum telephoto.  The change in aperture occurs quickly.  The first little nudge of the zoom lever causes the aperture to change from 2.8 to 3.2.  The next nudge changes to 3.5; next to 4; then 4.5; then 5.  Although I understand the technical reason and marketing options, this is disappointing.

To those hoping that the G12 lens adapter will fit the G1X, your hope is in vain.  No way.

Like the G12, “My Color” settings are lost when shooting RAW+JPEG with the G1X.

The ISO setting is shared among the P, Av and T modes but the M mode ISO is independent.  I like this.  High ISO performance is very good and I doubt that I’ll be using that dinky little flash very much.

Macro performance is not particularly good but there is a workaround by using close-up lenses; more on this later.

The G1X is a good camera -- not a perfect camera but a good camera.  I like it.