Canon upgrades its flagship compact camera with the G1 X Mark II

Pro compacts

Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II.
Small pro shooter: the PowerShot G1 X Mark II. Picture: Canon
Canon has updated its top of the range compact camera, replacing the PowerShot G1 X with the G1 X Mark II Enhanced Grip Edition.

The high-end compact camera is built around a 1.5-inch CMOS type sensor, which Canon says is 50 per cent larger than the sensors in competing, pro-spec compacts. For stills, this records 12.8 megapixel image at a 3:2 ratio and 13.1 megapixels at 4:3. The sensor uses pixels which are 4.5 times larger than on the Canon PowerShot G16. Canon also says that the sensor gives the G1 X Mark II a similar depth of field to APS-C sensor DSLR cameras.

The new model has a five-times optical zoom, from 24 to 120mm, with an aperture that ranges from f2.0 to f3.9. Improvements over the G1X include dual lens control rings, which can set zoom, focus and aperture, and 31 AF points instead of nine.

The G1 X Mark II has built-in WiFi and smartphone pairing, using near-field communications (NFC), for file transfer and also remote camera control. A movie mode can record full HD footage at 30fps, with both AF and power zoom available during video recording. There is an iFrame movie mode, but currently there is no support for either 24fps or 25fps video recording.

Unlike the smaller-sensor Nikon Coolpix P7800, the G1 X Mark II has no external mic input, but it does have a built in stereo mic.

And unlike the G16, the G1 X Mark II has no optical viewfinder, but it can be paired with an external, electronic viewfinder for a more DSLR-style approach to handheld shooting. The G1 X Mark II Enhanced Grip Edition is a version of the camera, with an added ergonomic grip, for the European, Middle East and Africa markets.

The G1 X Mark II will go on sale from May 2014 with a suggested price of £799.