Canon G1 X Review

 
Camera Reviews / Canon Cameras / Canon PowerShot i Review

Canon PowerShot G1 X Performance


Timing and Performance

Generally slow speeds compared to most digicams and CSCs these days.

Startup/Shutdown

Power on
to first shot

~1.9 seconds

Time it takes for LCD to turn on and lens to deploy and capture a picture.

Shutdown

~2.7 seconds

How long it takes to retract lens and turn off.

Buffer clearing time

~2 seconds
(after 20 LF JPEGs)*
~2 seconds
(after 20 RAW files)*
~3 seconds
(after 20 RAW + LF JPEG files)*
~4 seconds
(after 6 LF JPEGs in HS HQ mode )*

Worst case buffer clearing time. -- This is the delay after a set of shots before you can remove the card. Some cameras won't retract their lenses and shut down until the buffer is cleared.

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Extreme Pro 45MB/sec UHS-I SDHC memory card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times.

Faster startup than the G12 (which took 2.7s), but slower than most Compact System Cameras (though most CSCs don't have a zoom lens to deploy). Shutdown was quite slow at 2.7s. Good buffer clearing times, though standard burst speeds are quite slow and the buffer in High Speed Burst HQ mode is shallow (see below).

 

Mode Switching

Play to Record,
first shot

~2.2 seconds

Time until first shot is captured.

Record to Play

~1.8 seconds

Time to display a large/fine file immediately after capture.

Display
recorded image

~0.9 second

Time to display a large/fine file already on the memory card.

The Canon G1 X's mode switching performance was a bit sluggish. It's interesting to note that switching from Play to Record mode and taking a shot was actually slower than powering up and taking a shot, as the camera paused after switching modes before focusing.

 

Shutter Response (Lag Time)

Full Autofocus Wide

0.697 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at wide angle position.

Full Autofocus Tele

0.681 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at telephoto position.

Full Autofocus
Flash enabled
1.164 seconds
Time to capture while forcing flash to fire, zoom lens at wide angle position.
Manual Focus
0.412 second
For most cameras, shutter lag is less in manual focus than autofocus, but usually not as fast as when the camera is "prefocused".

Prefocused

0.094 second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

Full autofocus shutter response in the default AF mode tested a bit slower than the G12 at wide-angle, at 0.697 versus 0.656s. At full telephoto, the G1 X was a bit faster than the G12 at 0.681s versus 0.754s, but that's still pretty sluggish by today's standards. Enabling the flash increased shutter lag quite a bit to 1.164s due to the preflash metering involved, also slower than the G12's 0.984s. Shutter lag in manual focus mode was 0.412s. We didn't test that on the G12, but that's quite sluggish compared to most CSCs. "Prefocusing" the camera by half-pressing and holding down the shutter button before the final exposure resulted in a lag time of 0.094s which is reasonably quick, but slower than the G12's 0.076s, and slower than most CSCs.

Overall, the Canon G1 X's autofocus speed and shutter lag are much slower than most recent digicams and CSCs.

 

Cycle Time (shot to shot)
Single Shot mode
Large Fine JPEG
2.67 seconds

Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots.

Single Shot mode
RAW

3.46 seconds

Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots.

Single Shot mode
RAW + LF JPEG

3.57 seconds

Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots.

Early shutter
penalty?

No

Some cameras don't snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer.

Continuous mode
Large Fine JPEG

0.50 second (1.99 frames per second);
20+ frames total;
~2 seconds to clear

Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots with no signs of slowing.

Continuous mode
RAW

0.92 second (1.09 frames per second);
20+ frames total;
~2 seconds to clear

Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots with no signs of slowing.

Continuous mode
RAW + LF JPEG

1.19 second (0.84 frames per second);
20+ frames total;
~3 seconds to clear

Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots with no signs of slowing.

High Speed Burst HQ mode
(LF JPEG)
0.22 second (4.50 frames per second);
6 frames total;
~4 seconds to clear
Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 6 frames.

Flash recycling

5.9 seconds

Flash at maximum output.

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Extreme Pro 45MB/sec UHS-I SDHC memory card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity also affects cycle times and burst mode performance, with higher ISOs generally increasing cycle times and reducing burst performance.

Shot-to-shot cycle times were quite slow, ranging from about 2.7s for Large/Fine JPEGs to 3.6s for RAW+LF JPEG files. These results are slower than the G12's 2.4 to 2.7s range, and again much slower than most CSCs which average under 1 second.

The PowerShot G1 X's standard continuous shooting mode rate was similar to the G12's for LF JPEGs, at about 2 frames per second with apparently no buffer limit when using a fast card. In RAW mode (which is 14-bits), burst rate fell to 1.09 fps, again with apparently no buffer limit, however we stopped testing at 20 frames. (Note that we didn't test just RAW mode with the G12, so we can't compare here.) When shooting RAW+LF JPEGs, burst rate further reduced to only 0.84 fps, even slower than the G12's 0.96 fps. These results are also much slower than most CSCs, which range between 3 and 10 fps.

The Canon G1 X's High Speed Burst HQ mode was however much faster at 4.5 LF JPEGs per second (though still slower than average compared to recent CSCs), but buffer depth was limited to only 6 frames which is quite shallow these days. Unfortunately, only JPEGs are supported in this mode.

We should also mention continuous autofocus is not supported for any of the above burst modes. The G1 X offers "AF" and "LV" continuous shooting modes, but burst rates fall to 0.7 fps according to Canon.

The built-in flash took 5.9 seconds to recharge after a full-power shot, which is on the slow side. The G12 took 4.1 seconds.

 

Download Speed

Windows Computer, USB 2.0

9,417 KBytes/sec

Typical Values:
Less than 600=USB 1.1;
600-769=USB 2.0 Low;
Above 770=USB 2.0 High

Connected to a computer or printer with USB 2.0, download speeds were pretty good, so you probably won't feel the need to use a card reader.

Bottom line, the Canon PowerShot G1 X's overall timing performance was disappointing. It can't really compete with most Compact System Cameras when it comes to speed, and is slower than most digicams as well. Think of it as a G12 with a large sensor.

Battery

Battery Life
Shorter battery life than the G12, and shorter than a typical CSC.

Operating Mode Number of Shots
Optical Viewfinder
(CIPA standard)
700
LCD Monitor
(CIPA standard)
250

The Canon PowerShot G1 X uses a custom NB-10L rechargeable lithium-ion battery for power, and ships with a charger. CIPA battery life is well below average for a mid-sized camera at only 250 shots when using the LCD (much lower than the G12's 370 shot rating, and lower than most CSCs as well), though using the optical viewfinder instead of the LCD to frame almost triples battery life. Still, we recommend you pick up a spare battery for extended outings.

The table above shows the number of shots the camera is capable of (on a fully-charged rechargeable battery as appropriate), based on CIPA battery-life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions.

(Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document))

 

Canon G1 X

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