Canon Powershot G1X Mark II Review


UPDATED: March 23, 2024

Canon G1X Mark II CameraMy G1X Mark II

Time for the full Canon Powershot G1X Mark ii review update. I started this article after 30 days of experimenting with my newest Canon camera, including a two week photo excursion to Alaska back in 2014. Ten years later, is it still a good camera?

My main reason for taking the G1X Mark II along was to see how it performed as a good travel camera.  It's quite a bit smaller than DSLR cameras, even the World's smallest the Canon SL1.

Canon Powershot G1X Mark II Review - Positives

SIZE - It is so much smaller than the traditional DSLR camera. It will fit in a decent sized pocket.  I "carried" it in a belt bag on my hip and it did not interfere with some serious hiking and bushwhacking activities during my travels.

IMAGE QUALITY -  I haven't even played around with the RAW files yet, but the jpgs right out of the camera look great, especially ISO 400 and below.

ELECTRONIC VIEWFINDER. -  By far one of the most useful Canon camera accessories I have ever chosen to buy.  It's pricey, but works perfectly and makes using the camera a lot of fun.

HIGH ISO PERFORMANCE - This was a pleasant surprise. Due primarily to the large sensor size and the Digic 6 processor. I can't rate it as excellent, but it was definitely good and better than Canon point and shoot cameras.

LCD SCREEN. I also like the tilting (not fully articulating) LCD screen, particularly when I am shooting with a real low perspective or taking "selfies" of my bride and myself.

The Powershot G1x Mark II has a tilting LCD screen(It rotates upward and downward, not side to side)

You can get a real low perspective for your camera and look down at it from above, or with your G1X Mark II when you using the tilting screen downward when you want to shoot from a higher perspective.

Canon Powershot G1X Mark II Review - Negatives

BATTERY LIFE. The batteries are small and have a reduced capacity. A spare battery is a necessity, not an option in my opinion for using with this camera.  The flipside is that the charger is small and convenient to travel with.

ON-OFF BUTTON.  The camera can be turned on too easily. Several times I was slipping my G1x Mark II back into my waist bag and inadvertently turned on the camera

WIFI BUTTON.  The placement of the WiFi button is bad and gets hit unintentionally. I don't use Wifi at this point in my photography career so this is not important to me, but might be to you.  I think Canon was trying to make this camera a "social media" sharing camera.

I don't think they succeeding because the set-up is cumbersome and social media sharing photographers look for super-easy convenience.

G1X MARK II GRIP. It's definitely better than the G11's grip, but I would like a little bigger mound to grip the camera.  Apparently Canon surveyed customers and they chose the leaner grip that determined the standard design.  

I guess I am not the typical user.  The optional Canon grip sells for $30 and I may buy one when when a third party manufacturer offers them. 

Update to this Canon Powershot G1X Mark II Review:  I couldn't wait any longer and just 'ordered the larger European grip from the web site. Big improvement and now much easier to grip the camera securely with one hand.

The best part about the "G" series of Canon cameras is that you can do the large majority of your photography without and extra lenses or accessories.

Canon Powershot G1X Mark II - Conclusion

It's a winner. I've never yet held the perfect camera in my hands. This Canon Powershot Mark II review doesn't change that statement.  

With that said I really do like this camera quite a bit and it easily replaces my Canon G11 as my take it everywhere camera. It's pretty darn close to exactly everything I want in a compact camera and with excellent image quality.

A good alternative for you if you want to stay away from Canon cameras is the Sony RX100 III. It has excellent image and video quality and is the right size.  The built-in viewfinder is a plus over the G1X Mark II.

The big weakness of the RX100 III for me is that it has no hot shoe.  I absolutely must be able to use an external flash with bounce and swivel capabilities for portrait and macro photography.

I formulate my opinions based on over 40 years of "playing" with cameras, but I also realize the value of reading the opinions and insights of other photographers. I encourage you to read the ideas, thoughts, and impressions of other buyers of this camera.

Alternatives To The G1X Mark II:

Here are to alternative recommendations for the G1X Mark II, The updated version, the G1X Mark II, and the G7X Mark II.

As an Amazon affiliate Canon Camera Geek receives a small commission from qualifying purchases, at NO added cost to you.

Here is a nice short but informative video review of the G1X Mark II. The gal on the video talks fast, but pay attention because the video does a nice job of showing many of the advanced features.

Have a blast with your Canon!

Author Bruce Lovelace
Bruce Lovelace Signature

Bruce Lovelace is the publisher of Canon Camera Geek. Read more about him on the About Page. He also publishes how to articles and camera gear reviews at the Photography Tips website.

View some of Bruce's photos on Instagram  and Flickr  Join the tribe of followers on YouTube. Bruce also runs photo workshops and provides 1 on 1 digital photography coaching.

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