Canon Powershot G1X Mark II Review

Canon G1X Mark II Camera

Time for the full Canon Powershot G1X Mark ii review. I am starting this article after 30 days of play with my newest Canon camera, including a two week photo excursion to Alaska.

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.  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.

The 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 also like the tilting 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

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 -  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.

The G1X Mark II Grip - It's definitiely 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:

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 capabilites 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.

G1X Mark II Reviews

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!

Complete list of G1X Mark II Articles

Top G1X Mark II Accessories

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Powershot G1X Mark II Accessories

Canon G1x Mark II Battery

Canon G1X Mark II with High ISO

Macro Photography with the G1X Mark II Camera

G1X Mark II Alternatives

Click here for a video review of the G1X Mark II

G1X Mark II Digic 6 Processor

G1X Mark II Digic 6 Processor

The Powershot G1X Mark II has a 1.5 inch sensor

The Powershot G1X Mark II has a 1.5 inch sensor

The Mark II has 1080 HD Video

The Mark II has 1080 HD video.