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Non-techie review of the Canon G1X Mark II: a bright monster!

Single lense reflex cameras are pretty much extinct among travelers. Only pros do SLR nowadays. The new cameras have to be small and handy but powerful at the same time!

System cameras are popping up everywhere. And the newest thing is professional compact cameras. The Canon G1X Mark II is one of those.

I have now been traveling the world for almost half a year with that camera and have been able to test it thoroughly.

I want to give you a non-techie review of the Canon G1X Mark II and explain in regular words why this camera is great for travellers like you and me, but also tell you honestly if you don’t really need it!

The Canon GIX Mark II takes great pictures and makes killer videos!

I bought the Canon GIX Mark II on the short visit to Berlin between Lines and my time on Bali and our roadtrip through Australia and New Zealand. Before that I had been taking pictures and making videos with my old camera, the Samsung NX30. But now it was time to make my daily vlogs even better! I really needed a camera fit for both fotos and videos!

And I immediatley saw the difference! The Canon G1X Mark II offers full HD in DSLR-like quality so of course my videos got a lot better. And at the same time I had a fast and reliable foto camera with this Canon.

Review Canon PowerShot G1x Mark II

Many useful features

The Canon G1X Mark II really has a lot of features that I don’t even use most of the time. If you like trying different settings then this of course is fantastic! I usually use the P or M mode for photographs and films.

P mode is program mode in which the camera chooses shutter speed and focal aperture but lets you set the exposure value. You also have the option of taking RAW pictures in P mode which is great as it delivers even higher image quality.

It is especially wise to take pictures in RAW if you want to modify them later. Yea, it makes the files a lot larger (RAW is around 20 MB/picture, JPEG around 2,5 MB/picture) but there are a lot more details and data stored in the image itself.

The Canon G1X Mark II has a great stabilizer!

One of the main reasons why I decided to get this camera was the video stabilizer. Over the past year I never really managed to make super still videos. I even bought a steadycam to make videos with as little shaking as possible but it was way too heavy and very impractical as I travel with a carry-on most of the time.

The Canon C1X Mark II’s stabilizor really is great! The camera needs a few seconds before it stabilizes the picture once it has done that one hardly notices that you are moving with the camera. It really shows, or rather doesn’t show: the videos are a lot steadier, almost no blurring at all.

Check out my videos of our trips to Australia and New Zealand on my YouTube channel – you can really see it there!

The Canon G1X Mark II is small and heavy!

The Canon G1X Mark II is relatively small but pretty heavy for its size. It easily fits into a trouser pocket and even when riding in jeans I have been able to take it with me.

On first glance you would not think that this camera is that heavy. With its half kilo of weight it really isn’t the lightest, in fact it weighs just as much as a 760D (DSLR)!

The Canon G1X Mark II is very photosensitive!

The Canon G1X Mark II really lets you take good pictures at night, it is super photosensitive. This is rare among camaras that are this little. Even hand-held pictures in the dark turn out great. Of course they don’t compare to pictures taken with a tripod but they are good enough for publishing.

You can find a few examples on my Instagram!

The Canon G1X Mark II is fast!!

Tech sites talk at length about what a large sensor the Canon G1X Mark II has. But the only thing that really matters to me is whether it is fast or not. And fast it is!

The camera needs about a second for startup and extending the lense and far under a second, maybe half a second, to capture an image. That is super fast! Serial images too are fast and easy to do.

The Canon G1X Mark II has a graet retractable screen!

The Canon G1X Mark II not only has a super good video stabilizer but also a great retractable monitor. This might well be one of my favourite features, as a vlogger I use it all the time to see myself when talking into the camera. Otherwise I would not be able to see if I am even in the frame and if the camera is focusing on me or on the South Tirolian mountains behind me.

And of course a retractable screen is also great for taking pictures, especially if you want to capture an image from an odd position or angle. I for instance am a fan of fotos taken from the ground. A screen that moves along really is a blessing here!

The Canon G1X Mark II has a good battery!

On other sites I read that the Canon G1X Mark II’s battery is pretty bad. I use the camera all the time and can film up to 1:30 hours of video material in a day with a single charge. That is a lot more than all the other cameras I used so far.

If I only take pictures then the battery easily lasts two to three days. A second battery (I have one) costs around 60 Euros.

The Canon G1X Mark II is not cheap!

Of course a good camera has its price and for a compact camera the Canon G1X Mark II is not exactly cheap. In Germany it will cost almost 750 Euros (update: it currently costs 550 Euros on Amazon). If you are headed to Australia, New Zealand or the US any time soon then it is wise to get the camera there. It costs the equvalent of around 530 Euros in Australia!


If you are looking for a camera that is small, powerful and takes equally good pictures and videos without any trade-offs on either then the Canon G1X Mark II is the right camera for you. I really am very satisfied with it!

Sebastian Canaves
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