Thursday, January 5, 2012

Canon Announces G1X, aka G13 (UPDATE)

GAH! No more X's! For Christ's sake! When there is already a GX1 on the market, do not released a G1X! Are you freaking insane!?

There. Got that out of my system.

Well, it appears that rumors were, this time at least, correct. Canon is launching a large-sensored G-Series camera with a honkin'-big 1.5" sensor. Well, at least I think that is the case. That is a huge sensor, smaller than APS-C, but much larger than 4/3 and Nikon's 1-Series. I wonder if it is actually 1/1.5", which would make it the same size as Fuji's X10.

Then we have the problem of price, though. At $800, a camera with only a 1/1.5" camera would be ridiculous. And I mean that in the literal sense, in that it should be ridiculed. Fuji's X10 camera, at $600, is already overpriced, and $800 puts the camera so close to the X100 as to make them competitors. Canon would have to be out of their mind to release a camera for that price with that sensor. So either the sensor is correct, and it's enormous, or the price is wrong.

If the camera has a 1.5" sensor, then it's incredibly exciting. If it has 1/1.5", then it's incredibly boring. For Canon's sake, let us hope that it is the former.
UPDATE: Well, the information was literally correct. It is, indeed, a 1.5" sensor and is quite a bit larger than Micro 4/3. The camera is officially INTERESTING! If the lens on front is good, and it had better be considering that price, we may have one hell of a camera.

It's not sexy, like Fuji's cameras, but who cares? If Canon has fixed the dynamic range issue with its sensors and brought them up to the level of Sony's current crop, the image quality will be stellar. The maximum aperture is disappointing, though: only f/2.8. Again, even though the sensor will outperform Micro 4/3, I can get a Panasonic G3 and f/1.7 20mm for a similar price and the faster lens will balance the scale.

Canon is a company that gets things like autofocus and professional workflow better than almost any other company on Earth. This camera will have all of that. It is utilitarian. It is meant to get shit done. You may not feel very self-important while using the G1X, but unlike the guy futzing around with a Leica, you will get the shot.

The Fuji X10 was too expensive, and now it has been completely eliminated from an enthusiast's option list. When this camera only costs $200 more, and here's hoping Canon drops the price soon after launch, the X10 is a non-option.

Comparing this up-market to the Fuji X100, the sensors are of similar sizes, meaning that upping your budget to the X100 will probably not net you any significant increase in quality, although there certainly will be some. Thus, by plopping this very cool camera right in the middle of Fuji's price structure, Canon has done significant damage to both camera's prospects. By dropping the price by another $50, the damage could be even worse, so, Canon, I would wholly recommend doing that.

I think that the price is too high to be of great danger to Micro 4/3 as a system. Olympus' overpriced cameras are as good as dead, but Panasonic has the GF3 and G3, both of which cost less than this camera including a lens. That said, the GHx, E-Px, and now the GXx line of Micro 4/3 cameras are in serious danger. They have all been focusing on trying to be the up-market point-&-shoot camera, when they should have been focusing on the specific strengths of the 2x-crop sensor. Now they have been completely leap-frogged by a real point-&-shoot.

Micro 4/3 still has distinct advantages. The GH2 is a world class video camera. Olympus has with its Zuiko line, in my opinion, the best lenses in the world. And the f/1.7 20mm pancake remains such an excellent lens that it goes a long way to eliminating many advantages that other cameras have over the 4/3 alliance. Truly, 4/3 has a lot going for it. Here's hoping that Panasonic and Olympus can leverage those positives into success before other companies put them both out of their misery.

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