The Sleeping Giant Stirs. Is this the Newest Micro Four-Thirds Camera?

February 19, 2014

The camera has a sensor that is slightly larger than micro four-thirds. The lens is 24-120 (equiv) f/2.0-3.9. The camera is mirrorless and compact. Is this the newest m43 camera?

While not technically a micro four-thirds camera, the new Canon G1 X Mark II is pretty darn close. The sensor size is almost identical (17.9×13.4 versus m43’s 17.3×13.0). The fixed lens looks promising with a 24-120 range and a relatively bright f/2.0-3.9 aperture range. The low 12-megapixel count makes me wonder if this the sensor is older technology compared to the more recent 16 megapixel m43 sensors. Canon claims the autofocus is improved over the previous version of the camera, but they make no mention of on-sensor PDAF.  There is a relatively expensive add-on EVF, but no built-in EVF.

Given the pre-release specifications, I’m guessing that the G1 X Mark II will come up slightly short of the newest m43 cameras. Nevertheless, the camera is an attractive package with a compact body and an alluring feature set.  It seems to have the Sony RX 100 Mark II clearly in its sites. The Panasonic GM 1 is more versatile with interchangeable lenses, but some have concluded that the small size of the GM 1 makes the handling fiddly. The price of the G1 X ($799) puts it in the middle of the pack on the market in terms of value.

Is this another half-hearted attempt by Canon to enter the smaller-sensor, mirrorless market (see EOS-M), or is it a sign of things to come? The G1 X will at least give Canon loyalists a reasonable choice when considering cameras in this class. Only time will tell if the company’s commitment to this class of camera will continue, but for the moment, they seem to have given consumers a viable choice if they are comfortable with the Canon brand. The camera should be available in the US in May.

Pre-order the camera at Amazon here.