Canon G1X Test Video – San Francisco Scenery


This is not a review of any sorts, but just my impression on the Canon G1X point and shoot. I wanted to see what Canon had come up with in this new G series camera, so I decided to take it around the Pier 39 area in San Francisco. I attempted to give the footage a vintage feel of Old San Francisco so I tried using a few Cinegrain film scans, boosted saturation, and added more contrast. I also cooled down the shadows and warmed up the highlights. I don't know if anyone really cares, but if you want to see the original footage, let me know.

I tested a variety of different scenes with the G1X and found plenty of aliasing and moire in video mode. The G1X probably serves better as a stills camera. The still images coming out of this camera are very sharp and has decent dynamic range in just JPEG. I haven't tried shooting RAW with the camera.

The G1X does not have full manual controls for video to adjust shutter speed or aperture, but you do have the option to lock the exposure before hitting the record button. Once you lock the exposure, you can adjust exposure compensation if you're trying to bring back some shadows or pull down some of the highlights in your scenery. The G1X also has a built in ND filter which helps slow down that fast shutter speed look on bright days. For HD you only get [email protected] or [email protected]. Even though it lacked 60 frames, there's a flag clip in the video where I slowed it down 50% and it didn't look too bad.

The swivel LCD of course makes it so easy to frame a shot up high or down low. The boot up time is very quick, so I never felt like I was missing a shot when the camera was powered off completely. For a point and shoot camera, I was hoping it would have more zoom. Consider the extended digital zoom feature for video worthless. For wide angle in crowded San Francisco, there were plenty of times I felt like I wasn't getting a wide enough shot. Canon decided against making a mirrorless camera, or even joining the micro four thirds party. Instead they designed this G1X with a larger and better sensor than most other point and shoot cameras. It might do well in some areas, but the aliasing and moire is terrible for video. I really wanted to like this camera, and gave it my best shot, but the price and lack of features don't really add up here. For a cheaper price, I think you'd be better off with something like a Sony NEX5n.

find-price-button Canon PowerShot G1 X Digital Camera

19 thoughts on “Canon G1X Test Video – San Francisco Scenery

  1. Daniel Longworth

    I like the seagull on the car roof! Looks like the final shot of a commercial for that restaurant...

  2. @Emm, could you explain what's good and bad about the velbon?
    My wf717 is very fluid with the pans, but it's too slow. Would the velbon work better at this kind of stuff?

    I'd be using it for my gliteshot 4ft jib.

  3. Emm

    Post author

    @mike_tee_vee - There's parts of San Francisco that can't be shot with any type of camera including an iPhone. Around this area of San Francisco, I was probably the guy with the smallest most unprofessional equipment. There's literally tens of thousands of tourists that visit this area with some very serious gear around their neck. I had a cheap tripod and a tiny camera - probably invisible to most.

  4. mike_tee_vee

    Emm, did you have much of an issue bringing the tripod into some of the shops you shot at? In my corner of the world near the US border, security guards interrogate people with any camera equipment other than an iPhone.

  5. Tony

    Emm - glad you tipped him...and would like to see his whole performance. I just love "art" in all the forms people create.

    Derek - LOL fully agree... her intrigue surely stood out. I just watched it again!

  6. Sensor wise and video quality...SONY NEX5N way better... oh not mentioning the lens adaptability...

    @Emm, we received the Canon 5D III, awesome camera!

  7. Emm

    Post author

    @Ernie - The G1X is better in some ways because you can lock exposure and have more dynamic range with both highlights and shadows. I think it could be better than the Sony HX9V, but the price is so far apart. Like others have mentioned the Sony NEX5n would be a better camera for manual video controls and being small and compact.

  8. Up until recently I thought my G12 was a fairly good backup for video. So much has happened to my workflow already this year that Even the G1X seems completely inferior for most jobs now. I see the market for this camera to be very small...and none of those people will have any sort of priority for video.

    A NEX-5N with a kit lens is a better camera in my view and $100 cheaper with the standard kit lens.

  9. Joel

    Makes me want to move from Az to nocal.

    Apostolos - while u should take everything frpm eoshd with a large chunk of industrial strength salt (due to his Gh2/hack bias), the The Sony NEX FS700 is going to have to force Canon to lower its price on the C300, at least according to the mulitple rumours floating around.

  10. FabDex

    Please, show us the original footage. Any heavily graded shots from any camera look alike.

  11. @Tony - The lady with the piano-scarf... Clearly a professional musician and either shocked by what she saw or contemplating a part in her upcoming musical.

  12. Emm

    Post author

    @mike_tee_vee - I used a cheap portable tripod, and swapped the head with that cheap $29 dollar Velbon (as seen in the image above). It was a bit windy out there, but I just wanted to travel light.

  13. mike_tee_vee

    Great video Emm! Your skills made me forget about the aliasing and moire 🙂

    Did you use a tripod in the shots like at the fish market? The pans are incredibly smooth.

  14. I think this "cinestyle" needs 18fps in post to emulate the Super 8 look. Then a Super 8 crop, then some scratches, oh, never mind. But if you've drank the "interchangeable lens Koolaid of the sub $500 camera," as I have with the GH1, you can't go back to a fixed lens. I'm waiting for the GH2 to start dipping in price to start picking up GH2s. And btw, this

    reinforces my impression that Sony that does not like to be second, is pissed and in in the midst of a full assault on every market segment. So Canon better be aggressive with their video offerings and/or their pricing or they'll find themselves once again in the position of a follower.

  15. Tony

    Kinda hard to pull off the "vintage look" with brand new Ford Mustangs on segways zipping by on the street. But later on the scenery was fitting. What no... slider shots? What kinda filmmaker are you? lol. But really Emm....did you have to put bruh out there like that? I don't know who I was laughing harder at...the poor guy or the people looking on with the WTF o_O face. Hilarious... and if he wasn't famous before...

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