Nikon V1 verses Canon Powershot G1X

Info Media Photo : As the camera companies put more attention to the future they look to the new models with much bigger sensors than any of the point-and-shoots of the past, anywhere from 5-7 times the size of most point-and-shoot models. To be sure this isn’t a totally new thing. Leica has always made these cameras, but they use a different focusing system (Rangefinder), are handmade and cost a fortune. This is good news for photographers of all levels on a lot of fronts. The camera companies had to do something to compete against the exponential expansion cell phone camera use.

It took awhile for the big companies to come around to the trend, a couple of years. In my last article about mirrorless cameras I reported that Panasonic, Olympus, Sony and Samsung were the only companies that made the beasts. Now that Nikon and Canon have jumped on board the trend has solidified. The real question is will this turn out to be a new technology revolution that causes the slow demise of the dSLR.

At last, Canon enters the a new point-and-shoot camera to the market and they’re doing with a bang, introducing the Canon Powershot G1X with a large sensor (13.2mm x 8.8mm) that is bigger than the one on the Nikon V1/J1. In the sensor size category, this gives Canon a one-up on Nikon’s. Caveat of this camera: no interchangeable lenses, making the in-camera lens it does have worth an extra look.

Canon, however is left behind, releasing this camera instead of a mirrorless one like other companies have. Technically as far as I can see a mirrorless camera has to have interchangeable lenses something that Canon’s model does not have and Nikon’s does, therefore the new big-sensored Canon is not of the mirrorless variety. Nikon wins the interchagable lens option round by a big margin.

Both cameras have good lenses with image stabilization. The assortment of lenses for the Nikon V1/J1 (Nikon V1 is pricer) include: 10 mm f/2.8 (27mm equivalent), 10-30mm (27-81mm 35mm equivalent) f/3.5-5.6, 30-110mm (27-81mm 35mm equivalent) f/3.8-f/5, and 10-100mm(27-270mm equivalent) f/4.5-5.5 “power zoom” lens.

The Canon G1X in-camera lens is 15mmX60mm or 28mm – 112mm 35 mm equivalent and f/2.8 to f/5.8 aperture, not a great lens for wide-angle architecture shots, but just fine according to Canon’s press release about it: “Utilizing Ultra high refractive index Aspherical (UA) elements and precision glass moulding technology, the lens achieves both a compact size and pin-sharp clarity for the most discerning of photographers.” (All they’re saying there is that the lens is specially made to reduce spherical and other aberrations.)

Both cameras can produce Raw files, making editing details less comprising for the photo, but have different aspect ratio (the proportions of the size of the image). The Nikon produces a 3:2 ratio, the same as most dSLR cameras. The Nikon, a 4:3 aspect ratio the same as most point and shoots and micro-four-thirds cameras (another type of mirrorless).

There’s a big difference in resolution, too. The Nikon has 10.1 MP and the Canon a 14.3 MP sensor. In terms of picture quality, this leaves the Nikon at a moderate disadvantage. If you weigh its smaller sensor size, which is significantly important for a sharp image at 100 % resolution and its lower resolution, it is a double-whammy signal of a lesser quality picture. The Canon’s bigger sensor and higher resolution is the winner overall. If it only had interchangeable lenses it’d be perfect!

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