Travel camera: Nikon V1 or Canon G1X? What is the better option?

Discussion in 'Open Gear Talk' started by gdourado, Feb 4, 2013.

  1. gdourado

    gdourado Regular

    Feb 8, 2012

    How are you?

    Technology has these things... Something is new and very expensive and some time later, that same thing is no longer the newest thing and as such, it is not the most expensive thing either...

    This is true for both the Nikon V1 and the Canon G1X.

    Both these cameras had some major price cuts recently and that made me look at them with a renewed interest...

    I am currently looking into buying a new camera.

    I currently have none.

    My point to buying a camera is to mainly use it as a travel camera. I like travelling a lot either on my own country or abroad and I would like a camera to allow me to take some nice pictures but not get in the way of the travelling experience.

    I already travelled with a backpack with 2 DSLR bodies and some lenses, just with one DSLR and a general purpose zoom, and with a M43 kit with a body and 4 lenses...

    All of these, always ended up getting in the way.

    I took some great shots, no doubt, but then I come home, see them all once, show a few to my family, edit and post process a handful and that's that...

    I always got the feeling I could enjoy the trip more if I wasn't lugging a big and heavy photokit or just worrying too much about capturing the images... At the end of the day I am not a professional photographer and taking the shots is not the goal of my trip...

    So, for my last trip to Mallorca in the summer, I just took my iPhone with me, no camera at all and it Was liberating... No great shots, but I brought memories in the form of pictures and enjoyed the trip alot...

    But liking photography and technology in general, I miss a real camera. Something with proper controls, ergonomics and better IQ. But I don't want to go back to DSLRS that get too much in the way...

    I will not be doing portrait photography, or sports, or landscapes...

    Just general travel photography and use the camera in some family occasions and social gatherings...

    So, for this, I have my eye on either the V1 or the G1X... The Nikon with the 10-30 and 30-110 is the same price as the G1X. The V1 with just the 10-30 is about 35% cheaper than the G1X.

    I know they are very different cameras...

    For one, the V1 is a system camera and the G1X is just a very advanced and "big" point and shoot.

    The V1 has a smaller sensor with a 2.7 crop factor, but it can take faster lenses like the f1.8 18,5mm. But that is the only one. I don't own a nikon DSLR and I don't plan to, so if I go with the V1, it will be to use just native lenses.

    With the 10-30 on the V1, the G1X has the better IQ due to it's larger sensor. It also offers a body with more direct controls. The V1 relies more on menu diving to adjust settings.

    The G1X also offers more control over DOF than the V1 with the 10-30 lens.

    The V1 has a 1.44 mDot EVF while the G1X has an OVF with 80% coverage, no information and very small.

    The G1X has just contrast detect auto focus while the V1 offers hybrid AF. It is faster and can track moving subjects...

    The V1 can cover more focal lengths, but it has the hassle of one having to switch lenses to get that extra FL... The G1X is always ready within it's lens 4X zoom.

    The V1 can become more expensive if I star buying lenses.

    The G1X is a bit bigger and heavier, but thanks to it's smaller profile with the lens retracted, it is easier to fit in a large coat pocket or a non camera bag.

    I guess this pretty much sums the differences between the two...

    But since they are such different cameras, I don't know which one to choose...

    I also though about other systems, like the M43 again with an OMD or a Samsung NX camera or even a NEX-6... But those systems are more expensive, have bigger and heavier lenses and I would probably end up building another kit with great IQ and performance, but it would get in the way again...

    So, for my purpose, which is the better option? The V1 or the G1X?

    Cheers and thanks!
  2. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    I never know how to answer for someone else. So I'll answer for myself. I'd buy the G1X. The V1 does some amazing things for it's size. The G1X just puts out amazing files. For me the bigger sensor wins. I also like NOT having choices, so the single attached lens is another point in it's favor.

    They are both great cameras and once you learn them, they will make fine photos.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. demiro

    demiro Serious Compacts For Life

    Dec 15, 2011
    I'd choose the G1X as well. Only real reason to go V1 to me would be for fast action, and that doesn't sound like a priority.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. bartjeej

    bartjeej Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Nov 12, 2010
    Another vote for the G1X. V1 does seem like a nice camera, but the more direct controls (less time spent staring at the camera, more time spent looking around and enjoying your environment) combined with the fixed lens (less to think about) and the rotating screen (LOVE that for creative photography) makes me think the Canon is the better camera for you. To me personally, the difference in IQ isn't all that important, but I suppose there is a difference, in favour of the G1X (if you only use the kit lens on the V1).
    • Like Like x 1
  5. wt21

    wt21 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 15, 2010
    I do not own either camera, but it sounds like

    1) you have a gear buying habit like many of us do, and I'll bet if you buy the V1, you will be tempted to buy all sorts of other lenses, which will result in
    2) you finding that everything is getting in your way again, just like with m43. Honestly, the V1 with a lens is not that much smaller than, for instance, the Oly EPM2 with a lens. Buy a few more lenses, and you might as well go back to m43.

    Given the above, I'd vote for a G1X.

    But my REAL vote is to spend more and get an RX100. A very light travel camera that never gets in the way, and can sit in a tiny belt pouch, and also provides great features like sweep-panorama (great for travel), good high ISO, movies, extended DR, etc. But the G1X will likely be easier to work with, but is MUCH bigger and heavier.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Ripleysbaby

    Ripleysbaby supernatural anesthetist

    Sep 9, 2011
    Cumbria UK
    I have a V1 +10/30 and 18.5 and love it. But for what you want based on your post is the canon.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Hikari

    Hikari Veteran

    Jan 5, 2013
    Maine, USA
    Neither. A Sony RX100.
  8. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. Hall of Famer

    Nov 8, 2012
    New Mexico
    Have you thought of the Fuji X10? It's very small -- it definitely won't get in the way -- has a faster zoom covering the same equivalent range, and produces files comparable to those from the 12MP m4/3 cameras, has a nice optical finder (I think so anyway), and is a lot cheaper than the RX100 or Canon now that the X20 has been announced. It's smaller than the Canon, and though I don't know how the image quality compares, camera to camera, I can say that the X10 produces very nice images.

    Not exactly what you asked, but my two cents anyway.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. gdourado

    gdourado Regular

    Feb 8, 2012
    Thank you for participating.
    I see the RX100 was mentioned a couple of times.
    Why is it said to be better than the G1X?
    Is it just a matter of size?

  10. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    because people like to vote for their camera rather than what you ask for. :wink:
    • Like Like x 3
  11. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    From what you're saying, the RX100 does sound like a better option for you. If a Micro 4/3 kit got in the way, then so would a Nikon V1 with two lenses. With a G1X there is no changing lenses, but it is not exactly tiny either. If you enjoyed the iPhone experience, maybe you just want something as small as possible?

    If you were saying that you wanted a compact camera with a zoom lens where sensor quality, lens quality, and handling are your absolute priorities, then I would recomment the G1X in a nano second, particularly given that is now possible to get it for not much more than $500 brand new. However, I don't really understand where your threshold is that would cause a camera to get in the way. My idea of a travel camera is the best and most flexible camera that I can reasonably carry which in the past has been a Canon DSLR kit but would now be (at a minimum) the G1X plus E-M5 with a selection of lenses.
  12. Bluebear

    Bluebear Regular

    Jul 24, 2012
    St Albans, Herts, UK
    I couldn't agree more. I had a V1, which was a great camera but with rubbish kit lenses. Image quality was not very good; I sold it and bought a G1X. The image quality was simply superb, but it was ergonomically no good for me, especially with the renowned close focussing issues. Having to switch to macro mode to take a portrait was the last straw. It was also a bit brick-like.

    Then I bought the RX100 - simply amazing, and the best compact camera I've owned. I've just come back from a 2-week cruise followed by a trip to Seattle, and I used the RX100 almost as much as my DSLR (Alpha 77). It is very compact, with a superb lens and produces stunning images from the same sized sensor as the V1. I would urge you to give it serious consideration.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Hikari

    Hikari Veteran

    Jan 5, 2013
    Maine, USA
    It sounds like you want a simple system that is compact and with good IQ while being flexible. After reading your introduction, the RX100 just seemed like a good match for you.

    BTW, I do not have nor want an RX100, but that does not mean I think it is a bad camera, just not good for me.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. During my last vacation, I used the Fuji x100 as my main camera and the rx100 as the backup. After looking they all the pictures I took during that vacation, the rx100 ended up taking about 35 to 40 percent of the shots. Outside of the higher iso capability of the x100, the rx100 at iso below 400 really did very well. Max usable iso on rx100 is 800 and x100 is 3200.

    I really like this combination... In terms of the other cameras mentioned, I have no experience w/ either.

    I found having 20mp of the rx100, was actually nice, it gives u ability to crop 2x and still have enough info and detail for a nice very usable picture.

    • Like Like x 1
  15. gdourado

    gdourado Regular

    Feb 8, 2012
    Thank you all for participating.
    I have placed the V1 option to the side.
    It is a very good price right now and the camera has some good things going, like the AF and EVF, but the sensor size, combined with the slow kit lens is a deal breaker, so I am currently focusing on either the G1X or making a return to M43 with a GX1 with PZ 14-42.
    The size of the cameras in the off position is about the same.
    The G1X has a faster lens and a slightly bigger sensor.
    The GX1 with the PZ has the flexibility of access to a larger system... Not that I would want one for travel, for travel it would be the 14-42 PZ exclusively. But if I later wanted to do some portraits at home, I could have access to faster lenses with longer FL.
    My question is how is the 14-42 lens? In regard to sharpness, contrast, flare and general IQ?
    Much worse than the canon?
    Also, the RX100 is not really a choice right now. Went to a store and handled one and I just didn't connect with the camera...

  16. BillN

    BillN Hall of Famer

    Aug 25, 2010
    S W France
    For the money I'd buy a Nikon D3200 ............ it's smaller than stuff from the past and you get 24 meg images, (if you want), a new sensor and the latest Nikon processing engine ....... plus the 50mm f1.8 is inexpensive and the 70 - 300mm VR f4.5/f5.6 is great for the money ....Ok, going well over your budget and you are going to have "bulging" pockets ..... but that's life these days in the western world.
    Just fill your pockets and ask your wife/girlfriend/partner/or whatever they are called these days to stick another lens in her/their handbag, or whatever they carry these days

    Then buy a Canon S95, (or the latest incarnation), to carry with you at all times.
  17. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    The 14-42 pancake zoom can suffer from an odd phenomona where it can produce blurry images at particular shutter speeds due to some vibration mismatch between the shutter and the OIS system. I don't know how well it's optics perform otherwise, and the G1X lens is well above "kit zoom" territory so it has it's work cut out for it to come close.
  18. gdourado

    gdourado Regular

    Feb 8, 2012
    That's what I needed to hear... :)

  19. Reza Travilla

    Reza Travilla Rookie

    Jan 9, 2013
    Reza Travilla
    Between this two? G1X. LCD can be twisted, Good all around lens but the operational kinda slow.

    But my opinion, Sony RX100 the best. Don't looks from the sensor size. Sony RX100's ISO 1600 performance very good. I think almost strong as OMD and my Nikon D300s truly beaten.
  20. I think you need to go back to thinking about *why* it was that the DSLR kit got in the way, when you travelled before. Was it because you had to keep changing lenses? Was it the weight? Something else entirely? If it was the lens changing, then you already know that you don't want to go down that path again, either with the GX1 or the V1. If it was the weight, then the G1X might annoy you eventually. If it was something else, then I don't know what to advise. I'm personally "off" big zooms at the moment so a 4x or 5x zoom is usually enough providing the IQ is good enough for a crop to the subject I want. Therefore if it were me making the choice, I would take the G1X every time. One camera, small zoom, sensor large enough to get great croppable shots if the zoom isnt enough.