Dynamic range of G1X

Discussion in 'Canon G1X / G7X Forum' started by Boris, Jun 6, 2015.

  1. Boris

    Boris New to SC

    3
    Jun 6, 2015
    This camera seems to have a very narrow dynamic range. When the subject is of slightly higher contrast than average, the highlights are blown. It is especially obvious with white clouds. Bracketing helps but not always as I limit it to +/- 1 step.

    Is there anything in the setting that I have missed which might remedy the problem? I shoot RAW+JPG but processing RAW with the Canon provided s/w does not help much. Is there, perhaps, a different s/w that does better job?

    Any suggestion is appreciated.

    Boris
     
  2. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    It's a limitation of the sensor technology that Canon keeps using in SOME of it's cameras. Those sensors are really nice in some ways, but they're not up to the level of the competition in others, DR being a key area where they're not. Canon went and bought the 1" sensor it uses in the G7X from Sony and that little sensor has pretty incredible DR and low light capability. The G1X sensor is about as good in low light (despite being notably larger) but much more limited in DR. A lot of people have made plenty of wonderful photos with the G1X (versions 1 and 2) - see some of Nic's (lucky penguin here on the site) photos for example. For the kind of stuff I do and the way I process, I wouldn't have been happy with it. The G1X mkII was just about the perfect camera I was looking for when I last bought a compact, but because of the sensor's limited DR, I passed on it and got a G7X instead. I like it a lot, but if I could have had the same sensor tech in the G1X mkII with it's larger sensor area, narrower DOF, and longer zoom range, I'd have bought that one in a minute...

    Just for reference, if you look at DXO Mark, the G1X sensor has 10.8 stops of DR, the G7X has 12.7, and then a fixed lens APS compact like the Ricoh GR or Nikon Coolpix A has 13.8. Two to three stops is quite a bit of difference vs the competition...

    -Ray
     
  3. Boris

    Boris New to SC

    3
    Jun 6, 2015
    Ray,

    Thank you very much for taking the time to explain the situation. I’ve bought G1X as a vacation camera because of the RAW capability and the fully articulated screen and when the weight of a camera started becoming an issue (my main work horse is Nikon D800). G1X does a very nice job in certain situation but not always and that is frustrating. I guess I will live with it for awhile.

    Boris
     
  4. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    I don't own the G1X, but some basic tips would be to keep the ISO as low as possible. After ISO400, the dynamic range starts it's downhill run. And consider underexposing (and/or bracketing) in widely dynamic lighting situations...... you can always lift the shadows, but once it's blown out, there's nothing you can do to bring back detail in the highlights.
     
  5. Boris

    Boris New to SC

    3
    Jun 6, 2015
    Thank you Luke.

    Boris
     
  6. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    Think of it as an exercise in breaking out of the modern HDR-inspired idiom.
     
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  7. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    When given lemons, make lemonade! :cool::cool::cool:

    Seriously, though, Nic did some incredible work with the first version of the G1X - I actually considered that camera based on his work and SERIOUSLY considered the second version for the same reason. I came to the conclusion that the way I work wasn't particularly compatible with that sensor and passed on it. But to be damned sure, some very very fine photography has been done, and will be done going forward, with those cameras...

    -Ray
     
  8. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    Thanks Ray, and yes it is something that either bothers you...or it doesn't. Well, most of the time anyway.
     
  9. lenshoarder

    lenshoarder SC Veteran

    383
    Mar 7, 2012
    I was recently in Japan and considered buying a used GX1 there. They are going for about $75 for the body. It's Japanese used otherwise known as mint in the rest of the world. The same $75 will get you a G5. GF2s are still strangely selling for $200 but GF5s are under $50.
     
  10. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    I think you may be confused, just about inevitable with today's naming conventions. This thread is about the Canon G1X, which is a fixed zoom lens camera, not an interchangeable lens body. You're clearly thinking of the Panasonic GX1. I have a Canon G7X, which is constantly confused with the Panasonic GX7 (which I used to have as well).

    -Ray
     
  11. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    Ironically, the GX1 has similarly limited dynamic range as the G1X does.
     
  12. lenshoarder

    lenshoarder SC Veteran

    383
    Mar 7, 2012
    You are absolutely right. I did think you guys were talking about the Panasonic GX1. That clears something up for me. There was talk about the 2nd edition of the camera. I didn't think there was a 2nd rev of the GX1 and googled but couldn't find anything. That's because I was thinking of the wrong camera.
     
  13. Mark9473

    Mark9473 New to SC

    2
    Jul 31, 2015
    Canon DPP3 doesn't do very well at highlight recovery IME. I found DxO OpticsPro 10 to be much more capable in this regard, and I have little doubt that other raw converters would also be better than DPP.
    Incidentally, Canon has recently released a version of DPP4 that works with the G1X Mark II, and that makes a very noticeable difference in highlight recovery. If enough people ask for this, then perhaps also the original G1X could one day work with DPP4.
     
  14. nippa

    nippa SC Top Veteran

    561
    Aug 7, 2010
    Cheshire UK
    Dennis
    I was a bit disappointed with the limited range of the new G3X so knowing that my old G1X also has a DR of just under 12 stops I felt it was time to refresh my view.
    Having shot some landscapes I was pleasantly surprised at how well the DR was handled in the latest Lightroom using the default exposure setting ...no problems pulling down the highlights and lifting shadows.
    Slight underexposure to take down the sky was less successful. I didn't bother with DPP3 although I did try DPP4 just in case I could use it.
    My conclusion is that the G1X remains a cracking camera.
     
  15. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Unless Canon has severely crippled the sensor, the DR in the G3X should be on par with the G7X at about 12.7 stops. Just about two full stops more than the G1X. I'm not disagreeing with your high opinion of the G1X, but if you were disappointed with the limited range (I'm assuming you meant dynamic range?) of the G3X, I can't see how you'd be less disappointed with the G1X...

    -Ray
     
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  16. Mark9473

    Mark9473 New to SC

    2
    Jul 31, 2015
    I know we're all supposed to take the measurements by DxO with a grain of salt, but if you compare the dynamic range measurements between the G1X and the G7X it strikes me that the dynamic range advantage of the G7X is only there at ISO 100, already reduced at ISO 200, and non-existent from ISO 400 on up. I don't hear G7X users say they only shoot at ISO 100 for fear of losing that high DR.
     
  17. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    That is correct since the DR vs ISO graph for a Canon sensor scribes a curve compared to the almost straight line of most other brand sensors, but a dynamic range advantage at low ISOs only is still a dynamic range advantage.
     
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  18. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    That's true, but that's true of most any camera that boasts really high DR scores. The Nikon D810 has almost two stops more DR than the Nikon D4 / DF at base ISO, but the lines cross before ISO 400 and the D4 / DF has an advantage after that. But for daylight landscape shooting (where DR seems to be the biggest issue for me), that's still a pretty big difference, and worth taking into account. I do a LOT of low light shooting, or at least high ISO shooting (sometimes in light that's good enough for much lower ISOs if I was willing to slow down the shutter or open up the aperture), so the DF was a better choice for me. And I'm happy enough with it for base ISO landscapes too, because it's not like 13+ stops isn't still a LOT of DR. But when I shot with a D610 and RX1, there was something about processing those files that I've never found with anything else, including the DF, as much as I love the DF. If I was still as gear obsessed as I've been at times, I'd probably find a used D610 body for shooting almost exclusively in good light. But I'm not, and the fact is that the DF is still really good at base ISO and the D610 is still really good in low light, so it just came down to which was better suited for me.

    But in the case of the case of the G1X vs the G7X, the G7X has notably more DR at base ISO AND just about matches the G1X at high ISO (despite the much smaller sensor), so I probably won't seriously consider a G1X until they update the sensor in a new body, if they keep the model alive long enough. At which point, I'd probably be all over it. For me, DR numbers are just numbers, but when I pull up a raw file and start trying to work with it, the practical realities of DR become really apparent, and when I do that with D610, DF, or G7X files, I'm very satisfied. With the G1X files I've downloaded and tried to work with, I get pretty frustrated. Which doesn't mean the same would be true of folks who process their work less or differently than I do. It's still a damn fine camera, but it's incumbent on each of us to know what works best for our way of shooting/processing, and the G1X isn't for me. At least with the current sensor.

    -Ray
     
  19. serhan

    serhan SC All-Pro

    May 7, 2011
    NYC