Testing the G1X Mark II - International Hot Air Balloon Festival in Lubao, Pampanga, Philippines March 2015
I went to Lubao, Pampanga, to see the Balloon festival, and of course to test my new G1X Mark II. It was a bright and sunny day, and therefore, it' was a great opportunity to put the camera through its paces. All shots were taken in P mode and in JPEG format. I check to see, besides the base output quality of the camera, its "Tweakability" in post processing to see if their Jpegs would be easy to edit. These pics were edited in Photoshop. Nothing fancy, just some simple tweaks in their Levels, some sharpness enhancements and that's it. Some cameras are better in their OOC pics, and would worsen if their photos would get further post processing. How will the G1X Mark II do?
Not only were there the big balloons, but plenty of hang-gliders as well. This photo was taken using the P mode, and I have maxed out my optical zoom.
Now for some photos of the balloons. The G1X Mark II is capable and sharp in brightly lit conditions. I did notice however that there is a slight yellow cast in outdoor shots.
Blues came out good (in my view) for the G1X Mark II. A slight slide in the Levels is enough to bring out the blues. No pun intended.
Now compared the G1X mark II's Reds to Greens, and I do see a bit of a problem. It becomes almost neon-like. Unnatural and despite being punchy, is unrealistic (therefore, not so impressive to me). Check out the bear-balloons shirt.
Bokeh - Looks good in bright and sunny conditions. Quick to focus and is capable of producing nice background blur, isolating your subject. Photo below shot using the camera's longest optical zoom.
What about indoors? Not so impressive. The G1X Mark II suffers from ghosting...and when coupled with the problematic greens, well, you will get pictures like this one below:
You can also use the digital zoom, and there are two levels in the camera...but I wouldn't suggest you use them unless you really have to. Sample below using the full optical and full digital zoom.
Now for some more balloon shots, with examples using the widest angle setting and longest zoom.
Low light shots are handled well by the cam. The photo below is unedited.
Overall, a dependable camera. The quirks are things that might annoy some people, but the colors are generally good. There is some noise in the shadows. Autofocus is not fast. This is a "think and shoot" kind of camera, not the "spur-of-the-moment" gunner like the OMD EM5. I tried shooting indoors in an event with this cam, but if the lighting is not that good, you will get blurred shots, when you use the zoomed lens.