Canon has officially announced the PowerShot G1 X Mark II, an evolution of the Canon G1 X G-series camera.

The difference is immediately obvious, as Canon has moved the G-series on from the angular and slightly awkward-looking models of the past, to something that's all the more refined: the G1 X Mark II looks at least like it's trying to be a compact camera.

It's at the very high end of compact cameras, however, more likely to appeal to enthusiasts who want to set down their DSLR, but not compromise on the quality. Canon says the new design has come from photographer feedback.

In achieving the new design, the viewfinder of previous G-series cameras has been removed, so you'll have to contend with the 3-inch tilting LCD display, but there will be an electronic viewfinder accessory, EVF-DC1 that will attach to the hotshoe.

At the heart is a large 1.5-inch type CMOS sensor and DIGIC 6 imaging processor, sitting behind the 5x image stabilised zoom lens, offering a 24-120mm (35mm equivalent) focal range. Canon says the new processor means a 56 per cent reduction in shooting lag times.

canon powershot g1 x mark ii aims for dlsr quality from a compact body image 10

That lens offers a nice F/2.0 aperture at the wide angle, but even at the far end of the zoom, still offer a F/3.9 max aperture. There's 31-point AF system looking to keep the subject sharp, a big step up from the 9 points of its predecessor.

A camera of this type is nothing without the controls to use it and the PowerShot G1 X Mark II offers dual lens control rings so you can control zoom, aperture and shutter speed easily.

There's added connectivity too, with NFC and Wi-Fi in place, meaning you'll be able to quickly transfer images to your smartphone, or use for phone as a remote.

READ: Hands-on: Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II review

The Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II looks like it could cause quite a stir in the world of high-end compacts, if you can accept the £799 asking price.

The Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II will be available in May.

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