[9Aug21] Quite by impulse, I bought a 2012, 14.3MP Canon G1X Mk1 a few days ago, having seen a minty example offered inexpensively on MPB. This was part of an experiment of downsizing my pixel count as I rarely print anything larger than 5x7 or publish other than online, combined with a need for bigger controls and lighter weight for health reasons. This makes old (not-very-) "compacts" attractive and the G1X was "the biggest compact digital camera ever from Canon. It's bigger because it uses the largest sensor ever crammed into a compact digital camera by Canon, a healthy 14 x 18.7mm (1.85x crop factor) CMOS chip" (Rockwell, 2012). DPReview stated, "After repeated waves of cameras aimed at point-and-shoot upgraders, it's heartening to see a camera really living up to the billing of a 'serious compact'" (Rehm at al., 2012).
Two a priori negatives of the model are 1. no filter ring and 2. a primitive viewfinder.
The filter problem is fixed by the £30 Canon FA DC 58 C Filter Adapter, or a Chinese knockoff, in my case a £3.89 Yunir FA-DC58C Black Alloy Lens Filter Adapter Ring Durable Ultra Slim Camera Photo Accessory for Canon Powershot G1X 58mm Filter. Why Canon insists on this consumer-mugging policy is a mystery to me as the annoyance caused to customers must be of higher negative value than the few extra Canon sales. My SX-70 was similarly hobbled.
I had a 58mm UV filter and lens cap to hand.
Welta Symbol ?
I need a viewfinder because of the state of my eyes (this ruled out the 2014 12.8MP G1X mk.2 because while it included many improvements on the mk.1 it does not have a viewfinder, just a slot for the £300 (at launch) tilting XGA EVF); the 2017 24MP mk.3 has a viewfinder but is too expensive at £719 Exc used on MPB).
Mind you, Rockwell describes the mk.1 viewfinder as "a tiny optical peephole" (ibid.). It came as a bit of a surprise when I first saw it, reminding me of the sort of view you get with the glass bobble on a 1930s folding 120 camera, see left — I have one like that in a cupboard upstairs somewhere, but this picture is from Etsy (the seller describes it as a Welta Symbol, I'm not sure it is). OK, I exaggerate, but not wildly.
We'll get to the infrared bit soon.
My next buy was a copy of Busch's guide to the camera (2013) - Amazon £15; World of Books £35, mine for £6 post free on eBay. A fine book, as are all this series for someone new to a particular camera. I came upon two rather similar sections on IR, here they are. Busch told me two important things:
Congratulations-you have won the Infrared Lottery! What I mean by that is, by your wise choice of purchasing a PowerShot Gl X, you have acquired one of the modern digital cameras that is capable of using infrared light to take some very interesting and unusual-looking photographs. Not every digital camera can take infrared photographs in this way. Many cameras nowadays have an infrared-blocking filter built into them, so they can't take advantage of the exotic-looking properties of infrared images. Busch p. 222
Even though an IR filter seems virtually black to the human eye, and will obscure your image on the LCD, the Gl X is perfect for infrared photography, because you can view, unhindered, through the camera's optical viewfinder. Busch p.249
So that's worth the price of entry alone.
Cokin IR kit
Next a filter. I was ready to venture the £50 needed for a Hoya R72, but the supply of that particular size seems to have run out at the moment. Cokin have a P-mount circular version or a square resin version. The circular one comes in a kit, £34 at Wex plus £16 for the lens adaptor (£24 + £13 on Amazon) - I have 3 of the Cokin P-mounts already, but none with a 58mm. I'm not sure I trust the Cokin system with light leaks. While I'm waiting for Hoya to restock, I found a Pixco R72 720nm on eBay for £9.50, post free, so that's on the way. The Hoya filters below 720nm, hence the name. I have encountered some adverse comments on the Cokin's qualities. Neewer have a 4 filter set at £29 on Amazon covering IR720, IR760, IR850 and IR950 that might be worth a look. Urth (once Gobe) is £59. There are others.
Here are some links
Busch also wrote Digital Infrared Pro Secrets (2007). It's old and, according the the Amazon reviews, basic rather than Pro, but that's probably not a bad thing in my case. There was a well-priced copy at BetterWorld.
I'll wait to see how I get on with the camera before buying spare batteries.