Canon's G1 X boasts a beefy 14-megapixel resolution and a tank-load of ambition. Its mandate, no less, is to deliver the image quality and control of a DSLR inside the discreet body of a compact, aiming to attract serious photographers who want to travel light or supplement their main kit.

That's why the G1 X houses a substantial 1.5-inch CMOS sensor, stretching to around 80 percent of the size of APS-C, along with an anti-minimalist array of dials, knobs and buttons to provide quick access to manual settings. It also explains why the G1 X is 30 percent heavier than both its evolutionary ancestor and some of its competitors, and why its price tag is equally hefty: $800, which is SLR-like in all the wrong ways. We've had this shooter long enough to gather our thoughts, but as to whether it deserves a smile or a snarl, you'll have to read on to find out.

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