Just before embarking I purchased a Canon PowerShot G1X Mark II to see if it might be the travel camera I've been seeking (see this post, for example.) Alas, the answer is no.
The PowerShot is plenty light (1.2 pounds) and small; probably too small for my hands. One of its biggest flaws is a stupidly positioned Record button that I hit accidentally several times. That alone was enough to disqualify it.
But there are other problems. The control dial on the back is too small for me to operate effectively. The mode dial on the top right doesn't lock and is easily nudged to a different setting. I sometimes found myself in Manual mode without knowing it. And for some reason, the focus bracket kept migrating to the lower right of the frame (perhaps because it's a touch screen? I'm not sure) and had to be re-positioned. These problems were a constant irritation.
One of my complaints with the iPhone 5s camera is its poor performance in low light. I had hoped the PowerShot's performance would be better, and it is...but not as much as I would have wished. You can see the noise in the boat shot, taken at ISO 800. The focusing in low light was slow and often inaccurate.
The battery is pretty puny. On several days I was out of power by noon. And the 12.5 - 62.5mm (24 - 120mm equivalent) lens turned out to be shorter than I needed for most of the shooting I did.
So I'm not keeping the PowerShot. But here are a few shots it produced (bear in mind that these are JPEGS; they were raw files originally).
|Boat and Paddle, Ha Long Bay, Vietnam|
|Temple Demons, Cambodia|
The details: all shot with Canon PowerShot G1X Mark II and 12.5 - 62.5mm lens
Boy: 1/100 sec., f9.0, ISO 400, 39mm
Boat: 1/25 sec., f4.5, ISO 800, 18mm
Demons: 1/1250 sec., f4.0, ISO 400, 26mm