The "ideal" camera for hiking would combine the light weight, compact size and convenience of a point-and-shoot camera with the image quality and features of a DSLR. No single camera combines all of those qualities, but the Canon G1X is a serious attempt to offer the best of both worlds--a very high quality, compact camera.
-A 14 MP sensor approximately six times larger than typical compact cameras, almost as big as most DSLRs, giving excellent, low noise image quality.
-High quality zoom lens covering 28 to 112mm without the need to change lenses.
-Articulated LCD display screen that allows easy composition when holding the camera low to the ground or at arm's length (or when shooting selfies).
-Comprehensive set of controls allowing quick adjustment of exposure and ISO, as well as shooting modes for program, shutter priority, aperture priority and manual, with manual focus also possible.
-Rugged metal frame.
-Just over one pound including battery and lens, in a package that can fit in a coat pocket (definitely not a shirt pocket camera). 4.6 x 3.1 x 2.6 inches.
-Built in flash, with hot shoe for mounting an external flash if desired.
The G1X is currently being sold new for $550 and is available used for $420 to $450 from reputable online dealers. I am offering it to PHers at $350, like new in original box, and I will include a filter adapter ring and an extra battery.
So, what's not to like? The camera is not particularly fast to focus, so it is not well suited for sports and action photography, and its close focusing capabilities are more like a typical DSLR than a compact camera. Neither of these shortcomings is a problem for typical landscape and candid photos that most hikers take. I'm selling it because I bought a G1X Mark II, the updated version of the same camera, so you can see I am sold on the basic concept of a high quality compact camera.
There is a full review of the G1X on Digital Photography Review http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canong1x/ Most of the recent photos on my Smugmug site were taken with the G1X--check out 2013 Hikes gallery at the link below to see the sort of shots I have used it for (there are a few iPhone shots in there too).
If interested, please PM me. General questions about the camera can be posted in a reply to this thread.
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