Canon’s PowerShot G-series has always strived to meld the smaller form factor of a point and shoot with the photo quality of a larger-sensor DSLR, and with the new Canon G1 X ($799), Canon continues to aim to do just that. Building on its predecessor’s, the G12, precedents the G1 X boasts a substantial 1.5-inch 14.3 megapixel CMOS sensor, which is the largest sensor ever dropped into a Powershot compact. It also rivals those found in larger mirrorless competitors as well as many full-sized DSLRs (for comparison’s sake, it’s 6x larger than the G12’s). In fact, Canon says it has the same pixel density as the company’s venerble 18-megapixel APS-C DSLR sensor. Now, what does all that mean? Keep reading.

More photos and details after the jump.

That beefier sensor combined with Canon’s speedy DIGIC 5 processor provides enhanced lowlight performance, as evidenced by a boosted sensitivity of ISO 12800. The fixed 28mm-112m f/2.8-16 lens also allows for greater depth of field at wide angle shots. Other features that have trickled down from the big brother EOS line include 1080p 24fps video, 14-bit RAW, built-in pop-up flash, hot shoe an optical view finder and compatibility with Canon DSLR accessories like the Speedlite external flash.

In a nod to amateur users in search of a little convenience, the camera still packs plenty of automatic shooting modes, in addition to a 3-inch 992k-dot LCD that can be fully tilted or swiveled. Getting closer to camera nirvana, of course, comes at a steeper price point of $799. Taken as a whole, though, the new comer is an attractive option for budding shooters looking to hold off on going whole hog on a basic DSLR, or pros in search of a more portable sidekick that doesn’t skimp on photo quality. Canon says to expect the G1 X to hit shelves this February.

Buy Now: $799 (Available February)