The Canon G9X is a compact camera with a 1-inch sensor to date. Slip it in a pocket and you can forget it’s still there, but take it out and you’ve got a 1-inch sensor on tap that’s perfect picture quality. And, due to in-camera Wi-Fi wireless networking, having pictures on your phone couldn’t be simpler. Are those rough edges still there? Yes, but the G9X is nonetheless a very convincing camera. Find out in our in-depth Canon G9X review if it is right for you!
Canon PowerShot G9 X: Price
Canon PowerShot G9 X: Body and handling
The G9 X looks rugged and well-made with its largely metal body shell and milled metal dials and controls. It looks fantastic too, giving a bit of class with Canon’s trademark discreet red accents around the mode dial and shutter button. In a very handsome brown-and-silver finish, our review sample was given, but there is also a more sober all-black available. However, the sensation in your hand is let down by the hard plastic used for the grip areas; I would have wanted a smoother rubberized finish.
It soon becomes evident that this is a quite different beast from the old S-series models, or the higher-end G7 X, when it comes to shooting with the G9 X. Although the control dial around the lens and the traditional exposure mode dial are present and right, the camera’s back is very distinct. Most notably, the D-pad and rear dial together are gone, with a plain four-button column taking its place. The top button allows video recording by default, but its purpose can be adjusted while taking stills. Those below access the main menu and quick on-screen menu, and loop through modes of display of information.
In combination with the round-lens control knob, nearly all settings are altered using the touchscreen. By pressing their on-screen touch buttons and turning the dial, the main exposure settings (shutter speed, aperture, ISO and exposure compensation) are adjusted. Alternatively, by manipulating each in turn, pressing another on-screen button located within easy reach of your right thumb cycles the dial’s work. Most other functions need the Q Menu button to be pressed, at which stage you can use the touchscreen to pick the appropriate setting and to adjust it either by touching or using the lens dial. Other on-screen buttons are used to lock the exposure lock, toggle on the touch shutter control or activate manual focus.
For a camera that is obviously targeted at enthusiasts, this is an odd operating paradigm, and after using it for several weeks, I am still not entirely persuaded that it is successful. When you get used to it, it works very well, but it’s not as simple or intuitive as more traditional setups. Don’t get me wrong here; I’m no Luddite anti-touchscreen, and on most cameras I find them incredibly helpful. I’m also not especially satisfied with being required to use one all the time for nearly all camera operations, rather than as a physical control substitute. This is exacerbated by the fact that the touch buttons are very small and not very well spaced, so mistakenly pressing the wrong one is a little too convenient. This also makes it difficult to use the G9 X as something other than a point and shoot while wearing gloves outdoors in winter, although the tiny physical buttons of the Sony RX100 II aren’t any better to say the truth.
In fact, during image replay, I felt the absence of a D-pad, which oddly is an environment where it is normally beneficial. The touchscreen, however, is clearly not as sensitive as I would like to swipe through photos and zoom in to search information. It’s also infuriatingly circuitous to erase photos, involving a click of the rear ‘Q’ button followed by a few touch-button clicks. Canon could do here with upgrading the interface-other producers do rather better.
Canon Powershot G9 X: Performance
One of the main problems with the initial G9 X was its low continuous efficiency, which for Raw pictures grew to under 1 fps. Cannon discussed this on the Mark II, and can now film at 8 fps for over 20 images, whether you use Raw or JPEG. The frame rate can decrease to around 5 fps if you try to use continuous (Servo) Autofocus. Notice that while the camera is writing to the memory card, you cannot access the replay mode or the menus.
The battery life, which is 220 shots per charge, is another undesired ‘feature’ on the G9 X original. Although the lifespan of the battery on the Mark II is up to 235, it is still low for this class, so carry a backup or use the Eco camera mode that lets you take around 80 more images. In addition to its bundled external battery, the G9 X II supports in-camera charging through a USB link.
Canon Powershot G9 X: Conclusion
Again Canon created a very attractive compact camera for those searching for anything that’s simple to use in the pockets but has much of the high-quality features that are larger and sophisticated.
The Canon PowerShot G9 X is excellent news that the sensor is similar to the well regarded G7 X. However it is not simple to obtain a one-inch sensor in such a compact and pleasant manner and the focal length of the lens is therefore sacrificed. The 3x optical zoom, however, allows you some versatility and is appropriate for environments, portraits, and style.
Provided that there is a strong auto mode for beginners, it is suitable for those who already have expertise with utilizing advanced settings, such as aperture priority. The Imaginative Shot and Hybrid Auto would also possibly help such a public.
The built-in Wi-Fi is fast and simple to use with Canon PowerShot G9 X and it offers you the chance that, compared to the G7 X, the G9 X has no tilting or articulation panel you can use for self-portraits and the like.
If you’re thinking that the controls are better than you would have expected then the G9 X would be better to you since much of the action takes place via the tactile screen – with some choices not accessible through any other way. It is simple and sensitive when you speak of the device.
Picture quality is fantastic – as expected – but in contrast with the G7 X, the lens has a greater overall openness. So if you regularly aim at a low light stage, the G7 X could be a safer alternative.
At least, you can currently pick up the G7 X just a little cheaper than the G9 X. If you look for anything incredibly small, the Canon PowerShot G9 X is more enticing, but otherwise, it might be the G7 X that wins before the prices are falling again.