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Canon PowerShot G9 X Review

In addition to a 20-megapixel 1inch CMOS sensor, Wi-Fi and NFC, a compact metal casing in silver (and tan) or black, and a 3-times optical zoom lens, the Canon Powershot G9 X also includes an electronic viewfinder. An attractive leather-effect handle, manual controls, a 3-inch touch screen, and a control wheel surrounding the lens add to the camera’s overall appeal.

In terms of focal length, the 3x optical zoom lens has an equivalent focal length range of 28mm to 84mm and is quite bright at the wide-angle end with an f/2.0 aperture, which increases to f/4.9 when utilizing the whole zoom range. The lens has optical image stabilization to assist maintain picture stability in low-light conditions.

The Canon Powershot G9 X is likely the most comparable to the Canon Powershot S120, albeit it now includes a 3x optical zoom lens instead of the 5x optical zoom lens found on the S120. The Canon Powershot G9 X is also the most expensive of the two cameras. The G7 X and G5 X, both of which have a 4.2x optical zoom lens and the same 1inch sensor as the G9 X, are good options if you need greater zoom but don’t want to spend as much money. In this section, we provide a high-level summary of the changes between the new cameras and the S120.

Although it is somewhat bigger and heavier than the S120, which has a smaller sensor, the Canon Powershot G9 X is still one of the smallest cameras on the market with a 1inch BSI CMOS sensor (with the exception of the Panasonic Lumix CM1), and it is tiny enough to slip comfortably into trouser pockets.

With complete manual controls, as well as a variety of scene settings (including HDR mode), creative effects, and auto modes, the camera makes it simple for both beginning and expert photography students and professionals to get the most out of their photography equipment. Raw shooting is also supported, and the camera can shoot at speeds of up to 6 frames per second while capturing JPEGs.

The camera has built-in Wi-Fi and NFC connection, which allows you to operate the camera from your smartphone or tablet using the Canon Camera Connect application. In addition, you may share photographs and annotate photos with GPS position information.

FullHD video recording at 50/25 frames per second (60/30 frames per second in NTSC) is possible, and stereo sound, optical zoom, and manual controls are included. Using the touch screen, you may also adjust the focus position while the video is being recorded.

Because the camera has a metal body and dials, the build quality is superb. Additionally, the leather effect grips on the camera serve to improve handling by providing sticky areas for your hands to rest on when shooting. Unfortunately, they have a distinct plastic hardness to them that makes them stand out, and it would have been lovely if they had a leather-like feel to them instead. Because of the camera’s tiny size, we recommend that you use the wrist strap that comes with it to prevent it from being dropped.

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The Canon PowerShot G9 X is a really pocketable quality small camera, and unless you have pockets that are excessively tight, it should feel at home in most people’s trousers or jacket pockets. The camera has a 3.0x optical zoom and a 20.2 megapixel resolution.

You have the option of purchasing the G9 X in either black or silver. The black version has a texture that is black, but the silver version has a tan coating that is somewhat textured. This gives the silver version a vintage and fashionable appearance.

Even while there isn’t a raised grip on the camera, the texture helps give you purchase, and there’s also a very little raised thumb rest on the back of the camera as well.

The power on/off button, the playback button, the shutter release, which is encircled by a zoom switch, and the mode dial are all located on the top of the Canon PowerShot G9 X.

The mode dial has ten different exposure mode options, including manual, aperture priority (Av), shutter priority (Tv), and program, as well as auto, hybrid auto, scene, movie, and creative shot, as well as a space marked as “C” that can be used for saving a group of custom settings. This is helpful if you frequently find yourself shooting a particular type of scene.

Even though it only has a 3x magnification, the zoom lever allows for a very fluid and smooth movement of the lens as it zooms in and out. It will delay ever so slightly before moving into the digital zoom zone if you have digital zoom activated, which is nice since it will allow you to keep an eye on just utilizing the optical zoom if that is what you want to do.

Finally, the built-in flash for the Canon PowerShot G9 X may be located on the top plate of the camera. There is a little switch located directly beneath it that may be used to elevate it. When you are through using the lens, you put it away by pushing it back into its housing within the camera.

When you turn the camera around, the rear is almost entirely taken up by the three-inch touchscreen that comes standard on the G9 X. On the other hand, there are four buttons that might be helpfully located close to the right of the screen.

There is a button designated specifically for recording movies, as well as buttons labeled “fast menu,” “main menu,” and “info.” The display on the rear of the camera may be altered by pressing the info button.

In addition, there is a touchscreen button that corresponds to the Q set button. You may make adjustments to a collection of settings that are often used by either pressing the button or touching the symbol that appears on the screen. These settings include image quality, white balance, focusing type, and so on.

Because there are no directional buttons on the back of the camera, you’ll have to use the touchscreen to make your decisions. If you’re not a lover of using touchscreens, you’ll likely find the GX9 to be a source of some annoyance.

Other common settings such as ISO, exposure compensation, and aperture can also be changed via the touchscreen. There are “buttons” along the bottom of the screen that can be tapped, and after doing so, you can change the setting by swiping along the screen; alternatively, you can use the rotating control dial that is located around the lens (once a setting, i.e. exposure compensation is selected).

It takes some time to get used to managing everything using the touchscreen of the Canon PowerShot G9 X, possibly even more so due to the fact that there are a few physical buttons on the side of the camera; nevertheless, once you do, it starts to become second nature.

Because there are no directional keys, there is no other method to set the focal point other than using the touchscreen. To do so, simply tap the region that you wish to utilize. It would be convenient if the Quick menu could be customized to contain just the commands that are most commonly used by the user, while also excluding commands that are not used very frequently.

It is necessary to press the main menu button in order to access the more extensive menu, which is, once again, navigated through using the touchscreen. Using the touchscreen for this action is a little more frustrating than usual because menu items require a double press, but once again, it is something you get used to.

To return to the control wheel that encircles the front of the lens, it serves a number of purposes and may be utilized in a variety of ways. When the camera is set to aperture priority, the aperture will be controlled by it by default. However, there is a button that you can press on the touchscreen to change the control from aperture to exposure compensation or ISO. This can be helpful if you prefer to change exposure compensation or ISO more frequently than aperture. When using the manual mode, you have control over the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO settings.

Hybrid Auto is a mode that can be found on the G9 X, in addition to the majority of Canon’s other small cameras. This captures a little video clip—about two seconds long—just before the shutter release button is hit and combines all of those movies into a single longer one at the conclusion of each day in the calendar.

The finished film may be seen in a manner similar to a slideshow, with both the videos and the still photographs being included. It is not too useful for most everyday photography circumstances, but it is a pleasant function to have for big events like weddings, parties, or maybe even holidays.

However, it would be wonderful if you could have more control over it; for instance, if you could pick which photographs make it into the final film, or if you could utilize it when shooting in different exposure modes, that would be useful.

Photographers that are really creative may choose to employ the Creative Shot setting. This process begins with an image and applies five distinct filters before cropping it. You do not have the ability to determine which specific filters or cropping options are used, but you do have the option to select “Auto,” “Retro,” “Monochrome,” and so on.

Again, it’s a fun function that can lead to some appealing outcomes, and because it saves the image as a clean JPEG, you aren’t left with an undesirable crop or filter if you don’t like what the camera creates. Again, it’s a tool that can lead to some pleasing results.

On the side of the Canon PowerShot, the G9 X camera is a button that is specifically designed for enabling the Wi-Fi feature of the camera. After you have pushed this button, the name of the network that your mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet, needs to connect to will be shown.

Once the connection has been made, you can use the free Camera Window app from Canon to either shoot photographs with your phone or download pictures that are already on the camera. It’s wonderful to see that you have a fair amount of control over what you can capture, including the aperture, the zoom length, the ISO, the flash function, the autofocus point, and so on.

When using the G9 X, it is highly recommended that you purchase a high-speed Class 10 SD card because, without one, the camera’s shot-to-shot timings can be excruciatingly sluggish (when using a Class 4 card for example).

Even if you have a class 10, you will still have to wait a few of seconds before you are able to take another shot; nevertheless, this should not be an issue for the vast majority of shooting situations that you encounter on a daily basis.

The rates at which focusing may occur are often quite fast. In conditions with less available light, the Canon PowerShot G9 X may search a bit more, but it is extremely unlikely that a false positive will be produced. When the macro focus mode is set, you may also go quite close to your subject for images that fill the frame.

Image Quality

The SuperFine JPEG option at 20 megapixels was used to capture each of the sample photographs included in this study. This setting results in an image that is around 8 megabytes in size on average.

Because it uses the same sensor as the GX7, we had rather high hopes for the Canon PowerShot G9 X, and we are pleased to report that the camera once again lives up to our expectations.

Warm tones may be found in images taken straight from the camera, which is something we have come to anticipate from photographs taken with Canon cameras. If you wish to work with raw format files, you may get Digital Photo Professional from Canon’s website for free if you want to open them in Adobe Camera Raw; but, if you are unable to open raw format files in Adobe Camera Raw at this time, you will need to use Digital Photo Professional.

Because the colors in the raw files are significantly more subdued, you have a lot of leeway to deal with them after the fact in the post-production process.

If you view the image at 100 percent on the screen, you will notice that there is noise beginning to show in some areas of the picture somewhere around the ISO 400 setting. The overall sense of detail is good all the way up to about ISO 6400, after which the photographs begin to have a painterly, smudgy look. This continues until the maximum ISO of the camera.

Even when confronted with artificial lighting circumstances, the automatic white balance is able to generate accurate colored photos the majority of the time. This is the case even when the illumination was created artificially. In a similar vein, general-purpose metering can handle most types of situations, with the exception of those with exceptionally high contrast, and generate photographs that are well exposed the majority of the time.

Because of the very small range of focal lengths available, you won’t have a lot of leeway to zoom in or out. If you push it to the digital zoom, you’ll witness a notable reduction in image quality; nevertheless, photographs are still useable at tiny sizes, so it’s great to have access if you really need it. 

Images that were captured at the 3x optical zoom reveal a fair amount of detail. There is a second digital zoom option available, but you should only use it if you truly need to zoom in even farther. This option is not suggested for usage in most situations.

Canon PowerShot G9 X Specs

Body typeCompact
Max resolution5472 x 3648
Other resolutions5472 x 3080, 4864 x 3648, 4320 x 2880, 4320 x 2432, 3840 x 2880, 2304 x 1536, 2048 x 1536, 1920 x 1080, 720 x 480, 720 x 408, 640 x 480
Image ratio w:h4:3, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels20 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors21 megapixels
Sensor size1″ (13.2 x 8.8 mm)
Sensor typeBSI-CMOS
ProcessorDIGIC 6
ISOAuto, 125-12800
White balance presets7
Custom white balanceYes
Image stabilizationOptical
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsSuper fine, fine
Focal length (equiv.)28–84 mm
Optical zoom
Maximum apertureF2–4.9
AutofocusContrast Detect (sensor)Multi-areaCenterSelective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousTouchFace DetectionLive View
Digital zoomYes (4x)
Manual focusYes
Normal focus range5 cm (1.97″)
Macro focus range5 cm (1.97″)
Articulated LCDFixed
Screen size3″
Screen dots1,040,000
Touch screenYes
Screen typeTFT LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeNone
Minimum shutter speed30 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/2000 sec
Aperture priorityYes
Shutter priorityYes
Manual exposure modeYes
Subject/scene modesYes
Built-in flashYes
Flash Range6.00 m (at Auto ISO)
External flashNo
Flash modesAuto, on, slow synchro, off
Continuous drive6.0 fps
Self-timerYes (2 or 10 secs, custom)
Metering modesMultiCenter-weightedSpot
Exposure compensation±3 (at 1/3 EV steps)
WB BracketingNo
Resolutions1920 x 1080 (60p, 30p), 1280 x 720 (30p), 640 x 480 (30p)
FormatMPEG-4, H.264
Videography notesAlso has star time-lapse. miniature effect, and digest modes
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC
USBUSB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMIYes (micro-HDMI)
Microphone portNo
Headphone portNo
Wireless notes802.11b/g/n with NFC
Remote controlYes (via smartphone)
Environmentally sealedNo
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionNB-13L lithium-ion battery and charger
Battery Life (CIPA)220
Weight (inc. batteries)209 g (0.46 lb / 7.37 oz)
Dimensions98 x 58 x 31 mm (3.86 x 2.28 x 1.21″)
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingYes (star time-lapse)


Once again, Canon has come out with a very tempting small camera that is aimed at people who are searching for something that fits easily in their pockets while retaining many of the high-quality capabilities that are found on larger and more sophisticated cameras.

The fact that the highly acclaimed Canon PowerShot G7 X and the newer Canon PowerShot G9 X both employ the same sensor is excellent news. However, fitting a one-inch sensor into something that is so compact and aesthetically pleasing is not an easy task, and as a result, the focal length of the lens has been compromised. The 3x optical zoom, on the other hand, provides you with some degree of versatility and is adequate for shooting landscapes, portraits, and macro objects.

There is a solid auto mode that novice users will also find appealing, in addition to the excellent advanced options that are ideal for people who already have some experience with advanced modes such as aperture priority. There is also a good chance that the Creative Shot and the Hybrid Auto will be well received by this audience.

Because, unlike the G7 X, the Canon PowerShot G9 X does not have a tilting or articulating screen, which you can use for taking self-portraits and other types of photos, using the built-in Wi-Fi is quick and simple, and it provides you with a way to get around the fact that the G9 X does not have this feature.

If you are of the mindset that buttons are superior, then it will probably take some convincing for you to decide that the G9 X is for you because almost all of the operation takes place via the touchscreen, and some options are not available via any other means. Speaking of the screen, it is nice and responsive, but if you are of the mindset that buttons are superior, then it will probably take some convincing for you to decide that the G9 X is for you.

Although the image quality is excellent, as was to be expected, the whole experience is not quite as satisfying as it was with the G7 X. This is due to the fact that the lens has a broader overall aperture range. Because of this, the G7 X could be a more suitable choice for you if you frequently take photos in environments with low levels of available light.

At least for the time being, the G7 X may be purchased for a price that is comparable to but somewhat lower than that of the G9 X. If you’re seeking something really compact, the Canon PowerShot G9 X is a better option than the G7 X; but, if you’re not, the G7 X could be the better choice until the price reduces…

Canon PowerShot G9 X Price

Pros & Cons

Good For
  • Crisp lens.
  • Integrated neutral density filter
  • Touch LCD.
  • 8.1fps picture capture.
  • Image sensor measuring 1 inch.
Need Improvements
  • No option to record video at 60 frames per second.
  • Pricey.
  • Short zoom.
  • When zoomed in, the aperture becomes more narrow.


Image Quality

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In addition to a 20-megapixel 1inch CMOS sensor, Wi-Fi and NFC, a compact metal casing in silver (and tan) or black, and a 3-times optical zoom lens, the Canon Powershot G9 X also includes an electronic viewfinder. An attractive leather-effect handle, manual controls, a...Canon PowerShot G9 X Review