Canon G9X and G5X: High Performance Compacts For Every Pocket Size

By Michael Hession on at

Canon’s G line of cameras are meant to offer better quality and controls than typical cheapo point and shoots. With two new members of the family, the G9X and the G5X, you have a whole lot of options, depending just how much camera you want to carry.

Last year with the G7X Canon introduced a very nice 20 megapixel one-inch sensor into a pocket-size camera. This year’s G3X housed the same sensor but with a big ol’ zoom lens attached. These new cameras are similar beasts. They have the same one-inch sensor, which means they’ll have very similar image quality. The big differences are their size and external features.

G5X

Canon G9X and G5X: High Performance Compacts For Every Pocket Size

The G5X is the beefier of the new cams, and it is mostly so because it features a built-in 2.36-million-dot OLED electronic viewfinder. Yay!

Canon G9X and G5X: High Performance Compacts For Every Pocket Size

EVFs have been growing steadily in performance and popularity, and Canon has stubbornly refused to include one in its cameras until now. I was baffled that the G3X didn’t have one. So it’s about time. Viewfinders makes it easier to shoot in bright light and add stability when holding the camera to your face.

The lens is the same 24-100mm f/1.8-2.8 equivalent glass, used on the G7X. The camera inherits the Digic 6 processor as well. Additions include a hot-shoe for a microphone or flash, as well as an extra dial on the front for controlling exposure more easily. The camera also adds an LCD that flip-outs fully rotates.

G9X

Canon G9X and G5X: High Performance Compacts For Every Pocket Size

Smallest possible footprint is the approach with the G9X. It’s about the size of Canon’s older Powershot cameras like the S120 and S100. You’ll have no problem fitting this one in a trouser pocket. It too has the same sensor and processor as its latest G-series brethren.

Canon G9X and G5X: High Performance Compacts For Every Pocket Size

What you’re giving up with the small size is the tilting LCD—the G5X has a completely flat and fixed display, and some zoom range. Instead of a 24-100mm lens, the G9X has a 24-70mm f/2.8-4.9.

Of course, there are also fewer buttons and dials. You’ll be forced to rely on Canon’s touch interface for most settings changes, which isn’t the end of the world! Canon has pretty well-designed touch menu functionality. There is also a control ring around the lens, which performs different functions depending on the mode and settings.

What Else?

Like the G7X, both new cameras shoot 1080p video, but it should be the same crappy quality as before, which is a real shame. Why Canon can’t offer decent video quality in their consumer cams is beyond me.

Other than that, I commend Canon for offering so many options in size and configuration with the G series. One size truly does not fit all when it comes to cameras, and Canon is recognizing that. The G5X and the G9X will both ship at the end of October. They will start at $800 and $530, respectively, with localised UK pricing becoming available closer to release.