Canon has added a new pair of large-sensor-toting compact cameras to its G-series line-up. Following hot on the heels of the G3 X which was launched earlier this year, the PowerShot G5 X is an enthusiast-focused camera with a built-in high-resolution electronic viewfinder, while the G9 X sibling is a slimmer and more lightweight offering.
Canon PowerShot G5 X
As you would expect from a new PowerShot G-series camera, the G5 X features a large (for a compact) 1-inch-type sensor. This time it's a 20.2-megapixel CMOS offering, which is paired with a handy 24–100-mm equivalent F1.8-F2.8 zoom lens with optical image stabilization. The camera also has all the manual controls which enthusiasts, even those wanting to travel light, insist on.
Using Canon’s DIGIC 6 image processor, the G5 X promises high-quality images and speedy performance. The camera has an ISO range of (125 to 12,800), can rattle off images at around 6 fps (frames per second), and is capable of recording Full HD 1080p video at frame-rates of up to 60 fps.
However, the headline attraction of the new camera, and what makes it different from its siblings, is that it adds a quality built-in electronic viewfinder with 2.36 million dots. A refresh rate of up to 120 frames-per-second should give a smooth feel to the EVF, while a built-in eye sensor will make transitioning easy when going from it to the rear 3-inch, 1.04 million dot vari-angle touchscreen.
The camera itself measures 112 x 76 x 44 mm (4.4 x 3. x 1.7 in), and while its angular design means it's unlikely to win any beauty contests, top-mounted mode and exposure compensation dials, along with front and rear control dials, and a control ring around the lens means users will be able to feel suitably in control when it comes to adjusting settings. It weighs 377 g (13.3 oz).
The camera also features built-in Wi-Fi and NFC for wireless image transfer and remote operation using the Canon Camera Connect app for iOS or Android.
Canon PowerShot G9 X
The PowerShot G9 X uses the same 20.2-megapixel 1-inch-type sensor and DIGIC 6 image processor as the G5 X, meaning it also has an ISO range of 125 to 12,800, a maximum burst speed of 6 fps and can shoot Full HD 1080p video at 60 fps. However, in a bid to be more compact and lightweight, some things have had to give.
This means there's no built-in electronic viewfinder on the G9 X, and that the lens is neither as long or quick as that on its sibling. In fact, the lens is a 28-84-mm equivalent F2-F4.9, meaning it will not allow users to zoom in as much, and will not be able to gather as much light, particularly at the long end. Luckily it still boasts optical image stabilization.
The G9 X measures 98 x 58 x 31 mm (3.9 x 2.3 x 1.2 in) and weighs 209 g (7.4 oz). On the rear there's a 3-inch LCD touchscreen with 1.04 million dots which uses a new user interface, and allows for quick changes to camera settings even while taking pictures. A top-mounted mode dial and a control ring around the lens also make it easy and intuitive to change settings on the fly.
Built-in Wi-Fi and NFC make pairing the camera with a compatible iOS or Android simple, and allows content to be shared quickly. This wireless connectivity also means the G9 X and G5 X are both compatible with the Canon Connect Station CS100 photo and video hub device for storing photos and movies, or viewing them on your TV.
The Canon PowerShot G5 X will set you back US$800, while the G9 X (which comes in silver or black) will be $530. Both cameras are due to ship later this month.