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Canon G5X, G9X: Inching ahead with the G series

Create: 10/15/2015 - 18:49
Canon PowerShot G5X and G9X


  • One-inch 20.2-MP CMOS sensor
  • Improved "Star Modes" for still and video astrophotgraphy
  • G9X offered in silver and brown leather body

Canon is beefing up its long-running PowerShot G series with two new models, both of which should appeal to different buyers.

Under the surface, the G5X and G9X share much in common, including the one-inch 20.2-MP CMOS sensor that is coupled with a DIGIC 6 image processor. Both models have an ISO range of 125-12,800 and can shoot JPG and RAW, as well as HD movies. Movie recording continues until the file size reaches 4GB or the memory card fills – whichever occurs first.

Shutter speeds range from 30 seconds to 1/2,000, depending on which mode the camera is using. In some modes, the slowest shutter speed is one second.

The G5X and G9X have built-in flashes and can connect with an Android or iOS mobile device that allows the photographer to control the camera and take photos.

The cameras have two “Star Modes,” which astrophotographers and others might find useful. Canon says it has improved the focusing while using this feature.

The “Star Trails" mode has been enhanced when it comes to recording the breaks in light between star trails and produce “a luminous still image.”

The “Star Time-Lapse Movie” records video clips that show the movement of the stars against a static background of dark space.

PowerShot G5X

Canon's PowerShot G5X hides the flash in the viewfinder housing

This is the larger of the two cameras and features a fast f/1.8-2.8 24-100mm (full-frame equivalent) zoom. It has both an electronic viewfinder and an LCD screen that swings outward and rotates 180 degrees.

The camera is 4.43 x 3.01 x 1.74 inches (112.4 x 76.4 x 44.2mm) and weighs 13.3 ounces (377 grams) with the battery and memory card installed.

Battery life is rated from as few as 210 shots using the LCD to as many as 320 shots in ECO mode.

This model is available only in black.

PowerShot G9X

Canon's PowerShot G9X can be had in black or this silver and brown leather option.

It has a slimmer body and has a f/2.0-4.9 24-84mm (full-frame equivalent) zoom lens.

All of the photographer’s interactions take place via a touch-enabled 3.0-inch LCD screen. However, it's in a fixed position and cannot be tilted or otherwise moved.

Its dimensions are 3.86 x 2.28 x 1.21 inches (98.0 x 57.9 x 30.8mm) and weighs 7.37 ounces (209 grams) with the battery and memory card installed.

Battery life is rated from 220 shots to 410 shots in ECO mode.

This camera is available in either black or silver with a brown leather covering (seen above).

About the Author

Mike Elek is a longtime journalist and was one of the original editors for The Wall Street Journal Online. He also has worked as a reporter and editor in Pittsburgh; Philadelphia; Vineland, N.J.; Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; New York City; and Hong Kong. He is a U.S. Air Force veteran. He shoots with film and digital cameras.