Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II

20MP 1"-type BSI CMOS sensor | 28-84mm equiv. F2-4.9 lens | 3" touchscreen LCD

What we like:

  • Pocketable size
  • Decent manual control and excellent touchscreen
  • Speedy operation and burst shooting

What we don't:

  • Limited zoom range and brightness
  • Continuous focus lags peers
  • Poor battery life

The Canon PowerShot G9 X II is a modestly priced compact camera with a 1"-type 20MP BSI CMOS sensor, borrowed from the original G9 X, but adds an updated 'Digic 7' processor for faster startup, operation and burst speeds. The lens still comes with an equivalent focal range of 28-84mm with a an aperture range of F2-4.9, which may be limiting as light levels drop. It's essentially an entry-level version of the popular PowerShot S120 (with the G7 X II being the enthusiast model), retaining its small size, relatively fast zoom lens, ND filter and Raw support.

Recent Videos

The G9 X II is easily pocketable, with a body made of both metal and composite materials. The 'grip' feels a little plasticky, but the texture does its job of making the camera feel reasonably secure in the hand. Though most of your interactions with the camera will take place on the 3" touchscreen (there's no four-way controller), you can use the zoom toggle and lens control ring to navigate menus quickly. As an added bonus, both the menus and the lens control ring can be customized.

The G9 X II addresses our major concern with its predecessor by offering good performance in almost every respect. Startup and operation speeds are great, and autofocus is generally responsive. The camera's autofocus options are limited and confusing, and subject tracking is not possible. The camera can shoot bursts at over 8 fps (~5 fps with continuous AF) in both Raw and JPEG. Unfortunately, the trade-off for small size and good performance is poor battery life of 235 shots per charge.

If you want to step up from a small-sensored compact to something better, then the G9 X II might be what you're looking for.

Image quality is essentially unchanged from its predecessor. Colors are vibrant, as they often are with Canon cameras. The lens is on the soft side though, and looking at the Raw images show that the lens produces quite a bit of chromatic aberration, as well. Noise reduction levels in JPEGs are pretty high, which tends to smudge away fine details like grass, hair and other fine textures. On the other hand, the camera's 20MP sensor captures plenty of detail in the shadows, which you can take advantage of by shooting Raw.

The G9 X II can capture 1080/60p video with a maximum bitrate of 35 Mbps. You can capture video with special effects or go manual and select the shutter speed, aperture and ISO. The camera offers focus peaking and a wind filter, but no audio level monitoring or zebra patterns. Face detection autofocus in video continues to be a strong point, and the image stabilization is very good indeed.

The PowerShot G9 X II succeeds as an ultra-compact camera with a 1"-tyåpe sensor and a bargain basement price (for its class). It's not the best built of its peers, and its touchscreen-centered UI takes some getting used-to. If you want to step up from a small-sensor compact to something better, then the G9 X might be what you're looking for.

Studio Test Scene | Specifications Compared

Sample photoSample photoSample photoSample photoSample photo