Canon PowerShot G5 X

20MP 1"-type BSI-CMOS sensor | 24-1000mm equiv. F1.8-2.8 lens | 2.36M OLED EVF

What we like:

  • Good build quality and comfortable ergonomics and a compact package
  • Bright lens
  • Fully articulating LCD
  • Three control dials

What we don't:

  • Soft lens, strong noise reduction reduce JPEG quality
  • Continuous Raw shooting below 1 fps
  • Weak depth tracking performance, no subject tracking available
The Canon PowerShot G5 X is an enthusiast compact camera with a 1"-type BSI CMOS sensor and 24-100mm F1.8-2.8 lens. While it won't fit into your pocket like its shorter-lens peers, the G5 X differentiates itself with a more substantial grip, hot shoe and a fully articulating touchscreen. Unlike some of its competitors, it only offers 1080p video.
The camera is well-designed and generally a pleasure to use. Its three dials are usefully customizable. The lens dial is 'clicky' making it better-suited to controlling things like aperture, although the rear dial is fiddly and the rear controls a bit cramped. The screen's articulation is useful for movies and waist-level shooting and the EVF is great for bright weather.
The G5 X's EVF, rotating LCD, beefy grip and more direct controls make it worth the slight increase in size over its peers
The G5 X's autofocus feels dated, and the nomenclature used by Canon can be confusing. The camera's depth tracking isn't great, and it cannot subject track with any degree of reliability. That said, focus speeds are generally snappy. While the G5 X can shoot JPEGs continuously at over 6 fps, the frame rate for Raw drops to a very disappointing 1 fps (or less). Battery life is amongst the worst in its class.
Image quality is good. Colors are vibrant and pleasing to the eye. Noise levels (in Raw) are comparable to other cameras in this class, and you can pull a good amount of detail out of shadows. The G5 X's lens doesn't make the most out of the camera's excellent sensor, and this is reflected in Raw images and especially JPEGs, where heavy-handed noise reduction and weak sharpening combine with a general softness to further reduce resolution.
The G5 X captures 1080/60p video, which feels behind the times when other models are up to 4K. The touchscreen makes rack focusing easy, though enthusiast may bemoan the lack of an external mic input or exposure compensation in manual mode. On the whole, video quality is quite good in both daylight and lowlight situations.
The Canon PowerShot G5 X offers a design that is more compelling that its other short-zoom enthusiast compacts. The EVF, rotating LCD, beefy grip and more direct controls make it worth the slight increase in size over its peers. While the camera has respectable image quality, it's not best-in-class, due in large part to its soft lens. The same goes for it's autofocus system, Raw burst shooting speeds and battery life. The G5 X is worth a look if you want a relatively small 1"-sensor camera with an EVF, but there are better options available.

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