Canon PowerShot G9 X and G5 X cameras hands-on report

A reader sent me a quick hands-on report on the new Canon PowerShot G9 X and Canon PowerShot G5 X cameras (both currently in stock and shipping):

I had a chance to try out the said Powershots at the local Canon showroom a day ago (they were press-launched locally just a few days ago along with the EOS M10). FYI here are a few quick feedback and observations:

Canon PowerShot G9 X camera
Canon PowerShot G9 X

a. Can be almost considered as the S120's replacement, except for the touch-only rear control interface which is a BIG issue. Without the usual RHS control set the touch-only operation is really a PIA especially if one has large fingers. And as usual, touch buttons can be mis-pressed very easily during operation. Despite the shorter focal zoom length, could've otherwise been the perfect Powershot compact P+S had the full RHS control config been retained.

b. In case of touch panel failure, the G9X will be pretty much inoperable at system level.  In fact I've witnessed a demo G7X at the same showroom where the touch operation has completely failed (even with the function set to "on"), only to be operative as usual thanks to the RHS rear control set.

Showroom staff has been informed of the matter.

c. NO live histogram display during EV shift unless with specific camera operation. The first of the high-end Powershot kind that exhibits such issue, which typically appears on other make/models like the Sony RX100/II/III/IV, and some low-end Olympus Stylus compacts.  Adjusting EV via touching the onscreen EV scale results in an EV sub-menu with an enlarged EV scale and +/- touch buttons but nothing else. Live histo display during EV shift is only possible by adjusting via the frontal lens ring. IMHO Canon could (and should) follow the steps of Nikon and Ricoh to include an enlarged (and compulsory) histo display during menu-based EV shift operation.

Canon PowerShot G5 X
Canon PowerShot G5 X

d. Nearest replacement to the outgoing G16 except for the shorter zoom focal length (the G16's tele up to 140mm is much preferred). Similar controls to previous models. Smoother EV dial (much better than on the G7X for instance). Also smooth frontal dial (above camera grip).

e. Relatively dimmer EVF than expected. Even with brightness level set to 5 (max.) the EVF's view still feels dim.  Rear touch panel's brightness settings appear more normal.

f. Weak flash. Didn't get to tweak the flash settings, but overall feels a bit weaker than expected.  Apparently no zoom flash feature (on both cameras as well as older GxX models).

g. Not sure why Canon would default the image aspect ratio to the typical 35mm's 3:2. Setting the ratio to the usual 4:3 (as in smaller image sensors up to m43) results in decreased pixel count to 18MP.

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