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Canon G9 X review – All the right ingredients

Canon PowerShot G9 X handheld
Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £374
inc VAT

Slim, straightforward and takes excellent pictures - the Canon G9X is a recipe for success.


Sensor resolution: 20 megapixels, Sensor size: 1in, Viewfinder: None, LCD screen: 3in (1,040,000 dots), Optical zoom (35mm-equivalent focal lengths): 3x (28-84mm), 35mm-equivalent aperture: f/5.5-13.5, Weight: 207g, Dimensions (HxWxD): 62x101x31mm

Wex Photographic

Photo quality is this camera’s main strength. The 1in sensor and wide-aperture lens capture far more light than most compact cameras, and this has a big bearing on image quality, particularly in dimly lit conditions. The G9 X’s lens delivered crisp details throughout its zoom range, and the digital processing did an excellent job of controlling noise and producing flattering colours.

One complaint is that the camera would sometimes inexplicably push the shutter speed up to 1/1,000s, resulting in unnecessarily raised ISO speeds that increased noise levels. I also found that the spot autofocus sometimes seemed to be determined to focus on the background when shooting small subjects such as flowers. Ultimately, though, there were remarkably few duds across my hundreds of test shots.sample 1 Canon G9 X ^ There’s a hint of noise on fine details, but at normal viewing sizes this wide-angle shot is hard to fault. Focus is excellent from edge to edge. (1/1250s, f/4, ISO 125, 28mm equivalent)sample 2 Canon G9 X ^ Focus is just as sharp at the long end of the zoom. (1/800s, f/4.9, ISO 125, 84mm equivalent)sample 3 Canon G9 X^ This high-contrast scene is a tough test for lens defects, but there’s no sign of chromatic aberrations or softness towards the edges. (1/1250s, f/4.9, ISO 125, 84mm equivalent)sample 4 Canon G9 X ^ A rare moment of sunshine brings out some lovely rich tones that’s reminiscent of Canon EOS output. (1/800s, f/4.9, ISO 125, 84mm equivalent)sample 5 Canon G9 X ^ The 1in sensor helps to deliver crisp, clean details and a shallow depth of field in this macro shot. (1/160s, f/4.5, ISO 125, 56mm equivalent)sample 6 Canon G9 X ^ The f/2 lens keeps the ISO speed down for wide-angle shots in low light. Skin and hair textures are clean and detailed as a result. (1/30s, f/2, ISO 400, 28mm equivalent)sample 7 Canon G9 X ^ Another fine result, this time under artificial household lighting. (1/20s, f/3.2, ISO 1250, 38mm equivalent)sample 8 Canon G9 X^ Setting the ISO speed manually to 3200 raises the shutter speed to avoid motion blur, and image quality is good enough for sharing online. (1/80s, f/3.2, ISO 3200, 38mm equivalent)sample 9 Canon G9 X ^ ISO 5000 is a step too far for skin textures. (1/80s, f/3.5, ISO 5000, 44mm equivalent)sample 10 Canon G9 X ^ This subject matter is far more forgiving, and the results look perfectly respectable even at ISO 6400. (1/20s, f/4.9, ISO 6400, 84mm equivalent)


I’d have loved to see better battery life, nippier performance and slightly more to grip onto on the front of the camera. However, the concept is so strong that these drawbacks pale into insignificance. This is a camera that no one could complain is too heavy or bulky, it’s reasonably priced and it takes photos that few other compact cameras can match. Its strongest rivals at this price are the Canon G7 X and Sony RX100 II, and it’s a matter of taste whether you prefer the G9 X’s slimmer design or the G7 X and RX100 II’s tilting screens and marginally superior lens specifications. I suspect that the G9 X will be many people’s top choice.

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Sensor resolution20 megapixels
Sensor size1in
Focal length multiplier2.75x
Viewfinder magnification (35mm-equivalent), coverageN/A
LCD screen3in (1,040,000 dots)
Orientation sensorYes
Photo file formatsJPEG, RAW (CR2)
Maximum photo resolution5,472×3,648
Photo aspect ratios4:3, 3:2, 16:9 1:1
Video compression formatMP4 (AVC) at up to 35Mbit/s
Video resolutions1080p at 24/25/30/50/60fps, 720p at 25/30fps, VGA at 25/30fps
Slow motion video modesN/A
Maximum video clip length (at highest quality)16m 10s
Exposure modesProgram, shutter priority, aperture priority, manual
Shutter speed range30 to 1/2,000 seconds
ISO speed range125 to 12800
Exposure compensationEV +/-2
White balanceAuto, 6 presets, manual
Auto-focus modesMulti, flexible spot, face detection with tracking
Metering modesMulti, centre-weighted, centre, face detect
Flash modesAuto, forced, suppressed, slow synchro, rear curtain, red-eye reduction
Drive modesSingle, continuous, self-timer, AE bracket, focus bracket, HDR
Optical stabilisationYes
Optical zoom (35mm-equivalent focal lengths)3x (28-84mm)
Maximum aperture (wide-tele)f/2-4.9
35mm-equivalent aperturef/5.5-13.5
Manual focusYes
Closest macro focus (wide)5cm
Closest macro focus (tele)35cm
Card slotSDXC
Memory suppliedNone
Battery typeLi-ion
ConnectivityUSB, micro HDMI
WirelessWi-Fi, NFC
GPSVia smartphone app
Body materialAluminium
AccessoriesUSB cable, wrist strap
Dimensions (HxWxD)62x101x31mm
Buying information
WarrantyOne year RTB
Price including VAT£374
Part code0511C011AA

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