Canon Powershot G9 X Mark II Review

Canon Powershot G9 X Mark II Review

The successor of the Canon PowerShot G9 X has arrived. Whether the Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II has improved on its predecessor in terms of image quality and continuous shooting speed and whether there are new features or handling of the camera, we have defined it in this review.

Short evaluation

Pros

  • Well manufactured housing
  • Good touch operation
  • High continuous shooting speed
  • Good image quality up to ISO 800
  • Bluetooth (update 2020)

Cons

  • Smooth and “cheap” leather finish
  • Image quality above ISO 800 lags behind the competition
  • Short battery life
  • No panorama mode

 

The Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II in silver looks very noble with the brown leather.

The “leathering” of the PowerShot G9 X Mark II turns out to be a smooth hard plastic on closer inspection. The USB and HDMI ports are also located on the right side of the case.

At the end of 2015 we tested the Canon PowerShot G9 X and now the test of the successor models PowerShot G9 X Mark II is in the house. Since the cameras are very similar, we have used parts of the original test report and extended it where necessary.

The current Digic 7 image processor makes the Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II legs, it now focuses within 0.14 seconds. In addition, the energy-saving Bluetooth ensures a permanent smartphone connection. [Photo: Canon]

Ergonomics and workmanship

The Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II is characterised by its simple elegance and noble workmanship. The design is similar to the S models, such as the slim metal housing and the compact F2-4.9 bright triple zoom with adjustment ring, but also design elements of the G series can be found on the housing, such as the “leathering”. This can be found both on the right and left of the housing and extends to the front, where it indicates a handle on the actually handleless camera. Also the thumb rest is provided with the material. The material is difficult to classify haptically. The feeling that it could be rubber or something similar does not occur, because it is much too hard. The material is much too smooth and looks almost like plastic and clouds the impression of a noble retro camera. Unfortunately there is hardly any better hold compared to bare, matt metal. Fortunately, the G9 X Mark II, like its predecessor, weighs in at just under 200 grams – so it’s as light as a feather and can be held in place in a passable way. The PowerShot G9 X Mark II is available in black instead of elegant silver with brown “leather lining” like our test camera – making it an inconspicuous companion for any occasion.

Thanks to its light weight and low case depth of only 31 millimetres, the G9 X Mark II can also be quickly slipped into a shirt or handbag. It is ready for operation in just over a second, that’s how long it takes to extend the triple zoom. The zoom is adjusted by means of the ring around the shutter release, but the lens ring can also take over this function and, if required, can drive to one of four specified small image equivalent focal lengths: 28, 35, 50 or 84 millimetres. The lens doesn’t have more to offer, because in view of the 1″ sensor, a larger focal length range would inevitably have led to a larger camera – and Canon now has plenty of such lenses on offer with a 1″ sensor. As we already mentioned in the test of the G9 X, a 25-75 mm lens would have been a much better choice. Unfortunately, the Mark II also uses the same lens as its predecessor, although the 20 megapixel resolution would offer some trimming reserve.

Although the PowerShot is G-Series, it doesn’t have a viewfinder or flash shoe – not even the monitor moves. Canon relies on the special compactness of a built-in touch screen. It measures 7.5 centimeters in the diagonal, has a resolution of about one million pixels, is bright enough with a maximum of 790 cd/m² and, like the image sensor, has an aspect ratio of 3:2, which means that there are no black mourning borders. Otherwise on the back side the key poverty is noticeable. A four-way cross is completely missing. The menu can still be accessed at the touch of a button, and the Quick menu can also be called up in this way. In addition, there is an info button on the back for setting the screen displays and a video recording button. But how do you navigate through the menus, set the parameters? This is only possible via the touch screen. Although the menus look like a Canon with navigation keys, it can be operated completely with a fingertip. It’s just like a smartphone, you get used to it quickly. You only have to live with the fingerprints on the screen and with them the only “viewfinder”.

However, thanks to the adjustment wheel on the lens, many parameters, such as aperture, exposure correction or shutter speed, can be adjusted with an audible click. Just like the Canon G9 X, the Mark II combines classic and modern operation almost perfectly. Luckily, the recording program is set to the classic mode using the program selector wheel. All G-Like even has a custom setting where you can store your favorite recording program. Due to the lack of keys, there is no individual assignment of those, but a separate menu in the main menu can be filled with favorite settings, even the quick menu can be customized to your own wishes.

On the right side of the PowerShot G9 X Mark II housing is only the button to activate the WLAN function.

The PowerShot G9 X Mark II lens comes with a ring around it, just like its predecessor, which can perform various selectable functions, such as aperture setting.

The flap on the underside of the camera is made of plastic, but with a metal hinge. Behind it lies the small lithium-ion battery, which provides juice for only 220 shots, as well as the slot for the SD memory card. SDHC and SDXC cards can also be used. An external charging cradle is supplied for the battery. Alternatively, a dummy with mains cable connection can be inserted into the battery compartment. The metal tripod thread even sits in the optical axis, but when used as a tripod it inevitably blocks access to the battery and memory card compartment due to the compactness of the camera. At best, the smallest tripod coupling systems, such as the round Miniconnect from Novoflex, allow fast battery replacement. Like its predecessor, the G9 X Mark II offers only two interfaces: in addition to Micro-HDMI, there is a Micro-USB port, as is common on smartphones. The USB port is standardized and allows charging via it. This worked fine in our test, but the camera can only be used in playback mode during loading. If the Mark II is to be supplied and used with continuous current, the only option is to purchase an external power supply (ACK-DC110) from Canon.

The compact housing of the Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II contains a 13.2 x 8.8 millimetre 1″ sensor with 20 megapixels resolution and an F2-4.9 bright triple zoom of 28 to 84 millimetres corresponding to 35mm. [Photo: Canon]

Equipment

The Canon PowerShot G9 X offers a lot of what you need in everyday photography, but also lacks a few modern functions. For example, there is a fully automatic mode that also selects the motif program independently. His selection is very large with 58 programs. If, on the other hand, the photographer wants to choose the motive program himself, there is only a clearly reduced selection. Ambitious photographers get their money’s worth in the programs P, A, S and M, since practically all photo parameters can be set manually on request. In addition to the aperture, which can be closed up to F11, there is an activatable gray filter that swallows three aperture values of light. Very practical if you want to avoid diffraction, for example. It is also possible to create bracketing with three shots and up to 2 EV exposure distance between shots. HDR shots with automatic composition, on the other hand, are only available as scene mode. The Canon completely lacks a panorama mode.

The continuous shooting function allows about ten frames per second – with best JPEG quality and that for 36 shots at a time. After that, the speed of the serial image is reduced considerably, but the card will write images until the card is full. Compared to its predecessor, the speed of continuous shooting of raw data has become significantly faster. Instead of a continuous shooting speed of 1.4 seconds per frame, the G9 X Mark II now stores raw data at about ten frames per second. This speed holds the camera until the buffer is filled with about 20 images. After that, the speed of the serial shot decreases significantly, but the serial shot continues. This measurement was performed with a fast SDHC UHS-II memory card from Fujifilm. With slower memory cards, the result can and will be different. The autofocus, on the other hand, works at less than 0.2 seconds at a good speed. So the G9 X Mark II is quite suitable for sports shots or snapshots in quick succession.

The G9 X Mark II offers an interesting focus function. This allows you to create a focus bracket. In this mode, the photographer focuses on one focal plane and the camera takes two more shots with one focus in front of and one behind the previously selected focus. This function can be especially useful for close-ups. Unfortunately, there is no real focus series for the function of focus stacking.

Despite its slim body of only 31.3 millimetres, the Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II features a lens control ring and manual exposure. [Photo: Canon]

On the top of the G9 X Mark II are the mode dial, shutter release button, zoom lever, playback button, and on/off switch. [Photo: Canon]

The miniature flash jumps upwards after mechanical release, so it cannot be extended automatically by the camera. The automatic flash control only indicates the need for a flash operation with a small flashing flash symbol. At 5.8, the guide number is not exactly exuberant either. After all, the flash is capable of long-term synchronization, can ignite either at the beginning or at the end of the exposure and can be corrected in its power output. With semi-automatic and manual exposure, there is even a manual flash option, but only in three power levels. The sometimes annoying TTL measuring pre-flash is no longer required and is therefore suitable for triggering the simplest slave flashes or studio flash systems. Thanks to the central shutter, the shortest flash sync time is just as short as the shortest shutter speed: 1/2,000 second.

There is an extended standard cost for the video function. The maximum resolution is Full HD. Somewhat annoying is the fact that 50 and 60 frames per second are available only after setting the video mode on the program selector wheel, in the other programs is filmed with a maximum of 30 frames per second. After all, the “correct” video recording mode also allows manual setting of aperture, ISO and exposure time. Also a manual focus is available as for photos. The focus is smoothly and silently adjusted during shooting. The optical image stabilizer does its job without complaint. The optical zoom can also be used. It works extremely slowly during recording, but you can hardly hear the zoom motor.

The G9 X Mark II has WLAN and NFC as well as a Bluetooth connection. Nevertheless, the connection setup with the smartphone takes a while and also the handling is a little bumpy despite the new app “Canon Camera Connect”. This means that the camera controls cannot be used during remote control – not even the zoom lever or shutter release button. The camera is operated exclusively via App. If you want to change the recording program, you first have to stop the remote control in the app and restart it with the program selector wheel in the correct position. After all, autofocus, aperture, exposure time and ISO sensitivity can all be influenced. However, you have no access to numerous settings. The app also does not prevent the smartphone from going into standby mode, so the connection can sometimes be interrupted. Only JPEGs can be transferred, no raws. Since a raw cannot be converted into a JPEG in the camera, one cannot get these pictures on the way without laptop with Raw converter. Videos are additionally compressed for transmission, so the original quality does not end up on the smart device.

Picture quality

The sharpness drop of the camera at a 20 by 30 centimeter output is very low in the short and medium focal length. In the maximum telescopic position, the drop in sharpness depends on the aperture used. More important than the decrease in sharpness is the resolution. This is highest in the wide-angle range when the aperture is open. At medium focal length at F5.2 and in the telephoto range at aperture F4.9 an open aperture. The diffraction causes a decrease of the resolution at higher aperture settings, so that the photographer should always decide for the use of the gray filter in the camera rather than to close the aperture as much as possible. The measurement of the sharpness artifacts shows clear indications of intervention by the image processor. The pictures come crisply out of the camera and show the orientation to “Shoot-to-Print”.

On the underside of the camera are the tripod thread placed in the optical axis as well as the battery and memory card compartment flap.

In the camera, the memory card and battery share a common cover.

The lens has virtually no visible edge darkening with an open aperture. If the aperture is closed, the edge darkening is further reduced. The chromatic aberration is not clearly visible in any focal length range. The distortion is very low and is even minimally barrel-shaped in the telephoto range; possibly there is a slight overcorrection.

Image noise is no problem with the PowerShot G9 X Mark II up to ISO 400. Fine structures only start to disappear above ISO 800. This is a result of the noise reduction of the image processor, which can no longer distinguish between image details and image noise. Pictures From ISO 6.400 are only conditionally usable, since the picture noise becomes very clear. The measurement of texture sharpness determines how the loss of detail is expressed at the ISO levels. In addition, this measurement shows whether the camera is strongly re-sharpening the images or adding artificial details. In this measurement, the G9 X Mark II clearly shows that images are strongly resharpened. The images are visibly less sharp from about ISO 800, which leaves Canon behind the competition from Sony and Panasonic.

In the tonal value output, the camera shows good results up to ISO 800. The maximum input dynamic is just under twelve f-stops and even at ISO 6,400 is still above nine f-stops. The tonal value transmission is adapted for immediate use of the images without further image processing. The average color deviation is small and the white balance accuracy is good.

Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II now with Bluetooth

With the PowerShot G9 X Mark II, Canon is launching a slightly improved successor to the G9 X in February 2017. While the F2-4.9 fast 28-84 mm zoom and the 20 megapixel resolution 1″ sensor of the very slim camera remain unchanged, a new processor heart beats inside with the Digic 7, which gives image processing and the now 0.14 seconds fast autofocus a boost. The WLAN is now supported by Bluetooth for an energy-saving, permanent smartphone connection.

The Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II is still the most compact 1″ sensor camera on the market with 98 x 58 x 31 millimetres and weighs only 206 grams ready for use. The continuous shooting function now achieves 8.2 frames per second at full resolution, with AF-C the continuous shooting rate drops to 5.3 frames per second. The optical image stabilizer of the lens counteracts camera shake for up to 3.5 f-stops longer exposure times. The PowerShot continues to record videos in maximum Full HD resolution at 60, 50, 30, 25 or 24 frames per second. Video filmmakers should also benefit from the improved autofocus, so that the sharpness can be tracked even more precisely.

In addition to buttons and a lens ring that facilitates manual adjustments, the G9 X Mark II features a rear touchscreen that also contributes to ease of use. Thanks to an automatic function with scene recognition, the Canon can also adjust itself to match the scene. WLAN, Bluetooth and NFC make it easy to connect the camera to a smartphone. The energy-saving Bluetooth connection can be permanently maintained and not only enables the transmission of geocoordinates from the smartphone to the camera, but also remote triggering if the photographer wants to be included in the picture, for example. As with the smartphone, the camera’s replaceable battery is charged via USB.

Bottom line

The Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II is not a reinvention of this camera model, as it is too similar to its predecessor. In addition to some additional functions, the Mark II has clearly increased the speed of the serial shot and also the shutter release delay is significantly lower. Canon has also improved the Mark II in image quality, but the camera sharpens the images significantly, so photographers with image editing ambitions should better use the RAW format. The Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II is a handy compact camera with a stylish appearance. It is a pity that the leather of the silver camera version is brown hard plastic and leaves a rather inferior impression of quality in terms of haptics, as otherwise the workmanship is impeccable. The touchscreen operation is beyond any doubt. This is always precise and brings the photographer quickly to the desired destination.

Fact sheet

Fact sheet
Manufacturer Canon
Model PowerShot G9 X Mark II
Sensor CMOS 1″ 13.2 x 8.8 mm (crop factor 2.7
)20.9 megapixels (physical)
20.1 megapixels (effective)
Pixel pitch 2.4 µm
Resolution (max.) 5.472 x 3.648 (3:2)
Video (max.) 1.920 x 1.080 60p
Lens F2,0-4,9/28-84mm
Filter threads No filter thread installed
Monitor 3.0″ (7.5 cm)
Disbandment 1.040.000 pixels
tiltable
rotatable
swivelling
Touchscreen yes
AV connector HDMI Output Micro (Type D)
Fully automatic yes
Automatic motif control yes
Motive programmes 58
Program automation yes
Program shift yes
Aperture priority yes
Aperture priority yes
Manual yes
Bulb long time exposure yes
HDR function yes
Panorama function
Exposure metering Multi-field, Centre-weighted Integral, Spot
fastest shutter speed 1/2.000 s
Flash built-in
Synchronous time 1/2.000 s
Flash connection
WLAN yes
NFC yes
GPS external, permanent smartphone connection
Remote release yes, remote control via Smartphone/Tablet
Interval shooting
Storage medium
SD (SDHC, SDXC, UHS I)
Sensitivity
automatic ISO 125-12.800
manually ISO 125-12.800
White balance
automatic yes
manual measurement yes
Kelvin input
Fine correction yes
Autofocus yes
Number of measuring fields 31 Contrast sensors
Speed 0.16 to 0.17 s
AF auxiliary light LED
Dimensions (WxHxD) 98 x 58 x 31 mm
Weight (ready for operation) 206 g
Tripod socket in optical axis
Zoom
Zoom adjustment Lens ring (motorized), ring rocker (motorized)
Battery life 220 images according to CIPA standard
– = “not applicable” or “not available”

Short evaluation

Pros

  • Well manufactured housing
  • Good touch operation
  • High continuous shooting speed
  • Good image quality up to ISO 800

Cons

  • Smooth and “cheap” leather finish
  • Image quality above ISO 800 lags behind the competition
  • Short battery life
  • No panorama mode

Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II Datasheet

Electronics

Sensor CMOS sensor 35mm 36.0 x 24.0 mm (crop factor 1.0
)24.7 megapixels (physical) and 24.3 megapixels (effective)
Pixel pitch 6,0 µm
Photo resolution
6.016 x 4.016 pixels (3:2)
4.512 x 3.008 pixels (3:2)
3.008 x 2.008 pixels (3:2)
Picture formats JPG, RAW, TIF, TIF compressed
Colour depth 42 bits (14 bits per color channel)
Metadata Exif (version 2.3), DCF standard
Video resolution
1.920 x 1.080 (16:9) 30 p
1.280 x 720 (16:9) 30 p
Video format
MOV (Codec H.264)

Lens

Lens mount
Nikon F

Focusing

Autofocus mode Phase comparison autofocus with 9 cross sensors, autofocus working range from -1 EV to 19 EV
Autofocus Functions Single autofocus, Continuous autofocus, Tracking autofocus, Manual, AFL function, AF Assist Light
Focus control Depth of field control, dimming button

Viewfinder and Monitor

Reflex viewfinder Reflex viewfinder (prism viewfinder) (100 % image coverage), 21 mm eye relief, diopter compensation (-3.0 to +1.0 dpt), replaceable focusing screens
Monitor 3.2″ (8.0 cm) TFT LCD monitor with 921,000 pixels, viewing angle 170°, anti-glare, brightness adjustable
Info display additional info display (top)

Exposure

Exposure metering Center-weighted integral measurement, matrix/multi-field measurement over 2,016 fields, spot measurement
Exposure times 1/4,000 to 30 s (automatic
)1/4,000 to 30 s (manual)
Bulb function
Exposure control Program automatic, Aperture automatic, Time automatic, Manual
Bracketing function Step size from 1/3 to 3 EV, HDR function
Exposure compensation -5.0 to +5.0 EV
Sensitivity to light ISO 100 to ISO 6,400 (automatic
)ISO 50 to ISO 25,600 (manual)
Remote access Remote release, cable release
Motives Flowers, twilight, indoor photo, candlelight, children, landscape, night portrait, close-up, portrait, sunset, sports, beach/snow, animals, 3 more motif programs
Picture effects brilliant, HDR effects, high key, landscape, low key, monochrome, neutral, portrait, brilliant, landscape (all programs modifiable), monochrome, neutral, portrait, standard
White balance Auto, Cloudy, Sun, White balance bracket, Fine tuning, Shadow, Flash, Fluorescent lamp with 7 presets, Incandescent lamp with 1 presets, From 2,500 to 10,000 K, Manual 4 memory locations
Color space Adobe RGB, sRGB
Continuous shooting 6.0 frames/s at highest resolution, silent mode with maximum 3 frames per second
Self-timer Self-timer at intervals of 2 s, special features: or 10 s (optional)
Shooting functions Mirror lock-up, AEL function, AFL function, live histogram

Flashgun

Flash built-in flash (hinged
)flash shoe: Nikon, standard center contact
Flash range Flash sync time 1/250 s
Flash number Guide number 12 (ISO 100)
Flash functions Auto, Fill-in flash, Flash on, Flash off, High speed sync, Slow sync, Flash on second shutter curtain, Red-eye reduction, Master function

Equipment

Image stabilizer no optical image stabilizer
Memory
SD (SDHC, SDXC, UHS I)
second memory card slot
SD (SDHC, SDXC, UHS I)
GPS function GPS external (wired or plug-on receiver)
Power supply Power supply connection
Power supply 1 x Nikon EN-EL15 (lithium ions (Li-Ion), 7.4 V, 1,030 mAh)
Playback Functions Crop Images, Rotate Images, Protect Images, Highlight / Shadow Warning, Playback Histogram, Playback Magnifier, Image Index, Zoom Out
Picture parameters Contrast
Special functions Electronic water level, Grid can be faded in, Orientation sensor, Live View
Ports Data interfaces: USBUSB type
:USB 2.0 High Speed
AV connectors AV output: HDMI output Micro (Type D
)Audio input: yes (3.5 mm jack (stereo with power supply))
Audio output: yes (3.5 mm jack (stereo, 3-pole))
Supported direct printing methods DPOF, PictBridge
Tripod socket 1/4″ in optical axis
Case Splash guard
Features and Miscellaneous Integrated sensor cleaning systemD-Lighting
for artificial brightening of dark image areasEXPEED-3 Image ProcessorLive-Viewwith contrast based AF on SensorAF-MotiverkennungWhite balance exposure series2 to 3 imagesADL exposure series

of

three imagesFlash exposure series
2 to 3 imagesActive-D-Lighting
(five steps)

Size and weight

Dimensions W x H x D 141 x 113 x 82 mm
Weight 850 g (ready for operation)

Other

included accessories Nikon AN-DC10 Storage AccessoriesNikon
BF-1B (Housing Cover)
Nikon BM-12 (Monitor Cover)
Nikon BS-1 (Shoe Cover)NikonCapture NX SoftwareNikon
DK-17 (Eyepiece Protective Glass)
Nikon DK-21 (Eyecup)Nik

on

DK-5 (E
yepiece
Cover)Nik

on

EN-EL15 Special BatteryNikon
MH-25 Charger for Special BatteriesNikon
UC-E14 USB CableLCD Cover
BM-12Rubber Eyecup Cover

BS-125

Charger for Special BatteriesNikon
UC-E14 USB CableLCD Cover
BM-12Rubber Eyecup Cover

BS-1

Eyepiece End DK-17Rising StrapImage Editing Software

Nikon Picture ProjectImage Management Software
Nikon View Pro

optional accessory Nikon EH-5B Power Supply UnitNikon
EN-EL15 Special BatteryNikon
EP-5B Battery Compartment Adapter CableNikon
MB-D14 Rechargeable Battery / Battery Grip Removable Memory CardWirelessTransmitter WT-4

 

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Peter Dench
I am Peter Dench. Digital Photographer, born in London 1972, currently living in Deerfield, near Chicago. I have numerous photography expositions and also working in model photography. In this website, PhotoPoint, I usually review cameras provided by local dealers in Illinois and by the manufacturers. Sometimes I, Peter Dench, review lenses too, but only when I have a suitable camera for them. Please let me know in the comments if I can improve any of these articles.