Canon Powershot G5 X Mark II Review

Canon Powershot G5 X II Review - We review the Canon Powershot G5 X Mark II, Canon's high-speed 20mp camera, with 4K video recording and 30fps continuous shooting.

| Canon PowerShot G5 X II in Compact Cameras

Canon Powershot G5 X Mark II Review: Canon Powershot G5X MarkII (2)

Quick Verdict

The Canon Powershot G5 X Mark II offers an updated high-speed 20mp 1inch sensor, with up to 30/20fps depending on whether you are shooting raw or JPEG, and 4K video recording. There's a new 5x optical zoom lens, with an f/1.8 to f/2.8 aperture, and the lens is equivalent to 24-120mm in 35mm equivalent terms giving a good zoom range. Image quality is very good, with great colour reproduction, and the camera has great noise performance. The new design is more compact than the previous version, with a built-in pop-up electronic viewfinder (EVF). Available from Amazon UK for £899.

+ Pros

  • New 5x optical zoom lens
  • 4K UHD video recording (10min limit)
  • More compact camera design thanks to pop-up EVF
  • 30fps continuous shooting (raw)
  • Tilting touch-screen

- Cons

  • Limited customisable buttons
  • Plastic camera body and lens ring
  • More control in auto and scene modes would be nice


Canon Powershot G5 X Mark II Review: Canon Powershot G5X MarkII (7)

The Canon Powershot G5 X Mark II updates the Canon Powershot G5 X (Mark I), with a new design with a built-in pop-up electronic viewfinder (EVF), and a new 20mp Stacked BSI CMOS sensor, allowing higher speed continuous shooting, with up to 30fps raw shooting possible, and 4K video recording. 


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Canon Powershot G5 X Mark II Features

Canon Powershot G5 X Mark II Review: Canon Powershot G5X MarkII (5)

The Canon Powershot G5 X Mark II is a noticeable change from the G5 X Mark I, and gone is the "mini SLR" styling, with top built-in pop-up EVF, and gone is the vari-angle touch-screen, and instead there is a now a tilting touch-screen that can be used for "selfies" and "vlogging", and you now have a more compact camera. 

Canon Powershot G5 X Mark II Review: Highres Canon Powershot G5X II Vs I Levels

Canon Powershot G5X II Vs G5X Mark I 

The electronic viewfinder (EVF) follows in the style of the Sony Cyber-shot RX100 Mark III, and in fact, the sensor, is now Sony's 20mp "Stacked" BSI CMOS sensor (offered in the RX100 IV, and V), offering ultra-high-speed shooting, with up to 30fps continuous raw shooting available at the full 20mp resolution. The G5 X II will let you shoot at 20fps for up to 89 shots in C-Raw, 55 shots in Raw, or 118 shots in JPEG. Using the "Raw burst mode" you can shoot at 30fps, for approximately 70 shots. The camera can shoot at 8fps, with continuous AF active. (The RX100 IV offers 16fps, and the RX100 V offers 24fps). 

The camera has P, A, S, M shooting modes, giving you full manual controls, and you can shoot in raw, as well as Canon's new C-raw, which gives you smaller files sizes. You'll also find fully automatic modes, scene modes (including panoramic, and backlight HDR), and creative effects available, which include HDR art options. There are a number of built-in star shooting scene modes, designed to help you get better star photos with: Star portrait, Star nightscape, Star trails, and Star time-lapse movie. 

The lens has been updated to a 5x optical zoom lens, rather than the 4.2x optical zoom lens on the Mark I. Yet the lens still maintains the bright f/1.8 aperture at the wide-end, and f/2.8 at the telephoto end, with the zoom range increasing to 24mm up to 120mm in 35mm equivalent terms. Optical Image Stabilisation is built-in, and offers up to 4-stops. Macro focus is down to 5cm, or 20cm at the telephoto end of the lens. There are 31 AF points. The camera offers an extended ISO range, up to ISO25600.

With a 5x optical zoom lens, the Canon Powershot G5 X Mark II offers more optical zoom than the RX100 V (with 2.9x optical zoom), but not as much as the RX100 VI (with 8.3x optical zoom).

Canon Powershot G5 X Mark II Review: Canon Powershot G5X MarkII (9)

The mode dial sits on top of the exposure compensation dial on top of the camera, and there is a built-in pop-up flash, but gone is the flash hot-shoe. The camera offers up to 230 shots using the screen, 180 shots using the EVF, or up to 320 shots with ECO mode enabled.

Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are built-in, and there's a Wi-Fi connection button on the side to let you quickly connect to a compatible smartphone or tablet. 

The camera now offers 4K video recording, at frame rates of 30 or 25fps, for up to 9 minutes and 59 seconds. You can record up to 29 minutes and 59 seconds of FullHD video, and frame rates are available from 24 to 120fps. 

Key Features

  • 20mp 1inch Stacked BSI CMOS sensor
  • 5x optical zoom lens, f/1.8-2.8, 24-120mm equivalent
  • Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS) - 4 stops
  • 3inch tilting touch-screen, 1040K dots
  • Electronic Viewfinder (EVF) with 2360k dots, 0.39inch
  • 31 AF points, Face-detection, 5cm close focus
  • 30fps continuous shooting (raw burst), 20fps continuous shooting (C-Raw / JPEG)
  • ISO125 to ISO25600 (Extended)
  • Built-in ND filter (3 stop)
  • 4K video, 30, 25fps, up to 9min 59s
  • FullHD video, 120fps, 100fps, 60fps, 50fps, 25fps, 24fps
  • USB Type-C
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth built-in
  • Buy now on Amazon UK

Canon Powershot G5 X Mark II Handling

Canon Powershot G5 X Mark II Review: Canon Powershot G5X MarkII (14)

The Canon Powershot G5 X Mark II is easy to hold, and easy to use. The camera is comfortable to hold, with a good sized, and grippy rubber grip at the front and back. With a camera body that is mostly plastic the camera feels fairly well built, and the ample rubber coating helps make up for this. We particularly liked the speckled finish to the body of the camera, and the new design has a serious look to it. The lens control ring that surrounds the lens, has audible clicks when you turn it, and as it's made out of plastic it doesn't feel great. The tilting screen is solid, and has a reassuringly tough metal hinge system. The front lens barrel is also made of metal. 

The layout of controls is clear, and easy to see, with the 3inch touch-screen giving additional options and controls, making it easy to change settings when needed. The Q-Menu button brings up a number of settings on screen giving quick access to options, and you can use the touch-screen or the rear controls to change these settings.

The control ring around the lens can be customised, and this can be used as a quick way to change settings. There's also the scroll wheel surrounding the 4-way controller on the back of the camera, which not only gives you quick access to focus, drive mode, and flash settings, but can also be used to set the aperture / shutter depending on the mode you're in.

Canon Powershot G5 X Mark II Review: Canon Powershot G5X MarkII (4)
You can also customise the movie record button, giving you quicker access to your favourite settings, however it's a shame there's not more customisable function buttons. You can customise the way the shutter release button works (metering and AF or metering), as we as the * (AE Lock, and you can set this up as a back-focus button), and you can also switch off the rear dial.  

The menu system is the same as the one you find on Canon EOS DSLRs, so if the camera is used as a backup camera, or an alternative to a Canon EOS camera, then users of this system should find themselves very familiar with all of the options. You can use the touch-screen to move through the menu options, as well as change settings, and there's a "My Menu" section where you can store your favourite settings for quicker access.

The 3inch touch-screen is clear and bright, and with the screen tilting forwards, it's perfectly suited for "vlogging" and selfie shots, although the pop-up flash, and pop-up EVF can get in the way slightly if you don't move them out of the way. You can also tilt the screen down, and move the screen away from the camera body if needed.

You can use the touch-screen to set the focus point, and this can be anywhere on-screen, even into the far corners. There are 49 AF points, and face-detection works well, although there is no built-in eye-detection. 

A switch on the side of the camera is used to pop-up the electronic viewfinder (EVF), and then you pull the back of the EVF towards you to set the EVF in the correct position. The view through the EVF is bright, clear, and has a decent resolution of 2.36m dots. It is the same EVF that is used in the original G5 X, and there is dioptre correction on top of the EVF unit. There's also eye-detection, so that the camera knows when you are holding the camera up to your face.

Canon Powershot G5 X Mark II Review: Canon Powershot G5X MarkII (5)

Battery life - Battery life is rated at 230 shots according to Canon / CIPA test results (using the LCD, 180 when using the EVF), which is quite low, however, this can be extended to 320 shots with the ECO mode switched on. We'd recommend a spare NB-13L battery is purchased. It's nice to see the inclusion of a USB Type-C connection, and the battery can be charged in the camera.


Canon PowerShot G5 X II Hands-On Photos of Equipment

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Photographs taken using the Canon PowerShot G5 X II

The dirty dozenBlue flowerGates to the gardenSluice gateColourfulWhooshPrivateBoas Festasimpressionist houseleekHolly againPhoenix

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PentaxBro Avatar
PentaxBro 6 43 3
12 Jul 2019 7:55PM
I much preferred the previous design of GX5, why try to copy the Sony and loose the main advantage??
banehawi Avatar
banehawi Plus
19 3.0k 4373 Canada
15 Jul 2019 12:33PM
Canon announces the new Sony RX100 Mk V for some reason.
Ben_Young Avatar
17 Jul 2019 9:55AM
Any comparisons to the G1 X mark III regarding dynamic range?
banehawi Avatar
banehawi Plus
19 3.0k 4373 Canada
17 Jul 2019 4:08PM
G1X mk 3 being an APS-C sensor will have a big advantage in dynamic range I would think. The G1X seems to have a softish lens,. - so it remains to be seen how good this lens is.
Ben_Young Avatar
21 Jul 2019 6:53AM

Quote:G1X mk 3 being an APS-C sensor will have a big advantage in dynamic range I would think. The G1X seems to have a softish lens,. - so it remains to be seen how good this lens is.

Yes, I would think so too, regarding the sensor ... but, this new G5 X has a BSI sensor. Could it be that that is enough to bring it somewhere close to the APSC sensor of the G1 X Mark III?
spidermario Avatar
15 Aug 2019 10:40AM

Quote:The G1X seems to have a softish lens,.

I have a G1 X 3 and the lens is not soft at all. In fact, this review measured it as being quite sharp:
Canonshots Avatar
Canonshots 13 206 13 United Kingdom
17 Sep 2019 4:39PM
I'm in the market for a replacement for my ageing Powershot G9. Is this it?

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